Well, I learnt in the deep south of NZ that fate works in mysterious ways. We were cursing the fact that we couldn’t get on the “bottom bus” tour with its extra stops and had to get on an ordinary shuttle bus to Te Anau. We managed to sweet talk the driver into making one of the stops for us-so that we could do the tourist thing of sitting on the sign for “McCracken’s rest” with our pants half down, showing our bum cracks! Those pictures are safely tucked away and will not be online if I can help it! Then imagine my surprise when we finally got on the bottom bus the next day and met an ex-pupil who I taught in England!! So actually it was a blessing that we hadn’t got the bus we wanted, as he would have seen Miss Tracey’s bum!
Went from Te Anau to Milford Sound-a fjord, it was raining and even snowed along the way (in late summer!!) , so we were worried that we wouldn’t get to see anything, but fortunately just as we got on the boat the sun came out. Thanks to the weather before the waterfalls were full and some extra little ones had appeared too. The mountains had snow on top of them, so everything looked spectacular!
Went back into Queenstown and took a chair lift up for another spectacular view. I considered doing the canyon swing, but chickened out. Then went on to Christchurch, an english style city-really reminded me of Cambridge, it even had punters on the rivers with straw boaters on!
Next stop Kaikoura for the most amazing experience ever-swimming with dolphins! The boat ride was choppy and I felt quite seasick, but it was worth it once we got into the water. The dolphins played around with us, swimming in circles trying to race us. It was incredible to be with these creatures in their natural environment and on their terms-they chose to approach us and then stay with us. We all stayed in a very cute little hostel and had a very chilled out relaxing time.
That was the end of my kiwi experience ticket and so I took the Transscenic railway back to Christchurch for another set for beautiful views. Sat across from a lady who reminded me a lot of my granny, which was a pleasant way to end a great couple of months of meeting wonderful and varied characters.