New Zealand Diary: Our journey to the North…

Flights and journey over from the UK

We started our journey to New Zealand on Monday and arrived in our destination on Thursday. Now if that isn’t a long journey I don’t know what is?!

Our journey to the other side of the world consisted of our first flight from London Heathrow to Dubai, UAE which took around six and a half hours. We then spent three hours in Dubai before boarding our flight to Bangkok which again took around seven hours.

Once landed in Bangkok we then realised we had an EIGHT hour lay over till our next flight! And it wasn’t even the nice airport in Bangkok it was the crap one with no commercial food outlets or shopping. So we just sat there for eight long hours….

Once it rolled around we jumped on our third flight to Sydney, which took eleven hours… No words needed. It took forever! Literally. Once landed in Sydney we had a very quick turn around to get back on the same plane and head on over to Christchurch, New Zealand.

We then had an ultra long stop, with a night in Christchurch before we boarded our fifth and final flight for six weeks to Queenstown!

We travelled via Kiwi Experience on a Super Funky bus pass.


Once we landed in Queenstown we jumped at the chance of not being on a place, sat down or stuck somewhere so went out and about in town. We headed on over up to the Gondola and Skyline to see the amazing views of Queenstown and local area and then we headed for lunch in a cute little restaurant called Bobs Weigh.

We then spent five days in Queenstown taking in the sights and experiencing all of what Queenstown had to offer. I took to the slopes for two days in The Remarkables whilst katie looked around Queenstown and did a few walks. We then also took a day trip to Milford Sound with the Kiwi Experience and on the last day we went for a walk around Queenstown Gardens. Then on the Tuesday we jumped on to the Kiwi Experience bus heading north up towards. Lake Tekapo.

Lake Tekapo

After our first day on the Kiwi Experience bus we arrived in Lake Tekapo, a tiny tiny town on the edge of Lake Tekpo (you’d have never guessed!) we checked in to Lakefront Backpackers hostel and alongside another bus traveller we headed on up to the Hot Springs and went for a walk around the lake. There wasn’t a lot to do, but it was an extremely peaceful place with amazing views wherever you looked.


The next day we arrived in Christchurch and bedded down at the YMCA in town. We would have stayed at Base in Christchurch however it has been closed following the earthquake in 2011 and still is yet to reopen. However YMCA was a basic but good hostel and we found the rooms more than adequate for three of us. We wandered off in to Christchurch from the hostel, visiting the reformed Cathedral, Quake. City exhibition and new shopping mall made out of shipping containers. The Quake City exhibition was truly brilliant and it was completely heartbreaking to watch the videos and see the images of the devastation the 2011 earthquake left. I would say it is a must do if you are visiting Christchurch.


After another day on the bus and yet another early start we arrived at the Lazy Shag in Kaikoura. The hostel was really nice and the rooms were all of good size and cleanliness. Some of the bus then headed off to do a Dolphin Encounter tour, while we headed off to do a Whale Watch tour. However, bad news, they were both cancelled. Our tour was cancelled due to the whales not being in the area, and even the helicopter couldn’t find the whales up to 10 miles out. And the dolphin tour was cancelled due to a similar problem with the dolphins but also because the boat broke down. Overall, a complete fail! However we have decided we may come back on our way back up that way towards the end of our New Zealand section if we are adamant the whales are back!


The longest day ever commenced at 7am, with a three hour drive to Picton where we then jumped on to a delayed ferry at 2pm and then took the bumpy trip from Picton to Wellington via the Interislander Ferry with Kiwi Experience. The drive was ok, however, my god the ferry was atrocious, I was nearly sick about four times and then continued to feel sick as we arrived at Nomads Wellington. Which obviously the only cure was…. WINE! We grabbed dinner and some wine and headed on out up Cuba Street to see what was still open! Luckily the night market was open which was really good fun, with street food, music and lots of little stalls selling niche products. We certainly made the most of our evening in Wellington!


We arrived in Taupo around 2pm on the Kiwi Experience bus and made ourselves at home by having a nap! We then went out and had a walk along the waterfront, and made a quick trip to the supermarket up the road so we could made dinner in the hostel kitchen. We stayed in Base Taupo, which was like any hostel, basic but clean, good atmosphere and lots going on. My only reservation was that it was super loud all evening and well in to the night, but that wasn’t the hostels fault and merely the very drunk stag do members that were wandering around the hostel all evening. We didn’t get to see much of Taupo but we may stay here again on the way down so we will save it for then!


A super duper long day on the bus but was made worth it by arriving up north finally in Auckland! We checked in to Nomads Auckland and headed out so that we could see the city light up as it went in to the evening. We grabbed dinner, had a few glasses of wine and then headed out for a walk around the city. A beautiful city with lots to do and a a lively atmosphere throughout! It’s a shame we only had two nights here but I am sure we will be back some time!

Bay of Islands

We only had 24 hours in Paihia and it rained for the more majority of our stay. We did however get on a boat tour when the weather got nicer and we saw some of the beautiful beaches in the sun!

Keep reading to hear more of our journey!


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  • mansfield54Phil Ball
    October 5, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    I’m enjoying your epistles.I visited some of those places in 2011 and it brings it all back.Keep it up !

  • mansfield54
    October 5, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    I’m enjoying your epistles.I visited Wellington/Milford Sound in 2011, along with Oz and Tasmania.You have talent, keep it up !