Before we start a whole new chapter in our travels we thought it best to wrap up our NZ South Island leg.
For many a moon at the end of each day Julie and I have asked each other for our 'three highlights of the day'. We try and do this regardless of how bad the day may have been. We have both had some pretty tough times in recent months and this little check has helped lift our spirits even on the darkest of days.
So after 3,968 km's we thought we would share with you our three highlights from the South Island.
1. Biking, biking, biking. It is official, NZ is a fabulous place to mountain bike. Highlights include the dedicated (and free) Redwoods Mountain Bike Park in Rotorua. So many trails so little time! The challenging Queen Charlotte Track with lots of uphills, but some incredible downhills too. The Otago Rail Trail, meandering along to the Chatto Creek pub for 'fush and chups' as a lunchtime reward. Each offered something different but it was the Dean's Bank Trail in Wanaka that almost saw me come a cropper twice.
2. The view of Lake Tekapo from Mount John deserves a special mention. Utterly breath taking, particularly on the stellar sunny day we were there. Priceless.
3. Hiking part of the Abel Tasman. Such a fabulous national park. A great track with beautiful beaches that you can side track down to or water taxi into. Can't wait to go back and do the whole thing.
1. Watching the seal pups cavort like naughty teenagers at the back of Adele Island, Abel Tasman National Park. This was part of my days kayaking which in itself was a highlight. Just myself and three others with a guide. The seal colony is a well known spot, but to see the pups having bucket loads of fun was a wonderful opportunity.
2. Walking our housesitting pups, Hettie & Mollie, along the shores of Lake Wanaka. Watching these two ladies run around like headless chucks was so funny. Throw in the beauty of Lake Wanaka on a clear day and you have a very special highlight. Julie and I didn't have to do much as the girls knew the walk so well. I did have to go for a paddle on one occasion when Mollie refused to bring the tennis ball back. I can safely say the lake is blooming freezing.
3. Watching Julie catch her first ever fish. And then her second, third and fourth. The third one turned out to be a 1.5m long shark. The battle of wills was eventually won by Mr. Jaws when he broke off the line just short of the boat. This took place on board the Southern Secret on the majestic Doubtful Sound.
So there you have it our three highlights out of so many. We were blessed with amazing weather, just two evenings of rain and one drizzly day in Taupo. If you contemplating a trip south do not waste any further time and get your butt down there.
From a budget point of view we came in bang on what we had planned for. We are using an app called TrailWallet. This allows you to set a daily/monthly budget and then track your actual spend. If you go over budget the app has some sassy remarks about your extravagant spending. This app has made us stop and think twice before splashing out on the more expensive Pinot Noir. Remember we had our own accommodation in the form of the Tardis. We also did get 4 nights free accommodation in Wanaka courtesy of our house sit.
The biggest expenses were accommodation as in the form of camp grounds, averaged out at $28.00 per day. The orange segment is activities, of which our cruise in the Sound was 80% of the total. We didn't manage to completely cut out the eating/drinking out, nearly $1200.00. But we did have the occasional camp veggie curry.
So on to the next chapter in Santiago, Chile.