Spring Break: Nelson to Queenstown

I just noticed I didn't even mention who was on this trip with me. I went down with Megan, Caroline and Lauren. They are three other American study abroad students who live in the Massey Accommodation. We figured it would be best to go with just Americans since many of our New Zealand friends had already been to a lot of the south island and didn't feel like spending all the money.
But anyways, back to the summary.

Day 4
We woke up and drove over to the Abel Tasman nation park to go sea kayaking. We had a half day freedom rental which means we didn't have a guide. We went around a couple islands and some seals followed us. The kayaks were a little different than I was used to. They were two person kayaks and had rudders with foot pedals that the back person used to make it turn. It felt like cheating to me but it was still fun. We stopped at an island for a snack and a seal came right up next to our boat. We weren't expecting this and almost tipped over in shock but we were happy to see him. A worker at the kayak place told us that we might see some penguins but after much searching we gave up and made our way
 back to the shore. The other half of our group got lost which gave me a chance to swim for a little. The water was pretty cold but I guess that makes sense seeing as it's still winter technically. It wasn't much colder than the water in Maine though. After kayaking and a picnic lunch with some PB&J we started driving to a different part of Abel Tasman for a hike. The drive was a lot longer than we planned and we were running out of daylight so we stopped at some random hill for a hike. It was actually really cool. I felt like Legolas should be running over the hills near us. The area was right next to a Lord of the Rings tourist shop so they might have done some filming around there. The hike was a perfect length and the sun set pretty soon after we left. Next we started our drive to Greymouth. It was a four hour drive and it started looking like there would be no place for food but we finally found somewhere to eat around 8:00. I don't think any of us had ever been so hungry. We didn't get to the hostel until 11 since service is much slower in New Zealand. Usually this isn't a bad thing but we were all exhausted and had to wake up early the next day. 

Day 5

We had to leave at 5am in order to get to Fox Glacier in time for our hike. The drive was even more beautiful than usual. Sadly I was driving and no one else was awake so there are no photos. We stopped in this small town for breakfast which was an interesting experience. I order bacon and eggs with toast but was told I couldn't have it since they just opened. We could however get a bacon and egg sandwich. Not really sure how that worked since it was all the same ingredients. I could also see my breath inside the cafe. The actual hike was incredible. We walked through a rainforest to get to the glacier. They said there are only about 5 glaciers where that happens in the world. The hike went all over the glacier and we got to crawl through some tunnels. It was well worth the money. Words can't really describe how cool it was.
Rainforest on the way to the glacier.

One of the tunnels we went through.
The view from the top of the hike.

Day 6
This was another day full of driving. When we planned the trip we thought we would go to Mount Cook this day. It ends up that even though we were pretty close to Mount Cook, we couldn't actually get there since you need to access it from the other side of the mountain range. Instead we just decided to drive and stop along the way. We went to a visitor center and picked up a map. It listed heaps of hikes along the sides of the road since we were driving through a national park. We picked three shorter ones in order to break up the drive. The blue pools was the best one. The ice melts on the mountains and flows down to the pools. It is extremely blue since it is so cold. After our hikes we continued to Wanaka. It was a nice town and if I were to ever move here I think I would pick to live in Wanaka. All the houses seemed to have views of the lake and mountains and it is supposed to be cheaper than Queenstown. We stopped at Puzzling World which was really interesting. It was full of illusions. There was one room where it looked like statues were staring at you wherever you stood. Another room was on a slant and really disoriented everyone. After we finish up here we continued on to Queenstown. 


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