Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Part 4 : Kia Pai Te Haere New Zealand

15th of April 2012, time seems to pass very fast when you’re having a good time, and it’s true, 3 days in Queenstown is definitely NOT enough. There’s so much to do here, extreme activities and otherwise but it was time to bid farewell to Queenstown – FOR NOW. Anyhow, after checking out of Copthorne, we headed to our next destination, Wanaka.

Copthorne in the morning
Wanaka is yet another resort town located an hour away from Queenstown. The main reason why we wanted to come here was the StuartLandsborough Puzzling World

Puzzling World!
Kinda looked like a scene from Prof X's school
You psychic? Then stand a chance to win $100,000
The Puzzling World was impressive, their displays ranged from optical illusions to hologram halls. My favorite highlight was the Tilted House, whereby the room is tilted 15 degrees but our eyes perceived it as normal. Such a wank, we lost our balance quite often in that room. 

The Ames room
Posing at the tilt room
F*ck logic!
After that we attempted to play a giant maze there. Thinking that my sense of direction and IQ is not that bad, challenge accepted on my end. Unfortunately though, challenged failed. But it was a great attempt though. And great sweat out that day.

We took the difficult challenge. And flunked

We then set our journey back, all the way to Ashburton. We back trailed our journey taken to Queenstown, and made a quick stop at Omaroma on the way. And also, earlier on we did not manage to see Mt.Cook via Lake Pukaki. Well we did that day, as it was sunny. And my goodness it was a splendid view.

Mt.Cook View from Lake Pukaki
It was a pretty daunting journey, but we eventually reached Ashburton, the land said to be Edoras, filmed for the famed Lord of the Rings. We checked in Ashburton Hotel pretty late, around 7-ish. We were quite pleased with the rooms provided, it looks like a master bed room linked with a guest room/kitchen linked with another single bed room. But best of all, they provided 1GB internet usage for all guests. I mean, what are we going to do with 1GB for one night?

Seeing the Light
The Long and Lonely Road
We went to the nearest convenience stall (Countdown) to purchase some snacks for the night. I also bought myself McD dinner, chicken burger, grilled not fried with bacon. That’s right, bacon.

We were pretty beat up for the night, so we slept it through.

Dinner :)
The following morning, we got up, and it was day 6 already. Wahhhhh, we were certainly not ready to leave just yet!!!
Breakfast of Shortbreads and Feijoa juice (tasted somewhat like sour sop)
Ashburton Hotel
  But we had to. So we set our journey, yet again. Next destination, Akaroa!


Akaroa is French influenced harbor town located around an hour away from Christchurch. Aside from the beach and sail boats, the attractions here include The Giant House (which was closed when we were there) and Akaroa Fish and Chips (which was burned down). Really bad luck we’d say?


Had fish & chips at the local deli anyway, and blended in with the town. Well, at least for that hour before heading to Christchurch.




Arriving Christchurch, my fellow friends wasted no time and searched for shopping places. Somehow they landed in Dress Smart, Hornsby and shopped shopped shopped! From Canterbury Clearance to Cotton On, they sure were impressed by the brands and prices there. Oh while they're shopping for clothes, I was looking for sheep placenta cream. Apparently not many retailed outlets are aware of what product that is, and only those souvenir stalls has (and know what is) them. Strange, and I thought that was one of their well know products.


We did not manage to see Christchurch entirely because
1) It was almost sunset
2) Most of the roads were closed due to the earthquake that hit in 2011.

Back to the airport
None the less, we took our entire NZ trip into consideration, I must say we had a smashing time over there. The scenic views were to die for, and I can see why people would want to live here, it's relatively stress free compared to KL. That being said, there's no place like home, and our last stop was the Christchurch Airport. We arrived early, ample time to clear immigration and repack our bags (weight distribution).

Sad to leave on the jet plane !
All in all, I truly would like to thank Air Asia X again for providing us this opportunity, & both Lemuel & Fatin for being an awesome trio traveling mates. Go #wonderwanderers :)

Memories brought home :)
I have no idea where I might end up next, but I do hope it would be a good one. Crosses fingers :)

Part 3: Queenstown

We were not too sure whether to be entirely excited, or nervous as it was the Jump Day. That was the highlight of that day. Paid over $180 just to jump? We were bonkers. It was the 13th of April (and coincidentally, a Friday but we never realized it) and the activities today were around Queenstown.

From Queenstown
To Kawarau
We're jumping from THERE?
We booked a 9.30am slot, in which we were there pretty early, and of course, our first activity of the day was camwhoring. The usual. Kawarau Bridge is the activity hub for AJ Hackett Bungy Jump, they have other locations and activities as well such as trampoline jump and all the way to Auckland. Kawarau is only 20 minutes away from our hotel, so not much of a hassle going there.

Camwhore again
As we were getting nervous silly, we met a Malaysian/NZ expat who was on family with her family, and we had a few conversations about Queenstown and the South Island. And of course, time click time passed and it was soon 9.15am, where we had to assemble at the registration in order to weigh ourselves and get the jumping number. Fatin jumped before me, not too bad. And then two other people in between and it was soon my turn. Controlling and being macho, I shown no fear in my face (applause) but I was scared shit back then. LOL. Didn't show that much on the video, yes, video, but I was scared.

The anticipation of the jump is what freaks me out actually, but after leaping from the platform, it was the surreal feeling of liberation, and the 2 seconds or so free falling felt like 2 still minutes. That was until I almost reached the water, and I freaked out again (I don't like the feeling of drowning, haha). The bungy cord jerked me back up before crashing down, and I was soon taken into a life saver boat to land (you expecting them to pull me back up? :P)

I did it :P
Little souvenirs to show off :P
Bridge from different angle :)
After done traumatizing ourselves, we made our way to Gibbston Valley, which is not too far from the Bridge. We paid $15 each for a wine tour, and free wine tasting. Not too shabby. I've always wanted to see a winery and I did. The whiff of wine as we walked through the orchard is what I'll probably miss here the most. Chrissy was our tour guide that day, and she did a fine job on taking us on the tour, explaining the process of making the wine and wine tasting. A way to celebrate after jumping, I'd say.

Chrissy and the Tour


We went back to Copthorne to freshen up a little and then we hanged around Queenstown, walked on the streets to see what shops are there in daytime. We managed to try the Hell Pizza, as per recommended by Kenny Sia. Pretty wacky concept, based on everything's wrong - from the seven sins named pizza, to the coffin shaped pizza box to its hotline number, 0800-666-111. Everything was so wrong, but the pizza. The pizza is conventional, but much better than most of the pizzas I've ever tasted. Good recommendation by the way, for good food, you can bugger off to Hell.


And of course, we had to try the famous Patagonia ice creams over there. And eating ice cream on a 10 degrees weather? Insane people, we are.

Ice Cream :P
It's probably thinking, not a single f*ck was given that day
We then made our way up to the Skyline Gondola, to the peak of Queenstown, which sort of reminded me of Genting a little. Whilst we're up there, we played the luge, hanged around and watched the Haka show. The Haka is a traditional war cry of the Maori warriors. A cultural insight for a change after the crazy activities we had the whole day.

Queenstown from the view above
Ready for the Luge
Heading up :)
Haka Show
Posing with some Maoris :)
We made it down pretty late, around 8 something or so. But that did not hindered us to do some shopping before heading back to the hotel. Brotips, when you're in NZ, do visit Cookie Time. They have the best soft cookies ever!

Basically, our daily routine is waking up early, enjoy the day and sleep early. And oh, we were only able to use 20 minutes of free internet time here. Pffft. But it was ok, Queenstown itself is a big distraction for us :).
The next day, would be packing up and leaving Queenstown (T_T) as we head to our next pit stop, Wanaka and Ashburton. Stay tuned for that :)