Saturday, January 01, 2000

New Zealand

October 25 - November 17

We flew into NZ at Christchurch. There we rented a 4WD RAV4 ("Baron Von Bleef") and hit the road. Our route went via Mt. Cook, Queenstown, Westport, Wellington (where we saw Jon B.), Rotorua, Waitomo, and Auckland. We flew out on a Qantas jet for LA.

Day by day breakdown:

  • Fri Oct 28 - arrive in Christchurch 04:00, check into hostel and collapse, up at noon, lunch, arrange truck rental, pints and snack at sports pub, out to Home for drum and bass, head to Base around 01:00 for more DnB action, to hostel around 03:00
  • Sat Oct 29 - up at 09:00, check out of hostel at 10:00, taxi to truck rental place, pick up the truck, and head south in increasingly pissy rain, stop in ashton (sp?) for lunch and to pick up supplies, down to timura (sp?), stop at info center to check into hostel, jason naps while mike walks around in rain, nap for mike, dinner at pub, play pool, live cover band at outlaws, back to hostel around 01:00
  • Sun Oct 30 - up at 09:00, pack and check out by 10:00, hit the road, gas and lunch in some little town (?), stop by lake (?) and throw rocks, on to mount cook, check into cabin about 20 minutes from the mountain, naps, dinner at mountain cafe up the road, back to cabin to burn DVDs and relax, sleep
  • Mon Oct 31 - up at 10:30, head up to camp ground, breakfast of nutella and rice cakes, walk up to hooker lake, drive up tasman road, jason draws while mike walks to blue lake (now green), relax by stream and have cheese and salami snack, over to town for dinner in the old mountaineer cafe, back to camp/hotel, read, discover missing tapes, sleep
  • Tue Nov 01 - up at 08:30, mike showers, jason chooses to be stank, leave camp, drive to twizel, breakfast at lou's cafe, drive on to queenstown (sp?), check into black sheep hostel, short walk into town, mike place's a bet on the melbourne cup, ATM, internet, watch horse race (bet not a winner) and drink beer and eat very nice beef nachos, jason goes to buy a book and mike has a walk around the lake, meet back at hostel for nap, nerdy computing and TV in early evening, back out in search of nightlife, do not find it and return to base for sleep
  • Wed Nov 02 - up at 10:00, book skydive for 16:00, lunch at Naff Cafe, back to hostel to read and compute, jump out of airplane, back to hostel, out for dinner and drinks at The World Bar, meet some English girls, dumped by said girls, back to hostel around 00:00
  • Thu Nov 03 - jason up early to head out bungy jumping, mike up around 10:00 to head out fishing, meet up back at hostel around 18:00, jason naps, mike blogs and deals w/ jason's bungy DVDs, fergburger for dinner, over to red rock bar for beers with folks from hostel, jason retires with mike to follow shortly, in bed for 00:30
  • Fri Nov 04 - up at 08:30 to pack, check out of hostel, internet session in queenstown, hit the road, stop in wanaka for turkish lunch by the lake, back on the road to the west coast with some stops to see a waterfall and throw rocks into the tasman sea, stop at fox glacier and pack into ivory tower hostel, meaty dinner at local saloon, work with bungy DVDs, read, sleep
  • Sat Nov 05 - up at 09:00, pack up and head north, stop for whitebait lunch in ross, halt a few more times along the way to stretch, photo op in charleston, check into trip inn in westport around 16:00, mike goes for a run, shower, a bit of shopping, pizza dinner, back to hostel to regroup, out to carters beach for cheap and cheerful fireworks, return to hostel, compute, read, sleep
  • Sun Nov 06 - up at 09:00, breakfast in westport, rafting a no-go, head out for picton, stop at tourist trap of NZ's longest swing bridge, one or two other rest breaks along the way, light meal in cafe in picton, work on video projects while waiting for ferry, board ferry around 19:00, mostly read during crossing, arrive in wellington at 22:30, drive to jon b's, take advantage of free wireless, bed down
  • Mon Nov 07 - up around 09:00, lunch at hipster cafe called fidel's, see the national museum ('te papa'), mike splits to check out parliament and associated buildings, meet back up at foot of cable car and travel to top, walk back down to jon's, take jon out for dinner and drinks, in around 00:00 and to bed
  • Tue Nov 08 - up around 10:30 with slight hangover, head out for cambodian lunch, jason back to jon's to do research online, mike has a shop, shoes and presents are purchased, meet back at jon's, meet tam, then meet jon's mum, head out for very good pizza and suffer some boorish conversation with an american and a canadian, also meet a nice italian girl that wants to know about california, back to jon's to crash on the early
  • Wed Nov 09 - up around 10:00, say good-bye to jon and his mum, breakfast and big coffees at local cafe, hit the road around noon, brief break to play mini golf (mike wins), stop at 'moon craters' to see a bit of thermal activity, check into hostel in rototura, out for dinner, run into southern girls from cairns, back to hostel bar and meet a couple of swedish girls, out to irish bar and back to hostel bar, some dancing, beers and photos in the hostel, sleep
  • Thu Nov 10 - woke up by knocking Swede around 12:00, mike slightly hungover, japanese lunch, jason out to visit crafts center, mike stays behind to shower shave (new design) and organize tapes, jason returns to organize hongi outing then out to park for exercise, mike stays in hostel to work on jarah video, catch bus to maori dinner and show, return to hostel to booze it up, sleep around 03:30
  • Fri Nov 11 - again woken up by Swedish knocking - this time at 09:00, pack and out the door by 10:00, lunch on the way to Waitomo at some roadside cafe, arrive at Juno Backpackers and converse with german receptionist while enjoying pool, shower and book cave trip, mike naps, jason does some sort of crap, go into town to dine at local tavern, back to hostel to read and watch movies, early to bed
  • Sat Nov 12 - granola breakfast at 09:00, at Waitomo Adventures office for 09:45, 100 m abseil followed by hike and scrabble and swim through cave complex, emerge on the other end and hike back to caving hut, dinner supplied as part of the trip, have a few beers with other members of group, adjourn to tavern for a few more before calling it a night, in bed around 00:00
  • Sun Nov 13 - up at 04:00 and drive out in hopes of finding someplace that is showing the Ireland vs. New Zealand ruby match, hopes are dashed in Hamilton when discover that match has already concluded, breakfast at local bakery before pressing on to Auckland, check into hostel with parking, hit the internet cafe, korean lunch, try to book sailing course without success, mike naps, jason launders, out for pizza dinner, stop on way home for some asian dumplings as well, mike launders, work on videos and soundtracks, in bed at around 00:30
  • Mon Nov 14 - up at 10:00, brunch on pies and chips at local cafe, jason takes care of internet business, mike heads to Doverport (sp?) to exchange a book, meet back at hostel around 15:30, drive out to yacht club - get lost on the way, stop at shop to buy boat slippers, meet suzanne at 17:00, sailing lesson until about 20:15, dinner at the loaded pig, back to hostel to enjoy magnum bars, sleep
  • Tue Nov 15 - up at 08:00, takeaway breakfast from peter's, meet suzanne at 10:00, sail until 16:00, back to hotel to wash, out to K Road for south indian supper, back to hotel, sleep
  • Wed Nov 16 -up at 08:00, takeaway breakfast again, meet suzanne at 10:00 and sail until 16:00, back to hostel to relax, meet allan's friend jill at rokino's (sp?) on high street, dinner at cave-like japanese place, back to high street for more drinks, say good-bye to jill and canadian girl and carry on to an empty club, head home for about 03:00
  • Thu Nov 17 - up at 09:00, check out of hostel, head to internet cafe, meet jill at 1 for a drink, say goodbye, over to bookstore for packing materials, back to internet cafe, drive car to rental place for drop-off, to airport, board qantas flight around 19:00 and take off for LA

    Photo Albums
    Scenic New Zealand
    Taking It To The Forn

    Prep & Takeoff
    Der Beach
    Auckland Sailing