Ive got a busy week ahead! On Tuesday I am off to Wellington for work and Wednesday I will be down in the south island in Christchurch. This will be my first time back in Christchurch since the earth quake. Just yesterday there was a 5.0 magnatiude aftershock 11km below the serface. There were no injuries thankfully, but from the photos it looks like there was a lot of liquifaction. Now that is nothing compared to what hit early this year, but it still makes me a bit nervous about heading there. Hopefully the earth remains motionless while I am down south.
After Christchurch I am off to Queenstown for Easter. Michelle and my mate Tim will be meeting me down there where we plan to do a bit of a tour. We’ve got a car rented and accommodation booked for a couple nights. The rest of the time we will be staying with Tim’s brother. Im looking forward to touring around down south with a local, as they always know the best spots. We will be hitting up Milford Sound, which im pretty stoked about. The place looks prestine and Ive only heard good things. We will also be visiting Wanaka, Arrowtown, Glenorchy, Cromwell and Alexandra. Unlike my last trip to Queenstown, this is a non-riding trip.
This time of year brings a lot of travel through work. Ill be heading off in May as well to Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington and Palmerston North. On the road again…
It’s 6am and I am up – I felt like I just went to bed. I grab some breakie and headed to jump on the bus for the airport. I met up with my co-worker and we boarded our flight to Wellington. Once in Welly we headed to the hotel to drop our bags. Only one of our rooms was ready so we just stashed our bags there. We had a bunch of time to kill so we walked around the city and checked out some shops. By 1pm we headed back to the hotel to see if my room was ready. Unfortunately it wasn’t so I had a nap on the couch in the lounge ahah yah Ive got the dirty backpacker thing down! An hour later I woke up and checked into my room.
That evening I was working the Big OE, which is an exhibtion of companies that work in world of youth travel. It was semi busy. After work we got a bite to eat and I headed off to bed. Once again knackered!
Today I had a bit of a sleep in as we didn’t have to be at the airport until noon. It was nice to recharge the batteries and have time for a good breakfast. Once in Christchurch we checked in and then headed off to the Big OE. It was another semi busy event, though it was better than Wellington.
I thought Christchurch was in pretty good shape. There was obviously heaps of construction and demolition going on since the earth quake, but they seem to be dealing with it quite well. The day before I arrived there was a 5.0 aftershock and I was wondering if i would have the earth move for me, but it didnt and that is ok with me.
Michelle and I had plans to meet in Christchurch and then head to Hanmer Springs for some rest and relaxation. After the Big OE I met Michelle back at Hotel So and her, myself and my co-worker all went out for dinner. We ate buffet styles at an Asian restaurant where we all ordered something different and shared. With our tummies full we headed back to the hotel to crash.
I am looking forward to having a couple chill days in Hanmer Springs as the bike trip and work trip has been a whirl wind!
Ive noticed that some travellers coming to New Zealand are focused on getting career related work. That is great, but one must remember that the visa we are all on is a working holiday visa… meaning you are in New Zealand to work and travel. Don’t forget that second part – travel! Yes you can wait around for a career related job to come available, but to me that is a waste of time! Most work visas are only good for one year – use your time wisely. It really doesn’t do anyone any good to sit around day after day waiting for an employer to call you. That can be really frustrating, stressful and depressing! Use that waiting period of time to travel; get on a stray bus, woof, grab a cheap flight online or venture to the south island. When that career job does come available you will be working 9am-5pm, so use that time in between to see and enjoy New Zealand. You may want to prepare yourself to work non-career related work to cover expenses until that `right` job becomes available. Bring extra savings to cover costs as well. Remember that no matter what job you do, future employers will still be interested and impressed that you went overseas to live and work. Make the most of your time, be flexible with employment and travel as much as possible.
So scored another amazing work famil! Yes, I know I am lucky as hell! For this trip I will be touring the north island in a Spaceship Campervan for 3 days! Sweet as! Here is my itinerary for this trip:
Leave at 5:30pm from Auckland, heading north to The Park Station – I guess that is where you can park the van and it is equipped with all the amenities. We will be stopping at our tour guides Aunts place for dinner. Ahah So awesome! Kiwi hospitality!
Ski all day at Mt Raupehu and then return to the park for food, drinks and hot tubbing. Ahah Fu*k ya!
Go to Blue Duck Ecolodge, where they have activates planned for the day and then drinks and dinner around the brazier.
Head to Waitomo Adventures to do some caving and after that head home.
Me = Lucky Bastard!
Yup, Im one lucky bastard! Im off touring this Thursday to Sunday and will update my blog with photos and hopefully some crazy stories of my time in a Spaceship!
I was up early today to catch my shuttle to the airport. My 2nd work road trip has come to an end. I am back in the office, unpacking and debriefing. It was a whirl wind of a trip, with a couple hick-ups but overall a great time.
I flew Jet Star back to Auckland from Queenstown. Everyone here calls it Shit Star and for good reason. It is a budget airline so you pay for water, coffee, it always runs late ect. Flight home was good. The view of the mountains was amazing – I actually took some photos and Ill get them up soon.
This weekend I think I am going to go out to Waiheke Island for a bit of a hike with Michelle and then Im hitting up Woodhill to do some mountain biking on Sunday. The All Blacks play South Africa on Saturday night so Im sure a few bevies will be had at the bar!
Picture from the plane, flying into Queenstown
Today I flew into Queenstown. Unfortunately I do not have a lot of time in Queenstown so I am unable to huck myself off of anything. I will be back in the spring to do some mountain biking, a bungee, canyon swing, sky dive, ziptrek.. as much as I can pack in.
I checked into Nomads Queenstown and it has to be the nicest hostel I have ever stayed in. It is a brand new building – so very clean and great location – almost on the waterfront. It has a cinema, sauna, great chill out area with nice couches, pool table, fireplace, great kitchen and the room I had was more hotel than hostel. Big king size bed, private washroom, flat screen tv, and deck with view of mountains. I wasn’t in the dorm rooms as I had the hook-up through work, so I was comped a private room. It was great. You also get 15 mins free Internet time and they have a wireless as well. If you are in Queenstown this is the place to stay. All of the staff are great too!
queenstown shore line
After checking in I had about 2 hours too kill before the Canadian High Commission evening event so I walked around the lake and checked out the town. It really reminded me of Banff – small touristy mountain town. It was about +1 and people were rocking full winter gear ahah I was in a rain jacket eheh.
The CHC evening was about the same as the one in Christchurch – slow! Talked to a few ppl and there was definite interest. Met up with the owner of ZipTreck Eco tours and had a good chat with him. We ended up going for Japanese for dinner and then we parted ways. His company and my work may work together so the trip to Queenstown was worth it for that a lone! I didn’t bother going out as I had to be up at 7am to catch my shuttle back to the airport.
The Church in the centre square in Christchurch
This road trip has been a test. This morning I was awakened by the fire alarm and a sound over the speakers saying “there is a fire, please exit the building” Yah another WTF moment ahahaha. I really wasnt too concerned – maybe I should have been but i just tossed on my jeans and sweater, grab my wallet and passport (made sure to close the coat zipper), put my toque on and slipped on my 5-10′s and I exited the building.
Once outside you could tell who was the panicked guests were – ppl were streaming out in there underwear and pj’s with a look of terror on their faces. The hotel staff were handing out towels to those with little clothing on to keep them warm. It was about +5, windy and rainy. I was fine – I was dressed and had my rain jacket. I personally thought it was hilarious. There were these asian travellers who packed all of their luggage and brought it with them. I thought myself getting dressed was good enough, but these travellers were struggling down stairs with there suit cases, clothes hanging out of them, their hair dryers in hand. ahaha Idiots! I only really cared that I had some clothing on, my wallet and passport. In the end someone just burnt there hair blow drying it and it set off the alarm ahaha Hilarious!
Since I was up and grabbed a coffee and by the time I got back to the hotel everyone was back in the building. This work road trip is awesome! ahahah I wonder what will happen in Queenstown?
Today started off a little rough. I just think this road trip is a test for myself – sometimes things run smoothly, other times the world likes to throw you a curve ball. I guess that what travelling is all about – rolling with what the universe gives you.
I woke and was getting sorted and then noticed that I didnt have my wallet. Ahhh Shit! I searched the room from top to bottom, pulled everything out of my bags, checked my work luggage – it wasnt there. Ive never lost my wallet and usually am pretty paranoid about having it – so this caught me off gaurd.
It was 7am and my shuttle to take me to the airport was coming at 9:30. After scrammbling through my room looking for it i decided to re-trace my steps to the Kings Arm,which is where I had dinner the night before. It was another wet winter day in wellington! I walked down to the pub looking everywhere! By this time I had called Visa to cancel my cards and luckily they hadnt been used. I got to the pub and I hadnt found it – I had pretty much accepted it was gone and was trying to figure out a plan B. I had no cash and I wasnt heading back to Auckland for another couple days. I did have my passport so I figured I would be able to go to KiwiBank and get another card issued or at least get some cash. I wasnt panicked as really once it is gone what can you do. Just roll with it.
As I was walking back up to the hotel I remember that I stopped and did some window shopping at a bike shop. Yes, Im a bike whore and will stop at pretty much any shop to see what bikes they carry and what goodies they have. I thought well I may as well go back to that shop to see if I had dropped it there. I rocked up to the shop, by now its about 7:45am.. nothing is open, but people are scurrying around heading to work. To my surprise there is my wallet, tucked in the corner of the store entrance way. Some how i dropped it out of my coat pocket, maybe when I was pulling out my ipod it fell out – doesnt matter – I got it back and all of the cards were there. I really wasnt concerned about the credit cards as they were now deactivated. I was concerned about my licence – I didnt know how I could go about replacing that I need it to drive myself around – it was there all is good!
I headed back to the hotel and had some breakfast and reflected on what just happened. Laughing at myself the entire time! I then got a text from work saying I should go pick up a powercord at Dick Smith as I needed the lap top for tonights info session. I then ran down to a dick smith… yes i ran. I usually dont run unless I am being chased! I took the laptop with me so they geeks could get me the right cord. I was assured the one they sold me would work, so I bought it and ran back to the hotel. I packed all my bags and caught my shuttle to the airport.
My flight was good – only 45 mins so easy-peasy! Took another shuttle my hotel and unpacked to charge up the lap top. Well the charger didnt work! I then called work to let them know we needed a plan B as plan A just went in the crapper. Amy was able to get a hold of hotel and arranged a laptop through them. Sweet – the info session should be ok.
Now I had to return this powercord. I found out where the Dick Smiths was in Christchurch and headed over. I found the manager and told him the situation. He then told me that I had to return to Wellington to return it. WTF! Dick Smiths is a chain ie best buy or future shop, they should be able to refund me. They also have a 14 day refund policy and I was not returning to Wellington until August. The manager told me to ring up the Wellington shop to see what I could do. The staff at Dick Smiths in wellington then informed that you can return it to any shop! I asked there manager from the Wellington Dick Smiths to speak with the manager from the Christchurch shop and passed my mobile over to him so he could get told to refund me. I got the refund and the manager looked like an ass.
The info session that night went well. I was beat… Day 2 done!
Im on another work road trip and this one entails hitting up Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown. Unfortunately I will not have time to do any riding – bloody work getting in the way of my fun!
Wellington was a shit show from the start. My flight on Air New Zealand left an half hour late, which made me late for an interview I had to do with a USA participant. I then had to rush to setup for my info session with people arriving at the sametime. The laptop power cord wasnt packed so my powerpoint presentation died half way through. I then had to just talk about the remaining programs. It was a mess! I got through it and in the end it worked out, but definitely not one of the best presentation. I never panicked, just carried on – what else can you do in a situation like that.
After that I grab some food and a couple of pints – felt they were well deserved! It was a typical Wellington winters day – rainy and windy.
On Friday I got some amazing news via work. They are going to send me on a Stray Travel Famil. A famil is a way companies familiarize people who work in the industry with their product, so they know how to sell it. So im getting a free 4-day trip!!!
Head off to Raglan and do a free surf lesson with Raglan Surfing School. After that we Mount Karioi where we will stay at the Karioi Lodge for the evening, which is nestled in native bush! After sunset we will head off to Inspiration Point and have a group meal and then head to see glow worms and try out a flying fox.
We are off to Waitomo Caves to explore the limestone caves where we will be abseiling down water falls, squeezing through gaps, climbing over limestone formations that are millions of years old – so stoked!
After that we head to Uncle Boys and share a traditional Maroi meal before share a Maroi experience by taking on the role of visiting tribe. Topping it off we will learn the haka and stay in a Mori for the evening.
This will be an action packed day or rafting or sledging down the mighty Kaituna River in Rortorua with Kaitiaki Adventures. Then we stop at the geothermal rive for dip before visiting Huka Falls. That night we will be staying in the Park Travellers Lodge.
If the weather permits we will do the Tongariro Crossing, rated as one the Worlds best one day walks with Adrift tours. We will be walking up and over the saddle between active volcanoes. After the hike we will return to the Park Travellers Lodge for the night.
Head back to Auckland.
Pretty crazy eh! I can’t believe that I am getting to attend this famil. So stoked! If you look at my bucket list it will knock off a couple of them. Hells ya!
Also, found out that I will be heading back to Christchurch, Wellington and then checking out Queenstown for the first time on a work trip to promote IEP NZ. In Queenstown I was offered a free Shotover Canyon swing, so I will be hucking myself off something really high and scary! Sweet as!
As well I will be hitting up Dunedin again for a one day even and Im hoping to hook-up with Mark again to do some more riding in the south!