I walked around and found the two touristy icons of lake tekapo, the church and the dog statue:
At 2:10 sharp, my bus left for Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world.
It was a beautiful 4.5 hour drive among the mountains of NZ. It was really starting to look like the scenery from the Lord of the Rings… which is no surprise, because they filmed most of it here in Queenstown!!!
Upon arrival in Queenstown, I met up with Lelo, a climber from Brazil, currently living in Queenstown. Actually, funny story: I was online looking for a place to stay in Queenstown, and then Lelo randomly added me to facebook. I saw that he climbed, so I accepted him, as I accept all climbers. His climbing pics looked awesome, so I went to look where he lived… Queenstown! And here I am, staying at his place while he shows me the climbing areas. Sweet. Things really do keep falling into place on this trip. =)
It is nice living spontaneously and day-to-day – I am never sure what I’m going to do tomorrow or the next day! I just let things flow and see what happens next. It’s truly an adventure.
Of course, since my trip wasn’t well planned, there are definitely some drawbacks as well, mostly in terms of saving money. Since my day was mainly spent on a bus (not too exciting), I’ll share some NZ travel tips that I learned:
- Stay for a long time. Definitely no less than 2 weeks. Preferably no less than a month. You won’t want to leave.
- Renting a car would probably be the best option in terms of travel time and money, and a campervan may top it off with no costs of accommodation. (If you rent a campervan and need a shower, you could always pop into a backpackers/hostile every few days for a good clean-up!)
- If you take a bus/coach (like me), you may want to book ahead to save money. Coaches are cool because you can just relax and admire the view… oh, and catch up on sleep! You can find $1 bus fares from www.nakedbus.com - only when booked far in advance – maybe a month or two. Someone that I met here spent $1 for the same bus trip that cost me 40 bucks.
- Couchsurf. It’s the new way to travel cheaply and meet amazing people. www.couchsurfing.com - I’ve saved so much money from this website and more importantly, I’ve met some amazing people / locals.
- If you can’t find a couchsurfing place, stay in a cheap backpackers – they are everywhere.
- Don’t do all the tours… you can see all the same stuff on your own. =) Milford Sound may be an exception, as you have to go on a cruise to really experience the place, but you can find it for cheap-ish if you plan ahead.
That’s it for now, but I’m sure I’ll have more tips by the end of this trip! Right now I’m in Queenstown, about to go bouldering… but that’s for Day 6.