oooooh it's cold
New Zealand is a lot colder than Australia, particularly the balmy climes of Airlie Beach, but especially if you go to the International Antarctica Centre, where you can experience a simulated storm in -18 degrees - nice! Actually, a whole lot of fun, and also a good learning experience about what people actually do at the South Pole. Apart from studying seals and penguins and thousands of years of ice, they also have toga parties, get drunk, and go swimming in the ice. Pretty normal really.
This fascinating place is in Christchurch, where I flew into yesterday afternoon. I have immediately fallen in love with NZ, mainly because the people I have met already are awesome. I'm staying at Base, where everyone stays, pretty much, it seems, and have met zillions of people, who are all doing Kiwi Experience. I actually am not doing it, since I would like to have a bit more freedom to go where I want when I want, but it does seem to be a great way of meeting people. I've gone for a more public bus pass, which is pretty a-b, no frills. That's more what I wanted though. Tomorrow I'm heading up to Kaikoru, where I can swim with dolphins and go whale watching, as well as do some cool hikes along the coast. Then its down to Mt Cook. I'm naturally very excited about all the incredible scenery, and have actually been going running to try and get myself a little fitter for hiking.
Base backpackers are a bit swanky, and I'm staying in the Sanctuary, which is girls only, and I get free Aveda shampoo, as well as a towel. The towel was what swung it for me, since I am more than sick of my ratty trektowel. Tomorrow though, its back to real backpackers, and some serious serious budgeting. New Zealand, it has to be said, is an expensive place to be, especially if you want to do things like dolphin swimming and kayaking and ice climbing. That's the unfortunate but great thing about travelling - you get all these amazing opportunities, but at the same time, there is a pressure to experience everything. Maybe I'll have to start selling my belongings or something.