The first blog from New Zealand for me. After an agonising long time.
First the background check of what has been going on these past couple of days and what it has taken to get here. About five months ago I had decided to go to New Zealand after my time in Australia. After all they are close together. First of visa, that took a while to do. As people from the UK are allowed to stay two years, I wanted to take my British citizenship and apply to NZ same as in Australia. Unfortunately I don't qualify as a UK citizen, as I have been living in Germany. So after a lot of scrambling around with the German embassy and getting passports sorted out internationally, I got to go to NZ as a German.
Next thing was flight and I reckon I got a really good deal with that one. Due to me knowing pretty sure four months before that I wanted to go to NZ I booked a flight fast and had it go via China (to visit Rhiannon) and Germany (to visit everyone else). In the end I paid 1200€ all together, not bad in my books, considering it was Quantas and British Airways I was flying with, too.
After a 35 hour long travel of which 26 were spent in the plane I got my first eye on New Zealand, the South Island more precise as I was flying in to Queenstown. My body was fed up with planes, me being tall not helping at all. My stomach had had enough of plane food, too. Nothing against what they served, it was very nice, but in the end I wanted something which I could spread out more. Airports just served very pricey things.
The first things I saw coming down in the plane were the tall mountains, which we actually ended up flying through to get to the airport of Queenstown. The top of these mountains is not covered in trees, but only in what looks to be grasses. Lower down the trees start showing up with roads and small towns in them.
Upon touchdown my neighbouring passenger seemed relived, he didn't seem to like the landing much. Can't say the same for myself, as I have flown so many times now throughout my live I'm desensitise to a lot of the quirks of flying. On the plus side we had a nice sunny day, too, so the views on to the surrounding and the planes reactions were superb.
Upon disembarking the plane we passengers walked along the tar to the terminal to pick up our luggage. I myself was relieved to see my backpack come, as the last time I had seen it was Munich, on the other side of the planet. Picked it up and proceeded through the document check system. For some reason I had the jitters a bit, but there was no reason for that, as everything I had done and supplied was correct and accounted for. Due to that I had no issues what so ever passing through, the only thing I couldn't answer positively was that I had a job or knew someone. That didn't seem to matter to much, so a short while later I stood in the main terminal. I was surprised a bit by the sheer amount of police present for such a small airport, but then again, a lot of people were around that day. Grabbed some money from an ATM machine to pay for any bus or taxi feeds and then outside the airport I had a quick ring around a couple of Queenstown hostels.
A week prior to my flight I started looking at accommodations, which was probably not the best thing I did. Due to an extreme lack of misfortune, everything had been booked out in Queenstown. Everything in my price range at least. I chatted with my Lesley about it (my aunt), who had been to Queenstown before, and she found an accommodation which was the cheapest of the pricey ones. In the end I booked one night in Wanaka, a town an hour and a half’s drive from Queenstown, just in case I found nothing on my arrival or the authorities wanted some proof I had where I was going. In the end though, I got an accommodation in Queenstown, as someone had backed out. Pretty much exactly what I had been aiming for. Also Queenstown probably has the advantage that it is the bigger of the two towns, so to set up things like banks accounts and such it may be a bit better.
Caught a bus, on which I had my fist taste of Kiwi English in Kiwi-land. A guy I had worked with before was and spoke like a guy from New Zealand, but with this bus driver I really noticed. Got dropped of at the hostel I booked in and arranged my room and all. After getting to my bed, I pretty much just lay in it and slept. Waking up two hours later to get my clothes of whilst everyone else went out for some drinks. I myself was just to knackered from 35 hours of travelling.
The next day saw me getting up earlier than everybody else. Most likely due to my screwed up biological clock and partly probably because of them all having been out the night before. I must have been one of the only backpackers awake at that time, as after having some breakfast provided by the hostel (jam sandwich) I went out for a bit of a walk. Sometime throughout the night I developed a headache, probably thanks to not hydrating enough the day before. Drank a lot and had a walk in fresh air. Looking at the scenery again I was reminded of Johannas words, that Queenstown very much looks like Nesselwang. I can happily agree to that, as I really like mountains and snow. The snow part is still missing, but the mountains and forests are more than making up for it for now.
Walked along the shore of Lake Wakatipu for a very short while, as I had to be back at the hostel for checkout. Checked around the town a bit, too, to see where most of the important things are located. Back at the hostel checked out and then walked to the hostel I was staying in for a week. Check in at that hostel was at 3PM, so I was way to early. But in the meantime I left my bags there and went shopping for some food. Had a bit more of a look around the town at the same time, too. From what I can gather of the people there are a lot of tourist here at the moment, as I saw a lot of Asian looking people and heard a bit of Dutch (I think) and German. If the stories of past people I have met in Australia are true, then NZ is full of Germans anyway (again). Did a bit of light shopping nearly had a heart attack looking at the prices, but later on other backpackers told me that it's just Queenstown which is this pricey.
Back at the hostel I just had to wait a short while and then got my room allocated. Fist thing I did was have a shower to clean of nearly two days of travelling before sitting down to write the blog.