Good morning everyone! It will be our evening here on the 1st of January by the time most of you will read this. What an epic past few days it has been and my birthday is coming to an end again for another year. I hope you all had an amazing time seeing in the New Year wherever you are and whatever you got up too.
So lots of you will have seen my updates on Insta but I thought I would share the adventure so far from the very beginning. We left Heathrow at 10pm on Thursday 27th December for the first leg of our journey to Dubai with James having never been abroad before, he was surprisingly chilled out. We flew out with Emirates which was incredible! The food was unbelievably good too and I was really impressed and weirdly looking forward to the service home!
For those of you who haven’t seen my social account yet, I have to show you this gorgeous personalised Leather Passport Holder from Atlas and I. Sophie designed it so that the map showed New Zealand and Australia for me which was so lovely and something I can safely say I will treasure for years to come. The products all come beautifully gift-wrapped which just adds another brilliant touch to the whole experience. There are so many unique products to choose from and you can choose to feature any vintage map location in the world!!
Once we landed in Christchurch after a long 27+ hours of travelling due to delays, the first thing on the to do list was to pick up our car. I managed to find us an estate car on TradeMe before we flew out and the owner of the car kindly agreed to hold it for us until we arrived and if that wasn’t enough, he also picked us up from the airport so we didn’t have to fork out loads for a taxi. Introducing Nessie the Nissan!
Landing back in New Zealand after being away for three years was a surreal feeling and without sounding crazy or cliché, it felt like I had returned home. I LOVE this country and have felt like something has been missing ever since I have left and now I am here (albeit for an entirely different adventure) I feel a sense of completion again. The memories I have of this incredible place are ones I will hold close to my heart forever and I cannot wait to make new ones this time around.
I was surprised how well I remembered where I was and where we needed to go so quickly. In all honesty I managed to get us all the way to Queenstown with virtually no help from Google. Once we had Nessie, next on the agenda was hitting the road and heading down to Queenstown where we would spend New Year’s. But before that… it was time for me to become reacquainted with two of my NZ favourites – if you know, you know!
The initial plan was to head straight down to Queenstown from Christchurch, passing through Rakaia (where my first NZ farm was) and through Geraldine (where I spent most of my time living in NZ) and then onto Queenstown from there but James and I were in agreement that after 27+ hours of travelling, we ought to break the journey up and find somewhere to stay the night. The hotel we found was in Timaru and was lovely but the woman in charge was C R A Z Y!
In the morning we packed up, hit the road and began the trip down to Queenstown. Rather than follow the quickest route, I wanted to take us the way I had remembered going so that we could bask in the jaw-dropping dramatic scenery along the way. James wasn’t convinced at first, thinking the faster option was better, but once we began driving through the mountains and past the lakes he quickly came around to my reasoning.
The first of the major jaw-dropping stops along the way down to Queenstown has to be Lake Tekapo. It is stunning. The day we drove down was slightly overcast but the views were still incredible. The glacier water that fills the lake wasn’t as vibrant as I remember it being when I last drove down (it was a sunnier day) but it is still a serious sight to behold.
After a good few hours and some great little stops along the way to take in the views, we arrived in Queenstown and at my first ever hostel…
I had no idea what to expect and as a ‘shared dorm’ it didn’t sound great BUT I have to admit it was pretty nice. With a hot tub, sun loungers, free WIFI and Netflix it was ideal and in walking distance from the centre of town AND with parking literally on the doorstep!
Once we arrived and had settled in, we headed out into town to grab a bite to eat and drink on the waterfront with Charlie A.K.A – Globe Trotting Farm Girl who funnily enough we met for the first time that afternoon despite having got to know each other via Instagram!
The following day we got up tackled the shared bathroom situation and got ready to head back into town for a day of sightseeing. After a lovely breakfast on the waterfront we decided to hit the water and hire some kayaks to explore the bay with. It was a corker of a day with not a cloud in the sky! Around lunch time we decided to head up the world famous Gondala in Queenstown for a play on the luge!
After luging it was back to the hostel to chill for a few hours before the New Year’s Eve festivities.
That evening we headed out to the waterfront again and went to a restaurant serving mains for only $20 which is a bargain AND they were delicious! From there we went onto an Irish Bar which was buzzing as one can imagine. The fireworks on the water at midnight were incredible, what a way to see in 2019 and my 23rd birthday too!
We are heading out for dinner shortly and James is sat patiently waiting for me to finish this up and get ready so that we can head on out so I will love you and leave you all for now but I will be in touch soon with the next leg of our road trip around New Zealand.
Happy New Year to all of you! I hope it brings you health, wealth and happiness. I want to thank you all for your support in 2018, it has been an incredible year for us so I am looking forward to furthering that in 2019.
Until next time…
Lots of love,