Travel, eventually, turns everybody into an insufferable prick. Maybe at home you are the most level-headed person in the world without the tiniest shred of pretension. But spend a long enough time away and it will happen. You will turn into one of those people. You know the type I’m talking about. The people who “find themselves.”
Around a week ago now, our plane took off from Christchurch and we watched as New Zealand disappeared beneath our feet.
After our 11 months in New Zealand, it started to feel a lot like home. However, it seemed like we had explored it all and that it had no more secrets. Like an on old lover, we’d gone through the honeymoon phase and were now completely in the comfort phase. We’d stopped trying so hard to explore the country, preferring to spend our days sitting in our pjyamas with it, being lazy.
We learnt to love New Zealand in the end, but as so often happens we found ourselves falling into a dull routine. It was about the right time to head to Australia. I don’t know if we’ll ever go back to New Zealand, does it have any more to offer us? Maybe we’ll miss it in future on lonely nights. Homesick for a place that’s not even our home.
Now we find ourselves in Australia. A new place. A new home?
The Banks Peninsula is a small, hilly circle of land that juts out into the sea close to Christchurch. Due to the large amount of beautiful bays and little villages, the peninsula seems to be the perfect weekend getaway for Christchurchers. For the same reason, we thought it would be a great place to base ourselves in our last week in New Zealand.
It’s close to the city, I told myself while typing out an email to a HelpX host. We’ll be able to pop into Christchurch in the day or do some sightseeing on the peninsula. That’s what I thought.
Until we found ourselves sitting in The Bloody Legend looking up on a steep road heading right into the hills. Nothing on the website said anything about this.
After weeks spent in rural towns, Dunedin came as a bit of a shock. It seems like most places on New Zealand’s South Island are barely big enough to qualify as towns, let alone cities. So coming into a big city like Dunedin is a bit of an eye-opener.
At night the stars no longer shine, the city lights too bright. The rolling green fields vanish, replaced with wooden houses on tidy streets. The buildings grow upwards, looming over you, covering the sky. For once you’re in a place where people out number the sheep.
The more popular something is, the less inclined I am to enjoy it. Maybe I’ve always been a hipster at heart. Snorting with derision at anything popular. Or maybe I can never be satisfied by something with high expectations.
Expectations were the reason I couldn’t really enjoy Milford Sound. Continue reading Milford Sound – One of New Zealand’s Biggest Disappointments?
You’re about to go travelling for the first time, but there’s a problem. You don’t know how to take a photograph! You got a book from the library, but upon inspection it had more words than pictures. Who can be bothered to read nowadays? If it’s not an easily digestible YouTube clip, then it’s useless.
Fortunately for you, I exist and I’ve decided to help you out in your conquest to take the most clichéd travel photo possible. So beautiful that you can literally put them on Facebook every 2 hours for all those people who don’t give a shit.
What I want you to know – but hope you don’t tell anybody else – is that Arthur’s Pass is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places in New Zealand.
Sitting halfway between the West Coast and Christchurch, it’s an easy trip from either. Yet it remains relatively quiet as most people seem to see it as a place to stop-off in, rather than to explore.
Those that only rush through will miss out on so much.
When you escape from the village, you’ll find quiet trails. Few people around to bother you. Despite some of the walks being stupidly easy.