Posts for Queenstown

On the Road Blenheim, New Zealand: Tequila, Boys and Some Delicious Pepper

Travel Blog - Ross French - March 22, 2011

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blog4nz-logo1By: Lindsay Hogg

BLOG4NZ – Helping support tourism the way we know how – BLOGGING!

In case you live under a rock – Christchurch (a city located on the South Island, New Zealand) has been torn from earthquakes. The first of which I was in New Zealand for. I was supposed to be in Christchurch the night they had their first quake, alas I was too drunk and sleepy to go. The same thing happened in South America when I was supposed to be in Chile. My conclusion from this is:

Drinking Saves Lives

Anyways, back on topic. This post is about the good and bad I experienced while working in the smallest country town ever. I hope you enjoy it and I hope you go to New Zealand because it is seriously one of the most beautiful places I have ever been in the world… and I’ve seen my fare share of Countries. Not to mention, Kiwi’s are super friendly, give them hugs.

“This comes from the heart, which is close to your gut, which is where beer hangs out” – Montie Martin (my friend with a catchy name)

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NZ is so awesome it shits rainbows! WOW!

The minute I arrived to this small town on the South Island, I wanted to leave. I freaked out when I realized I was stuck staying at a hotel in the middle of nowhere. The closest store was a 45 minute hike into town. Not horrible, but carrying groceries back was a bit of a challenge.
I moved there to work in the bar that was attached to a hotel (in exchange for accommodation – WOOFING). After getting to know my way around the bar and bonding with the locals I was prepared to stay for a while. How bad could it be? Working in a bar below my bedroom? (Not to mention, I was walking distance to numerous vineyards).

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The boss man, hard at work!

When I finally started to become comfortable in my surroundings, I was shaken by the small town drama I witnessed. I always step back and watch others immense themselves in these sort of things… I never get involved, but somehow I kept getting dragged into it. I won’t get into any of the messy details though. I could write pages on some of the BS that went down in that bar, but out of respect for those I’ve made friends with and those who took me in and gave me work, I’ll concentrate on the positive things from my stay in Blenheim.

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My beautiful doggy

*Kiwi BBQ’s are awesome. But make you gain weight… unless you have that thing called ‘self control’. If so… F&%$ You!

*I realized I shouldn’t drink tequila so often, because it makes me kinda crazy. (Yeah I can’t believe how long it took me to find thatt out).

*I met an amazing new friend from Finland, Susy. She quickly became my new drinking buddy, but then left me after a few weeks. Stupid Sussy.

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Sussy asshole face leaving me! The picture is kinda blurry because I was shaking my fist at her with anger.

*I adopted a dog for 3 months.

*I met Ben, who taught me a great deal about myself, spirituality and the universe.

*My friend from Mexico crashed his car into anelectric post. (He had been drinking and didn’t have a license or insurance). Bad Mexican!

*I had one of the best meals on my year RTW in Queenstown. It was duck, asparagus and sweet potato gnocchi. It was amazing. I would punch someone right now just to eat it again. Numnumnum….

*I slept in the back of a car under the phenomenal stars one night.

*I toured the South Island in under a week, then headed back to Blenheim for some quality time with my hommies. It became one of my ‘homes away from home’ and I missed it the minute I left.

Blenheim was a relaxing time other than being the crazy tequila girl. I dated 3 guys in Blenheim, within the span of 3 months, I know what your thinking, but I was making up for lost time. I gave up on boys for a few months prior to this.

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This was the view from my bathroom. I win at life.

Mom, Dad, you would have been proud… I didn’t fall down once! Alas, I accidentally lit a cigarette in a club and stole a pepper shaker from a cafe. It was really good pepper.

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New Zealand (South Island): A Quick Guide

Destinations - Ross French - February 1, 2010

By: Mike Argyle

New Zealand is made up of two main islands, the North island and the South island, and having only 8 days to spend there (6 if you take away travel days) you have to make the best of your time. Myself and one other rented a camper van and drove the whole South island and aside from the realization that driving a standard through mountain passes and around roundabouts is not the same as an automatic, it was absolutely perfect. Round trip flight and camper van came to $600 each for 8 days and the only thing that cost us money was the $30 a night for electricity to keep us from freezing at night and our food. Camper vans are a lot cheaper during NewZealand’s winter, but you can’t camp out in them or you will freeze. There’s not much price difference in flights to New Zealand between the winter and summer. There are few countries in the world that I would consider moving to, but along with Switzerland, New Zealand is one of those places. Here are some of the top things you should do while you are there.

Arthur’s Pass

Drive through the mountains into this little town and then out the other side in a day. You may think you’re going to die if the roads are slippery and your control of a standard bus is less than perfect, but the views and the experience are second to none.

Franz Josef/Fox Glacier

Visit both of these relics of the ice age to get an idea how screwed we will be if an ice age comes back. Franz Josef is less pretty than Fox, but the walk to the face is epic. I built anInuk shook. It wore my sunglasses. Awesome.

Connecting Road to Queenstown from Wanaka

I can’t remember the name of this place, but the view was… I don’t even know what to say. You feel like you’re on top of the world and all alone and you never want to leave. Simply amazing – much better than the main highway and if I can drive it in a camper van, anyone can.

Milford Sound

This is the place to go. Called the 8th Wonder of the World by Kippling and actually nominated for Natural Wonder of the World, Milford Sound itself is a majestic coupling of rock, water and trees that will make you feel insignificant, in a good way. Anyone who didn’t do this while in New Zealand hasn’t actually been to New Zealand. MAKE SURE you drive down though, as the drive will leave you speechless. Lucky Jen. She got to look while I drove. Next time she’s driving!

Skydive Lake Wanaka

I’ve never been skydiving before but I can’t imagine there being a better place than this to do it. With the mountains in front and behind you, Lake Wanaka all around you, this place will blow your mind. It was voted as one of the top things to do in the world before you die and there’s a reason for it.

Lake Tekapo

A beautiful lake surrounded by mountains and a little church. You have to stop by here to get some pictures and just look around because it’s one of the most photographed places in New Zealand for a reason.

There are tons of other things you could do in New Zealand, not to mention the North island (which I didn’t visit), but these are the ones that I can’t talk to anyone without mentioning. I am definitely going back there some day to see it again in the summer and there aren’t many countries I will say that about. It’s a long freaking way from Canada, or anywhere for that matter, but the people are awesome and the landscape is unreal. It is the land that time forgot. The one lane bridges (must’ve been over 100 of them) and the crosses on the side of the road for people who didn’t make it the whole way were really something to watch for on the long drives. When all was said and done, 2000 km in 6 days with all we did is something I’m damn proud of and definitely on my list of life accomplishments.

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