Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

Why Backpackers Are Awesome

Kia Ora!

So I am currently a week into my three week Easter break and wow has it been an adventure already!

Last Saturday (April 12th) I set off for Blenheim, a sleepy little town known for its wineries in the northern part of South Island. It was one of my friend’s 21st birthday so after exploring the town and getting some dinner we did a casual pub hop in celebration. We even got free hot chips at one of the places! The next morning we sort of got kicked out of our hostel but only because we were supposed to be out by 10 am and we were still sleeping at 9:57…all good though! We then caught another bus over to Nelson!

The original plan was to spend three nights in Nelson and then two nights camping in Abel Tasman National Park. That didn’t happen because a huge rain storm came through and we decided that if we went camping we would be miserable and destroy our tents which would have been bad. So we ended up spending five nights in Nelson and it was pretty enjoyable. We stayed at a really nice place called the Paradiso Hostel. This place was great because we got free wifi, free breakfast, free vegetable soup and bread every evening and they had a hot tub, a pool and a kick butt tv lounge that used to be a bus. Basically it was awesome. I would highly recommend this place to anyone needing a cheap place to stay in Nelson. It was also pretty close to city centre so an easy walk. We explored the town and did a few hikes. I made it to the centre of New Zealand with one of my friends and that was really cool. There was one day where it wasn’t raining and we ventured out to Abel Tasman and hit up Split Apple Rock which was amazing. I was so happy that we at least got out there even if we didn’t get to camp. We also went to a museum that had a great exhibit about the earthquakes in Christchurch which was really powerful. Glad I got to see that.

The next day we headed down to Fox Glacier from Nelson. It was an absolutely beautiful bus ride down the west coast. It was also interesting to see all of the damage caused by the rain storm that had passed through Nelson. There was a 20 minute stop at the Pancake Rocks and me and my friends managed to run off the bus run through the track around the rocks and get back all in 16 minutes it was awesome! We were hoping that the semi nice weather that the day started off with would hold but no such luck because when we reached Fox Glacier it was raining and we were supposed to camp. We went to the campsite and the lady at reception was so concerned that she offered to let us sleep in one of the kitchens so we pitched our tent in there. There was also no power and no wifi because of the storms so we ate dinner in the dark but it was all a part of the adventure!

Today we moved to a hostel that has wifi and some power!  It hasn’t stopped raining but at least we all got in hot showers. Also,we got separated from half of our group yesterday because their car broke down but they are on their way at the moment so all good. Tomorrow we head to Queenstown for what I am sure will be more adventure and excitement!

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