Kaikoura | Day 18
This was the last overnight stop on our tour and so we knew we were going to have a big night. None of us wanted to spend too much time in the hostel- it was probably the least nice one of them all (bathrooms were NASTY). Some people spent the day on the water (fishing, dolphin watching, whale watching, etc) but my friends and I hung around town shopping and hanging out on the beach.
At dinner time, the entire group walked down to The Whaler Bar and Restaurant for dinner and to kick off the festivities. Two people were leaving the next day so we gave Vicky her presents (pretty sweet tiara and wand eh?) and she said her goodbye speech. The tables had mini-kegs of beer so we all had a great time...such a great time that we actually were forced to leave because they were closing. So we stumbled across the street to another bar (no clue the name) and then closed that one down. No more details (as they are hazy) but suffice to say we all had a pretty epic night. #GreatSuccess.
The next morning was paaaaaaaaaiiiiiiinnnnnnnful. Getting on the bus and driving for hours and hours with one hell of a hangover did not appeal to me so I was not looking forward to the day ahead. Everyone voted against checking out another seal colony so we headed instead towards Hunter's Wines...yup just what any person with a hangover wants to do, go wine tasting. Gag. Knowing it was one of the best wineries in the area I decided it was worth tasting. We tasted: Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Chardonnay 2011, Riesling 2012, Gewurztrminer 2012, Pinot Noir 2011, Merlot 2008, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 and Tenuta Rosso Sangiovese 2010. The white wines were good however, I wasn't willing to give up precious luggage space for wine so I didn't buy any. After wine tasting we went cherry picking- I loooove cherries so I was so happy we did this. They were amazing and our fingers and clothes were stained red afterwards.
After cherry picking we headed to the ferry and got ready for our three hour ride back to the North Island. Since I wasn't really on my game (yay for all day hangovers) so I slept most of the way- was so out of it that I almost left my Kindle on the boat. A very kind, very diligent ferry employee found it and came running down to the passengers waiting to get off the boat to find its owner. Since I had 12 unread books on it (and was planning on doing lots of reading in Bali) I was very grateful. The group had our goodbye dinner at Blends which was horribly disappointing. Kate and I both paid $15 for a crappy tiny portion of pasta. Shitty. So we took our appetites to Sweet Mother's Kitchen and holy crap was it good. I had the pulled pork Po Boy and it was delicious. Then I stole bites from Kate's peanut butter pie. Ahhhh-mazing. Both of us were tired and skipped the bar that night in favor of actually sleeping.
Queenstown | Day 19
The rest of the group finished their tour up in Auckland and since they had a 10 hour drive ahead of them Kate, Aisha and I were there to send them off at 6am. There were tears and it was sad to see such an awesome group of people leave. Kate left a few hours later and then I was on my own. Very lonely to suddenly be by yourself after two weeks surrounded by people all the time. I ended up back at Sweet Mother's for brunch where I got the Egg's Bomba with a side of bacon...yumm. Afterwards I wandered around some more (some cool sculptures are downtown) before heading to the airport nice and early for my flight to Brisbane.
Leaving New Zealand was incredibly hard- I was excited for the rest of my trip but I totally fell in love with NZ and hated leaving. Soooo who wants to go back with me??