Overseas for the first time. New Zealand.

Now 1992 and all i thought about apart from work and the punt was travelling. So in mid 92 i booked a 10 day bus tour of New Zealand. My well travelled friends scoffed as they suggested it would be like going to Adelaide. Yes, the culture was similar but the scenery was a touch different to the Barossa Valley. I had never seen snow before as i turned up during one of the coldest winters on record. Sheep were even being airlifted to safety from the snow.  Bruce was the coach captain/driver and a better person for the job would be hard to find. This was to be the last time i would be the youngest traveller in a group and most of the passengers were retirees. We started in Christchurch and did 8 days on the South Island before Rotorua and Auckland to finish on the North Island. The scenery was simply stunning. On the second night it started to snow so for me this was very exciting stuff. Although after two days i needed new socks as it was bloody cold. I got a pair with little sheep on them and they were to last me many years. This was to be the coldest i had ever been but the heated bus kept us all happy. I can’t imagine there is a better place in the world for scenery than New Zealand from a heated bus. Sure there is a better scenery, such as Nepal but you have to walk to see it. If you want ice and snow scenery from a heated bus then the Kiwi’s have some of the best that i know of. Some of us also took a helicopter ride up to land on the Fox Glacier. Again this was stunningly magnificent scenery. We also went on the shotover boat. while a bit exciting it was not enjoyable getting splashed by the ice cold water which was even frozen over in places i Sadly we missed Milford Sound as the road was under snow and impassable. This was what we all wanted to see the most. I asked Bruce if it was possible to try some N.Z. wine so he arranged a stop for us at a winery. And like the scenery it was some of the best wine on earth. I already knew how good their wine was and that was the reason for the request. So i took a few bottles home and they were superb. Their beer was ok also. So with good accommodation this Mt Cook coach lines trip it was a 10 out of 10 for me. Where to next year i wonder?


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