06.01.2009 - 19.01.2009
Spent my last few days in Australia in Melbourne, its was great as the weather was really good and I got to stay with Kienan and Dave in south Melbourne for a few nights. Had seafood for my last meal in Oz with Larissa at south bank. Took an evening flight to Auckland and didn't get to my hostel until after 2am as I had to get my hiking boots inspected. Had a day in Auckland so just had a look around the city and the following day few to Queenstown to do the routeburn trek. Had a pre trek briefing with the group and then set off on the bus the following day to begin the 3 day walk. Managed to buy some waterproofs which was lucky as it rained lot the first day. It did and to the effect of the waterfalls though and getting up close was an experience with the wind blowing water all over you Got as far as lake Mc Kenzie the first day and settled in for the night there. The weather improved for the next 2 days and got fantastic view, did the optional Conical hill climb and it was totally worth the the effort.
Played quiz games for the evening with the group which turned out to be great fun and quite competitive. Took a dip in a rock pool before lunch the last day and the current managed to wash away my poor flip flops, the water was absolutely freezing and my legs felt totally numb after 30 seconds!! Made to to the end of the trek and had a celebratory drink at the pub and dinner later that evening in Queenstown. Caught up with Rahmona later that night at Pog Mahones the irish bar. Made my way back to Auckland a few days later and took in some of the nearby attractions, Piha, Karekare, some day walks at Okura, swam at
Muiwei beach that had black sand (as its made from iron). Saw some volcanoes at
one tree hill and mount eden and managed to run down to the crater which apparently isn't allowed anymore but managed to get away with it. Also went to the Big day out music festival, the weather was great, lots of markets and food and saw Neil Young, The Prodigy, The Arctic Monkeys, The Living End and a good Kiwi band called the headless chickens.
Had a few beers at lake Takapuna and ate at burger fuel on my last night before setting off to Santiago.