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A Year in the Life

A Year in the Life

Wow wow wow wow wow! As of today we have been on the road, or away from home for one entire year. Right now this is all feeling very crazy to me for several reasons. First of all I honestly cannot believe how quickly this year has gone by. We arrived back in Maui yesterday morning and in so many ways it felt like we never left, never mind that we had done so many amazing things in the time in between. The other reason this one year travel anniversary date seems crazy to me is that in the past I had always imagined that in travelling for a year you would have the time to see the entire world, or at least as much of it as you were keen to see. I thought that in this year we would visit at least a few continents and a minimum of ten countries. On the complete contrary we spent the entire year in Oceania, spending our time mostly concentrated in a few countries.

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Last Week in New Zealand

Last Week in New Zealand

After 6 and a half months (197 days to be exact), our stay in New Zealand was finally coming to an end. We felt it was about time to explore the country the way everyone along the way had urged us to see it, by car. After Kaikoura, arrangements were made to pick up a small car from a rental outfit by the Christchurch airport. We got a sweet as deal on the rental and were itching to get out on the open road.

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Hitch-hiking and Swimming with Dusky Dolphins in Kaikoura

Hitch-hiking and Swimming with Dusky Dolphins in Kaikoura

Hi everyone! You may have noticed that we’ve been posting a lot these past few days. This is because after seven months in New Zealand we are leaving TODAY for Fiji! We’ve spent the past few days at a lovely hostel in the Banks Peninsula outside of Christchurch utilizing the free internet to catch up on all of our NZ posts. In this one, I’m going to tell you all about our amazing time swimming with dolphins in Kaikoura as the title suggests :) .

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A trip to the Southland Fiords

A trip to the Southland Fiords

Everyone, and I mean everyone that has ever travelled throughout New Zealand’s South Island urged us to visit the UNESCO Heritage site of the Southland Fiords. While in Queenstown, Kendall and I managed to do a day-trip to one of the Fiords called Milford Sound. Besides Norway, Alaska and maybe Greenland, I do not really know a place in the world that has reasonably accessible Fiords. Anyways, this turned out to be one of high-lites of my stay in New Zealand and I highly recommend everyone to visit this region of the country.

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Queenstown

Queenstown

A couple of years ago, when Kendall and I were planning this small trip of ours, we both made lists of the places that we really wanted to visit, and for me Queenstown was not only on the list, but near the top. I think that I must have seen an incredible photo of the town somewhere on the internet and I gothttp://www.free-wheelin.ca/testwp/wp-includes/js/tinymce/plugins/wordpress/img/trans.gif interested. The photo looked something like this: 

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Chillin’ at Chillawhile Backpackers in Oamaru

Chillin' at Chillawhile Backpackers in Oamaru

We came to Oamaru and to Chillawhile Backpackers expecting to stay a maximum of two days. We’ve been here for four days now and might even stay a few more depending on how we decide to spend our last few days in New Zealand. I suspect we are not the first people to extend our stay in this interesting and relaxing little town.

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Glaciers and Rocks

Glaciers and Rocks

After Nelson we headed to the tiny village of Franz Josef to check out the famous Franz Josef Glacier. Along with Fox Glacier, the Franz Josef Glacier is one of New Zealand’s top “must-dos”. Every guide book and every local will tell you that you absolutely have to go check out this bit of the country. We spent ten hours on the bus from Nelson to reach the glaciers but the ride was surprisingly fun. We were gifted with amazing scenery our entire journey down the west coast of the country and were even lucky enough to have had our lunch break be in Punakaiki where we had a chance to check out the famous Pancake rocks. They were absolutely spectacular and we wished we had more than half an hour to spend admiring them, but probably not a whole day so it was still a good thing that we decided to skip over spending a night in Punakaiki to head straight to the glaciers.

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Three Rugby Matches, Three different stadiums

Three Rugby Matches, Three different stadiums

During the last couple of months my obsession with stadiums and sport forced me to go and experience New Zealand’s national obsession. I checked out three rugby matches in three different cities!

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Nelson and Abel Tasman

Nelson and Abel Tasman

About a week ago we left Wellington and finally made our way down to New Zealand’s South Island. After a scenic and very comfortable early morning ferry ride across the Cook Straight we arrived in Picton where we caught our bus to our first overnight stop on the South Island, Nelson.

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Week in Windy Wellington

Week in Windy Wellington

Last week, Kendall and I had the opportunity to spend a week in New Zealand’s beautiful capital city of Wellington. We were graciously hosted by Dan and Gabrielle, who are Kendall’s neighbours from Winnipeg and who also traveled around the world a couple of years ago! It was a great stay and we are immensely grateful for the hospitality that they showed us.

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