My last full day of adventure on the southern island started with a trip to the peninsula seal colony in Kaikoura. You can walk right up to the seals, although you do need to give them 10 meters of personal space. I decided to pass on any other activities in the area and opted to do a drive inland to some promising hot springs in Hanmer Springs. It was a long scenic drive in - the last one of my trip. The hot springs themselves were more like a water amusement park, complete with a water slide and lazy river. They had several different large pools to choose from but the place was extremely packed. I had forgotten it was the Saturday of Easter weekend and the weather was clear and warm too.
After my escape from the bustling town I headed to my campsite, 50 minutes from Christchurch and on a tall cliff overlooking the ocean and city down below. These past two weeks of camping have really tested my skills. Freezing temperatures, rain, and heavy wind; all things I haven’t had to really deal with camping in the States. I learned I don’t know how to tie down my tent or even tie a proper knot. My tent nearly came apart on me in Lake Wanaka and two days of rain in the Milford Sound left everything soaking wet. I found out the limits of my hiking skills after losing the trail on one advanced hike led to a scary fall. I’ve been camping and hiking and playing in the desert since I was a baby in arms, but this trip has shown me where I need improvement. I’m no survivalist, but I definitely thought I’d do better in the rain and cold.
Easter stomped all over the plans I had for my final morning in Christchurch. I managed to get my car washed, but laundry and souvenir shopping would have to wait. After a quick hour and a half flight, I was in the Auckland in the North Island and a whole world away from the South Island. New Zealand’s most metropolitan city, I could’ve been wandering the streets of Seattle. Here I’ll be staying in an Air BnB just a 20 minute bus ride from the city center. As I walked the streets of downtown, I wondered what I would do with my 3 days here. Honestly I just felt like sleeping.