Monday, June 29, 2009

NZ Extreme Part 2

Sixth day - we were still in Queenstown. It's SKI day!!! WoooOooo so excited! It's the 7 of us bungy survivors again who went for ski at the Coronet's Peak =) We all took the starter course as it's our first tiem skiiing (except for Nooi Hoay). Our instructor was an old but fit man who was patient in teraching us the basic skills of skiiing. There were 2 session of 1.5 hours each, one in the morning and another one after lunch. Gosh, the first session was a tiring one...coz we could not balance ourselves on the ski well enough yet, and most of us strained our abdominal muscles to keep control of our balance on the skis to not fall off on the snow...not that it's painful coz the snow is 'soft' anyway =P

It was lunch time after the first session, and before lunch we took some pcis in the snow =D

I think she sat like a baby in the snow =P

This is a great picture!! I love the effect of snow thrown into mid-air!!

After lunch we went up the conveyer belt...called 'Magic Carpet' by our instructor, which brought us up to the top of the really steep slope. And we skied down the slope....wheeeEEeee it's really fun!! How exciting to experience adrenalin rush and skiing at fast speed down the slope...the more I skied, the more I got the hang of it =D

Yeah the lady from the clothes hire shop gave me both the ski pants and jacket in black! I asked for a jacket of another colour but she didn't have one of the same size... I looked really black against the white snow background =.=|||

It was a tiring day but I'm really glad that I learnt a new skill which I would remember for the rest of my life, really thanks to our instructor =) After dinner at a Chinese restaurant in Queenstown we went back to our motel to celebrate Nooi Hoay's birthday.

Seventh day - it has been a week we're in New Zealand! It's also the day we left Queenstown for Te Anau. After checking out of the motel, we drove to Deer Park Heights for a's also the place where the trilogy Lord of the Rings was shot.

The view from the hilltop was really magnificent. The first animals that we encountered were ponies, and then pigs, ducks, llamas...just then the owner/manager of the are drove his pickup and gave us an aluminium tin with pellets to feed the llamas. There's also an innocent-looking donkey...

They came when we made the jingling sound with our aluminium tin

LOTR scene

Driving up the hill, we saw deer and cattle...and also mountain goats and their cute kids =D


Another LOTR scene

Thanks to Ryan the shepherd we managed to drive our way 'smoothly' around, trying to avoid the llamas and goats which blocked the roads.

We went back to Queenstown to have lunch at a Thai restaurant, then continuing on our journey to Te Anau. We reached our destination earlier than we expected...and it was quite a shock for us all coz the place was so gloomy with a thick cloud of mist. The backpackers that we checked in was very cold and there's only a sole heater in our room which wasn't good enough to warm our bodies let alone the room. We cooked our own dinner and had a little drive tour around the seemingly dead town...not many shops were open and there were little street lights around the area. We could even hardly see anyone walking; Li Ping even said that it reminded her of some vampire movie scene. As there was nothing much we could do, we went back to the backpackers and had a nice chat throughout the night.

Eighth day was the day for a nice cruise at Milford Sound!! We drove up the snowy misty roads from Te Anau to Milford Sound, stopping by some places for a few pics. Reached our destination for a great lunch before going on the cruise at 1pm. Immersing ourselves in the breathtaking sceneries with the cool breeze caressing our cheeks and drinking a nice warm cup of coffee/tea, it's certainly a well spent afternoon...

Loving nature

When the sea and sky is divded only by a horizontal line...

We even saw dolphins and seals!! Everyone was so excited at the sight of the cute dolphins swimming together with our ship. We also passed by a waterfall...

...and we went to the underwater observatory.

Corals & fishes

We drove back to Te Anau (there's no accommodation around Milford Sound) for dinner of pizzas and pasta and had another nice chat before going to sleep.

Ninth day was spent at Dunedin where we went to visit the Cadbury chocolate factory,

Welcome to Cadbury World!

had lunch with our friends in Dunedin at Jitsu (Japanese restaurant),

Monash & Otago gang

My salami bento

and walked along Baldwin Street, which is the steepest street in the world!

This is also the day we parted...5 of us flew back to Christchurch while the rest of us drove to Oamaru. Before heading to Oamaru we went to Otago Peninsula to watch penguins, but it's too dark and we could hardly see anything though we could hear the seals.

View of Otago Peninsula

We stayed in backpackers in Oamaru, which is also an art gallery. It's a really nice place with a homey feeling...

They have a music room!

Love this pic!

Tenth day - the last day of our trip! We drove back to Christchurch to meet the rest, stopping for a 'real fruit ice cream' on the way. We met Merlin, Yi Chiann and Shuang-Xiu who brought us to a Japanese restaurant for lunch.

Teriyaki chicken

They sent us off at the airport, together with Terence. The 7 bungy survivors wore the cool t-shirt as planned =P

And off we flew back to Melbourne, ending our 10-day NZ trip!

More photos at:

Saturday, June 27, 2009

NZ Extreme Part 1

Alright....the long awaited post! 10-day trip to New Zealand South Island, driving all the way from one destination to another! =D Great thanks to organiser and planner Nooi Hoay and Ryan, and also all drivers for all their effort during the trip. I really enjoyed the trip, so much laughter and FUN (and gossip =P), you guys certainly rock!!!

Details of the trip:

Who: Nooi Hoay, Chean Ying, Ryan, Yun Ying, Li Ping, Shea Chuen, Chau Wang, Daniel, Yeu Sheng, me

When: 15 to 24 June 2009

How: Fly to Christchurch then drive all the way around the island from one city/town to another, and fly back to Melbourne from Christchurch on the last day. Accommodation all pre-booked, as well as most activities/tours...and off we went!

What is in everyone's mindset of NZ: black & white cows, and of course baaaa (sheep) too


First day was basically just touching down on Christchurch late at night after 3+ hours of flight, and settling our car rental stuff at the airport while waiting for others to get the luggage...just then, we realised that Daniel's luggage got a bit torn, and Nooi Hoay's luggage was lost!! How 'eventful' to start the journey.... It was already past midnight when we went to the motel. Sleeeeeeeepppppp~

Second day, we drove from Christchurch to Hanmer Springs...and guess what, it snowed!!! We all were so excited that we stopped for a while to take pics in the snow! Hehehe~ and this is the car we rented... Toyota Aurion!! WooOOoHoOO big luxury car =P nice right? The other Toyota Aurion is grey colour =)

I want a car like that too

The view outside Hanmer Springs was spectacular... I never could imagine I would one day see and experience such snowy nice view!! Like those you see in Korean dramas (e.g. Winter Sonata)...

Everything white

Time to 泡温泉!! It's zero degree outside but the water is 40 degrees...nice and warm =D It's my first time soaking in hot springs....felt so good especially coz it's winter too!


We did many crazy positions in water but I like this one, we were warned by the lifeguard after that coz we weren't allowed to 'immerse' our heads in water

Spent the whole morning there, bathed and changed then had lunch before we continued on our journey to Greymouth. We took a detour passing by Punakaiki (Westcoast) planning to see Pancake Rocks and Blowholes but it's too dark in the evening after sunset so we didn't get to see them. Spent the night at backpackers, quite a nice place with cute deco in the rooms =)

Third day is glacier day! Drove from Greymouth to Fox Glacier, we also stopped for a while to take pics near a lake during the journey~


We had a big lunch in town before starting our half-day walk to the glacier. exciting!! First adventure of the trip =D Imagine standing on ice! So cool~~~

We did it!!

It's so beautiful...according to our tour guide, Fox Glacier is the third largest glacier in South Island...and also the only glacier that you have to pass through rainforest to reach it....COOL!

It was already evening when we finished the glacier walk. Our tour guide informed us that we could see glow worms 'beside the road' so we tried our luck walking deep into a dark passage among the trees. 10 of us held each other's hoodies/jackets/hands/whatever you can hold onto the person in front of you, walking slowly with only little light source from Daniel's torch and Nooi Hoay's and Yun Ying's phones. It was very courageous of us, I must say! It's quite scary actually coz it's so dark and quiet. We were about to give up so we turned back to walk back to our cars, and then suddenly we did manage to spot some glow worms! Hooray!!! And so we cancelled our glow worm sight seeing in Te Anau which we had planned to go instead, saving NZD$51 per person. Hehehe~~ A loud fire alarm from somewhere afar sounded suddenly which shocked us, so we auickly walked out of the 'dark passage'. Spent the night at a motel, cooked our own dinner (Shin Ramen yummy~) and played cards (Heart Attack) hahaha how fun (with our screams =P)!!!

Fourth day - woke up early in the morning to watch sunrise at Lake Matheson. It was pitch dark in the wee hours of the morning and again we walked with caution....

Lake Matheson - mirror lake!

Can you imagine how cold it is to the extent that there's ice on the web?

We then continued on our journey. It was a long day drive to Queenstown, the adventure town! Took a lot of pics along the way, first was at Bruce Bay where there's a lot of flat stones and pebbles that you can use to build towers =)

Someone said can have 桃花运 oh if you build the tower with the pebbles... I built this but I didn't do it purposely coz I didn't know of the 桃花运 saying earlier

Waves of Bruce Bay =D

Had lunch at a salmon farm =)

Salmon farm

Shared this with Li Ping, fresh smoked salmon yuUmMmmy~~

Stopped by a place with nice scenery and waterfall on the way.


It was already evening when we reached Wanaka where we planned to visit the Puzzling World but there's only 15 minutes left to closing time, sigh. We spot a nice big shop selling fresh fruits....and guess what, we bought a huge bag of Pacific Rose apples (the most expensive of all other types of apples which cost NZD$12.50/kg but it's very tasty) and a few bags of kiwis at only NZD$1/kg!!!! Gosh...hahaha...ask Chean Ying the 'kiwi-cutter' about the experience of cutting and eating kiwis till the end of the trip =P (We are so healthy you see, we eat fruits~~)

Finally we reached Queenstown! Checked in our motel where we would spend the next 3 nights. This was when something good happened....we were in the 'living room' area when Daniel walked in from the reception carrying something, saying to Nooi Hoay, 'I have good news for you!' and TA-DAH!!! It's her lost luggage!! We all were so happy for her! =D

Finally you got it back, what a pleasant surprise!!

Went for dinner at a Korean restaurant in Queenstown =)

Side dishes

Grilled eel


Sesame chicken

Spicy venison hotpot

Pork with taufu

Talking topic of the night was about the activities we would be doing the next day - luge and bungy jump. I wanted to do hand-gliding at first but it's not I 'succummbed' to bungy jump instead even though I was afraid of heights =S

Fifth day was an exciting day, starting with gondola and luge in the morning...

Luge track

WhheEEEEeeee adrenalin rush

....and the scary bungy jump in the afternoon! I was quite nervous when we were driving to the site which was the bridge at Kamarau river at 43m high. It's the first bungy jump for the 7 of us! I was shivering rather than feeling nervous due to the cold weather when we waited for our turns to jump...we screamed (well, I could actually only hear Nooi Hoay's scream) when our first hero Shea Chuen jumped off the bridge!! OMG...I started to feel anxious again, WHY AM I doing this??! Second to go was Li Ping, she jumped off without much hesitation! Wow..that was probably a good idea, I thought, just jump without much thinking. I actually laughed out loud when I saw her still trying hard to pull down her jacket to cover her tummy when hanging in mid-air upside down!! Haha~ I was 5th after Yun Ying and I didn't wear my glasses, I couldn't really figure out how high I was from the river...hence I was not really that nervous anymore. I smiled to the camera, forgetting about my fear of heights for a moment....and just jumped off when the guy said, '3, 2, 1, JUMP!' I think my screams could be heard all over the valley =P Nooi Hoay and Chean Ying were after me, Chean Ying did it with a beautiful fall/pose, we all are so proud of her =)

We watched each other's videos and photos at night in the motel with a borrowed DVD player. It was a hilarious session....had so much fun laughing at each other and talking about the scary but exciting experience =)

Part 2 of the trip will be up next! Stay tune!!