My Last Few Days In New Zealand

Robert Latta
June 28, 2013

Welp, it’s been one heck of a ride, these past five months.  And these last few days I’ve gotten to see a few things that I wasn’t able to during the semester.  The day after our last final and following goodbyes to flat mates and friends, my Purdue friend Allie and I hit the road in a bright pink, golf cart-sized rental (we didn’t get a choice) up towards Hanmer Springs, a resort town about two hours from Christchurch.  Arriving in the snow was a bit of a relief from the constant freezing rain that has plagued Christchurch for the past month or so.  We went into the main draw of the town, a touristy park with a dozen thermal hot pools, for a few hours of soaking.  Afterwards, we made dinner at our hostel for the night, the Hanmer Backpackers.

The next morning came with our first glimpse of blue skies in over a week.  Our affectionately named “Barbie Mobile” was covered in frost.  We heated her up and moved on towards Nelson on Highway Seven, stopping every so often for what would be some of our last scenic views of the South Island.  At around five in the afternoon, we came to Nelson and checked into the Bug Backpackers.  Fish n’ Chips on the wharf in the chilly dusk.

Just outside Hanmer Springs.

The Barbie Mobile.

On Monday we got up around nine and took the three hour drive to Picton, where I was to get on the ferry to Wellington, leaving the South Island for good.  It was bittersweet, but Allie and I enjoyed one last walk in the sounds.  Allie got a good laugh out of me wiping out in the mud on the trail.  The ferry was late getting into “Welly”, but I still had time after checking into the Nomads to meet up with a few other American friends who were road tripping up to Auckland.

From the Snout Trail.

Laundry yesterday morning to clean up the mud stained clothes.  Early in the afternoon I headed up to the top of Mt. Victoria on the east side of the city.  The views at the lookout on the summit were well worth the hour’s climb up steep side streets and muddy trails.  Coming down, I got lost in the city and wandered around the cricket stadium before finding my way back to Nomads for free dinner.

An unusually calm day in what is normally “Windy Welly”.

Cricket Stadium.

I was supposed to fly out early this morning.  But after making it to the airport by 4:00 a.m., I found out that I had been bumped from my early Virgin Australia flight (and booked on an afternoon one) because my connecting flight to L.A. is delayed for twelve hours!  Airlines, sheesh…

For now, I’m headed to the Museum of Wellington City and Sea.

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Robert Latta

<div><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">My name is Robbie Latta and I am a junior studying civil engineering at Purdue University in lovely West Lafayette, Indiana. I am also a member of the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity on campus. I like to spend time outside, bike, play hockey when I am home in Minnesota, write, and spend time with my friends. I am coming to New Zealand to explore the Kiwi lifestyle and have some fun!</span></div>

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