HOWDY! So if you've been keeping up with my Instagram, you'll somehow get to this realization to my insatiable wanderlust. Traveling opens up my mind as I didn't take it only as a luxurious refreshment. I get to meet new people, learn their culture, grasp new knowledge, there's just always... something new. Something different. Honestly, I just get bored really quickly, so I always need stimulation! HA! It doesn't mean I'm bored at my work in food industry though, I just feel the urge to develop myself and grow through new experience, and I'm grateful that being a freelancer, I get to manage my own time! Soooo, here I am gifting this trip to myself for my birthday! HAHAHA! But anyway this is a steal since my friend owns a place in Christchurch, villa in Queenstown, and a car, so we saved a lot from just that!
FLIGHT TICKET PRICE
We bought it on March for this August flight, that costed us IDR 7.4mio for a return ticket per pax. Qantas Jakarta-Sydney (almost 8hrs) for transit and Sydney-Christchurch with Emirates (another 3hrs). OK you might have started to wonder why did we get such a cheap flight, but nope, there wasn't any promotion nor travel fair! We just bought the ticket way before due and we browsed MULTIPLE times in several days to notice the price change. Plus, we got 30kg baggage!
TEMPERATURE IN AUGUST
August is the end of winter, but it was still ranging between -3 - 9 degrees celcius. Cold? Yep. Windy? Absolutely. I consider myself resistant to cold (for an Asian) yet I had to buy gloves since it was too cold. So don't forget to bring something warm!
CAR RENTAL + INTERNATIONAL DRIVING LICENSE
Since we only explored the south island so we explored the whole trip with car, except if you want to go to the north island (Auckland, hobbit place), you'd need another plane ride, or car + ferry trip, but anyway I only went for a road trip since we got our own car. If you need though, you can browse AVIS, THRIFTY, APEX, JUCY for car rental! I don't know how much they cost though, and as for International license, you can get it at Korlantas Polri Jl. MT Haryono Kav 37-38, Jakarta 12770. Browse about the information here. Super helpful and it gets the job done within the same day for just IDR 250,000!
NEW ZEALAND VISA
To be honest, everything you need is at the website of VFS Global. Its office is at Kuningan City (the mall's pretty empty though). I applied 2 months before leaving and actually you could just delegate someone in sending the documents in case you work on weekdays, because they're closed on weekends. You have to write a letter of power if you'd want to, though. Anyway, the fee was IDR 2,058,500 per pax and they're open from 8am-4pm. I'd suggest you to come early to avoid long queues. It's awesome that now we have e-visa, sent to our inbox and we can just print it ourselves! Mine took around 2 weeks until it was approved, but remember that it varies from people to people!
So my route is to land in Christchurch and fly back from Christchurch again. If you take a tour with some companies, they usually also put Auckland in the itinerary, which requires you to perhaps land at Christchurch and go home from Auckland, vice versa. Why did I choose the south island? Because it's all about nature! I'm not sure but my friend said north island got more city experience. Anyway, here's my itinerary: christchurch (home) - lake tekapo - lake pukaki - lindis pass - queenstown (home) - wanaka - queenstown (home) - glenorchy - lake wakatipu - queenstown (home) - the remarkables - queenstown (home) - milford sound - te anau (home) - omarama - lake tekapo (home) - mt cook - christchurch (home). Home means I stay the night there! Keep on reading, the details will be unveiled slowly with my personal tips for you guys :))
You can book a shuttle to where you stay here. 1 car can fit 10 people, and the more people in it, the cheaper it gets! I was in a group of 6 and it charged me 20 NZD per pax. Alone would charge you 45NZD, 40NZD for pair, and so on.
WHAT TO DO IN CHIRSTCHURCH: EAT
So this picture is my friend's place in Christchurch (not for rent, apparently!) Christchurch is a small town with mostly one story buildings because it used to have frequent earthquakes, hence housing cannot exceed certain levels. Hmm actually this city doesn't have that much to offer, so I only spent my time here eating and visiting the malls so I'd suggest to not stay here for too long. Here's the to do list:
1. EAT LINCOLN FISH SUPPLY
It's legit the cheapest food I've ever bought during the trip! The price for 1 portion would be 3.30 NZD. 1 NZD was IDR 9,850 (when I exchanged it). Imagine a portion as big as fish&co that only costs you around IDR 33,000 WKWKWK. Taste is also alright. Savory!
Wrapped with a thick paper for oil resistance, it looks more like a clutch, no?
2. EAT PEDRO'S HOUSE OF LAMB
There are a lot of branches of this brand, they're in Christchurch, Queenstown, etc. I'm not a lamb lover but even I ate 'em here! It holds no strong smell, and the meat is soft like ribs. They serve both dine in and take away!
This is the sharing portion: Whole Lamb Shoulder $45.
I'm Indonesian so I wish they could've served rice because this crazy good gravy would undoubtedly be perfect if paired with rice!
3. EAT BACON BROTHERS BURGER
It's located in the indoor part of the food court. It was crowded when I went there which is a goodd sign, and I ordered The Man Mountain $20 and Fried Cauliflower with Maple Syrup $7. Tasted quite good!
4. VISIT WILLOWBANK
It's kind of a small zoo where you get to see live animals native to New Zealand, like alpaca for instance. You can also feed the animals here, but I don't know if I've traveled too much, but this place didn't leave much impression to me. I was out of option in visiting any other place here though, so it was okay I guess!
The gift shop is cute though! But I think the price is quite expensive..
5. VISIT CHINESE MARKET
This place would be perfect for Asian moms in my opinion. They got a wide array of honey, vitamins, and eastern medicines HAHAHA! What attracted me was only their Chinese snacks!
6. GROCERY SHOPPING
Supermarket here are mostly big, such as New World, Countdown and Pak n Save. The cheapest with lots of deals would be Pak n Save though! DISCOUNTSSSS!!!
7. SKIING AT MT. HUTT
If you've had enough of small town living, you can take a short escape to Mt. Hutt, 1 hour drive from Christchurch. People come here for skiing and snowboarding, and since I went here on winter, they're all open! We rented the equipment at Big Al's Snow Sports which costed $38 per day. You can rent the same equipment at Mt. Hutt for $48, which is more expensive.
It's my first time ever skiing though! I've been to a ski field before but didn't do it. SO the gears are skis, ski boots, and ski poles. The most important outfit to ski is a good pair of gloves! HAHA it helps a lot to get you up when you fall ;) It was so embarrassing because I even wore a coat here, unlike others who've prepared themselves in wearing cold sport gears.
You can see the view from ski gear rental booth to the Mt. Hutt. I'm at a loss for words! Captivating. It was a bit terrifying as well since the road was so close to the cliff and journey had a lot of turns, which is the main reason the path is closed at 4pm to prevent accidents.
Isn't it CRAY CRAY BEAUTY MAKES ME CRY. Parking here was free btw. I was so hysterically impressed when I got here!
Price varies according to the level, which sends you to different lanes. I took the beginner lane for $53, which is all about the steepness of the track. The sloppy and rocky track you see in the movies and sports channel would be the expert one!
Here's my ski squad! We're all beginners as this was the first for all of us. Anyway you should also know that taking the photos was SO DIFFICULT. Ice skating is much easier than this as keeping the balance with ski boards were harder!
OK it's hard to imagine how hard it is to ski at this SEEMINGLY easy lane. I couldn't brake at all so I kept falling and got a lot of bruises after.
Here's the view from the top! Looks friendly, huh? But for me it was already so steep I could only imagine how the expert lane looks like. Anyway I got my pride in the way so I was so into it because I saw children do this like a child's play (well duh, of course, they're child... whatever). Anyway, I don't like losing! #pettyadult
That's practically what you could do while staying in Christchurch. Nahh, now we're moving on to Queenstown with a road trip! It's around 5hrs drive without stopping, but it's just IMPOSSIBLE. You'd be passing by Lindis Pass, Lake Tekapo, and Lake Pukaki on the way and even without those 3 destinations, nature was already BREATHTAKING. I'd salute you if you could drive without stopping by to just take photos and take some breathers!
This SUV fits perfectly for 6 as it kept us company throughout the whole road trip. Thanks to the baggage space on the roof, we could travel with just enough space!
I think countless people have taken photos here since there's this random parking spot in the middle of nowhere! HAHA there's also a pole with written recommendation on photoshoot angle! Road is so empty and we only can encounter another car like once per minute. I wish Jakara could be... oh never mind.
I've been wanting to try this pose since you'd never be able to do it in Jakarta!
This one is a must visit! It boasts a majestic view even when the sky was cloudy and gray. I went here 2 times, on the way to and from Queenstown, where we stayed a night during our trip back to Christchurch. Parking is also free here so you can sit and enjoy the view!
Church of The Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo. This vintage church is still alive and since I came here on Sunday, there was a service here!
Around the parking lot in Lake Tekapo, there are a lot of restaurants with a complete cuisine list such as Japanese, Thai, Korean, Western, etc! They only open on lunch and dinner time though, so it''ll be tough for you to find something for tea time! The only place that opens during the afternoon is called 4square supermarket.
We spent a night in Lake Tekapo Motels and Holiday Park. A room for 6 costed us around IDR 2,000,000. The place is cute though! Reception and hotel are 2 different places and we had to go for a 2 mins car ride to the hotel!
So here's the inn! It's so exciting to see this kind of concept where there's a variety of hut and van based lodging, and the view looks straight to Lake Tekapo!
The room! I know the bunk bed looks a bit barrack-like but it's actually comfortable and clean. Anyway place is cold even with heater, perhaps thanks to the strong wind. If you were planning to pay this place a visit during winter, I'd suggest to bring extra outerwear!
1 thing that disappoints would be that you need to walk around 30 steps to the shared bathrooms, which is pretty close I know, but due to the cold, I swear you'd wish it could be just a step away from bed. Even taking a pee would need you to walk through the cold! Showering is limited to 6 mins per person, or the water would change into cold water and you'd need another 3 mins until the hot water is back on. So much pressure! Couldn't even shower in peace at my pace! It was a good stay overall, though! Cleanliness is the most important thing for me, and you can see how the toilet looks like on my Instagram story highlight! At this point it'd be weird if you followed the blog but not Instagram HA!
There's this laundry and kitchen if you'd wanna cook! The utensils were also complete as they have stoves, freezer, fridge, etc.
View from my room!
15 mins drive uphill from the hotel, this one is a must visit on either weekday where you can see Lake Tekapo from above, or even at night when you can do STAR GAZING (watch the weather though). BTW, you should pay $8 per car to get here for highway.
Here's the place: with both indoor and outdoor spacing although the outdoor is only pretty for photos since it was FREEZING. Everyone took shelter inside HAHA! Anyway they had no wifi, so just enjoy the view, it's alright you can upload everything later!
It's basically a coffee shop that sells drink and pastries, similar to Starbucks!
Per cup would be $6 NZD for either hot chocolate/ cappuccino!
Carrot cake is $8,50 NZD while brownie would be $5 NZD. These 2 are crazy good, genx.
MT. COOK ALPINE SALMON
Mandatory for salmon sashimi enthusiasts! Everything's super fresh, and you'd undoubtedly pass through this place if you travel between Christchurch and Queenstown. You can dine in and sit beside Lake Pukaki, or just take away lots of 'em sashimi!
This 500gr pack is worth $35 NZD. I swear this is so fresh and I can finish everything ALONE.
If you're a part of tour, they'd most probably bring you here, because the track is easy and flat. Even grannies could walk here! I was so interested to take a picture on the bridge. There are 3 bridges here, and I've had enough just taking one through the Hooker Valley Track (lol the name). Take a walk from the parking spot and you'll get there in around 15 mins. If you wished for more challenge, there are other tracks, just pick one alternative from the map that you can get from the receptionist.
Here's the easy track I was talking about! If you noticed, on our back there was someone walking with a cane! (This is not the bridge I was talking about btw). The track is singular so you won't get lost, and since it's one of the easiest track, this one was more crowded.
Here's the bridge I'm talking about! The whole bridge can only carry 20 people, so you must take turns especially when you wanna take photos! View is majestic from the bridge OMG look at these two pictures below!
1hr drive away from Queenstown, this town has.. Lake Wanaka LOL. Just kidding, they also have Roy's Peak, where you can view the whole Wanaka Town from above that's pretty beautiful. I didn't hike since it was winter and it was freezing, but if you'd still wanna see the view, you can opt for a helicopter ride though!
Here's the view from Roy's Peak hiking track. Look at this flock of sheep! It was also a good timing since I got here during sunrise! <3
This view of the journey from Wanaka to Queenstown is the best. So Wanaka is located a bit above Queenstown in the map.
We've arrived at the tourist town that successfully captured my heart! Can you imagine such a town that's so in harmony with nature like this? You can see the lake, hills, and icy mountain top all within your peripheral vision and that is the most majestic thing ever I swear! It's also a livelier place than Christchurch with more activity in store. Check your nature travel bucket list here!
Here, we stayed at Villa De Luxe, which costed around IDR 12 mill per night for the whole villa. The villa has 3 bedrooms and bathrooms in each one. 1 shared toilet, jacuzzi, kitchen, living room, and a work space. So complete! It felt like the dream home! Even the supermarket was so close by, like around 10 mins car drive. You'll wake up seeing the lake and mountain from this villa. Epic.
If you have a shopping list, you can park across The Speight's Ale House. There, you have this parking lot that costs you $1 per 30 mins. The best thing about this lot is that parking is free on 6pm onward. This place has alleys of shops where you can just walk around!
Tourist friendly city!
WHAT TO EAT IN QUEENSTOWN
This place is located on the edge of the lake. Despite being a specialist of hot chocolate, we bought gelato instead lol. The flavors we bought were Hokey Pokey and Dark Chocolate. Hokey Pokey is honey comb flavor and it's the nation's specialty, so just order that one as it'll be most likely good! With the chocolate caramel popcorn cone, everything was $10,50 NZD. Around IDR 100k for a portion of ice cream sounds overpriced, but this is really huge and it's good so they have my recommendation! Plus, you get to eat/drink viewing the icy mountain range!
2. MRS FERG
They have gelato, not ice cream, and the selling price for 2 flavors is cheaper which is at $ 6.90 NZD. The place was more crowded, since the row is full of this FERG Brand. I ordered Hokey Pokey here but still, Patagonia won. Price speaks, lads!
3. FERG BAKER
Still of the FERG Group, this one sells bakery and coffee. It's really crowded during the morning and people come here for a quick takeaway breakfast and coffee!
4. FERG BURGER
THIS ONE IS QUEENSTOWN'S BOMB! People always get these during their visit to Queenstown, and you'd better come here early by around 8/9am, since their queue is always long. No exaggeration here, it really goes to the street kinda long. They also have little seating amount, which doesn't help. I was so lucky since I came at 9am and we got a table for dine in. The burger price varies around $ 11.90 NZD - $18.90 NZD. There were also breakfast and kids' menus for alternatives.
This one is called The Bullseye $ 18.90 NZD
Filled with 200gr ribeye steak, I think it was overcooked but everything else except the meat were perfect, so it was a good overall score!
The Fergburger $ 11.90 NZD
This is their cheapest burger, with topping of prime NZ beef, lettuce, tomato, red onion, aioli & tomato relish. Now I wish I had ordered this one, since the patty is perfectly juicy! To know that their specialty is their cheapest burger is a good thing!
5. ERIK'S FISH AND CHIPS
Easy to find, fast, and safe flavor.
Hoki fish is 1 for $ 5.50 NZD, Gravy cheese and chips $ 8.50 NZD, and fried calamari $ 8.50 NZD. Taste ain't bad, but I preferred it with additional ketchup/ aioli sauce because you know, I'm a sucker for stronger flavor!
6. COOKIE TIME
This place is well known for its cookies and milkshake that serve both dine-in and takeaways. They have gift type and wrappings for cookies that comes in different price!
These cute milkshakes are all priced at $ 9 NZD. In my opinion, all is diabetic kind of sweet, yet everything's SUPER GOOD! They make their milkshake with blended ice cream, so it explains the sweetness. Felt like 1000 calories per sip though :')
You can get a cookie as additional for milkshake for just $ 2 NZD.
Duh this is like everywhere already but Indonesia. Yet that's exactly why! I got here like 3 times though, up to the point I got sick of sandwiches...
8. FOODCOURT O'CONNELL'S SHOPPING CENTRE
This food court has a variety of Japanese food, Thai, McD, etc! I had this kebab for $ 6.50 NZD. Portion is HUGE and the lamb was also great. Delish!
9. TANDOORI PALACE
Indian for a change? Price is quite expensive at around 20 dollar per portion, but I have to say most of these are good, especially their Tandoori Chicken! Beghh! Oh well, Asians are really inseparable to rice, aren't we?
10. MADAM WOO
This is Malaysian that tastes quite good and really crowded. I think their best food were Pork Belly and Char Kway Tiaw. Endolz.
If you've found this zebra cross, then you've found Madam Woo! :D
11. MY THAI LOUNGE
I think this is the best Thai in Queenstown! Everything was great! I didn't have any proper photograph though, so you have to stalk to my Instagram highlight! My personal recommendation: duck curry, chili basil seafood, pork belly, and Thai BBQ trio.
OK now that we're done with food, let's move on to
WHAT TO DO IN QUEENSTOWN
1. BUY WARMERS
Since it's very cold out, perhaps you'd be interested in buying some warmers KWKWWK. All kind of warmers exist in this store. Anything! Nipple/ belly button/ g-string/ willy? LOLL. Most of them are made of cheap materials, but at least they offer a wide variety of products, such as scarf, hat, gloves, keychain, and some other cute gifts! Too bad I couldn't remember the store name though! But if you see these nipple warmers in front of the store, there it is! HAHAHA!
LOCAL TOURS - This is what I was saying about checking out all your travel bucket list of NZ! The local tour offers a complete package of activities starting from skydiving/ helicopter ride/ dog sledding/ bungee jumping/ nevis swing/ dolphin viewing/ whale viewing/ cruise/ parasailing AND THE LIST GOES ON! WOOT! Just pick whichever... and prepare the money :))) All of these ain't go for cheap buddy.. Everything is so accessible and easy, the local tour are everywhere and they offer similar price, only differing around $5-10 between one another. I used the one called HAPPY TOURS. They're the intermediary between us and the activity center as they will manage the schedule and accommodation.
2. HELI TOURS
There are looooootssssss of view option in which you'd want to go and see from the helicopter. You can pick anything you want from the flyer list, or just book straight from www.helitours.co.nz. My friends and I took the Queenstown Scenic Flight: Alpine Snow Landing. The flyer stated that it would cost $ 375 NZD per pax, but since we were a group of 6, we got it at $ 320 NZD per pax. We rode the chopper from Queenstown Airport for a round trip landing back there. Our schedule was to depart on 9am, and the ride was around 30 mins return trip. But we were dropped at a mountain top to take photos for 15 mins! Awesome, huh?
My first time!!! *tacky*
1 heli fits 7, which is perfect for my group! 3 in the front (including this handsome pilot), 4 on the back. Anyway the heavier lads had to sit in the back, but I didn't know why I was allowed to sit in front since I'm heavy WKWKWKW. When Winston, my big friend, wanted to sit in front, he was pulled to move to the back LOL!!
I took all these pics from inside the helicopter, but it would be harder if you sat in the back though.
Nah! We landed here and got time around 10-15 mins to take pictures! It's not a good place to play with snow since the snow depth of each part is different, hence a bit dangerous!
It's literally a cliff on my back! Is the trip worth it? Since I never rode a helicopter my whole life, I'd pay as much as I want to do it! ANJAY.
3. PLAY LUGE
Luge is like toboggan. There's an option between beginner and expert track. Playing luge requires us to ride a gondola from Skyline Queenstown to go up above, which alone costs $39 NZD. The luge package offers an option between 3 or 5 games, and mine costed around $50 NZD including the gondola! Opening hour is between 10:00-17:30 and you can just walk in to Skyline without having to book from the local tours.
Alternatively from playing luge and the gondola ride, You can also do bungee jumping/ nevis swing/ parasailing at the same location: Skyline Queenstown.
To get to the luge field, you get to ride this open version of gondola!
Here's the luge track! The beginner track doesn't have that many sharp turns and steep inclines, so it depends on your courage and experience!
Here's what luge is like! You'd be taught how to do it if you're a first timer for technical stuffs like braking and accelerating. Since it's an outdoor sports, don't forget to wear outers since it's freezing. Imagine having it combined with the wind resistance from the ride! 3 games were enough in my opinion, because doing it 5 times would hurt your hands a bit.
BOOMMMM! The one I've been waiting for!! What could be more exciting than jumping off a plane? If you were questioning whether or not I was afraid and nervous, I wasn't. HAHA! Never had problem with height in my whole life. Anyway I believe that this is one of the things that you gotta do while you're still young... or old? XD Alright, I registered here through HAPPY TOURS and the place itself is called Nzone Skydive (it's in Queenstown, just across FERG Burger) and we'll be briefed there. After that, there would be a minivan to get us to the port, 20 mins drive from Queenstown!
The view on the airport was so cool though! I mean, this cherry blossom tree and icy mountain in the back... ckck. Also, they've got a toilet and computer with an internet which I suspected was to show the soft copy of our sky diving recording.
Skydiving price vary to its altitude. I took the 12,000ft
15,000 ft - $ 449 NZD - 65 secs of free fall before the parachute opens.
12,000 ft - $ 349 NZD - 45 secs of free fall before the parachute opens.
9,000 ft - $ 299 NZD - 25 secs of free fall before the parachute opens.
The price above does not include documentation though. The package for that would charge you another $ 199 NZD for 1 camera and $ 359 NZD for 2 cameras with additional freefall cameraman that would film you while falling. Talk about dedication! Anyway it was so expensive so I only bought the $ 349 + $ 199 = $ 548 NZ. Anyway you are required to wear shoes with laces! Mandatory!
My pair is called Marcel. He's done over 3,000 free falls! Wow. No wonder you could get good pictures from good angles on me. I also felt it was super safe since I was attached to this partner!
It takes roughly 15 mins to take off by 12.000ft and we got oxygen mask while we were taking off since there would be change in air pressure! Anyway just remember: hands on your harness, hips forward, legs back, and lean your head on your partner's chest HA!
Upside down yow
If the tandem tapped us 3 times, it's a sign to spread our arms like a soaring bird! Had no idea what was that for though, but at least it was more fun that way!
Holy S 45secs of free fall didn't feel like anything!!!! Parachute was open in no time and it took longer that way since we started moving slower where the partner would bring us around as he was able to navigate the fall. When you're about to land, you gotta lift your legs as high as possible like sliding through a sled, because the tandem would be the one to brace the landing for us!
SO. ADDICTIVE. If it wasn't that expensive I'd absolutely do it again!!! I kinda hoped to have gotten a thicker goggle though, because even my soft lens came off due to the wind resistance! This is the first time ever to happen!
6. ONSEN HOT POOL
It made me sulk in sadness since it was fully booked until September :( So we intended to book earlier through their website before departing, but we couldn't make up our mind since it was quite pricey. After having decided that we'd do it, we approached HAPPY TOURS only to be told that it was already full. Being stubborn, we went there hoping that some people canceled, but it didn't happen :( tragic. Maybe because it was winter which is perfect time for onsen with a view!
There are tracks for pedestrians and handicapped, since the onsen is located downhills.
Just taking picture in front of it has made me happy :') Same view, only not from a hot spring WKWKWKW.
7. WINDY POINT - THE REMARKABLES
This one is close to the flight skydiving spot (not the one across FERG Burger tho). Windy Point is actually just a stop to see the whole Queenstown from uphills, complete with a parking lot. However, you gotta pass through Windy Point to get to the Remarkables. OMG DID YOU NOTICE THAT PUN. HAHAHAHA. Ok so the Remarkables is a ski spot closer to Queenstown, said to have been one of the shooting spot of the Lord of the Rings movie, although idk which scene TEEHEE.
The road up to The Remarkables is even better than the one to Mt. Hutt, but it also closes at 4pm though!
So good it looks like an ice wall <3
I feel that this is much more crowded compared to Mt. Hutt, perhaps because it's Queenstown, a bigger town where tourists gather! I didn't ski here though, because playing with the snow here is FREE HEHEHE.
If you're out of ideas of what to do in Queenstown, you can take a trip to Glenorchy, 1 hour drive. Road was winding and difficult to get signal though, since it's a rural area. What to do here? Find some alpaca, goats, lambs, sheep, guinea pigs, cattle at Glenorchy Animal Experience. Entry is $ 20 NZD, plus $ 5 NZD per bag of food to feed the animals. BTW, alpaca is this mountain animal that looks like a small horse with sheep fur, which means cute. Google it!
Or you can also visit Glenorchy Red House, which is a HITS place to take photos, at the corner of Lake Wakatipu. Majestic view.
OK no more Queenstown! Since we spent 2 weeks in NZ we ended up visiting Milford Sound for a cruise. We booked it at HAPPY TOURS. Queenstown - Milford Sound is 4- 5 drive. Temperature was -3. Below zero. Cruise schedule options were only either 10 am (1 May - 30 Sept) at $ 45 NZD or 12:30 pm (all year) for $ 80 NZD. The journey of the cruise takes 2 hours in total, including snacks. Morning cruise gets you bacon roll & OJ: Orange Juice. Lunch is fish n chips. I have no idea why the afternoon cruise is more pricey. I mean, is it thanks to the fish and chips? LOL
Here's the cruise ship: Go Orange! There are 4 levels, and it's spacious so you don't have to worry about sea sickness as they also moved slowly. Views were hills and this waterfall where we got REALLY close to it, so we got totally drenched! Find more at my Instagram highlights! There were also animals such as fur seals and penguins. We had some stops to take photos (we never left the cruise ship during the stop tho, so it's more of a pause). This one is a bit boring for me to be honest, too family friendly kind of tour....
Honestly couldn't really enjoy it since it was freezing, so I mostly stayed inside the cruise while people should've taken photos outside and enjoy the view and weather :( saddd.
Here's the interior!
There was nothing here to be honest. What did we do here then? Because it was on our way back to Christchurch. Kinda regretted going to Milford Sound since it went even further away from Christchurch, so the trip took a total of 10hrs :') So we spent a night at Te Anau, 2 hrs from Milford Sound, so that we could have a short break in between the drive.
More lakes wkwkwkw. This one's also a small town like Christchurch, but if you have some money to spare you can visit the caves with glowworms, they're colorfully glowing like that!
At Te Anau we stayed at Yha Te Anau. This motel is worth $ 210 NZD for 1 room that can hold 6 people. Bunk bed and shared bathroom. Even the cheapest motel here can't be that cheap, eh. At least here we can take our shower as long as possible, unlike the one in Lake Tekapo HAHA!
Kitchen is lovely. Microwave, oven, pan, pot, utensils, freezer, fridge, everything! They even have oil, salt, and pepper so you can cook basic stuffs. You need to clean up yourselves though!
That's pretty much my journey in NZ for 2 weeks! I personally think that 2 weeks were too long for just south island. 10 days would be enough, except if you'd wanna explore the north island, then it'd be perfect. Anyway, here are some additional tips from me, hope it helps!
- Watch out for speeding! You can be fined if you don't watch your speedometer and its limits, unlike Jakarta.
- I used Telkomsel for internet, data roaming for 5GB was IDR 350,000 and signal was great except for Glenorchy. Activate it from *266# and choose promo Asia Australia, then pick your package!
- Use car gps and don't rely on your phone, since your signal can just disappear anytime and you'd be lost in nature.
- Bring a lot of wet napkins or spray bottle if you can't stand wiping your butt with tissue paper! HAHAHA Asian tourists thingy!
- Time zone differs 5 hours from Jakarta, so expect jet lag.
- If in Queenstown you'd wanna do dog sledding or hot onsen pool, booking way earlier!!! Those 2 are always fully booked :')
- Buy gifts and snack at Pak n Save. Save more.
- Shop for meat at Christchurch's West Meat, direct from the supplier means cheaper!
- 1 liter of petrol is around $ 2.4 NZD
- If you wanna save up on food, buy it at supermarket since they have ready to eat instant food!
- Not enough information? Find more at my Instagram @cnlulaby HAHAHAHA