Thursday, 23 June 2016

Beautiful Sunday (and Monday. And Tuesday.)

Written by Amanda White

Warning: This post will be a whirlwind. Much like the past week, which I'll report on in two parts, now that WiFi is available--huzzah! 
Sunday morning, we met up with Whale Watch Kaikoura, and learned about their incredible community focus. We found our way to Christchurch that afternoon, and we were both sobered by stories of how earthquakes brought heartbreak and destruction there; and inspired by how the city is beginning to rebuild.

Some of us also saw pictures of our future husbands--#rugbywives?

We were treated to a stop on the beach and, of course, got some cute group pics.

Comm and Marketing NEIP squad
We headed out of Christchurch early Monday morning and had some world-famous-in-New-Zealand meat pies from Fairlie Bakehouse. There were lambingtons involved too: a kiwi sponge cake treat. Yum! We also made a beautiful stop at Lake Tekapo, a beautiful and peaceful mountainside lake with breathtaking views. We only wished we had even more time there!

Lake Tekapo
Our afternoon talk included a wine tasting at Gibbston Valley, a beautiful winery in Queenstown. It was a beautiful and relaxing way to arrive in Queenstown.

Gibbston Valley

Tuesday was a full day of talks: Real Journeys; Destination Queenstown; Shotover Jet {which some of us did want to experience, but opted out because of the wintry weather. Our adage as a group is, “If Stacey is wearing long pants and close-toed shoes, you KNOW it’s cold.”}; and Millbrook Resort. We enjoyed them all, but we especially enjoyed the enthusiasm and professionalism of Ciara, our speaker at Millbrook (see the resort's view below!).

Millbrook Resort
Of course, we couldn’t let our time in Queenstown go by without experiencing Fergburger, which we all did, and it didn’t seem like anyone had a beef with their choice! {Yeah, that one was bad… so sorry.} I’m officially addicted to huge, messy kiwi burgers with beetroot and fried egg. Mmmm…
Shannon, Tori, and Madeline

Stacey and Anna 
Wednesday was a long travel day, with some beautiful stops at Thunder Creek Waterfall and at a lookout at the ocean. It was a very rainy day when we arrived in Franz Josef, and we heard from Glacier Guides while the weather ranged from no rain to a heavy downpour over the course of an hour.
Beach lookout
Thunder Creek Falls

After our talk, Kyle, Lyssa and I were anxious for a hike, so we took the Tatare Trail up to a glowworm cave and really enjoyed seeing them, in spite of the rain and how thoroughly wet we got from the river in the cave. 

More on this week coming soon!

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