New Zealand was cold in August. Wow! It was beautiful, unlike anything I had ever seen, snow covered mountains, green pastures, and unbelievable waters! In New Zealand we stayed in Christchurch at a place called Camelot's court. ($79 NZ). Again, the exchange rate is great in US currency. The people are wonderful there. They really went out of their way to help us with places to eat, or last minute tour bookings. A good tour to take is the Gondola (skyrail). I would suggest calling first to find out if it is foggy or not. There is a free bus pickup in the city and fuzzy sheepskin rugs for sale everywhere. Buy in NZ! Very affordable.
The military used our plane for parts to support the missions to Antarctica "Operation Deep Freeze", so this left us stuck in NZ for about four days. Soooo, we decided to go snowboarding at MT Cook! $149 NZ for two people covered bus ride to the resort, lift tickets, board rentals and full clothing rental, plus baby sitting $4 NZ an hour. That too, was unbelievable! We took a helicopter ride ($100 NZ) viewing thick, snow covered mountains, blue skies, puffy clouds (like if you were going into heaven), and at the foot of the mountains green grass for miles and shimmering lakes just glistening in the sun!
We went to church that following Sunday. After this awesome trip and the majestic beauty we experienced, we would be nuts not to go to church and tell God, "Thank you so much for all You have given and shown us!" This church was a gorgeous European/New Zealand style cathedral. Stained glass, Renaissance architecture, and even real wooden doors like you see on a castle in a fairy tale book! The church bell reminded me of Christmas. Beautiful charms!
After church, we did the city tours, museum, cathedral and shopping. Our last day, we arrived at the airport at 10 am and found out our plane was not leaving until 10pm that night! Now what would we do? Car rentals were outrageous, even in NZ dollars. Nope, we wouldn't do that. Well, just so happens, there were little blue "penguin" footprints in the parking lot. If you followed them, they would lead you to the Antarctic Center. ($12 NZ) This was like a miniature Antarctica. It even had a room with real snow and ice. You could put on the supplied jackets and gloves and take a walk through, and if you were brave enough you could turn on the wind chill machine. I'm a tropic person! No way! After, we went to eat and saw a movie nearby. When we finally got on the plane, we all slept until we arrived back in Hawaii.
For pictures click here.