Christchurch - the largest city in South Island was my final destination. An earthquake of magnitude 6.3 struck Christchurch in 2011, causing severe damage to the entire city. Thus, most parts of this city are now under restoration and there is not much to explore here as of now. I spent the evening with my Stray friends, discussing the highlights of the trip and bidding final adieus over dinner and drinks.In a nutshell...With 150kms of walking and hiking over 2 weeks, temperatures ranging from -2 to +21 degrees Celsius, mesmerising landscapes draped in autumn colours, bungy jumping, sky-diving and hitchhiking for the very first time and loads of strangers who turned friends - solo backpacking in the land of fern-trees, mountains, kiwis and sheep was one hell of an adventure. I must admit that I am totally in love with this country and is truly the best country, of the 18 countries I have visited so far.
The lovely coastal city of Kaikoura, famous for whale watching, is a 2-hour Intercity bus ride away. The bus station is in central Christchurch - easily walkable if you're located centrally. The bus drops you about a kilometer away from WhaleWay Station in Kaikoura where you need to report for the activity (our tour was cancelled since the whales played spoilsport and went off deep into the ocean). You could also take a scenic Kiwirail from Christchurch to Kaikoura. 6. Rotorua
Today take the drive to what can only be described as a spectacular look-out point. At 1000m above sea level one really does have a feeling of being at the top of the world here. Also en route will be a stop at the historic Church of the Good Shepherd, featured on all New Zealand postcards. You will arrive in Christchurch sometime in the late afternoon where you can take a city tour. Spots that will be marked on your map include: Christchurch Botanic Gardens, Port Hills, Christchurch Gondola, Re-Start Mall and New Regent Street. We will also recommend some great dining in the central city. Overnight Christchurch.
Fox Glacier is a 13km long ice river, fed by the four alpine glaciers. Flowing through the temperate forest landscape, this river is an amazing natural wonder that you just can't miss. The valley around the glacier, and the easy access to it gives an explorer the perfect opportunity to wander around this amazing spectacle. The scenic walks around the valley provide amazing views of the glacier from different angles. You can either chose to hike up to the glaciers that feed the river or take a helicopter ride to the top. After you reach the top, it's time for some fun! With snow boots and an ice pick in your hand, traverse through the blue ice crevasses and icy caves.Activities for the day: Walking on a glacier and discovering the ice river of New Zealand.Cost: A guided tour of the Fox Glacier starts at 59NZD or Rs. 3,000 and can go up to 900 NZD or Rs. 40,000 depending on what activities you do.After Fox Glacier, it's onward to a dramatic change of scenery. Day 6 and 7: Abel Tasman National Park