After 8 hours on the bus with tour guide/driver Dave, a man so obviously in love with his job yet conflicted and saddened by the estrangement of his wife and children, to the extent that he wistfully longed for them aloud, apparently unaware or at least not caring that his microphone was still on, it was with relief that we could disembark in Wellington and think of happier things. With only a few hours in town we didn’t have much time to think at all in fact, which probably explains why, as a British person abroad looking for new experiences and tastes of foreign culture, I found myself eating a large plateful of fish and chips. For what it’s worth, it was jolly good fish and chips and they were served with a very well dressed salad, something one can not get in the average English chippy.

After a night in an utterly pleasant hostel we awoke early to catch the ferry to Picton and the South Island where we would be spending the rest of our time in New Zealand. This trip in itself was extraordinarily pretty but then we would have been disappointed with anything less having gotten to know New Zealand as the best looking place on earth.

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Upon arrival in Picton we jumped straight on to another bus to take us to Kaikoura, a small east coast town famed for its whale and dolphin communities. While we decided against spending over NZ$200 to go on a boat trip where there was an “85% chance” of seeing something big and whale-y, we did rent a couple of bikes and went and found some seals instead.

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Having found seals, we also discovered that a gangly nerd in a cycling helmet is a really effective way of ruining an otherwise lovely photograph of the mountainous coastline.

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