It would be unimaginable to travel across the Tasman and not visit the South Island for an adrenaline filled adventure! So after finishing my internship at the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union, instead of jumping on a plane back to Perth, I took the Inter-island Ferry down to Picton to start exploring the South Island.
I began by heading down to Christchurch, a somewhat surreal experience as the city is still recovering from the devastation of the 2011 earthquake. With tens of thousands of people along with key businesses leaving the city following the destruction, rebuilding the city has been a slow process with key infrastructure, road networks and buildings still in disrepair or condemned. Christchurch has been given a unique opportunity to rebuild and redesign their city, though the question as to who should bare the cost still remains.
Following Christchurch I made my way to Franz Josef, a small town built on tourists visiting one of New Zealand’s largest glaciers. Despite some heavy downpour, at the end of the hike the skies cleared and the view was breathtaking. Kayaking on Lake Mapourika was equally as beautiful as you paddle through a picture perfect lake in total silence until you reach echo bay, where a click of your fingers will be carried through the bay.
“Age quod Agis”
A Latin quote my year seven teacher said to me everyday, indirectly translating to “Do what you do well, and live life to the fullest”
In order to do that, I felt I had to dive out of plane at 4500m, bungee jump from New Zealand’s highest bungee platform, a mere 134m, bungee jump backwards of the worlds first commercial bungee bridge, take a helicopter up a mountain only to raft back down, and fall off a 160m suspended swing…upside-down!
My adventures of the South Island were summed up perfectly with a scenic flight across the glaciers, lakes, mountains and everything in between which New Zealand has to offer.
I have learnt a great deal over the past 6 weeks, both professionally and personally. New Zealand is a beautiful country where I have done some amazing activities, worked with the incredible people and made life long friendships. I am glad I had the opportunity to come here, and I cannot thank Ron, Paul and the Mannkal team enough.