Backpacking New Zealand (Part 2) - Tekapo

7:08 PM

It's almost about one week since I returned to Singapore and I finally found some time to start on this blog post and edit some of the trip's photos. Yes, finally!!

And this new blog layout is entirely designed and coded (from scratch!!!) by yours truly after two painstaking nights of working on it right after internship hours.
Internship has been quite fun so far (i'm already working on graphics and coding/designing another website so i'm definitely enjoying it more than the normal school curriculum) but it's actually pretty exhausting? It's a nine hour work day with an hour break in between, but upon reaching home every day all I want to do is sleep LOL. I don't even have the energy in me to sit through blogging, editing pictures or even dota. So yes it was quite a pain working on a new blogskin while working on another site at the same time but heh I'm so happy with the clean layout and graphics from lost sleep and tears :')

TGIF and I've never appreciated weekends more than this. So, moving on to my first day of New Zealand!

After landing at Christchurch airport, my first stop was Tekapo and I got to my destination via Intercity with a Flexipass which I purchased from them online.

There are other modes of transport available such as the Nakedbus etc but I got Intercity mainly because the bus is equipped with wifi and omg you're gonna need all the wifi you can get because most hostels/inn don't provide them and buying data is crazy expensive. I got my 1.5GB plan from Spark for $29 at the airport. Plus, the drivers of Intercity are all super friendly and helpful!!

Upon arrival at Tekapo, I was greeted by the Tekapo lake and it was such as breathtaking sight I couldn't help spending an hour or so just by the take snapping away and taking in its beauty. The only deterrence was the painful 11 degrees weather. It was rather cloudy at first, but the skies cleared up towards the afternoon so I got better pictures!

I stayed in the Backpacker's Lodge in Tekapo and yes the lodge is pretty too. Generally, most of the houses in New Zealand are beautiful so kudos to all them architects and designers.

There's nothing much at Tekapo so I wouldn't recommend anyone staying for more than a night if you  were able to spend a full day there. There's the Mount John trek, the observatory at the summit (perfect for viewing stars at night if you join some tour), the Church of the Good Shepherd and some hot springs, all of which you could cover in one day even without rushing. But I do know of other travelers whom I've met that spent three days at Tekapo.

As I was backpacking, my plans were to cook most of my meals even though I hardly even use the kitchen back at home LOL. Not because I can't, but it's the lazy genes in me I swear!! So during my stay in New Zealand, I practically survived on pasta for half of my meals because 1) a pack of pasta is only $1 and 2) being a creative chef is not my thing. So $10NZ can last me about 4 meals when I get sauce and minced meat to go with it :)

So after purchasing my groceries I headed to hike Mt John which takes about two hours return? It took me three hours since I spent a lot of time at the summit snapping pictures because the view was so stunning!! Other than climbing the mountain to reach the Arashiyama monkey park in Kyoto, I don't remember climbing any other mountain so it was really fulfilling, albeit exhausting.

Spotted wild bunnies everywhere while I was in New Zealand!!

When night came around, it was back to the lodge to cook dinner before I headed out to explore the area during the night. Although I wouldn't recommend anyone doing this alone because it's really dark and it gets too quiet sometimes.

At around this time, the backpacking and country's culture was still new to me. It's the first western country I visited (minus those when I was but two) so no doubt there was a bit of a culture shock. And I don't really know how backpackers go around making so many friends other than through the blogs and posts I've read online. But the people there are generally pretty open and very friendly; all you have to do is speak up, greet them or whatever. I guess it would be easier if you have friends with you to approach another pair/group, but I have my reasons for traveling solo and it has its perks too.

Everyone (or friends back in Singapore anyway) knows I'm the really awkward person and I can't start a conversation for nuts, so this was quite the struggle for me. But that's the whole point of this trip really - to challenge and push myself out of my comfort zone. Being alone in a foreign country does just that, because I only had myself to get my own shit together whenever a sticky situation comes up. And it was just what I needed you know, to find back my independence instead of being overly reliant on others like I have been before.

The first night was okay, with just a couple of short conversations with my dorm mates, but it's nothing much. As the days passed by though, the whole backpacking culture and interacting thing really became far more easier and enjoyable. Well, I'll mention more about the people I meet as they come along in my next posts!

I spent the next morning exploring more of the area and at the Church of the Good Shepherd. Sadly, it was a really cloudy morning so the pictures are kind of dull too...

My Intercity bus to my next destination was due to arrive at 1130pm and when it still wasn't around 1135pm, I started to panic thinking that I missed it or it missed me LOL. But well I was just being paranoid cause the bus was just slightly late.

The 14 days I spent at New Zealand all passed relatively slow-paced, since my days were planned as they come along. New Zealand has ample hostels/inn, so I only found accommodation while on the get-go instead of booking them ahead of time. It was totally chill, just doing whatever I wanted whenever with no pressure.

And that's pretty much it for day 1! Hopefully I'll finish this whole series of posts of New Zealand before September ends, instead of taking a month like I did for Japan hahaha.

Check out my other posts on New Zealand:
▶ Backpacking New Zealand (Part 1) - Why I backpacked solo
▶ Backpacking New Zealand (Part 2) - Tekapo
▶ Backpacking New Zealand (Part 3) - Mountain Cook
▶ Backpacking New Zealand (Part 4) - Cromwell & Makaroa
▶ Backpacking New Zealand (Part 5) - Wanaka
▶ Backpacking New Zealand (part 6) - Queenstown & Christchurch

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