Tuesday, March 19, 2013

New Zealand - South Island

Queenstown is a happening city where the Snow Festival party is gonna take place here anytime by this week when the snow arrives. The Skycity Casino manager invited me to join the party but I told him I can't make it as I'm gonna travel to Milford Sound later. Haha...I enjoyed my shopping spree here esp. I got something from Dotti brand, one of my favourite choice in fashion from Australia.

I love the overall clean and calm environment here as the nature here speaks of greenery garden everywhere, lively ducks around the lake and friendly people around the city. Not necessary they're local Kiwis, they're many Chinese from HongKong who actually stayed in NZ for long and they're very happy to meet us the Chinese from Malaysia as we speak the same Cantonese language.

After having an appetizing Thai lunch at this mall, I went for an aroma Mochacchino with a Raspberry Cheesecake at Mc'Cafe. I enjoy the view here while having a real long chat with Rambo. Many people always thought that we're best friends forever(definitely) as we tend to talk a lot throughout the journey be it at Japan, Europe or NZ.

They got so surprised when I explained to them we're actually husband and wife for the past 19 years as they said we never seem to act like a couple. Haha...this year we're gonna celebrate our '20th Anniversary', anytime anywhere as long we're still happy together and hope to live happily ever after. Time really flies, seems like yesterday only the cupid just pierced his bow to my heart. 

I make sure I maximise my time of every hour here to every important place in this city and SkyCity Casino was one of them. Upon reaching this casino, the manager was nice to welcome us and introduced us the casino facilities from lunch set to other games available. He also loved the way I paired up my winter jacket with the lace tight, he said awesome pairing.

Haha...I guess the Australians and NZ people are almost the same kinda people, when they liked the way we dressed-up, they would tell us directly. I face it many times in Australia, they actually approached me and said my dress was lovely, my vest was cool etc. even if we paired them up with sport shoes(comfortable for travel), they still loved the way we dress up. It's their culture they love to dress up for any special occasion. 

Such a peaceful slumber night I had at this Copthorne Hotel. The room was spacious, big enough for 4 people. And they provide great breakfast buffet spread to start with. It was so cold in Winter Season(June/July), I only managed to snap a picture and I already rushed Rambo to go back inside the hotel. Shivering cold and the weather forecast has predicted that it's gonna snow anytime from now.

My most memorable moment in NZ was feeding the Alpacas which I have never seen before. I have great time here feeding them  food although it was so cold out here. I noticed many of them just came out to say 'hi and bye' and quickly went into the centre back for warm heater inside. The HK tour guide told us it's called the 'Toh Yeong' (Camel Sheep) in Chinese. The head looked like a camel and the body really looked like a sheep to me. 

We tend to speak in Cantonese whenever we can esp.the HK tour guide was very happy he can speak the same Cantonese language with us. Usually, the Malaysians had hard time listening to the Oz and NZ people speaking English because they tend to have very strong accents they just couldn't catch, be it the Malays or the Chinese including Rambo and my best friend Josephine. 

This shop owned a Lavender plantation and the Alpaca farm, living here with occasional visits from the tourists who pay NZD to feed them. Haha...Malaysians love to shop for all the sheep placenta skincare products, honey etc. but not interested to buy anything to feed them.Beauty comes 1st for them, in fact not only the middle-aged(30-50's) women bought it but I saw the old aunties aged 60-70's(a Chinese from China) actually bought a set and show it to her husband. 

That's the power of buying beauty skincare for women nowadays, it's that attractive to them. It's not cheap as it cost about few hundred dollars per tube/bottle and once you multiply it in Ringgit Malaysia, it can come up to thousand dollars. But they believe it can help to beautify and enhanced their beauty so they just buy buy buy, in 2-3 bottles some more.

This shop owner really know how to do business, they provide quite a complete set of NZ souvenir items, not forgetting this cute signature sheep toy that's made from China. And many attractive decors made from Alpacas and sheep fur. Very expensive and I was very tempted to buy it as well but then I don't wana support anything that involved using animal parts.

The real 99.3 % pure gold(NZ, in HK & Malaysia is 99.9% pure gold) stone that weighed more heavier than a rock of stone. It's really heavy and it sparkles like a diamond, in fact it's more bling than a diamond as it's also more pricier in value. The HK tour guide invited me to visit this Gold shop for gold jewellery as he saw me wearing gold all the time.

So I only drop by to 'look see' but I never thought that I would fall in love with one of the English-styled necklace design I really liked. And the price was reasonable based on the gold price that I multiply here, there with the owner and finally bought it as a NZ souvenir for myself. Something valuable that I would treasure all my life.   

Felt so excited with my shopping for pure gold already, I went around the city and was offered a sweet treat from this friendly local lady. She offered me this famous Caramel Chocolate (I'm a Caramel fan) that not only tasted so smooth and not too sweet,  it's really tasty as well. And my tour members heard that, they asked me which nice chocolate I can recommend for them to buy as souvenirs beside this Caramel Choc. 

I saw the Daim Chocs, I fully recommended them to buy that as they surrounded me in a circle inside this shop. Rambo teased me saying that I looked like the chocolate shop promoter. Haha...I love sharing good food with everyone as I believe in indulging good food can help to brighten up our days.  

Arrowtown is a historic gold mining town in the Otago region of the South Island in New Zealand. There are many well preserved buildings used by European and Chinese immigrants dating from the gold mining days of the town since 1870. It's a quiet city here but I like the privacy here where we can do whatever we like here. If it's not in winter season, I would have jump to this river for a swim. Rambo knew that...haha!

The word ‘bungy' as used by AJ Hackett is Kiwi slang for an elastic strap, but the word ‘bungee' is much older and originates from the West Country dialect of the English language and means anything 'thick and squat', but by the 1930s tended to mean 'eraser'.

Coming to NZ, one of the exhilarating adventure for me must be this bungy jump but alas, it was too late for me in my 30’s to jump that. I wish I could turn back the time, 10 years younger in my 20’s then I would definitely go for it. One of my friend who came here for work kept asking me to join him to NZ 9 years ago. He knew that my professional qualification in AMII(UK:ACII) can help to expand my profession in insurance industry here in NZ. 

But I prefer to stay in Malaysia and contribute back to my own country. In fact, I have the best of both worlds exposure and opportunities given to me during my career days in Malaysia. My boss usually gave me all the freedom to expand the company portfolios with trust and faith in me, so I have great time working for the Malaysians. To me, NZ is a nice place for holiday destination but not my choice for long term stay.

On our way back to Christchurch, we get to catch the captivating view of Mount Cook while stopping by to have a coffee break here. But this time, the lake water has turned to white colour water like a milk lake. It's the nature I have never seen before and it's really nice.

Along the South Island trip from Christchurch to the end of Milford Sound, I kept laughing all the way not to the bank but watching the real, true nature of more animals than people here in NZ. One of the amusing part was seeing the cows grouping together in a circle like they’re having a morning meeting together. And the shy shy sheep, they naturally queue up waiting in long line for their turns to trim sheep haircut.

Haha...it's really cute to see these animals actually following the rules in life. It's a hard, long journey around the South Island of New Zealand. Not only it's a long route to complete the tour but the road can be so winding till most of us got headaches, puke and sick. Lucky I brought my Cellfood along and took lots of it. It's really pity to see many of them got sick because of that. 

After the Chinese dinner at restaurant, I asked the tour guide to give us some time and do some food shopping here at this 'fresh choice supermarket'. I was having a great time shopping here as I bought a box of Ginger Beer, many local snacks, candies, chocolates and biscuits for my whole week of food indulgence in NZ. Reasonable price and really spoilt for choices.   

In China all along my holiday tours there, the Chinese tour guide always told us "Wo men bu zou hui tou lu" which means that 'we'll never go through the same journey/route again from where we begin the tour'. They believe that we travel around one place to another place in a circle but ends at the end of the journey with no return. I always like the way they operate the tour as they really maximise the best travel around China. That's why we can travel around Chengdu at Sichuan province in 8 days itself.   

But here in NZ, we actually need to travel from Christchurch to Queenstown, from Queenstown to Milford Sound and return to the same route again. Quite troublesome but no choice as we wana travel all the places at one time. On our way back, we stopped by Queenstown again for some morning shots here. Haha...I went for shopping again for sure and grabbed what I can in that few hours time.

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