After Kaikoura I went to Hanmer Springs. It only took a couple of hours to drive there – I was expecting a good few hours at least.
As I arrived around midday, I was expecting the thermal pools to be busy as. Instead, I went for a coffee, passing the springs, which confirmed my assumptions. I checked into the hostel and then walked up Conical Hill – the view from the top was pretty sweet.
Afterwards I went for a cheeky beer, and then to the pools – a great spot to chill for a couple of days. I very quickly found the pools that children were not allowed in which was great.
For New Years, there was literally nothing on apart from a couple of pubs being open for the countdown. There were people in the hostel going to bed at 10, so not really anything worth doing. I had a quiet night in, and went to bed at 12.10.
I started the new year at a petting farm. I was trying to find a waterfall, but the GPS was giving me directions after I had passed the turnings. I’ve been to numerous waterfalls including Victoria Falls and Niagara, so I thought I could live without seeing it.
Instead, I petted some llamas – amongst elephants and sloths, they’re some of my favourite animals. One of the llamas was a shit and spat at me whilst I was feeding them. At least the year can only go up from there. I’ve been asked if I spat back at it by quite a few people, but I was a bit too startled to think of that.
Besides going to the springs and petting cute animals, I didn’t do much in Hanmer Springs. Afterwards, I moved on to Takaka, Golden Bay.