Friday was my last day of work for at least 8 weeks. During the last few weeks in Wellington I stayed in a hostel around a fifteen minute walk to the CBD, though I did not get up to much. The highlight was seeing our local celebrity (yes it really is a cat) strutting down the street. As I was running late for dinner I couldn’t stop, and he seemed to be on a mission to get somewhere.

I went to the airport straight after the shift to fly down to Christchurch, and got the extra leg space by getting an emergency exit seat. As I’d arrived during the evening, I couldn’t get a bus straight to Tekapo, so I stayed the night in a cheap hostel. Someone very considerately set the fire alarm off at 1.30am, a night where I wanted to get at least a half-decent sleep.

On Saturday I boarded a bus down to Tekapo. It’s a place well known for stargazing, and has international recognition for it as the sky is so dark at night. After arriving and sorting out the hostel malarkey, I went for a walk by the lake and ended up by the Church of the Good Shepherd, which is a church to commemorate the first settlers in New Zealand. Now it’s one of the most photographed spots in the country.

During the evening I went to the Dark Sky Project. It’s amusing how when I lived in Australia I would spend my evenings out drinking, but now in New Zealand I was intending to go out to look at the stars. There were two tours: 10.45pm or 1.15am. Both were cancelled as there was no visibility, so I saw how the weather looked on Sunday morning. In the end I opted to go to the Dark Sky Project during the day – it was an interactive experience. It was good, but a lot of science in one sitting.

Sunday morning was spent on a walk up to the observatories on top of Mt John. The weather was a bit crap, so I did the shorter walk and stopped off at the cafe on top. Every time I have a good walk up a hill, I swear there is a bloody car park on top. I raced down before it started really raining, and went off to get some more coffee in town.

An hour or so was spent at the Dark Sky Project, then I went back to the hostel to have some down time – reading and Netflix. I finished reading a book and bingewatched some of the Good Place.

At night I went out to the lakefront to look at the stars, as it’s the place in New Zealand to do so. When it got too cold, I headed back in and went to bed. The next morning I headed off to Mt Cook, where I am at the moment – it’s been great here so far.