Well that's the second warm xmas I've had, and it still feels very strange!!! Whilst you guys were all wrapped up all nice and warm infront of the fires, drinking mulled wine, I was out 'wakeboarding' on Lake Te Anau and then stuffing my face with as much seafood and the full xmas traditional works as possible in the blazing hot sun!!!
I was very lucky to have been invited down to the South Island of New Zealand to spend xmas with a lovely kiwi guy called Logan and his family whom I met on the film set in Australia. Logan lives in Te Anau, a lovely quiet town in the bottom of the South Island (well his family live there, and he now lives in Sydney). The main attraction of the town is Lake Te Anau which is surrounded by huge picturesque mountains, a typical scene from the south island, and I was very lucky to spend all of xmas eve on this lake, bombing around in a speed boat and learning how to 'wakeboard' (which is basically waterskiing on a snowboard, both feet strapped to one board). I've wanted to learn how to wakeboard for quite a while now but have just never got round to it or found anywhere suitable so finally I got my chance. After a few miserable failed attempts at getting up on the board I finally conquered it and was then off! Once I got the feeling of what to expect when the line starts to pull you up there was no stopping me, its very similar to snowboarding as you would expect! Have got the standing up sorted, just need to conquer the turns now!
On xmas day, Logan and his family (along with any waifs and strays!) were invited around to the home of Joss and Woody who own a restaurant in Te Anau. They closed up shop for the day and turned the restaurant into one big banquet room and served up a series of meals to match! Starters was crayfish, mussels and various other delights whilst sipping the homemade punch out on the veranda, enjoying the sun, then to follow was the usual traditional feast, followed by a mountain of deserts! A very fine feast indeed!!! The day was rounded off with a secret santa game where everyone got a chance to choose a present (blindfolded and a bit intoxicated at this point!)and then spent the next half hour trying to swap it! Although I was very happy with my 'noughts and crosses drinking game'!
All in all a very enjoyable xmas and over too quickly, back to the 'tropical' north island! Te Anau (and Dunedin where I flew into) is the only part of the South island I have seen so far, but if the rest of it is half as picturesque then I can't wait to see it. And hopefully I will when Mum and Peter come out in a few weeks for the infamous 'Needham/Jackson' tour!