So far South Island has been great. We started down the east coast of the island, but only went as far as Kaikoura. A man who worked at the holiday park we were staying at suggested we skip Christchurch, since it was just another big town. Not a bad idea from the looks of it, according to the paper they've been having aftershocks from their last big earthquake.
While hiking in Kaikoura I managed to sunburn my feet and legs pretty bad, so heading to Hanmer Springs meant more walking/hiking. No trip to the hot springs pools for me. I still find a hot shower uncomfortable. We didn't manage to see any whales on our hike, but it sounds like they live much further from the coast than those we see in Hawaii.
Last night we saw our first glow worms. It was pretty cool. Across the street from the holiday park we are in there is a natural grotto. When we first arrived around 10pm it was still a little light out, so only a few worms had started glowing. We stayed for about half an hour and watched more of them start glowing. No pictures, though they were bright enough to see they weren't bright enough for the camera to pick up. I tried with video too, but it was just too dark for the camera.
Now we are in Hokitika, which is the hotspot for New Zealand jade (it has a real name, but I don't have the brochure with me). We're staying right on the beach, and after a quick walk through town we relaxed on the beach, Doug with his book and me with a glass of wine and travel brouchures planning out the next move. So far planning only for the next day has been great, we've seen things we probably wouldn't have otherwise by getting suggestions from locals. The only set things in our timeline for the remainder of the trip are the ferry crossing back to North Island (which can still be changed) and a plane ticket back to Honolulu.
Probably won't get another update til we're home, then pictures. Had to buy an extra 4GB card for the camera, and now we have over 1,000 pictures plus some videos.