Showing posts with label nzeal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label nzeal. Show all posts

Friday, 11 April 2014

Eco/ Jucy tours

8 th March Saturday
After breakfast we could not start Tiny again, had to have another jump start but we had no problem getting jump leads and someone's car to jump from. Drove into town and had difficulty parking because there was a marathon and cycle race but when we did we walked round and found the Chinese mining section. This was where miners ,mostly Cantonese, had their own little village.
 It was a really sad story as they came to earn money to send home to their families but many died in the mines. When the gold ran out and the last of the miners left taking with them about 500 of their dead colleagues to be buried in a sacred place in China the boat sank so they never made it to their resting place. We decided to buy bread from an artisan bread shop in the village but they wanted $6 for a loaf so we left bread-less. We went to Queenstown to get some supplies and did not like it there at all they seemed to cater for young bungey jumpers and stuff like that. We eventually got on our way to Te Anau and the road went down the side of a lake and a range of hills called 'the remarkables', so called by a miner who woke up and stepped out of his tent and said how remarkable the hills around him were. We arrived at Te Anau and visited the I-site to check the location of the campsite and we mentioned that we wanted to do the coach trip from Te Anau to Milford sound and the boat trip up Milford sound. We said we wanted to use ECO/JUCY for the coach/boat trip.  The women in the I-site said that we should use another company which was more expensive as it included lunch and that ECO was used by smelly backpackers and that we would not like it, but we decided that the ECO trip was the one for us. When we got to the campsite we booked the trip and they said they would pick us up at 8:30 am and we would get back around 4:30 pm which was fine with us. 

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Roys Peak

7th March Friday
Went for a walk up Roys Peak 1578 meters which the book said would take 5 to 6 hours. We started walking up the track the same time that a man who we chatted to for quite a while before we let him go on his own as he wanted to walk faster than us. It turned out that he was a retired farmer from Lincoln and we had an interesting conversation with him for about an hour. It was quite a steep zigzag track and when we had been going 2 and a half hours we were still not at the top but we decided to carry on to the top as it was a beautiful day. We reached the summit in 3 hours and it was worth it as we had some spectacular views of the surrounding area including more of Mount Aspiring. We had lunch on top and met up with the farmer who was still at the top chatting to 2 girls from Germany when we got there. We ate lunch and started on our way down before the farmer but he caught us up and passed us on the way down. We made it down in 2 hours 10 minutes feeling very tired. When we got to the car a girl asked us if we were going back into town as she wanted a lift, we said OK and she squeezed into the back with our holdalls and we dropped her in the centre of Wanaka and continued on our way to Queenstown deciding what to do as we drove. We decided not to go into Queenstown but stay at a place called Arrowtown and bypass Queenstown altogether and go to Te Anau the next day. As we were driving over the mountain pass to Arrowtown it started to rain and continued when we first arrived at the campsite which was very busy as there were running and cycling races at the town the next day.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Rocky Mountain

6th March Thursday
Had breakfast and did some washing before going on a walk to Diamond Lake. We decided to stay another night so hung out washing and then drove 25 minutes to the start of the walk were we chose the path up to Rocky Mountain which was 1 hour 30 minutes each way. It was the first real mountain walk of the holiday and we really enjoyed it with 360 degree views when we reached the top, it was quite steep but well worth the effort. On the top we could see the snowcapped Mount Aspiring at 3033 meters one of the highest mountains outside the Mount Cook region and also great views of Lake Wanaka. We walked back to the car and drove to the campsite where we had lunch and Chris did some hand washing. After deciding our plans for the rest of the holiday we had another shower, sauna/hot tub and felt really chilled so had a glass of wine before dinner, during dinner and after dinner.


5th March Wednesday
Got up and decided not to risk the flies again so drove to Lake Matheson car park for breakfast. We drove to Fox glacier and did the walk up to its face, it was stunning and we could get to within 200 meters of its face. We were going to Manapopo next. On the way we stopped of o sample the local delicacy of whitebait, so we had a pattie between us just in case we did not like it.It was nothing like thw whitebait you have in the UK, this was all different types of baby fish that they catch, mixed together and fried, it was different don't think we would have another one. We stopped for petrol at Haast as it says there is no more petrol stations for 90 kilometres, but they ripped us off by charging $2.38 per litre instead of $2.20 elsewhere. We then drove over Haast pass which was 580 meters, that's not even as high as the village where we live in Spain. Tiny did not like going up hill and round bends at the same time but she made it over OK. We then stopped off at blue lagoon which was beautiful. We decided not to stop at Manapopo but carry on to Wanaka as we needed some provisions and more petrol. We found the supermarket at Wanaka and got more wine amongst other things. We went to the campsite which had free internet and sauna and hot tub included in the price of $35. So we had a shower and sauna/hot tub then had dinner and played scrabble.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Franz Josef Glacier

4th March Tuesday
Had breakfast, showered then drove to the Franz Josef Glacier car park. We walked the FJG valley walk to a viewpoint 500 meters from the glaciers terminal face 1 hour 30 minutes, then walked to Peter Pool just 20 minutes return which was supposed to have great views of Mount Cook and reflections in the pool but the wind was making waves on the surface and cloud covered Mount Cook. We drove towards Fox Glacier village but before we got there we turned off to Lake Matheson which had views of Mount Cook and Mount Tasmin. We had lunch in the van then walked round the lake for about 1 hour 30 minutes meeting a couple from Lichfield in the UK and also taking lots of pictures of the lake and southern alps. We had flat whites at the Matheson cafe which is highly rated and a bit posh with lots of tourists. We decided to drive to Gillespie's beach where we found a free campsite for the night it only had toilets and water. It was a bit windy but we managed to cook a meal with the awning up. There were lots of young people there in small campervans like ours and tents because it was free.  We saw another campervan exactly the same as Tiny rented from the same company. We had a chat with them and found out that they were a young French couple who were travelling round the south island like us but were doing it in the opposite direction and they told us where they had found free sites for the night along the way. They also recommended places to visit which we had not thought of After talking to them we deceided to definatly go to the Catlins on the south coast


White Herons!!!

3rd March Monday
Drove to Franz Josef glacier via the white heron sanctuary at Whataroa (no birds at all) then went to Lake Mapourika where we had lunch at a lay-by with a jetty . We continued to Franz Josef where we stayed at Rainforest Holiday Park which was a really nice site surrounded by rainforest. We went for a walk around the town and treated ourselves to T-shirts. Then back to the campsite for a game of scrabble and a glass of wine. We had dinner and watched a film in the lounge on our tablet, we watched '12 years a slave' a very sad film.

Monday, 31 March 2014


2nd March Sunday
Woke up and had a lovely shower in a bathroom right next to Tiny almost like en suite. Had breakfast (scones again should not have bought 6 of them even though they were on offer) then did a sightseeing tour of Hokitika (not much to see) and kept smelling something that I could not place at first but then realised it was the smell of coal burning that I had not smealt since I was a small boy when they introduced smokeless fuel in the UK. We walked along the beach where there was loads of driftwood and a guy was collecting some to burn on his fire but some of it was made into strange shapes. We found a really nice cafe called The Garden we had a coffee in the garden of the cafe and they had wonderful furniture, sofa made from tree trunks and it had a really nicely decorated toilet. It started raining so we made our way back to the campsite. We spent the afternoon playing scrabble in the lounge at the campsite watching it rain. We eventually saw the weather on tv and it was not good for the next day.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Pancake rocks and blow holes

1st March Saturday
Had breakfast and went to leave but the battery was flat again so got the owner of the campsite to jump start us. We had charged up mp3 player, mobile phone & tablet on the journey from the last place which must have drained the battery. We then did Pancake rocks and the blow holes which were spectacular. We
did a 3 hour walk along the Pororan/ Punakaiki river track where we followed the Pororan river to a swingbridge (which we never saw as we turned off right before it) then along the Inland Pack Track to another swingbridge, across the river Punakaiki to the road and then back to the start.. We tried to have lunch there but there were too many sandflies again so we started our drive to Hokitika until we could find a shady place for lunch. We found a spot at a place called Barrytown and parked in front of the village hall where we noticed that there was live music on that night called Mellow Tunes, bit like Donavon I think, but we decided to forgo the pleasure of that and carried on to Hokitika where we found a lovely campsite called Shining Star which had free internet. We had dinner then walked to the beach and took a photo of the sunset. Finally the highlight of the day was a visit to the Glow worm dell, little glow worms shining in the dark, which was lovely for kids and Chris.

Seal watching and getting wet

28th February Friday
We went to the supermarket to buy some food and use the internet but it didn't work so we went to the library, no food there but internet worked. Afterwards we went to a seal colony at Tauranga Bay before going to see the seals we decided to go for a coffee at The Bayhouse Cafe a bit posh but very nice coffee. Went to seals but it started raining so only got a few pictures not very good as they were too far away and the camera on our mobile did not zoom enough. Drove to Punakaiki and went to look at the pancake rocks and blow holes but it started raining heavily so we went to the campsite and would do the rocks tomorrow. Had a quiet night.

Friday, 28 March 2014

New Zealand's biggest swingbridge

27th February Thursday
Woke up to another beautiful sunny day so showered and had a nice breakfast outside in the sun and nothing else. We packed up and left the campsite and drove down to the wharf to walk over the bridge onto Rabbit Island where there is a cycle trail that we were going to walk then come back to the Smokehouse for some chips. After wandering around for a while we asked a local where the bridge was and he said that it was miles away down the coast somewhere and the only way onto the island was by ferry, so plan B (no chips) drive to next location. We set off and the first place we passed was called Wakefield, so we stopped and took a picture of the signpost to send to Chris's brother who lives in Doncaster just down the road from Wakefield. When we got as far as Morchison we stopped and had a massive portion of chips to stop me from moaning. We then carried on to Buller Gorge swingbridge which they claim is the longest swingbridge in New Zealand. We also did a one and a half hour forest walk after crossing the swingbridge to a very nice waterfall. After this we drove to our planned stop at Lyell, a DOC site but when we got there and started to make a brew we were attacked by sand flies so we decided not to stay there and drove another 50k along a very winding road to Westport where we found a very nice campsite for the night (no flies).