A Travellerspoint blog

New Zealand (Christchurch)

How very English!

overcast 21 °C
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Christchurch had a very English feel to it. There was a River Avon with punters going up and down it an a very English looking Cathedral.

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We just chilled out during our stay, and checked out the Museum, botanical gardens and art galleries. We would recommend them all to other visitors.

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We watched a cycle race during our stay, which was interesting. We also shopped for souvenirs. A really good place with all of the craft market stalls.

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It was nice city, with a relaxed feel, perfect for a few days wind down before flying to Australia.

Posted by blytonrtw 03:02 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

New Zealand (Mount Cook)

Snow capped mountains, the talleset Mountain in the Southern Hemisphere and lakes with iceburgs

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We stayed at the only hostel in Mount Cook, the YHA. Quite a comfy place to use as a base. The day we arrived there were clear skies and no cloud over the mountain. Knowing the weather turns quickly here we took as many photos as we could just in case. The glacial lakes are stunning, when the sun hits them they look a vibrant turquoise colour.

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The following day the weather was not as good, but clear. So we went on a 3 hour walk throught the Hooker Valley, and got amazing close up views of Mount Cook and the Southern Alp range. We had our lunch in this area with a stunning view.

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After we got back, we drummed up enough energy to walk to the Tasmin Valley and the lake, where there are iceburgs floating from the snow melting higher up. After we had finshed this walk we had worn ourselves out and retreated to the hostel pleased with our efforts, and full of admiration for the mountaineers who have only just started their adventure where we had finshed ours.

The following day the area was covered in cloud, and the view was poor so we knew it was a good time to leave. We headed to Christchurch via Lake Tekapo. This small town has great views to the mountains over the lake and again turquoise water when the sun hits the Lake. There is a not a great deal else there so we continued onwards to our last NZ destination, Christchurch apparently the most English city in this country. We'll have to see if this is accurate.

Posted by blytonrtw 21:15 Archived in New Zealand Comments (2)

New Zealand (Dunedin)

Cadbury's, Speights Brewery and Penguins

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We were unsure whether to include Dunedin, NZ's most Scottish Town, on our trip but we were really glad we did.

The day we arrived we got on the Speights brewery tour, the local beer. The tour was interesting, but the best bit was tasting at the end. You get shown how to use the pumps and you get your own after that, a half hour to try as many as you want. This then spilled over into the bar next door, as we met some nice people on the tour.

The following day we went on the Cadburys tour, chocolate heaven. Mark had to tear me away. You got lots of free bars as you went around. Yippee. We looked really fetching in our paper hats.

Following this tour we explored more cultural offerings including the steepest street in the World, Baldwin Street. We had a look around the university, and the when out to the Otago Peninsular where there are native Yellow Eyed penguins.

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We had a long walk over sand dunes, and a beach with Sealions sleeping along it and at the end is a hide. After waiting for a little time they appeared hopping up the hill, and swimming in the sea. They are really nervous so you only see them from a long distance, but we saw three of them in total. On the way back it started to rain, and we got impressive complete rainbow that was even better than in Te Anau. A stunning sunset too.

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The following day we set off Mount Cook, really glad we took the detour to Dunedin.

Posted by blytonrtw 21:05 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

New Zealand (Milford Sound)

Rain, Mist and impressive waterfalls

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Te Anau is the nearest place to Milford Sound with a hostel. So we booked in there and sorted out a breakfast boat trip for the next day. We were disappointed when we woke up to see grey skys and some rain. However were amazed by the beautiful rainbows which appeared as the sun rose. Wow, it was stunning.

The further we drove to Milford Sound the worse the weather got, so we had to resign ourselves to poor views across the site for the boat trip. The one consolation was that we got amazing shots of the waterfall, which were pouring out from all side as the boat set off. This is the nature of the area though. All seasons in one day is what you need to expect. We still had a great time, and the breakfast was a real treat. Worth getting up a 6am for.

We stopped off at some nice places on the way back. Mirror lakes was lovely, fields full of alpine flowers, and a friendly Kea bird. This is a native green parrot, which is apparently the most intelligent of the species.
We set off for Dunedin the following day, yet another long journey.

Posted by blytonrtw 20:57 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

New Zealand (Queenstown)

Extreme sports capital!

sunny 20 °C
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Queenstown as well as being the extreme sports centre, is also quite a nice place. The lake is surrounding by a mountain range called the Remarkables. The best way to get a great view, without going up in a plane, is to go on the gondola (cable car to most of us). We had the best spot for photos. There is also a luge (a kind of no peddling downhill go kart), which was a fun way to get part of the way down.
You also get a great view of one of the bungy jumps, 'The Ledge', from here. This one you can run off, as you are not harnessed by your feet. Mark didn't fancy this one, and decided to do the original bridge bungy.

We crammed a few things in on our last day. In the morning we took a jet boat ride, The Shotover Jet, along the canyon. This is great it can travel really fast in as little as 10cm of water. Its really agile as there are 2 jet engines powering it. It was great, what a rush.

This was just enough to get Marks' blood pumping, and almost straight after we picked up some new friends from Switzerland who came along as a cheering squad to the Kawarau Bridge. Mark looked pretty nervous, but did really well. He shuffled to the edge, once all fastened to the bungy, and with a "Chocs away" he launched off.

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It was a mistake to allow the guy licence to surprise with with how wet he was going to get. He ended up with only his feet out of the water. Then with a "boiinnnggggg" out he shot again.

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It was over in a flash as an observer, I'm sure it felt like a lifetime to him.

After this we had done enough adrenaline junkie stuff, so we headed of to Te Anau as a base for Milford Sound

Posted by blytonrtw 20:45 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

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