Blogs from Franz Josef, South Island, New Zealand, Oceania - page 7

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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef October 14th 2011

Well we have now been in New Zealand for just over two weeks, so as we are half way through our time here I thought I would update you all on what has been happening as it has been pretty crazy! After arriving in Auckland after a mammoth flight, the first couple of days were pretty easy going, went to the rugby fan zone - which the big rugby ball surprised us both immensely as a superb 10 minute film was projected onto the ceiling, giving us the illusion that we were actually inside a real-life ruby ball - as well as beginning the Lord of the Rings craziness by already meeting Gollum and an Orc. The real fun began a couple of days later when we were introduced to the Kiwi Experience bus... As soon ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef July 20th 2011

Early Bird is catching the worm auf deutsch: Morgenstund hat Gold im Mund!!!! Darum ging's für uns morgens um 6:30 Uhr raus aus dem warmen Schlafsack um uns mit scrambled eggs (Rührei) für den bevorstehenden Tag zu stärken. Ausgestattet mit langen Unterhosen, Wanderhose, obenrum 4 schichtig, Kappe und Handschuh machten wir uns auf den Weg zum Treffpunkt. Dort bekamen wir noch eine zusätzliche wetterfeste Jacke und Hose. Das Wichtigste waren die Steigeisen. Ohne die wären wir in der eisigen Gletscherwelt aufgeschmissen gewesen. Am Franz Josef Gletscher angekommen, mussten wir noch ca. 30 min. über ein Geröllfeld zur Gletscherzunge laufen. Ab hier war nur noch mit den Steigeisen ein weiteres vorankommen möglich. Unser Weg führte uns durch stellenweise nur schulterbreite Gletscherspalten, ausgespülte Höhlen und über steile Eiskanten. Immer wieder musste unsere Guide neue S... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef July 9th 2011

So the second night is always the hardest to deal with jetlag. Chester was so tired she didn’t take her Ambien, but then she woke up at 2:30. Kirsten woke up around 4 and realized Chester was awake so they started an intense game of hangman on her phone. With some help form Chester, Kirsten got her high score. Around 5:30AM there was a slight shake of our beds. You guessed it; Chester lived through her first earthquake. Well really an aftershock that probably didn’t even register on the scale. But it still counts. We finally got out of bed and headed over to the train station to catch the TransAlpine Express from Christchurch on the east coast of the south island across to the west side ending in Greymouth. It was about a 4.5 hour ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef June 10th 2011

Hello to all, Sorry again for taking so long to update my blog. I will try to update you all more often. We are currently in New Zealand but obviously had three weeks down the East Coast of Australia. It was amazing and as some of you know we kept ourselves busy and tried to see and do as much as possible. We started in Cairns and went to the Daintree Rainforest on a day trip, this was well worth it so thanks to Mel for the tip! We then started heading down the coast visiting places on the way. A highlight down the coast was definitely sailing the Whitsunday islands, we did this for 2 days and 1 night, it was out of this world. Whitehaven beach was truly beautiful and the photo's don't do ... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef April 4th 2011

Ended up being too foggy for us to do the Helicopter ride, so instead we hiked the Glacier - going up. Stunning views, ice caves, holes that go all the way through, chunks of it falling off while we were there. A great tour. After that headed to the hot pools, glacier water filled pools that are heated. Stayed in those for over an hour, they are outside and it was misting out, great way to finish after the hike on the glacier. Ate a simple dinner outside in town, still misting, but covered patio with heaters, a few glasses of wine later and back to the hotel. Another great day. Today we biked 90K, it was raining the first 45K. But like the locals say, don't visit a rainforest if you don't expect it to ... read more

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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef April 2nd 2011

Two more days of biking. First day 60 KM - great weather, destination was Hokitika. Hotel was on the Beach - view of the Tasman Sea. Lovely view as the New Zealanders would say. Second day, headed to Franz Josef - glacier park. 76 KM this day - included an optional ride which a few of us did. This included a Mount Hercules, 3 KM up, 4 KM down, tough but spectacular. This day was a ride through a rain forest, one wonderful sight after another. Today headed out to do a Helicopter ride to the top of the Glacier with a hike on it. Then on to a dip in outdoor hot pools. Hope to have some good pictures from that. It has been hard to get logged on my own computer, just not enough ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef March 24th 2011

Skydiving the Glaciers 3/24/11 I was both nervous and excited as we took the small, packed plane up to 12,000 feet.  As the door slid open and the wind whipped into the plane, the realization of what we were about to do hit me.  Sliding to the edge of the open door, I looked out and down, seeing the glaciers (fox and josef franz) below as well as the ocean and lakes.  Rated the number 2 place to skydive in the world (first was everest) gorgeous was an understatement.  As the instructor (girl about Sarah's size) pulled me out of the plane I realized there was no going back now.  We free fell for about 45 seconds, but it felt like five seconds and before I knew it the parachute had open.  It was exhilarating to ... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef March 24th 2011

Set off at around 09:00, I was busy catching up with my Blog .The previous evening I had difficulties downloading my photographs. Despite all the forecasts it is a blue sky and the sun is shining although a little chilly in the morning. It is a straight run along the coastal road highway 6 to Franz Josef of about 177 km and should take us around 3 hours. We have just had a cup of coffee/tea before setting off, so it is not long before we start to feel hungry. We pull in at a small ex-Mining Town called Ross. Its claim to fame is that the largest gold nugget in NZ was found there, named the “Honorable Roddy”. The restaurant where we had breakfast was called Roddy Nugget Café and Bar. We get a huge ... read more
Glacier from the campsite
Glacier from the chopper
Glacier from the chopper

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef March 21st 2011

I was looking forward to Franz Josef as it's in the mountains and should expect awesome views. Luckily we were blessed with great weather, so we could experience seeing New Zealand in all it's glory. I wanted to stay for 3 nights, but due to booking the bus late we had to stay 5 nights. So Charlotte and I (who is following me) only had 2 nights with the crew before they left us, so we hit the bar again in the evenings. I did have 2 quiet nights in a row to give the body a break. We did the glacial hike on sunday and I thought it was alright. You have to wait a lot for the guides to chip away with their axes to carve a path, but still being on the ice ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef March 20th 2011

Kia Ora, we’re back! Lot’s of driving the last two days, all the way from Te Anua, which we left Thursday morning, to Fanz Joseph on the West Coast. On the way we stopped in Wanaka for some hiking and a night stop. The drive from Te Anua to Wanaka was quite nice; we had done the stretch from Queenstown to Te Anua before, so it wasn’t totally new. This might be the biggest farming area on the island, at least that we have seen. Sheep farm after sheep farm, millions of them, and a whole lot or deer farms also (they export the venison to Australia). Fortunately we haven’t seen any in the roads yet. A little Northeast of Queenstown we diverted through the a series of mountains, the Crown and Criffel Ranges. The first ... read more
Lake Hawea
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