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

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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

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

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 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 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
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Lake Wanaka
Another Waterfall

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef March 17th 2011

March 17, 2011: ST PAT’S DAY!!!!!! OMG…..did it ever rain last night. I rarely wake up with the falling rain drops, but last night……a different story. Had I been in Misery, I would have thought that it was one of those incredible Spring storms…..no wind, but HUGE buckets full of rain were dumped on us. I suppose it was the metal roofs on the Birdsong Backpacker Hostel that awakened me…..but, it didn’t seem to last very long. I slowly eased my way out of bed this morning about 7am…….as my side of the bed was right against the wall, I am certain I woke up the 1st Lady. I went downstairs and took care of the usual morning rituals…..and that shower was just a wonderful one…..very hot and strong water pressure….GREAT!!! Of course, the toilets/shower rooms ... read more
Franz Josef Glacier
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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef March 3rd 2011

I thought I would update the blog to let you know what I have done today so far. It really deserves it's own entry as it was pretty amazing. We were wondering if we would even get a chance to go as the morning sky dive was off, we thought it might be the case with the heli hike as well, but nope, we got on the flight up to the glacier at 12pm. It is a pretty awesome flight on the helicopter around and back down the glacier and then landing on the ice where two Franz Josef guides waited for us. The whole operation is very smooth and very well run. Our guide was Julia, she had been working as a guide for 4 years up ont he glacier. In the times between when ... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef March 2nd 2011

Well Greymouth was pretty uneventful. The wind and the rain in the night were borederline torrential, and I woke up with a bit of a cold. Ran over to Countdown (supermarket) to get some lemsip and some vitamins, hopefully they will sort me out. Magic bus driver today is a guy called Vale. He explained how his house in Christchruch has been flattened and at the moment he is homeless and is just driving as much as he can. This guy was about as happy as a person could be and he was beaming all the time. I tried to understand how someone can be like this when they have no house to go back to. He explained to me later on that they only thing that is important to him is his friends and family ... read more
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