Page 13 of Ali Travel Blog Posts

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Southland » Invercargill January 9th 2003

It has been about 6 weeks since I last wrote on TravelBlog, I'm not sure why it has taken me so long to try and catch up. I finished travelling around New Zealand, and my made my way across to Australia. For the sake of completeness I'll try and write about the places I saw in New Zealand and my few weeks in Australia so far. But after even such a short time some of the details have faded. Laura and I drove down the southern scenic route from Te Anua to Invercargil. It wasn't as scenic as the drive down the west coast or the road from Wanaka to Queenstown, but there was a nice bridge, the Clifdon bridge - I think. Invercargil is the southern most city in New Zealand. The reputation of the ... read more
Queens Park
Tim Tams and Tea

A five thirty start and a two hour bus journey to Milford sound to kayak for the day. Milford sound is a glacial fjord with the famous Mitre Peak, the most photographed mountain in fiordland. Under the perfect weather conditions and very early in the morning the waters of Milford Sound reflect the vista totally, leading to amazing postcards and posters. The beauty and scale of the fjord is not exaggerated in the photos. The small waterfalls in the distance are around 200m high and almost 10km away. Trees cling to the side of sheer rock faces, after many years growth on moss and lichen, the forest becomes too heavy to support itself and peels away into the waters of the fjord. The process of forest regeneration is started again when mosses and lichens re-colonise the ... read more
Sailing Back
Mirror Lakes
Fiordland Forest

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Southland » Catlins January 7th 2003

The Catlins is an area on the south coast of the south island of New Zealand. The southern most point of the south island, some beautiful forests and waterfalls and farms and things. I should be writing about the Catlins there are lots of things that we should be talking about. Laura was going the same way (again) so I hitched a ride... well I didn't really have to ask - got used to the idea of having a chauffeur at this point. Hitching was going pretty well. So in the two days we spent in the Catlins I: Saw seals - there was quite a large one on the beach - went close to get a photograph and got barked at - jumped back and got a photo of the sand instead. Collected paua shells, ... read more
Gnarled Tree
Seal and Lighthouse
Decaying Eel

Went with Clare, Phil and Laura to Te Anua, Clare’s car is properly broken, not fixable. She now has to hitch. Laura was nice enough to give all three of us a lift. It’s a familiar story shared by backpackers around the world. Stayed in the Barnyard backpackers, we have a small cottage with a marvellous view. It’s very open plan, kitchen, sitting, dining rooms and six beds all in the same room. The view looks out across farmland, and over to mountains. Deer in the field in front of the cottage bray at sunset and dawn. Went on an ecology walk into a wilderness scientific reserve near Te Anua. Professor Allan Mark explained the history of the wilderness, the roles of the moss, bog pine and the problem of yet more introduced species. This time ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Otago » Queenstown January 3rd 2003

Clare offered me a lift to Te Anua, she had been lent a car from a friend in Christchurch. We got just past Queenstown and it broke down. All power from the engine went and it wouldn’t start. Due to not being able to buy vouchers in New Zealand for her phone Clare was only able to text message to ask her friend how the AA works over here. Her friend had assured her that the AA covered the car. We spent a couple of relaxed hours sunbathing and chatting whilst text messages went back and forth. The final message arrived, problem with the policy, not covered. We hitched back to Queenstown, found a telephone and Clare phoned her friend, he had just called a tow company and the vehicle was about to be recovered. Clare ... read more
Phil, Laura, Clare, Ali
The Cable Car
Looking Down

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Central Otago » Wanaka January 1st 2003

New years day. To celebrate the New Year and recover from hangovers we went on a walk. Laura, Clare and I went walking; Phil went to celebrate the English New Years with a pint at 12pm. The Rob Roy Track in Mount Aspiring National Park, is one of the most wonderful places I have been. The steep, interesting 2hr climb to the tree line through native woodland along the valley of the Rob Roy Stream is so beuatiful. The hangover left after only a few moments. At certain points a view of sky, mountain peaks, glaciers just below, waterfalls dropping thousands of feet down sheer valley walls onto lush green grassland and forest and the bubbling rapids of the Rob Roy Stream are all visible in one view. At the top of the walk at the ... read more
Another view

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Central Otago » Wanaka December 30th 2002

New Years Eve, lots of people had asked me where I was going to be for New Years Eve, I hadn’t known. It turned out to be Wanaka, the backpackers - the Purple Cow - was nice I had met some nice new people who would also be there for the evening. Chatting after breakfast with Clare, Phil, Laura and Tripp (all English except the American Tripp) we all decided to head off to Stuart Lawson’s Puzzling World. Puzzling World features the leaning tower of Wanaka, the room full of following faces and a three-dimensional maze, plus lots of holograms and other curious things. After wandering around the curious and puzzling section of puzzling world we decided to tackle the maze. The maze is made from large 7ft fence panels, a couple of bridges and four ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Central Otago » Wanaka December 30th 2002

Wanaka is a small town population 4000 on the edge of Lake Wanaka, the 4th largest lake in New Zealand, having driven past it the previous day I estimate it to be around 50km long and 5km wide. Behind the lake looking north is the mountain range of which Mount Aspiring is the highest peak. The countryside is reminiscent of Scotland. The craggy hill and mountain sides have been cleared of trees and bush and are now filled with livestock, mostly sheep. Rocks jut from the sides of the mountains. In the last ice age glaciers had scrapped along the edges of these valleys, with the snow-capped peaks visible in the distance it feels colder than it really is. Anders and I both wanted to go rock climbing, neither had done it before so paid for ... read more
More Rocks
From the top

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast » Fox Glacier December 27th 2002

We hitched down to the Fox Glacier on boxing day. It’s more difficult hitching as a pair of guys but we got lucky. First lift took us to Hototiki, on the way we saw one of the other guys who had hitched earlier from the hostel waving at us from a passing van. A few minutes later the van came back, we’d got a lift. Dudi the Israeli hitcher had boasted that he could get all three of us a lift, and to be fair to him he’d managed it. Stayed at the Ivory Towers hostel. Another nice hostel, in a nice area, New Zealand has no shortage of nice cheap places to stay. Booked a guide for walking on the Glacier the next day. The walking on the Glacier was only possible with the aid ... read more
Fox Glacier

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast » Greymouth December 25th 2002

We arrived in Greymouth on the 23rd of December, about 6pm. Had a nice meal of spaghetti bolognaise, and drank some wine, getting ready for Christmas. The next day, we went bicycling down to the beach, Robin booked a train to Christchurch, she needed to fly from there on Christmas day. We went to the Warehouse a New Zealand version of Kmart, where everyone gets a bargin. We got each other Christmas presents - I got a Plastic Kiwi Policeman to live on my backpack and a water pistol - Anders got a water pistol and chocolate, Robin who bought the water pistols got wet, she didn’t have one. Got my hair cut, and said goodbye to Robin as she boarded the Tranz Alpine Railway. Went out in the evening with everyone we could gather from ... read more

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