Melissa Abramson


Melissa Abramson

Brian and I are traveling to New Zealand for 5 weeks.

The dates are October 25th to December 1st.

We will be running wild in a camper van.

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Fairlie November 28th 2011

So were lost a day in here somehow. Hopefully I will remember what it was and then be able to tell you later. Also we were really out of Geraldine for this rafting on the Rangitata, the highlight of this trip maybe, around the Peel Forest. Somehow this was not an option so I randomly selected Fairlie. The Rangitata!!! Super!! Class V rapids, which we scouted out with our guide. I feel like we really had to learn something because if we didn't paddle correctly we were all going to flip. Had an excellent guide named Duncan. 20 seconds left. We will seeyou all soon!!!!... read more

MT COOK!!! You are driving up this vast open plain between mountains and then BAM, the tallest mountain in the country. Lake Pukaki is a steely, blue lake on the way up. Then you are surrounded by huge, glacier covered mountains. We hiked up a valley and saw the Hooker Glacier (named after Rebecca, clearly). We layed on the lake and basked in the sunshine. We then decided to go up a mountain side to get a better perspective on the whole valley. We hiked up to some tarns (ponds) and were greated by a friendly Kea (Three words: giant alpine parrot. Not kidding. Look it up.). The next day we hiked up next to the Tasman Glacier, which is the largest glacier in Nwe Zealand. Pretty crazy stuff. It was so huge and everything so ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Dunedin November 24th 2011

I was rudely cut off by the computer. Anyways while we were on the Otago checking things out we first went to see a special albatross center. It is theonly area in the world where you can see albatross on the main land and they were pretty amazing. We stood outside the fortified nesting area (I'm not kidding. They had electric fences specifically placed to zap humans or anything else that got funny ideas. We also didn't want to pay $50 dollars to bypass this small problem) and got lucky and had them fly over our heads. They were pretty spectacular. Then we drove over to the Lanarch Castle. A very wealthy gentleman built himself a rediculous house in the early 1900s. The house was beautiful (he brought in specialists and supplies from all over the ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Dunedin November 24th 2011

Drove right past Dunedin and out to the Otega penninsula. We saw Albatrose flying right over our heads!! We also went to a peach and had our own personal Yellow Eyed Penguine walk right past us!!!!!! Stayed in Dunedin the next day to check it out.... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Southland » Catlins November 23rd 2011

We left Queenstown since it was raining and drove down to the Catlins a day early. Wonderful coastline and waterfalls galore. We got our own personal audience with seal lions basking by a lighthouse. They were all males and the largest male (with the lion mane) was teaching the other males how you court the ladies. It was rather hilarious. Then we went to see a fossil forest with Yellow Eyed Penguins walking around in it. One pattered right by us!! It was fantastic. We also had a nice camp spot perched on a cliff over the ocean. The next day we went and visited some more waterfalls and went to another lighthouse where we could see elephant seals (we think). More things happened but I only have two minutes left so on to the next ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown November 20th 2011

Since the weather is rain again we decided to head out of Wanaka and to the bigger Queenstown to find fun indoor things to do. The city is really neat and we have had Thai for lunch before using the internet to write this fabulous blog. We might even go see a movie. We head down to the Catlins after some time in Queenstown. After that is Dunedin, Mt. Cook National Park, whitewater rafting around the Peel Forest and then bouldering (if the weather is good) at Castle Hill. Hope everyone is doing well! Love, Melissa and Brian... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Wanaka November 19th 2011

Driving through Haast Pass we stopped to check out waterfalls (they are everywhere). Entering Wanaka we were amazed. I mean, when we both think of places we want to live we basically list everything that Wanaka has. Green grass, huge turquoise blue lake, mountains galore, and lots of pasture land with lambs running around. We didn't think such a place could exist, but we were wrong. We hiked up Roy's Peak through sheep and lamb country to see the views and they were stunning. We love Wanaka. Maybe we'll start a sheep station here. The next day we drove into Mt. Aspiring Park (the ride itself made would have made the whole thing worthwhile) and hiked to see the Rob Roy glacier. We even got to see a Kea, which is the only alpine parrot in ... read more

The weather was clearing for a while so we thought we would try the Copeland Track, an overnight trip to what every guide book said were amazing hot spring pools. The walk was over 17 km (10 miles) each way through a spectacular river valley (the water was such a brillant blue it looked fake). The valley began to narrow and huge, snow covered mountains appeared over the tree tops practically right above our heads. There were also plenty of waterfalls to admire. We arrived at the hut and set up camp under a huge rock overhang that explorers in the 30s used to keep dry up until they built the hut. The black flies were incredibly horrid, but the hot pools were so excellent I could have been missing a few limbs and still enjoyed ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Fox Glacier November 14th 2011

Well then, we arrived in Fox in fine form to go and see the Fox Glacier. We drove first to the lookout point, which seemed to be lacking a real lookout, oh, and wait, yeah, a bathroom. Unfortunately I had been counting on this and despite running around for 20 minutes deeper into the woods looking for it, I couldn't find it. The unfortunate Kiwi or tourist will find a terrible surprise if they wander off the beaten bath. We did eventually find a bathroom after I waddled around for another 20 minutes up the road to a different car park (it was a huge relief). We saw the Fox glacier with the sun shining, but when we reached the car the clouds had become thick so we drove back to the beach. After eating dinner ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef November 12th 2011

Made it to the glacier! It was a rather cloudy day but we went to see the terminus. The glacier is actually growing, which is really interesting. The glaciers are very sensitive since they are maritime and they recede and grow accordingly. They had a lot of snowfall 5 years ago and as a result it is growing now. Couldn't get too close though because of rock and ice fall. Since we didn't want to upset their rangers by going on the glacier we went to investigate an old tunnel that was built to divert water to an area they were panning for gold in. It was 200 meters long and had just enough water in that we had to take off our boots and barefoot it. Very cool. Glow worms made up their own constellations ... read more

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