Page 15 of tonywilsonslo Travel Blog Posts

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Waitomo Caves December 3rd 2007

Today's the day, our Blackwater rafting trip. 5 hours of caves, underground rivers, and innertubes. It started with an introduction to the trip and getting fitted out with Wetsuits, gumboots, helmets and harnesses. Next we headed out to the start of our trek to pratice repeling. Next we repeled 35 meters down in to the caves. The trip down started with 5 m out in space then a tight fit through the cave opening. Then it was ~25 m down the cave wall to a platform. Anne went first, then Tony, two other people on the tour, and then Chris. After a short walk we hooked up to a Flying Fox (also known a a zip line) for a fast ride in the dark, dark except for the glow worms. Anne didn't see the glow worms, ... read more
210m underground
Anne Repel

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Rotorua December 3rd 2007

Today we started off with another yummy B&B breakfast and then headed out to the Skyline Gondolas to ride the luge. We took an intial ride down the 2 km scenic route and then headed for the intermediate track. The Scenic route was very bumpy but Hamster got to ride along. The Intermidiate track was much faster and much smoother. Tony and Chris made Anne go last since she kept slowing down. there were lots of nice banks and speedy parts. From there we debated checking out "New Zealand's Largest 3D Maze" but we passed. Tony and Chris went golfing (increadibly cheap) and Anne went to get a new haircut and do some souviner shopping (not so cheap :) ). We left for Waitomo later that afternoon, a nice drive into the western hills to another ... read more
Quintal Lift
Chris Chillin
Lovely Rotorua

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Rotorua November 29th 2007

Today we started the morning with a another great breakfast at the Seaview B&B (we're learning to really enjoy muselli) and then on the road again. Today's trip was relativly short, it was just a few hours from Napier to Rotorua. We even bought a few used CD's (Arlo Guthrie, REO Speedwagon and Fleetwood Mac) to add some music to the trip. Unfortunatly we only got through the first 15min of Alices Resturant when the CD player in the car broke. We were trully bummed and Tony was looking forward to hearing the Pickle song. After the three hour drive to Rotorua we checked into our B&B. It's pretty close to town and the hosts are very friendly and helpful. The rooms are very nice and they even have thier own thermal pool. The whole area ... read more
First Waterfall
Anne Out

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Rotorua November 28th 2007

Today we took a wine tour. We woke up early and had breakfast at our Bed and Breakfast. Our host was fantastic!! Unfortunately, it seems they are auctioning (selling) the business in a month, so we would be unlikely to see her again if we came through. We walked on the beach and collected beach glass. It was very hard to find glass on this beach. Not enough trash 10 years ago, I guess. Tony was VERY happy to be in Napier. For those who don't know... Tony played a Dungeons and Dragons character for 4 years named Napier. It was a name he made up, so he was very happy to see a town with the same name. The fact that it is a very fun art-deco town on the coast in the middle of ... read more
Beach Glass
Wine and Cheese

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Napier November 27th 2007

Today we took an all day Lord of the Rings tour. It was actually quite fun. We went around and saw about 6 or 7 filming locations. The tour guide was quite knowledgable about LOTR and Wellington. We went on another swing bridge right near Rivendell. This one was shorter, but older.. it swung quite a bit and bounced a lot too. After the tour, we traded in our rental car (again) for another Mazda. The only thing wrong with this one so far is that the radio is not a digital tuner (though it is a digital display with a CD... odd). no presets, no scan. Not that radio stations are very powerful in NZ. A 4 hour drive up the east coast put us into a very nice Bed and Breakfast in Napier, right ... read more
Anne as Legolas

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Wellington November 26th 2007

We've passed the half way point in our trip. Today was dedicated to crossing from Picton on the South Island to Wellington on the North. We took some time in the morning to view some scenery around Picton and then heady for vehicle check-in at 12:15 at the Ferry terminal. After parking the car we haded upstairs to the veiw deck (Deck 8) and proceeded to waste several hours playing cards while the ferry sailed across the channel. The view was great and the water not too rough. After trying to walk across the floor Anne decided that it was best to stay seated though while in the middle of the channel. Upon arriving in Wellington we immediatle tryed to find the Rental company...again. Our latest rental car seems to have issues with a belt of ... read more
In the hold
Hotel View
Hamster Meets (baby) Heifer

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Kaikoura November 25th 2007

We drove from Christchurch in the moring towards Kaikoura and Picton. Kaikoura has lots of ocean tours including Swimming with Dolphins and Seal and Albatross viewing. (Monty Python warning....ALBATROSS!) We took an afternoon tour to look at the Albatross. Kaikoura is one of the few places you can see Albatross so close to land. There is a very deep sea trench close to Kaikoura and at night there are lots of squid and other animals that the albatross eat close to the waters surface. We saw lots of birds and animals on the tour. The birds we saw include Wandering, Black-browed and Salvins Albatross, Petrels, Shearwaters, Shags, Terns, Gulls, a Gannet and a couple of Reef Herons that looked to be setting up a nest. We also saw some New Zealand fur seals and a pod ... read more
Red Beaked Gull
Chris on the Boat

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Christchurch November 24th 2007

We got a REALLY late start this morning. We took care of a few things before heading out for the day. We all needed to do some laundry and Tony took the rental car to the local brach because the check engine light kept coming on. The rental company exchanged our Subaru for a Mazda, we'll see how that goes. We went to the Antartic Expirence outside of Christchurch this afternoon. They had lots of information about Antartica and a few really neat things to do. They had one room set up to simulate a storm at the main base in Antartica. The room tmperature started at 17.4 deg F and when the wind started the wind chill brought the temperature down to 0 degrees. We were all bundled up in jackets though and the storm ... read more
Big Kiwi

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Christchurch November 24th 2007

Today we got a late start and wandered around Canturbury College and Christchurch City Center. Anne's brother, Matt, asked us to check out the college and the city to see if it would be somewhere he would be interested in teaching after he finishes his Ph.D at Georgia Tech. The college was a typical college built in the early 90s...lots of concrete and glass. there were some very nice gardens and courtyards for students to gather. The college used to be in the city center in some wonderful old buildings from the 1870s. Those buildings are now an art center for the city. The city has a lot of culture and activities (shopping, clubing, shopping, theater, shopping, etc) in the city center and there are a lot of other things to do in the surrounding area ... read more
Some Architecture
Artsy waterwall

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast » Buller Gorge November 22nd 2007

The rafting trip was not cancled. A couple from the Netherlands signed up for the trip last night. We met up with the rafting company at thier base close to Westport and then followed them up to the take out point. It saved us about an hour's drive east after the rafting trip was done. Then we hopped on the van with the raft and drove to the put in point about 11 km up the buller gorge. The trip was lots of fun. A good introduction to rafting for Chris. There were a few nice rapids and everyone worked well together. Anne got out and floated down the river through some small rapid a couple of times. Tony took a swim twice too, but only once was intentional. Tony also jumped off the side of ... read more
People Rafting
WAY up

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