Blogs from Arthur's Pass National Park, South Island, New Zealand, Oceania - page 3


Another short birdy trip out of Hokitika, this time for blue ducks, a pair of which had been seen recently on Pegleg Creek up the top of Arthur's Pass. Blue duck or whio (their Maori name, after the whistling call they make) are one of the few ducks specifically adapted for life in white-water rapids and, like most endemic birds of New Zealand, they are now endangered. There are a couple of spots in the North Island where you can still reliably turn up and see them, but in the South Island they are now mainly found in the mountains, driven from all their former haunts in lowland rivers by the predations of stoats and cats. And sadly it is mainly the females that get killed as they sit on their nests, so now there are ... read more
Blue Duck (Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos)
Blue Duck (Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos)
Kea (Nestor notabilis) on the Dobson Memorial

15th April ’12 FJ to Christchurch Not a lot of sleep last night due to incredibly hot throbbing sand fly bites, they itch worse than mossie bites, my fingers now resemble a pound of extra thick pork sausages and I can’t get my ring on! Thankfully I still have some anti- histamines knocking around in the medicine kit and my Boots anti-histamine bite cream. So today’s hitch hikers were a couple of lovely young Danish lads called Soren and Mik, only 21 years old bless ‘em and 3 months into their 6 months of travelling. We picked them up as they had the nouse to make a sign saying split fuel cost. Poor guys were squashed in the back seat with their packs as the boot was full of ours and our grub! Still they didn’t ... read more

This is a bit back logged and things are being posted out of order...but we wanted to share photos of our (so far) favorite spot in New Zealand. We stayed the night in the Crow hut, nestled in the Crow river valley. It was an exciting trip to the hut with some stunning scenery. -sean... read more

So here’s the story of how things went down in New Zealand. On the second Friday and Saturday of February every year the world’s elite Multisport Racers and the weekend warriors gather in Kumara (a small village) on the west coast of the south island of New Zealand to attempt to cross the country as individuals or paired teams. Everyone gathers at the town hall for a pre race banquet and race briefing on the Thursday evening and this is preceded with registration at the local racecourse where 95% of competitors camp out awaiting their event. The 2 day individuals and teams start their event on the Friday morning at 6am when the support crews leave the competitors and head to the first transition area at a place called Aiken’s corner and the competitors cycle 5km ... read more
dry run

After feeding the body and having a wash we went to see the start area of the race at Kumara Beach. Another one horse town literally as it has a racecourse, a shop, a town hall and that’s it. So 800 teams and their support crews (thanks again Niamh) all popping in for a cup of tea and to register for the race tomorrow should be fun, probably the biggest thing to happen out this way since well last year’s race. Today was bike day so we drove from the beach start up the gravel track and onto what the kiwis call a slight incline on paved road; slight incline means mt Everest steep. We stopped off at the run to bike transition and I jumped onto the bike. 55kms of rolling hills with a 7 ... read more

I wish the car is red, I wish the car is red, I wish the car is red…. And… It turns out to be blue. Well, as long as the rental car can run smoothly, I can live with that ha ha. I told M I’m sorry I forgot my driver’s license, which means he has to drive until end of our South Island circle. “You don’t look genuinely sorry”, he said. I just grin. I sincerely forgot to bring it, but I seriously don’t think he’ll ever let me get behind the wheel anyway. There are basically 2 paths that you can take to reach Queenstown from Christchurch: via Arthur’s Pass, or via Mount Cook. I chose the combination of both. We will go via Arthur’s Pass first, and after reaching Queenstown we will enroute ... read more
Lupin Fields!!!!
Very clear Water @ Waimakariri River, Arthur's Pass
Dude, Where's the Kiwi? (never saw one)

After meeting up with Victoria and travelling to Franz Josef, the three of us decided to continue on to Arthur's Pass National Park. On our drive, Victoria caught up on her sleep in the back seat and Rosalie and I reveled at the view. We were visited during one of our pit stops by a New Zealand bird called a Kia, who is basically's Canada's raccoon. This cute, curious green bird can be very trouble-some, known to pulled the rubber off the edge of your car door. There were signs at our pit stop to not feed the birds, and Rosalie and I turned around to see Victoria sitting on the ground and sharing her sandwich with the bird...ah well, a little treat never hurt anyone.... read more
Arthurs Pass  Danika (89)
Arthurs Pass  Danika (3)
Arthurs Pass  Danika (4)

Great hike today, weather perfect. Went through the Mountains of Arthur's Pass National Park - 9 to 10 miles. Quite technical up and down, beautiful scenary. Got to see Magic Mushrooms, will try to download the picture here - they are the hallucingentic type of mushrooms. The story of Santa Claus comes from these mushrooms and the administering of them in the Norwegian area of the world. They create visions of red and white (Santa Claus colors) and think you have super human strength (able to have reindeer fly). They have what they call a braid river, the path changes on a plateau in the valley and looks like a braid. Try to upload some of that also. Trivia - outhouses are called LONG DROP. :). Getting ready to have a recovery a beer before dinner... ... read more
Magic Mushrooms
Braided River

Made it to Christchurch - barely. The shuttle driver got us to the airport late and the flight was already closed. Luckily Qantas did an override and got us on the plane, the ticket agent was wonderful - called the gate told them to wait and walked us through security to meet it. Whew. Beautiful day, since Christchurch was earthquake damaged the trip was modified to have us stay at a Wilderness lodge, a wonderful place. Went on a short hike, took a short drive at night to see the Milky Way, the Southern Cross and the millions of stars. Oh my, it was unbelievable. I have never seen that many stars away from the City. According to the owner, there are many more stars in the Southern Hemisphere than the Northern. The food was wonderful, ... read more

March 4, 2011 - Carrington Hut After the last tramp, I needed some rest. And I got it. Several very nice rest days. Before too long though, you start to feel the itch to get back out. We had made our way to Christchurch to resupply at Jim and Helen's. We headed out and drove to Lake Clearwater to camp for the night. It was very windy, but we managed to find a place to camp in some trees, which provided shelter from the gales. In the morning we drove by Mount Sunday. The small green bump lies in the midst of a gigantic green valley. What makes it cool is that it is where Edoras, the capital of Rohan was built and filmed for the Lord of the Rings. Starring at the hill, I allowed ... read more

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