Blogs from Fiordland National Park, South Island, New Zealand, Oceania - page 31


Today we are cruising the Tasman Sea between the southern tip of New Zealand and the southern tip of Tasmania, a large island just off the south coast of Australia. And since everything is upside down in this hemisphere, this is the point closest to the South Pole in our trip and therefore the coldest. Not really freezing, but very chilly and windy out on the deck and the seas are a bit rough. Thanks to some kind of magic in modern shipbuilding, the ship doesn’t roll in a way that makes people seasick, thank goodness. But we are all content to stay quiet inside. No picturesque loafers around the pool today. Yesterday we sailed up Milford Sound on the coast of New Zealand - I had thought we were on the way to Australia, but ... read more
Milford Sound
Milford Sound
Milford Sound

4 days, of amazing views. 5 nights Freezing cold crampt tents with Mike me and Clarke all sharing a 2 man tent hmmmmm i am still not over your farts Clarke they are disgusting but i admit they did keep us warm so i thankyou. I made a vital error whilst in Queenstown preparing for this trek. I did'nt buy any boots and had to make do with a pair of old sneakers. Not a good idea, but i made it! the sneakers did'nt. You feel like you've hiked to the top of the world on some parts of this track, its truely beautiful, also surreal to be walking along the side of a mountain to look down and see clouds beneath you and planes flying beneath you. Gorgeous part of the world so clean & ... read more
Moments before slipping onto my arse for the 4th time
Mike - Me - Clarke

I was pretty jealous of the folk who had perfectly clear weather and took a scenic flight back to Queenstown, so you can imagine how happy I was to wake up and find that yesterday's overcast weather had cleared and once again the sun was shining without a cloud in sight. I phoned the airline and arranged to be picked up from my hostel, taken to the airport, a 45min scenic flight and a transfer back to the hostel in Queenstown.  Yep, the credit card has absorbed yet another one of my impulses which I will have to deal with when I get home!!! It turned out to be even better than that though - for no extra charge a hunky pilot picked me up and flew me back to Queenstown!!! Oh yeah!!! You will be pleased to ... read more
More reflection lakes
Small 4 seater plane

A more reasonable start this morning a cushie 9.50am pick-up from my hostel by the kayak instructor Wayne. Yes, I am going kayaking again - this is the one place I was determined to have a go at it before I even arrived in N.Z. so despite being on many kayak trips already, I booked a full day trip - surely I should be good at it by now....This is the furthest south I have been on my trip and this was also set to be the coldest trip I had been on to date, so I was pretty pleased that the kayak folk had lovely matching stripey thermal gear to dress up in as well as fleeces, beanies (hats) and spray jackets in a fabulous shade of purple.Back in a tandem kayak - which are ... read more
Colour-coordinated kayaks

It was an early 6 o'clock in the morning start from Queenstown and when my alarm went off I could not remember why - possibly because of the whole tea-pot I drank last night without any help or the few hours sleep I had recieved but after a few minutes I came too and remembered that I was taking the most scenic tour in New Zealand to the Milford Sound I have since learned that Milford is actually a fiord (glacier carved then sea flooded) rather than a 'sound' (river carved then sea flooded) In preperation for the long winding roads to one of the most remote areas in the country and the 3hr boat cruise I took one of handy travel-sick pills - I am now blaming this substance on the reason why I missed ... read more
Milford Boat Cruise
Mirror Lakes

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

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

Geo: -44.6698, 167.928Postcard to Paul: This is where we're heading now. Yesterday we spent the whole day on the road. We've rented a caravan and so travel in style. Saw a lot of Christchurch which is very quaint.breakfastlinger at lakeRAINchasm stopto Queenstownfun fun shoppingwe take hotel, showerdinner at Upstairs Downstairs (yum yum)write, sleep... read more

Tot: 1.32s; Tpl: 0.031s; cc: 12; qc: 71; dbt: 0.0453s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 2; ; mem: 1.4mb