Blogs from Franz Josef, South Island, New Zealand, Oceania - page 7


Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef December 8th 2011

Leaving Fjordland, making our way to the west coast, we crossed over the southern alps, and started to head north again. The first spectacle is glacier country, with the Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier. Glaciers, next to rainforest, next to ocean. Amazing. Further up the coast, along a rollercoaster winding road like none I've ever experienced before, along the open ocean and through dense rainforest, there are the punakaiki rocks, another geological phenomenon. This is one of the most awesome coastal ocean drives imagineable.... read more
Cruising the West Coast
Trekking to the glacier
Franz Josef Glacier 1

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef November 21st 2011

I left Rotorua and moved on to Taupo on Friday 11th November, after a very messy night out in Rotorua. I did manage to catch 11am and got the bus to have a 2 minute silence for Armistice Day, and we were probably the first people in the world to have a silence. Taupo is in the centre of the North Island and Lake Taupo is the biggest lake in New Zealand. The lake is surrounded by mountains (one of which was used as Mount Doom in the Lord of the Rings films) and the scenery is absolutely beautiful. However, as I was disgustingly hungover, I spent the day attempting to wander around town before giving up and spending the afternoon asleep. The hangover then turned into a full-blown run-down cold, cough and general lergy, and ... read more
Being Aragorn
Me being Legolas
Me in Mordor

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

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef October 22nd 2011

Another drive, farther north. This time, we were headed to the gorgeous glaciers at Franz Josef. We pulled into our hotel, the reward we had all been looking forward to after mediocre sleeps in hostels and on friend's floors. Many people hike above and along the top of the glacier ridge, but we found it beautiful enough, staying safely on the ground. Along our hikes at Franz Josef, we came across many stunning waterfalls...can't get enough waterfalls!... read more
Franz Josef Danika 001
Franz Josef Danika 011
Franz Josef Danika 012

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef October 19th 2011

Stray Second week adventures! Another day, another road trip.. this time leaving Taupo and making our way over to the Blue Duck Station in Whakahoro (pronounced f***-a-whore.. much to everyones amusement!). We stopped off at Taupo Bungy as some of our group wanted the morning adrenaline fix. Always fun watching them, especially the big guys who are most scared! We then took a leisurely cruise up to the farm, which is the most remote area of the North Island.. Nice drive up there, and we were assured the scenery is spectacular, although the rain was so bad we couldn’t see much! Upon arrival, Wendy who helps run the lodge gave us a rundown on the history and all the conservation stuff they get up to. The place was stunning - we had 9000 acres to explore! ... read more
Fox Glacier
Mirror lake
Fox Glacier(check Darrens new tattoo)

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef October 14th 2011

Well we have now been in New Zealand for just over two weeks, so as we are half way through our time here I thought I would update you all on what has been happening as it has been pretty crazy! After arriving in Auckland after a mammoth flight, the first couple of days were pretty easy going, went to the rugby fan zone - which the big rugby ball surprised us both immensely as a superb 10 minute film was projected onto the ceiling, giving us the illusion that we were actually inside a real-life ruby ball - as well as beginning the Lord of the Rings craziness by already meeting Gollum and an Orc. The real fun began a couple of days later when we were introduced to the Kiwi Experience bus... As soon ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef July 20th 2011

Early Bird is catching the worm auf deutsch: Morgenstund hat Gold im Mund!!!! Darum ging's für uns morgens um 6:30 Uhr raus aus dem warmen Schlafsack um uns mit scrambled eggs (Rührei) für den bevorstehenden Tag zu stärken. Ausgestattet mit langen Unterhosen, Wanderhose, obenrum 4 schichtig, Kappe und Handschuh machten wir uns auf den Weg zum Treffpunkt. Dort bekamen wir noch eine zusätzliche wetterfeste Jacke und Hose. Das Wichtigste waren die Steigeisen. Ohne die wären wir in der eisigen Gletscherwelt aufgeschmissen gewesen. Am Franz Josef Gletscher angekommen, mussten wir noch ca. 30 min. über ein Geröllfeld zur Gletscherzunge laufen. Ab hier war nur noch mit den Steigeisen ein weiteres vorankommen möglich. Unser Weg führte uns durch stellenweise nur schulterbreite Gletscherspalten, ausgespülte Höhlen und über steile Eiskanten. Immer wieder musste unsere Guide neue S... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef July 9th 2011

So the second night is always the hardest to deal with jetlag. Chester was so tired she didn’t take her Ambien, but then she woke up at 2:30. Kirsten woke up around 4 and realized Chester was awake so they started an intense game of hangman on her phone. With some help form Chester, Kirsten got her high score. Around 5:30AM there was a slight shake of our beds. You guessed it; Chester lived through her first earthquake. Well really an aftershock that probably didn’t even register on the scale. But it still counts. We finally got out of bed and headed over to the train station to catch the TransAlpine Express from Christchurch on the east coast of the south island across to the west side ending in Greymouth. It was about a 4.5 hour ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef June 10th 2011

Hello to all, Sorry again for taking so long to update my blog. I will try to update you all more often. We are currently in New Zealand but obviously had three weeks down the East Coast of Australia. It was amazing and as some of you know we kept ourselves busy and tried to see and do as much as possible. We started in Cairns and went to the Daintree Rainforest on a day trip, this was well worth it so thanks to Mel for the tip! We then started heading down the coast visiting places on the way. A highlight down the coast was definitely sailing the Whitsunday islands, we did this for 2 days and 1 night, it was out of this world. Whitehaven beach was truly beautiful and the photo's don't do ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef April 4th 2011

Ended up being too foggy for us to do the Helicopter ride, so instead we hiked the Glacier - going up. Stunning views, ice caves, holes that go all the way through, chunks of it falling off while we were there. A great tour. After that headed to the hot pools, glacier water filled pools that are heated. Stayed in those for over an hour, they are outside and it was misting out, great way to finish after the hike on the glacier. Ate a simple dinner outside in town, still misting, but covered patio with heaters, a few glasses of wine later and back to the hotel. Another great day. Today we biked 90K, it was raining the first 45K. But like the locals say, don't visit a rainforest if you don't expect it to ... read more

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