Blogs from Franz Josef, South Island, New Zealand, Oceania - page 8


Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef January 24th 2012

Had a good run up to Franz Josef via Lake Wanaka. Left sharpish and were at Lake Wanaka (via Kawarau Gorge) before 10. Lovely day - again! Bumped into a couple from Gouraock that we'd met in Dunedin - they gave us a recommendation for breakfast. Fabulous views over the lake. Stopped off at Lake Hawea (impressive),Thunder Creek Falls (less impressive 'cos of lack of rain),Roaring Billy (ditto the comment for Thunder Creek) before popping into Haast for a toilet break - where Rae bought a Merino,not in the toilet! Had lunch at Knights Point overlooking the ocean - wonderful blue water! Went to Lake Mathieson near Fox Glacier but, disppointingly,the mirror effect was spoiled by the wind rippling the water.Still............ Accommodation very good again - a very well-equipped self-catering chalet. Off to the Franz ... read more
Lake Wanaka....
Lake Hawea.....
On the road to Haast...

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef January 23rd 2012

To get to the South Island we had to get the Interislander ferry from Wellington to Picton which took about 3 hours which wasn't as bad as it sounds as the there are some nice views as you approach the south island through the Marlborough sounds and also we saw some dolphins up close along the way (in fact we were closer to them than when we went on a dolphin spotting cruise back in Australia!!) Once we reached the South Island the weather was already much better than on the north island and it wasn't long into our drive to Nelson before we started seeing the even better scenery Fran had said to expect!! We were in Nelson for just 2 nights and decided just to take it easy and just did a bit of ... read more
Punakaiki pancake rocks
Pancake rocks

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef January 2nd 2012

Well its been a few days since we've been in touch, so firstly Happy New Year to you all! We entered the new year 13 hours ahead of you this year, and have had a great 2012 so far. We have lots of news to catch up on since we last blogged. On our last morning in Kaikoura, we woke to a grey day which promised drizzle so we pressed on towards Christchurch and found a motel on the outskirts of the city before picking up the campervan the next morning. During our stay there were 2 small earthquakes - one at 10:50pm, which we felt, and apparently another at 5am. Only lasting a few seconds, but still quite an experience. So we were fairly glad to collect the camper and leave the city the next ... read more
lunch on the go - check out the view outside the window!
New Years Eve on the beach
In an ice cave

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef December 23rd 2011

When I saw pictures of my friends doing glacier hike in Facebook, I’m determined I will do it one day. And then when planning the trip, I realized there is more than one choice. The famous options are: Franz Josef Glacier or Fox Glacier. I googled up view images and see the videos as well – and decided to do the Franz Josef. Why? Well, from what I read – the Fox Glacier requires more bush walking before you’re in front of the glacier itself. Besides, Franz Josef looks bigger. I already set my expectation that the glacier will not be all blue like in the cartoon. From what I saw in the internet, it will actually be dusty grey with dirt everywhere. And indeed that was the case. Well, unless you climb really far up, ... read more
Ice Cave - yes, it's dusty with dirt but it's so cool!
Sandwiched by the Glacier Walls!
Fierce Shoes - but I'm sure Carrie Bradshaw wouldn't wanna wear it

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

After leaving Queenstown, I started my journey back up towards Auckland starting with Wanaka, which is a lovely town, again on the edge of it's own lake and with lots of the same activities as Queenstown but less boisterous! There are some good walks, Puzzle World and a quirky cinema call Paradiso that has sofas and armchairs to sit in and serves home-made cookies and ice-cream in the intermission. Continuing on my way North, I stopped at a place called Haast - why? because the guidebook said it was good for bird-watching so I thought a nice place to relax. That didn't work out though because, firstly it rained most of the day but apart from that, as it typical in New Zealand you really need your own transport as the bird-watching is a few kilometres ... read more
Lake Hawea
Franz Joseph
Closer view of Franz Joseph

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

This is a work in progress... Thursday 8th Dec Leaving the National Park, we made our way to Wellington. I've not heard great things about Wellington and I'm not particularly exciting so I'm really pleasantly surprised when we get there to find a buzzing, bustling (by NZ standards), but equally chilled city by the sea. We book into Base hostel in the centre and get a room on the 6h floor with fantastic views over the harbor. we leave tomorrow bright and early to catch the 7am ferry but I stay out drinking with new friends regardless. We go to a weird bar called 'Alice', down a dodgy back alley and feel like we're the only ones that know about this place as we are taken there by locals. We arrive and are led down a ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef December 13th 2011

13.12.2011 Woke up hungover this morning with Sophie still wearing the granny nighty that she wore for the fancy dress. After a cold shower to wake us up, we headed to a Bushmans museum where it showed us how people made a living on the coast by farming deer. Then did a quick interactive tour around the museum with some practcal jokes in there aswell. We got back on the bus to hear the winners of the fancy dress competition. In 3rd place was a guy dressed as a printer, 2nd place was Emily dressed as pin up girl (she won free pics to a bungee jump), and 1st place was me and Sophie who won a free canyon swing! Which is said to be the best activity in New Zealand. Everyone said they voted for ... read more

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

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