Blogs from Haast Pass, South Island, New Zealand, Oceania


Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Haast Pass November 30th 2018

SC writes: Our last day in Queenstown was pretty much rained off. We did drive out about 50 kms to Glenorchy with some great views of Lake Wakatipu and Arrowtown, a ridiculously picturesque village. Both very pleasant BUT we have encountered the infamous, the dreaded, NZ midge. These are tiny flies that bite (and I do mean bite..they draw blood). The bites then itch like fury for hours....very unpleasant indeed. We remembered why we had avoided some places on the west coast back in 1994... The midges! Today we drove northwards towards the west coast at Haast. Again the scenery was stunning and the weather was ok, sunny at times but also a few showers. We stopped at Wanaka on the way, delighful town on the banks of another large lake. A smaller, more chilled version ... read more
Amazing views at every turn on the way to Haast

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Haast Pass March 19th 2018

Day 21: Hokitika to Haast, 163km. Sandflies but no orthopaedic surgeons at Lake Parenga Between the Franz Joseph and Fox glaciers, a distance of a mere 30km, the Donkey had to haul Spot over three saddles, 321m, 408m and 411m high. It was hard work and the Donkey’s left knee did not like it and went on strike. C’mon knee, give me a hand here, the Donkey pleaded but Knee shook his head, closed his eyes and crossed his arms over his chest, not willing to discuss the matter any further. So the Donkey carried on with only one functional knee even if in theory he should still have three working knees left, as donkeys have 4 legs with 4 knees, but today the Donkey felt he only had two knees, he did not know why ... read more
Fox  River
Fox valley with Mount Cook in the background
Bruce Bay

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Haast Pass April 15th 2017

Today we awoke to (wait for it...) misty rain. The remnants of the cyclone were still being felt across the South island, and we prayed that on this day before Easter, we would start to see a break in the weather. Even with the rain and mist, we made the most of our time. We decided to see if we could view the Franz Josef glacier (no luck seeing the ice), and Lake Matheson (no luck again), before we finally had a change at the Fox glacier. It was a challenging hike, but we were rewarded with some spectacular views of the ice and dozens of waterfalls. The only thing that could have made it better was if there was more sun. After a couple of hours trekking through woods and across rock beds, we began ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Haast Pass September 24th 2014

We are visiting the part of New Zealand where the rainfall is measured in metres rather than centimetres yet we didn’t have one drop of rain fall on us today. We awoke to another beautiful West Coast day.OK there was a little bit of cloud here and there but the forecast for the day looks good for walking. After another lie in we breakfasted and prepared ourselves for departure. Although before we leave Franz Josef our niece, Catherine, has invited us to ‘go behind the scenes’ and visit the area in the Wildlife Centre where the Kiwi eggs are incubated, hatched and the chicks raised before they are released back into the wild. Catherine gave us a personal tour outlining the process from the arrival of the egg from a Kiwi nest in the forest through ... read more
Franz Josef Glacier
The massive chunk of ice now alone from the glacier face
Franz Josef Glacier face

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Haast Pass February 12th 2014

Woensdag 5 Februari 2014: Het Duitse team heeft tot diep in de nacht een feestje gebouwd, gelukkig deden de oorstoppen hun ding maar ne sandflies-beten deden dat ook nog. Ik slaap wat langer en na het ontbijt krijgt men Santos zijn maandelijks onderhoud, ik trek ook de remkabel terug aan ipv de stelvijsjes te gebruiken. De was van gisteren is na het nachtelijke regenbuitje terug droog. Ik ga vervolgens naar het centrum en ga verschillende winkels binnen op zoek naar reflecterende bandjes of dergelijke voor men zwarte jas en naar USB-geheugen om men GoPro-films naar huis te sturen. Ik ga even bij KFC iets eten maar dit is veel te zout! Men voorkeur ging eigenlijk uit naar een vers soepje maar de keuken was al dicht van de desbetreffende tent. Uiteindelijk vind ik bij the Warehouse, ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Haast Pass March 28th 2013

Hello All. We left off last time having just about landed in Christchurch after 3 days of transit from Bangkok. Luckily we had the foresight to pre-book our camper (and we also had the foresight to take out liability reduction, but we will come to that later...) but we landed at 3am and couldn't pick up the van until Alex slept on a bench for an hour or so (maybe) until we got told that we had to sit up! By this point we were just exhausted, and Alex didn't feel well so it wasn't the best experience ever. Eventually 8am arrived and we went to the camper van place. We used Mighty Campers, and we booked a tiny little camper which basically had a bed and a cool box and a gas we ... read more
On the way to Akaroa
Queenstown from the Gondola
Kayaking on Lake Wakatipu

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Haast Pass November 17th 2012

Another 4 hour drive (everywhere of interest on the west coast is 4 hours away, even the next town). Spectacular scenery and 3 geographical areas on route, plains, subtropical and glacial. Nowhere in the world can offer this contrast in such a small area.... read more
The shaky bridge
Roaring Billy waterfall

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Haast Pass March 6th 2012

First a couple of corrections to previous blogs. Connie tells me that the guide at the High Country Farm near Queenstown was Lindsay not Leslie. Sorry about that. Also, yesterday I posted a picture of a one way bridge without much of an explanation. It turns out the road south from Greymouth was one of the last sections of highway completed (in the early ‘60s) due to the small number of people living on the west coast of NZ. Therefore, to save some money the Government decided that all the rivers could be crossed one car at a time. Since there are lots of rivers that means there are lots of one way bridges. After crossing a number of them on a first come basis, Connie figured out that there were some rules for the bridges. ... read more
I hope they realize dinner is the salmon
They call me Ishmal...
and my sidekick Connie

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Haast Pass March 4th 2012

We got up first thing Tuesday morning for a walk down to the Queenstown CBD to pick up the car. We had previously scouted out the Avis location and found a bakery for breakfast around the corner. While it wasn’t as good as Fergburger is sufficed to get us going. We picked up the car, a pretty new Camry and set off on the left side of the road. The first excitement, right outside the Avis lot, the town was doing something major to the street so a bit of a construction detour, but we got through that and came to our first round-a-bout (or rotary or traffic circle), as the signs say we “give way” to the cars on our right and turn into the circle to the left. By this point (about 50m from ... read more
and Wheels
How to paint a Canberra
On NZ Rt. 6 going north

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Haast Pass December 24th 2011

No wonder NZ beef taste so good. Because they were happy when they lived! They were mostly grew free range, with clean air, fresh water, pretty scenery… And no visit to NZ is complete without taking picture of the cows and sheeps at the fields. There are so many of them across NZ, I even saw dots of sheeps before my plane landed out of Christchurch. So with so many options, it’s natural to wish that I could get the perfect setting as background. How about mountain capped with snow and glacier plus some blue sky? Boom. We got it. I asked M to take a turn for no strong reason. And when we least expected – there it is. The setting that I wanted. M called it my chain of lucks (referring to the endless ... read more
The Inception @ Bruce Bay
Blue Pools, Haast
Ship Creek @ West Coast

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