Glaciers & Sounds

Published: January 10th 2011
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The Final Blog

I hope this is the last missive I'll send out. Only major drama on the way home would provide the

occasion to post again and we don't want that.

I don't have much to say about Mt Cook since it was in the clouds the day we were there. It was

pouring down rain but we stayed in the DOC camp there and listened to the frustrated mountaineers

grump. Example: ALL Americans hate ALL Canadians! Really? I don't care for Celine Dion but I

love Steve Martin...

Near Wanaka are a number of glaciers but we chose one of the lesser tramped ones, the Rob Roy

Glacier at Mt. Aspiring Natl Park. It was a relatively short hike (10K) but with killer scenic

value! A waterfall that got blown back up, a glacier and a Kea which is the wild parrot with a

wicked sense of humor.

The Wanaka area is so beautiful (I could definitely live there). Our holiday park was so awesome

that I never wanted to leave. However, we had a cruise on Doubtful Sound scheduled so off we


Domestic Elk Domestic Elk Domestic Elk

Very LOTR-ish we thought.
cruise was great. By this time I was beginning to get tourist fatigue: standing in lines,

routine chitty-chat, riding buses, etc. However, the cruise was the most relaxing, scenic thing

I've ever done. A beautiful boat ride up Lake Wakapiatu then a short bus ride (sweet, cushy bus!)

over a pass brought us to the head of the sound. There the Fjordland Navigator waited for its 70

passengers. There were lots of viewing decks and relaxing lounges to watch the amazing scenery

outside. Rob took advantage of the kayaks to view the waterfalls plunging down the cliffs. Ant &

I were definitely over kayaking after Able Tasman!

The weather was stunning and the crew let us know how lucky we were. On the Christmas cruise

nobody could go outside on the decks because of 80 knot winds. The food was really good which I

hear is the hallmark of a great cruise.

Lastly, the penguin colony at Oamaru. No photos though. Cameras were banned. We assembled at an

amphitheatre overlooking the sea near an old quarry. The quarry had overgrown with native bushes

and at the foot of
Happy CowsHappy CowsHappy Cows

On the way up to Mt Aspiring. I know I take a lot of pix of cows but I like them!
it was a grassy, hilly area. I can only describe it as Shire-like. The little

hillocks had small openings built in which were the nesting boxes of the penguins (provided by

humans, of course, as Penguins can't hold a hammer). Just after dusk small groups of blue

penguins, called "rafts" began to swim in from the sea. They waddled up the steep shoreline and

into the nest area. If they had chicks they would scoot to the nests quickly but otherwise they'd

stand around in little groups socializing and doing the little penguin dance. Some would bump

chests or slide down the little grassy hills.

We stayed until they were done coming in from the sea and the host invited us down to the fence to

see them very close up. One sneaked under the fence and stood on Rob's foot. He was ecstatic.

They're a very small penguin, about a foot high and weigh around a kilo. He bonded immediately

with the little guy.

OK, really lastly, I made Rob & Ant go to an English garden with me. Anthony stayed near the van

and juggled but Rob went with me. I wish my sister Carla had been there. She would have loved

it. I'll include some pix of that, too.

Additional photos below
Photos: 32, Displayed: 24


Mt. AspiringMt. Aspiring
Mt. Aspiring

On the way up to Rob Roy we got great views of Aspiring.
Kayakers in SoundKayakers in Sound
Kayakers in Sound

Rob's in the blue boat.
Snug Cove Snug Cove
Snug Cove

The beautiful side arm of Doubtful where we dropped anchor for the night.

10th January 2011

Rob Birthday
Rob, Just wanted to let you know we will be thinking of you on the 12th even tho it is a day early here. Happy Birthday!!!Hope your bungee jump won't be as dangerous as I think it might be. Roy, Thanks so much for letting us live vicariously thru your informative blog and great pics. Might there have been another reason for hiking the Rob Roy Glacier other than it being less trampled? Somehow I have forgotten when you are due back in the USA. Hope the trip goes well and you aren't too exhausted. Look forward to hearing from you. Love Mom/Bev
11th January 2011

south island
WOW..THIS BLOG JUST GETS BETTER. We've enjoyed it so much. Have a good flight home. I hop it's from NZ andnot Northern Austrailia. Love Mom
11th January 2011

south island
ROB ROY Glacier..something about that name. Mom

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