Blogs from Mount Aspiring National Park, South Island, New Zealand, Oceania - page 2


The weather was clearing for a while so we thought we would try the Copeland Track, an overnight trip to what every guide book said were amazing hot spring pools. The walk was over 17 km (10 miles) each way through a spectacular river valley (the water was such a brillant blue it looked fake). The valley began to narrow and huge, snow covered mountains appeared over the tree tops practically right above our heads. There were also plenty of waterfalls to admire. We arrived at the hut and set up camp under a huge rock overhang that explorers in the 30s used to keep dry up until they built the hut. The black flies were incredibly horrid, but the hot pools were so excellent I could have been missing a few limbs and still enjoyed ... read more

Day 13 – Saturday 26th of March After a bad night’s sleep from the thunderstorm we had yet another sleep in and a late start. After emptying our toilet and refilling our water (daily chores in the campervan world) we set out for a long day of driving. Our goal for the day was to make it to the glaciers just north of the Haast Pass. The long drive took us directly through the Mt Aspiring National Park. One of only a few in the world that is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site – basically the highest level of environmental protection that can be given. Other areas with the same protection include the Himalayas and the Grand Canyon. This natural wonderland made our trip even longer as we succumbed to several temptations to stop ... read more
Diana Falls
Our contribution to Maori Beach
Our Kea beside 2 others at Fox Glacier

(Day 682 on the road)Before I tell you about the cheapest way to go heli-hiking in New Zealand, let me share two thoughts about the (mostly) wonderful comments I receive on my blog. One, I would like to thank every single person who takes the time to leave a comment: Thank you! Comments are really what make the blog special and unique to me. So please keep them coming - praise, criticism, or just to say hello - anything is welcome. I try to respond to all comments I get, so make sure you leave your email address (it will not be shown to anyone but me)! Second, I have been somewhat surprised by the number of negative or even offensive comments I am getting from some New Zealanders about my New Zealand blog entries. As ... read more
Fox Glacier close-up
It was impossible to cross the river without the help of the friendly kayakers
Trekking across the Young Valley

Well. What a day. If we thought yesterday had been packed that was nothing compared to today. We well and truly earned our steak barbecue - although the day's efforts did mean Daz at least could not even finish a glass of wine! Started off later than planned with a lie in but straight off to Rocky Mountain and Diamond Lake for the “best ½ day walk in the South Island”. Can't say if this is true or not but it was amazing. Sort of like a super sized, super charged version of the best walks in the Lake District with beautiful views of the the huge expanse of Lake Wanaka all the way up and sight of Mt Aspiring the third highest mountain in NZ. The walk should have taken three hours but we did ... read more
view from half way up
lookout on rocky mountain
the summit

this was a while ago already, but these are the pictures i have available today so it's what you're going to get. i hiked the routeburn and greenstone tracks with michelle, the woman i met in christchurch. it was great to get out in the "wilds," kind of funny though. the first, the routeburn, was what is classified here as a "great walk" and i learned that all that means is that so many people have hiked it that the parks service huts (that's right, the parks service here provides HUTS you can stay in on treks through the woods ... who needs a tent anyway?) have become more and more well equipped so you have to pay extra money to stay in them. exciting, i know. i personally would have thought it had something to ... read more
gnarly tree
greenstone pretty

I've had a couple of months just busy with exams and so there hasn't been much room for blog worthy activities, however this weekend along with my english mate Simon (finally another englishman arrived! Took 8 months!), we climbed our first mountain!! We kind of jumped in in the deep end a bit with this one, although it's obviously not a mountain in the league of everest and the like, it was pretty hard work for us - a 5,735ft high climb up Ben Lomond in Mt Aspiring National Park. We did some training before hand and also climbed the much smaller Summit hill outside Dunedin the weekend before as a practise run for something bigger, though the final hardest section of the Ben Lomond climb was still a shock in how much it took out ... read more
Simon at the saddle
Almost there...
No thankyou

Monday 6th October Beautiful morning at Glendhu Bay, near Wanaka, and we spent the first few hours doing mundane things such as washing and preparing the van. Then on the road to the Rob Roy Glacier, termed the jewel of the Mt Aspiring National Park. We travelled about 50km from where we campedat Lake Glendhu, the last 30km on a good gravel road through farm country and very scenic. About 6km from the end cars were parked at the side of a shallow stream. As the bottom looked hard and the water wasn't too deep we continued through, this occurring several times to our destination. A group of 4 hikers thumbed us down and we gave them a lift. They had left their car with the others. Three guys and a lady, from Switzerland,Germany, England and ... read more
Glendhu Bay, near Wanaka
Cows block our path on the way to the Rob Roy rack.
Not so much snow at the start.

Two nights in the Yha in Wanaka, beside the lake. I think this might be the last lake, on to glaciers today!! I went for a walk with a view yesterday - had to do it twice as I left George's walking stick at the top and had to go back - luckily I remembered befro too long!! Alex went to the cinema, where he found unusual seating arrangements - see photo.... read more
by Lake Diamond
at the top
Mount Aspiring

Well, feeling a little nervous, jac and I embarked on this 'moderately demanding' 5 day tramp. Nervous because not only was it my longest and hardest tramp to date (average 6-8 hour days), it was also my first summer tramp, and me and heat and exercise dont normally have a particularly jolly time together. (Please note, there are three pages of photos, little blue boxes at bottom/top of page) Day 1 dawns: On a little trepidation So we set out, the shuttle drove us past the set of the new Xmen movie thats being filmed in Glenorchy at the moment, or was when we were there, and dropped us off at the road-end. Actually not quite the road end, just some arbitrary point where the road didnt end. And we set off. It was a beautiful ... read more
Aaaah, still clean, excited
Day 1 kicks off
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