Blogs from Queenstown, South Island, New Zealand, Oceania

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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown November 26th 2022

Back to Queenstown for our final day in New Zealand. I can’t believe how fast this time has passed by and how much we have seen and done. But the vacay isn’t over yet! There’s still Fiji to come. On arrival back in Queenstown, the bus dropped us at the Harbour front to go find our own lunch. Jane, Anne & I sat on a bench and ate cheese, crackers and salami and then wandered around the pedestrian shopping mall until it was time for us to check into the hotel (same one we stayed at a couple of days ago but different rooms this time). Going out for a short walk - 6 kms later we struggled back up the “Torture Hill” from the downtown. But what a beautiful walk we had around the headland ... read more
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Paradise Shelducks: male left, female right
Tui bird

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown November 24th 2022

What an adventure we had this morning! We all piled into a jet boat and went white water rafting up and down the river, through the rapids and doing 360 spins. Anne & I were screaming & squealing with laughter. A couple of times we screamed because we came within a foot of cliffs of the river canyon and thought we were going to crash. But the driver was experienced and she knew what she was doing. Then it was time for lunch at The Stoaker Room. We were in an outside tent at a long banquet style table with birds flying around inside looking for handouts. The food is slow cooked/smoked in oak barrels and then served on long curved barrel staves. First we had fresh baked bread with olive oil and roasted red pepper ... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown November 22nd 2022

Here we go again! It isn’t raining, believe it or not! There is blue sky and we can see the snow capped mountains in the distance. Because it’s fairly clear we are able to get a spectacular view of Fox Glacier which is bigger than Franz Josef glacier. Yesterday there was no view of Fox because of widespread mist and rain. Some interesting things about NZ: there are metal bands part way up each hydro pole. These are to prevent the possums from climbing up and chewing on the wires; possums are different than opossums in N. America. They are a cat sized marsupial with a long bushy tail introduced to NZ for the fur trade. The fur of possums is very soft and warm; there are multicoloured lupines and foxgloves growing wild everywhere; all the ... read more
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NZ bushtail possum

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown November 19th 2022

Another grey, miserable and fairly cold day – around 14 degree’s so a bit like being back in the UK really! Our plan today was to get from Te Anau round to Queenstown, with a stop off at Arrowtown on the way. We didn’t rush to get out this morning as the marathon we’d found out about the day before was due to take place in the morning and as a result there were road closures in both the places we wanted to go to today. The drive itself was lovely, as are most drives over here as they always involve views of lakes, mountains, rivers and creeks. We had a pit stop at Garston, which has the title of the most inland settlement in New Zealand. Such a pretty place and really nicely kept – ... read more
Garston Historic building
Old Garston Shunting Yard
Most Central Sign

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown November 8th 2022

Bonjour à tous, Pour Odile, le décalage horaire, 12H, quand tu regardes Naguy le soir à 19H, moi je me lève. Les aiguilles de ta pendule, sont sur la même position, 7H pour moi, 19H pour toi. A ce sujet, je savais que ça allait être dur, à absorber ces 12h de décalage. Comme je le préconise depuis des années, se mettre de suite à l'heure du pays, c'est plus facile vers l'ouest, ex: Canada, et il n'y a que 6H. Les somnifères comme hier au soir aide à passer de bonne nuit. Ce qui n'a pas arrangé pas les choses c'est tous ces temps de transport, il y bien sur les temps de vol, il faut pas oublier, le temps passé en salle d'attente, les formalités, les nuits en avion sans dormir. Mais là je ... read more
image du jour
route du jour
le bout du lac

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown November 7th 2022

Bonjour à tous, Je vais commencer par l'anecdote du matin. Le taxi commandé est bien là à l'heure, on se rend à l'aéroport, environ 25km du centre, dimanche matin pas de circulation, il me dépose, je le paie, demande un facture pour me faire rembourser, assez sympathique comme gars, il sort ma valise du coffre, s'en va, je vois l'espace fumeur, je me précipite, et je constate que j'ai oublié mon sac à dos sur le siège. Je reviens vite, un chauffeur de la même compagnie (heureusement que j'ai ma facture) je lui explique mon problème et lui demande s'il peut contacter cette voiture. Il appelle le central commence à expliquer, et là d'un seul coup je m'aperçois que mon sac je l'ai sur l'épaule. Je pense que c'est la fatigue, sur les 3 dernières nuits, ... read more
l'hotesse air NZ la sympa
Lake Wakatipu
les Alpes NZ

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown April 30th 2021

The fine sunny weather keeps following us and this morning dawned fine and clear.OK it did take a while longer than we might have expected for the sun to infiltrate the area where we are staying opposite Kingston Heights but with a cruisy day ahead we were in no rush to get up. The apartment has a gas heater that is very efficient even on a low heat and we left it on all night and the temperature inside was just perfect without being stuffy. It was a bit too chilly to sit out on the deck area in front of the lounge and watch the planes come and go into Queenstown airport but we had a good view from inside anyway. One must admire the skill of the airline pilots that get to fly in ... read more
Restaurants etc down on the wharf
Looking south to Glenorchy
The 'Shark'above the water

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown April 29th 2021

We had had exactly 12 hours in bed when we awoke this morning. That is what can happen when there is no cell phone coverage, no internet and no television in your overnight accommodation. It wasn’t that we slept for 12 hours as we did have our kindles to read which passed away some of the time last night after our dinner in the adjacent restaurant, And Gretchen did get to check the emails at the reception in the lounge bar. So heading onto Queenstown today and what promised to be an upmarket apartment will be like coming back to civilisation after a one night stay in a remote location. It was only a short drive in comparison to others so far into Queenstown so getting on the road before checkout time of 10am wasn’t a ... read more
The A-Frame,Makarora
Rural scene south of Makarora
Lake Wanaka looking south

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown March 9th 2021

Queenstown. Rain. Cloud. Cold. We got here by driving from Franz Josef - again a slight underestimation of how long it would take but made easy by the scenery along the way. Fox Glacier, Bruce Bay Lake Paringa, podocarp forests; Rimu, Kahikatea, Totara, Kahikatea and beech among others. A good road surface, winding at times but with a good surface mostly, the forest leaning out over the road or pressing in on both sides. It's majestic. No other word for it. We have a beautifully, spectacular country. There was little traffic. We stopped at Haaaaast (forgotten how many 'a's) for lunch at the Hard Antler Pub/cafe. Not recommended. Poor service, not with a a smile and the food seemed old and tired. It's one of the only games in town so there's little choice. Ce'st la ... read more
Bob's Cove track
Glenorchy
Glenorchy

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown March 5th 2021

Arrived here in Queenstown after a longer than expected drive from Franz Josef; only because I hadn't looked at the map too carefully and should have realised it wasn't quite as straightforward as I though it might be. But what a drive - through beautiful podocarp forest towering over the road for kilometre after kilometre. Spectacular. We'd walked up to the viewing place for the Franz Josef Glacier after breakfast at the Rainforest Retreat (which was good place to stay in FJ. They upgraded us so Lyn was very happy that we had bathroom facilities in our room. Friendly staff and comfortable surroundings). The glacier has retreated kilometres since the first photo was taken in the 1860's but it's still possible to see its grandeur and what must have been as it tumbles down the mountain ... read more
Franz Josef 2
Franz Josef 3
Franz Josef 4




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