Blogs from Queenstown, South Island, New Zealand, Oceania - page 2

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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown December 9th 2015

Queenstown is the destination of choice for most tourists visiting the South Island. The guide books are full of information on this settlement, the 29th largest in New Zealand, with a population of around 13,000 people which sits on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. It has a reputation for extreme beauty and extreme sports. If I hadn't seen other parts of New Zealand, I would have been impressed however, on first sight, it paled in comparison to areas such as Wanaka, Fox Glacier and Abel Tasman. Needless to say, the sports held no interest at all to me. To get to Queenstown we drove over the Crown Range from Wanaka. This is the highest main road in New Zealand. The first half is extremely boring - you drive up a steep hill in a v-shaped valley. ... read more
At the Ice Bar
Arrowtown Chinese Settlement
Lupins by Lake Wakatipu

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown December 7th 2015

It is with great sadness that I report the loss of our beloved travel companion, One Ear. One Ear is a well loved, yellowish soft toy dog with one brown ear. He is the mascot for our travels and we miss him greatly. Sadly we lost him between 7th and 9th December in the Queenstown, Arrowtown, Wanaka or Mt Aspiring areas of New Zealand. It is most likely he fell out of my bag as we hiked up to Rob Roy Glacier or in the shops of Arrowtown. I understand that the loss of a soft toy may seem insignificant, but One Ear has a lot of sentimental value for me. I don't see a 30 year old soft toy with a gashed leg and lost fur, for me he is so much more... One Ear ... read more
One Ear's Last Adventure - Rob Roy Glacier, Mount Aspiring National Park
One Ear in Abel Tasman
One Ear at Sydney Opera House

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown December 4th 2015

Made it to Queenstown! Known as the adventure and party capital of NZ. Such a beautiful place. Nestled in the mountains and surrounded by lakes it reminds me of Banff, but I'd say about twice the size of Banff. On Wednesday I was in Wanaka and met up with my cousin Heather. It was such a great time. Wanaka is really beautiful - a very small town, relaxed atmosphere, friendly people, beautiful scenery. Would have loved to spend more time there! Arrived in Queenstown yesterday at around mid day. Queenstown is where bungy jumping was invented, so I decided to do the Nevis Bungy jump. It's a 134m drop and you free fall for 8 seconds. Pretty wicked. Decided to do it with 2 friends, Harry and Lee. We all agreed we would jump when they ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown November 15th 2015

Kia Ora again! Derek here to add some banter to the blog! Following on from our nights stay in Wellington, it was ferry time. Legs still in pain from the 20km walk, did we mention we done a 20km walk up & down a mountain?!? Up early to catch the 9 am ferry and drop the car back. The three hour ferry went by in a flash, some stunning views along the way & a quick chat to talk Emma "off the ledge" when it comes to shared rooms in hostels! Once off the ferry we picked up our new rented car for the South Island. Picture Dumb & Dumber when they downgrade from the Sheep Van to the Scooter. We went from a Holden Captiva to a Fiat 500! After squeezing our bags into the ... read more
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Franz Josef Waterfall

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown November 1st 2015

W dwóch poprzednich notatkach skupiliśmy się głównie na opisaniu tego, co widzieliśmy/robiliśmy w kraju kiwi. Na koniec mamy kilka ogólnych refleksji o tym intrygującym kraju na końcu świata. Po wyspie poruszaliśmy się wyłącznie wynajętym samochodem. Trasa była piękna, ale też niezwykle jednorodna – wszędzie tylko góry, jeziora i łąki z wypasającymi się owcami… Ponoć w kraju żyje ich 30 milionów (jestem w stanie w to uwierzyć), podczas gdy całkowita liczba ludności to nieco ponad 4 miliony. Owce i ich pastwiska zajmowały niemal każdy skrawek terenu porośniętego trawą. Gdzieniegdzie tylko owce zastąpione były przez krowy lub lamy (domyślamy się, że ze są one hodowane w celu urozmaicenia wyrobów przemysłu włókienniczego). Mijając różne widoki porównywaliśmy je do tych znanych z LOTR: „o teraz Shire!” lub „to wygląda... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown October 28th 2015

W poniedziałek zaczęliśmy chyba najbardziej wyczekiwany etap naszej podróży – przed nami 5 dni w Nowej Zelandii! Z Sydney polecieliśmy do Queenstown na południowej wyspie. Jeśli ktoś myślał, że to „rzut beretem” to się mylił - pomiędzy obydwoma krajami jest dwie godziny różnicy czasu oraz trzy godziny podróży samolotem. Lądowaliśmy na lotnisku otoczonym wysokimi górami (do 2 tys. m n.p.m.), gdzie podchodzenie do pasa startowego było prawie tak przerażające jak lądowanie na krawędzi klifu w Chanii w Grecji… ;-) Pogoda w tej części kraju jest wciąż dosyć kapryśna i wczesnowiosenna. Z prognoz wiedzieliśmy, że średnio dwa dni na trzy są deszczowe i trzeba się przygotować nawet na przymrozki w nocy. Rzeczywiście, powietrze było ciągle dość rześkie, a zimny wiatr odmrażał ręce i nosy, ale popołudniami zazwyczaj świeciło piękne sło... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown September 29th 2015

Nouvel aéroport, nouvelle ville, nouveau pays, nouveau choc culturel. Nous voilà en Nouvelle Zélande, terre des kiwis et des hobbits, mais également terre de rugby, alors que commence la coupe du monde. Après avoir salué l'énorme Gimli en pierre massive de l'aéroport, on réalise vite fait que l'on est des clowns avec nos shorts d'Hong Kong lorsque le vent aiguisé vient nous lacérer les mollets. Notre nouvel hôte couchsurfing pour Auckland, Richard, nous met rapidement dans le bain. Il est en fait Anglais, mesure plus de deux mètres, et a une langue bien pendue. Issu d'une famille aristocratique britannique, (grands père héros de guerre, mère amirale, père général et grand prêtre franc maçon), il a fait ses études à Oxford et passé son doctorat à Harvard. Tout va bien. Patriote flirtant souvent avec le nationalisme, il ... read more
Sur la Mer de Tasmanie
Parc National Abel Tasman
They see me rollin

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown September 28th 2015

After the previous day's calamities on the slopes, the activity of choice for our final full day was rather more sedate. A trip out to nearby Arrowtown for some historical action didn't really spark the interest of the girls but it was a lovely little village that would keep the rich tourists happy. The remnants of the Chinese settlement was rather forlorn looking but it provides an insight into the harsh conditions faced by the gold seekers. Our little blue cabin in the caravan park looks positively luxurious compared to the small huts hanging on the edge of the hill. Overcast skies but mild, we spent an hour or two traipsing around. In the afternoon, I took the girls ice skating. With a morbid fear of falling over, Eleanor took a while to look a little ... read more
Adventure in Queenstown
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Arrowtown trail

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown September 24th 2015

Despite yesterday's foray into the black and gold world of the 'Pak n Save', we were missing a few items (vegemite needs butter) so after a quick trip into a nearby convenience store (basically like buying stuff in a Bright 7/11), a leisurely breakfast followed. Once we did the requisite photo stops by the lake, the church and atop Mt John and then we were on our way to Queenstown via Mt Cook. Unlike driving anywhere near a hill in Australia, the roads weren't vomit-inducing. Fantastic scenery, driving conditions and a few local radio stations providing the soundtrack meant the journey was very easy. Overcast and a little chilly, we rugged up in preparation for our three hour hike along the Hooker Valley trail. We scoffed our hastily prepared lunch in front of the Visitor Centre, ... read more
On the way to Mt Cook
View from the Hooker Valley hike
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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown September 24th 2015

Waking to a gorgeous sunny morning, New Zealand breakfast television obsessed by the All Blacks and a shower that Dean christened 'the tattoo remover', I was looking forward to exploring the town. We spent the day wandering around and the girls stalking some Brisbane you-tuber. It was a truly magnificent day weather-wise and the forecast looked good for the next few days. Queenstown offers lots of adventure activities and we decided that skiing would be the major one. However, we wanted the girls to try some other things too. Having experienced 'Escape Rooms' in KL and Melbourne, we thought we could try the one here. It certainly challenged us and if we hadn't been given lots of hints, we'd probably still be locked in the study with the revolver waiting for Colonel Mustard. Our second full ... read more
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