Blogs from Queenstown, South Island, New Zealand, Oceania - page 8


Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown March 5th 2013

We have been very good about keeping to our schedule and today was no different. At precisely 8:30 we were on the road headed up north to Queenstown. I had been waiting for this day. Deb had made reservations for 2 nights at the Rees Hotel along with reservations for a flight to Milford Sound weather permitting. When we woke this morning it was very cloudy and rainy but we chose to trust the forecast which said it would be sunny and in the 70s. Once on our way, the clouds cleared and the sun came out and we had the best weather so far. Our flight was scheduled to leave at 2:00 but because we got here early, we were told we could go right then. They said it would be better to go sooner ... read more
Flight to Millford Sound.
Meandering river as seen from the air.
Millford Sound

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown March 2nd 2013

Drove old, battered hire car west from Picton, route studded with scenic bays to Abel Tasman national park, stopping briefly en route at Nelson for hike to centre of NZ hilltop and a tasty pizza. Walked along the coastal track, with sandy bays, wobbly cable bridges and dense green forest; swam and kayaked in the (chilly) turquoise sea; and cruised to Tonga island marine reserve to visit basking seals. Next headed southeast through mountain passes to Hanmer Springs, relaxing and swimming at luxurious spa resort while trying not to burn in the fierce sun. Continuing south reached small village at Lake Tekapo, eating at excellent Japanese restaurant and watching the sunset with Mts Cook & Tasman in the background. A quick climb to the Mt John observatory for a civilised cup of tea at the hilltop ... read more
Abel Tasman view 2
Baby bird

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown February 21st 2013

Heute ist „ausschlafen“ angesagt. 10.30 Uhr startet heute der Bus. Unser Ziel am Abend ist Queenstown. Zu erst geht es zu einer Seerobbenkolonie. Der Himmel ist bewölkt und am Strand bläst ein kräftiger Wind. Hier steht auch ein Leuchtturm, welcher auf Druck der Öffentlichkeit nach einem der schlimmsten Schiffsunglücke Neuseelands, bei welchem 131 Personen ums Leben kamen, erbaut wurde. Im Meer sind immer wieder Steinspitzen zu sehen, welche auf die gefährlichen Riffe im Wasser deuten lassen. Neben dem Leuchtturm ruht sich bereits eine Robbe im Gras aus. Nach mehrmaligem Ermahnen des Busfahrers, wagt sich niemand nah an das Tier heran, aber auch von der Ferne entstehen gute Bilder. Die Robben sind an Land schneller als man rennen kann und bei dem Gewicht, möchte man lieber keine Flosse zu spüren bekommen. Wir gehen noch ein wenig an ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown February 18th 2013

Von Wanaka geht es heute in Richtung Queenstown. Auf unserem Weg halten wir wieder an verschiedenen Orten für Fotos. Ein besonderer Zwischenstopp heute ist der Bungeejump aus 43m Höhe. Hier ist der Geburtsort des heutigen Bungeejumpings. Abgekupfert wurde das Bungeejumping von einem eingeborenen Volk, wo die jungen Männer sich Lianen binden und dann eine Plattform hinunter springen müssen um ihre Zugehörigkeit beim Stamm zu beweisen. Von unserer Gruppe gibt es 2 Tandemsprünge. Beide schaffen es leider nicht bis ins Wasser. Als nächstes halten wir an einem kleinen Farmshop. Hier kann man sich Eis selbst zusammenstellen. Meine Variation besteht aus Kiwi mit Joghurt – lecker! Auch wird hier günstiges und sehr leckeres Obst verkauft und da wird natürlich zugegriffen bei Aprikosen, Pflaumen, Nektarinen… In Queenstown angekommen, geht es zum Check-In ins BASE Backpackers. Ansch... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown February 13th 2013

Our journey from Fox Glacier to Lake Wanaka was a fairly long one, so the day was broken up with plenty of photo stops (some more exciting than others!) and plenty of sand flies. After leaving lake Matheson, which was a definite high point, we headed further south via Knights Point (where we spotted a dolphin pod out to sea) and then the Blue Pools. At the end of a scenic drive around Lake Hawea we arrived in Wanaka mid afternoon. We checked into our hostel (Matterhorn Backpackers) and were informed by the owner that we were priviledged to have our own block in the "love shack". This turned out to be the garden shed in the middle of the vegetable patch (I kid you not), with "LOVE HACK" on the wooden door (S had been ... read more
Milford Sound - Dolphins
Milford Sound - Under a water fall
Milford Sound - This guy looks tired

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown February 8th 2013

After a day sitting on the coach yesterday I thought I should get some excercise, so today after a good breakfast I decided to take the gondola to the top of the mountain opposite where I am staying. At the top you can watch people hurling themselves off the bungy I might be a bit adventurous but not quite that mad, although I have to say it was fun watching. After a large brownie and a pot of Earl Grey thought I had better head down so decided to walk back!!! The lady in the information kiosk told me that you could indeed do this and told me where to pick up the trail. On my way down people were whizzing past on the zip wire, but as I had done all that before I just ... read more
View from the top
Bungy Jumping

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown February 7th 2013

Arrived in Queenstown, picked up the hire car and headed into town. It was Waitangi Day a national holiday and the cloud gradually cleared from the lake and presented us with a beautiful warm day. The town is on the edge of a huge lsmall the town is compact so it's easy to get around but I believe this is the Mecca for the adrenalin junkies so I don't really know what I am doing here!!!! Plenty to do, bungy, jet boats, zip wires, paragliding, skydiving the list goes on,actually when I think about it I have done some of these things so perhaps I am in the right place. Decided to book a trip to Milford Sound as its a fairly long journey and driving would have been quite tiring and expensive in fuel. The ... read more
Magnificent Milford Sound
Milford Sound
Milford Sound

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown January 26th 2013

Best country: New Zealand Best place: Queenstown Best experience: Hard to split whale watching in Kaikoura or helicopter trip to Grand Canyon Best journey: Amtrak train from San Francisco to Chicago Best hotel: Sky City Hotel, Auckland although the suite we had at Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas was stunning but an unfair comarison as it was an upgrade and we could not afford $1000 per night. Best meal: Too many good ones to choose an outright winner. Overall the quality and standard of food in New Zealand surpassed any other country visited.... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown January 24th 2013

Kia ora! New Zealand so far..... Since writing you a quick Christmas message we have been really lucky and the weather has picked up, with only a couple of really rainy days! This has meant that we have been able to make the most of being outside and exploring this beautiful country. New Zealand is made up of 3 islands, the North Island, the South Island and Stuart Island. If you look at a map, New Zealand is below Australia and to the right a bit (this direction known as south east on a compass). As I have already said, New Zealand is 13 hours ahead of you, so I go to bed as you wake up. Another interesting fact, is because of where it is placed on our earth, New Zealand has summer when England ... read more
Cathedral Cove beach
Tiki carving on a Maori meeting house
The Maori cooker

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown January 14th 2013

On 3/1 we said goodbye to Auckland and flew to Queenstown with Air Asia. The flight was 3 hours delayed and even then we missed the call for the flight but we made it in the end. John and Andrea had flown out there the previous day and had warned us about the cold weather but we were not expecting snow on the mountains and cold weather after the sun and beaches in Auckland only 1hr 45mins away! We caught the connectabus from the airport to downtown Queenstown and were surprised to find a pretty town set next to a huge, beautiful lake (Wakatipu Lake) that looked and felt like an alpine village with a definate 'apres ski' feel about it. Unfortunately we hadn't booked the 4star Rydges Hotel with John and Andrea and instead had ... read more
Flight into Queenstown
And ... ski jacket!!!
Queenstown airport

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