Blogs from Franz Josef, West Coast, South Island, New Zealand, Oceania


Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast » Franz Josef November 5th 2014

Geo: -43.3891, 170.182It all started with a sneeze. Nat down. Suspected broken neck and paralysis. Only 8am. Still time enough for a quick morning stroll before we head down to Franz Joseph for a helicopter ride and glacier hike. Its only a couple hours south and only 10 minutes to the beach. Wrong. The path to the beach is covered in mud. Deep mud. Deep enough to swallow and break my thongs. We saw a baby horse. That was pretty cool. By the time we got back to our hotel for departure and Id checked our route I realized we were behind schedule. It was further than I thought. We needed to average a speed of 260km p/hr to make it to our Glacier Hike on time. Oh and Nats life is flashing before her eyes ... read more
Yeah no kidding..
Baby Horse at Beach Hideaway

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast » Franz Josef September 23rd 2014

The smoke alarm in our unit at Beach View Motel, Rapahoe was not connected to the local fire station. How do I know this? Well I burnt the toast again and fired up the smoke alarm......again! I have thought about why I do this so often and it has always been my third piece of toast that sets the alarm off as Gretchen only has two pieces leaving my third in the toaster alone getting much more toasted than if there was another piece alongside. Gretchen apologised profusely to the owner when we checked out but she shrugged it off saying that her husband is always setting their smoke alarm off too for the same reason. The day has dawned overcast and the forecast is for drizzle which is quite a contrast from yesterday. We sat ... read more
Sign that shows the 29 men that died came from many points of the compass
Hokitika Town Clock
Restored parts of a lake steamer at Lake Mahinapua

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast » Franz Josef March 5th 2014

Geo: -43.3891, 170.182 After checking out of the hostel and I waited outside for the bus at 9.20. The Newman's coach was supposed to pick me up from YHA at 9.39 am but at 9.55, I saw one Newmans bus going straight towards the main stop near the lake so I panicked and I called the Intercity bus as I thought they had forgotten me as I was the only one person being picked up from YHa. The idea of being stranded was very daunting but I was very relieved when they told me that the driver was late. After 15 mins, I was finally on the bus and I got a window seat but than many people got on at Ardmore st at the lake and the bus was full, I was lucky to get ... read more
Rainforest walk

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast » Franz Josef April 14th 2012

Geo: -43.3891, 170.182Concerned that I am not as enthused as I need to be wrt the stunning landscapes that NZ offers up, DH takes back the pen.Early the next day, and a big left-side drive day for Vic. We are very appreciative of the nice weather that is back with us. I love the mornings here particularly. The sun coming up over the mountains onto the fields of cows and sheep, and the sparkling coastal glimpses. To me its " God, it's great to be alive" scenery. Maybe I am a little homesick for Canada but geographically, this is the second most beautiful country I have seen and it reminds me a lot of home.First stop on the journey today is the longest swing bridge in New Zealand. At over 100 metres in length near the ... read more
View To The Top
Don't Look Down
Bullers Gorge With Jetboat

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast » Franz Josef February 22nd 2011

Feb. 19, 2011 - Franz Josef Glacier Today we got up and going quickly. We had arrived in a DoC campsite and pitched the tents in the previous evening. The previous day began with a drive to see the Pancake Rocks. These are a strange phenomenon on the west coast, where some rocks look like thin giant pancakes stacked atop of one another. Very interesting, if somewhat bizarre, to see. We left, having decided to drive somewhere to camp, and headed back south along the coast. On the way Chad spots on the side of the road our German friend Mariana, who we met on Stewart Island. It truly is a small world among New Zealand's tramping community. We stop and chat with her for a while. We told her we were going to check out ... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast » Franz Josef September 5th 2010

Geo: -43.3891, 170.182Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers were amazing, the glaciers aren't far from each other and Mount Cook sits behind them from here. The first morning we book a helicopter flight to view the glaciers and even have a snow landing! They took our details including weight, which I guess was to balance things out, but I was really quite a bit nervous about the flight, thankfully I had no time to think about it as we just had time to grab our jackets then we were off to the airstrip.I didn't realise it at the time but there was a plane crash at this airstrip just a few days beforehand killing all 6 on board, I heard about it on the news but hadn't made the connection with this part of the island until ... read more
Franz Josef

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast » Franz Josef March 9th 2010

Childhood Memories In an old, dusty photo album at home there is a black and white picture of an expanse of tidal mudflats, water and some hills. A childlike arrow has been drawn on the photo, pointing down. Under the arrow is a white dot, a blob, an indeterminate something. I took the photo, so I know the blob is a white heron, or kotuku, which many years ago was a rare visitor to the Hokianga Harbour, in Northland. For a few days or a week or two (I can’t remember) the bird was a topic of conversation in the district. Most of the discussion centred on where it had come from. The consensus was that it had been blown across the Tasman in a storm, all the way from Australia, and was now feeding in ... read more
Kotuku Feathers
Jetboat In The Jungle

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast » Franz Josef November 16th 2009

Well we hit the road early on Thursday for our two day road trip from Queenstown to Picton via the west coast. We had already planned our half way point to be Hokitika and covered 550 km to get there. First of all we stopped into Wanaka to collect our wedding photos only to find that they had already been sent on to the wedding planner in Nelson. We carried on and stopped at Makarora for our packed lunch and then on to Franz Josef Glacier where we did 3 of the walks to get views of the Glacier. One of them was walking the Glacier valley to get as close to it as possible, which wasn’t a tough walk but did get colder and harder to breathe the closer we got. My trusty grey fleece ... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast » Franz Josef July 4th 2009

You might remember a while back I mentioned that I'd joined a scheme called WWOOFing - Willing Workers On Organic Farms. The scheme allows travellers to go and work on farms in exchange for food, accomodation and farming experience. I joined up and managed to find a nice sounding dairy farm on the West Coast of the South Island in a little village called Whataroa. The job description was ''Milking cows, shearing sheep, some horse riding and general farm chores'' I decided it sounded okay so I set off to give it a go. When I arrived at the farm I met the family and the two other WWOOFers that were working there. There was Pete the farmer, his wife Sonia, their daughter Laura and a couple from the Czech Republic called Ivana & Joseph. First ... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast » Franz Josef June 27th 2009

Geo: -43.3891, 170.182Wow, Where to begin.Well firstly at the moment i am in Queenstown and its about 1 degree. I have only been here 8 days and i already have too much to tell, so i thought i would break this blog down into parts, where this blog part one is about my week back in Melbourne and my travels so far in New Zealand.It's been so long since my last update, but thats because i hadn't done much since up until Melbourne. Works been going well, we got the Bathurst area completed in 2 weeks and then spent a week in Sydney but my car had problems with the oil pump, so that had to be in the mechanics for 3 days and cost me $1000, so i only ended up working one day of ... read more
Frozen Lake
Jet Boating Crew
Down the beautiful West Coast

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