Blogs from South Island, New Zealand, Oceania

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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island March 15th 2020

Picton is a very small but very pretty place from which the ferries over to the North Island sail. It has a lovely foreshore with well laid out walks and little cafes and shops. There is a Maritime Museum which we didn't go to as we made the mistake of going to the Aquarium next door. The poor creatures were in tanks which seemed much too small for them and there was one solitary penguin who looked really sad in this small enclosure which wasn't even open to the elements. I personally found the visit distressing rather than educational. At least the sun came out and everything outside looks so much better. Last night the Captain made an announcement that from midnight no cruise ships would be allowed to dock in New Zealand until the end ... read more
Picton Marina
Silver Muse
Picton Aquarium and Maritime Museum

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Christchurch March 14th 2020

This was probably a pretty city prior to the quake, but there is now sadly lots of areas which time and money have not allowed to be rebuilt. It is happening slowly but there are lots of car parking places which are essentially where buildings were and still have not been redeveloped since the devastating earthquake of 2011. Both the Anglican and Catholic Cathedrals were severely damaged and still have not been rebuilt. The Anglican Cathedral has suffered from too much political interference which has cost money and delayed whatever the plans are. The Catholic rebuild has been thwarted by the Church buying a plot of land which has now been colonised by rare birds so they are not allowed to build on it! Regent street, which is a pretty street of shops with balconied buildings ... read more
Markets around ruined Cathedral
By the River Avon
Regent Street

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Dunedin March 13th 2020

Dunedin is Gaelic for Edinburgh & was settled by Scots who started the Free Church of Scotland in the 1800s. It is a very pleasant and well off city with some beautiful buildings especially the churches but there are lots of old buildings which have been renovated to their former glory, a large university and a large hospital and med school. The hospital is soon to be rebuilt and loads of grotty modern buildings are being pulled down for the purpose. There are lots of little shops on the high street, which put English high streets to shame. It is a hilly place which slopes onto lots of bays so the houses have lovely views. We were driven along the winding coastal road ,which is being widened, to a Nature reserve where only birds and animals ... read more
Otago peninsula
Local transport
view from the buggy

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island March 12th 2020

For the first time since we left Sydney we had a sunny day though still rather cold and windy. We sailed into Milford Sound on a calm water with no fog , which is a bonus from stories we heard from others. The ship slowly glided through the Sound, stopped a while and majestically turned around and glided out again to sea, while we all took millions of photos. Only a few are on this blog you will be grateful to hear!. Further along the coast we sailed into Doubtful Sound, not quite as pretty but still majestic with all its trees. Finally after another sail along the coast we did the same thing into Dusky Sound. At this point the only sound that Stefan knew about was sound asleep! It was a very pleasant day ... read more
Milford Sound
Milford Sound
Milford Sound


Så er tiden i New Zealand ved at gå på hæld. Men inden da havde jeg da lige mulighed for at tage på endnu et eventyr. Denne gang den meget lange og øde Dusky Track. Ruten kan kun nås ved færger. I den ene ende går der fire færger om dagen, i den anden en gang om ugen. Problemet var bare at jwg lige netop havde misset den færge der gik en gang om ugen, og jeg havde ikke tid til at vente en uge mere. Ruten er en af dem der kan blive ubenyttelige efter for meget regn, da man skal krydse floder uden broer. Og Fiordland er kendt for at få en del regn.. Op til 8000 mm om året i de vestlige dele. Derfor planlagde jeg at have et par ekstra buffer dage, ... read more
Te Anau 1
Te Anau 2
Te Anau 3

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Dunedin February 19th 2020

Heading further south on the South Island East Coast, our goal for the day was the Otago Peninsula and the Royal Albatross Center. We had originally planned to also watch the small blue penguins come ashore, but that encounter takes place at sunset and at this latitude at this time of year sunset comes late. We decided instead to head on back to Dunedin and our evening lodging after visiting the Albatross Center. The albatross is famous in legend and literature. We are all familiar with "Water, water everywhere, and all the boards did shrink" from Coleridge, and with the expression "albatross around your neck". Still, this literate familiarity does not prepare you for the majesty of seeing these magnificent birds aloft. The albatross spends most of its life at sea, and albatross pairs (they mate ... read more
Nesting albatross
View from Albatross Center viewing station
Scenic route from Taiaroa Head

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Kaikoura February 16th 2020

"I'm travelin' down the road and I'm flirtin' with disaster" Molly Hatchet We have been playing on the fringes with disaster this whole trip. Just before we arrived, worst-ever wildfires ringed Sydney and were burning out of control. The city was full of smoke, and the same was true to a somewhat lesser extent in Melbourne and Adelaide. Just as we arrived, they started to die down as winds fell and some rain relief arrived. We saw no signs of the fires in those cities. Then, during our stay in Adelaide, a cyclone hit the west coast and threatened to bring deluging rains to Adelaide, but we left before it could arrive. Now, having completed this stay in Sydney, we were due to fly to Wellington to begin our New Zealand adventure, and yet another cyclone ... read more
New Zealand 2020 Wellington 015 021520
New Zealand 2020 Wellington 017 021520
New Zealand 2020 Kaikoura 004 021620

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast February 13th 2020

On the way back to shore the Captain from our Doubtful Sound Cruise asked with interest where everyone was going next. After we all elaborated on our travel plans, he just laughed at us all and went: “Not today, you’re not!” It turned out that while we had had mainly dry weather while out on the water, the water had been pouring down on the other side of the mountains. The wind was coming from the east (instead of the more common westerly winds) and trapped the clouds on the other side. As a result, pretty much every road was closed. We could not go north, east or south, and to the west we only the sounds. We were meant to go to Queenstown that afternoon, but were forced to stay for an extra night in ... read more
Beautiful lakes everywhere
Ready to Luge
It's like going skiing, but in the summer :-)

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island February 12th 2020

Som jeg skrev sidste gang så var der faldet en smule regn i de sydlige del af sydøen. (Se f.eks. her hvor lidt der er sket: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/409354/milford-road-repairs-expected-to-take-a-year-as-4wd-access-restored ) Derfor tog jeg nordpå igen. Jeg tog op til Lewis Pass, som ligger mellem Nelson Lakes og Arthurs Pass, to steder jeg tidligere havde været. Jeg havde egentlig tænkt mig at gå den rute der var her tidligere, men grundet tidspres havde jeg valgt den fra, nu havde jeg til gengæld massere af tid heroppe. Ruten, der hedder St. James Walkway, skiller sig lidt ud fra alle de andre steder jeg har gået, idet man starter i 700 meters højde, og det højeste punkt er 1136 m.o.h. Den første dag fulgte jeg en flod. Først i skov og herefter langs åbne græsmarker. Solen skinnede og jeg nåede ret ... read more
Lewis Pass 1
Lewis Pass 2
Lewis Pass 3


Absolutely the best morning of the entire trip! We woke up deep into Doubtful Sound. We had a 180-degree view from the bunks on the top deck, and we were surrounded by magnificent mountains, waterfall and calm see. Within 20 minutes we had dolphins jumping out of the water. Amazing! We had booked an overnight boat trip on Doubtful Sound. It had required a bit of planning and researching to find out how we could best see the Fiordland National Park. The two big sounds are Milford and Doubtful Sound. A blog comparing the two explained (in much more detail) how Milford has more jaw dropping landscape, higher waterfall and taller mountains. It’s also the busier of the two, and often has several helicopters flying above you at any one time. Doubtful is less dramatic and ... read more
Sooo many waterfalls
Our room was perfectly placed on the top deck
Our penthouse cabin




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