Blogs from South Island, New Zealand, Oceania


Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Nelson Region June 29th 2019

getting the dive gear out and looking forward to getting to some warmer weather. Just doing a test download of photo... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Marlborough April 11th 2019

I am so far behind with the travel blog I'm not really sure where to start! But yes we are back in the beautiful South Island after spending the winter in Papamoa/Rotorua whilst Lance worked and I recovered after successful Hip surgery. We did manage a little adventure with a trip to Fiji in the middle winter with friends, can’t beat a bit of sun and warmth. We sailed across to Picton on the Thursday 7th February, heading straight to Havelock as I had booked the Pelorus Mail Cruise for next day. The cruise on Friday takes you out to the outer islands including Forsyth Island. My grandfather was a Sheep & Cattle Manager there in around 1941. Friday with a bit of a bite in the air and plenty of sunshine we headed out on ... read more
Greetings from Waitata Bay
Dolphins - Pelorus Sound
Portage - Kenepuru Sound

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Christchurch March 25th 2019

The women painting the hoarding were wearing headscarves. Practical, maybe, keeping off the sun. But so too were the volunteers working in the Transitional “cardboard” Cathedral. And women in business suits out for their morning coffee. And women pushing prams and out with their friends. Scarves that would usually simply ‘accessorise’ an outfit were now draped over heads, regardless of the wearers’ ethnicity. One week on from a mass shooting that horrified the world, Christchurch was coming together again, as it had done in the aftermath of the seemingly never-ending spate of earthquakes in 2010 and 2011, the prime minister’s words, “We are one. They are us,” very much alive. This wasn’t some kind of ghoulish rubber-necking on my part, though I was painfully conscious of the potential accusation. Since planning my visa-driven long weekend away ... read more
Friday prayers one week on
icons of Christchurch past and present

Yesterday, February 28, we hiked up Mt Iron in Wanaka and then headed to the Fox Glacier Lake Matheson Track. There we saw just a peek of Mt Cook and Mt Tasman due to the cloud cover. The walk around the lake was beautiful, like walking around a Hobbit movie set! Today’s hikes were in Arthur’s Pass! There were lots of steps up steep paths and at one point we were gifted with a wonderful waterfall! Finally, we were lucky to catch a beautiful sunset at the end of the day in Hokitika!... read more

The last two days Tony and I were in Fiordland National Park! Our first stop was a short walk around Milford Sound and then we hiked to the top of Key Summit Track! The following day, we took a boat cruise through Doubtful Sound! If you ever make your way to this part of the world it’s worth the extra bus and boat ride to experience this fiord!!! We happened to be there after a night of heavy rain, so the waterfalls were countless and amazing! Truly an experience of a lifetime! ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Greymouth February 26th 2019

21st February we left Manapouri, crossed the Eyre Mountains and went to Queenstown, spending two days there. It's a popular place, like a ski village, full of young people wanting adrenalin--fuelled experiences. We wanted to drive up beside Lake Wakatipu to Glenorchy, and visit Arrowtown, an old mining town. All the old houses were now shops and it could have been tacky, but it wasn't. The museum was quite good too. The whole country is geared to tourism, but the souvenirs are all tasteful, well made, reasonably priced and sold by genuinely charming people. The Airbnb where we stayed overlooked the lake with mountains in the background, and we found a fabulous place to eat in a microbrewery by Arthur's Point, where a single track bridge crossed the river where rafting is done. Leaving Queenstown we ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown February 25th 2019

Yesterday we spent the morning hiking up Queenstown Hill, which isn’t difficult but steep! Tony was always 20 or more feet ahead! On our way down the hill (in my book mountain) we came across a college friend of Tony’s and his wife! Very very small world experience! We also checked out Arrowtown which was an old gold mining town! Most steps walked so far!... read more

Yesterday we hiked several trails in the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park! Simply amazing! The Tasman Glacier is receding and recently the glacial lake has filled up with icebergs that covered the lake the day we were there! Today/Sunday we walked around Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu. Next we took a gondola ride up to an incredible view of the city.... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Christchurch February 22nd 2019

We arrived at our hotel in Christchurch around 5 pm and walked to the city through it’s beautiful Botanical Gardens. Kiwis are welcoming and friendly people and we chatted with a few that told us about their corner of the world. Christchurch is still very much rebuilding from the destructive eathquacks that devastated the city between 2011-2013... New buildings can’t be built more than 7 stories high. On our way back to our hotel we walked through the Lantern festival.... Tomorrow we head to Queenstown via Mt Cook! ... read more

Doubtful Sound, named by Captain Cook as a doubtful harbour. The westerly roaring forties would have taken him in, but he wasn't sure he'd get any wind to take him out. The Maori name is Patea, meaning ‘place of silence’ and it was, when the skipper of the 36 metre catamaran, switched off everything and asked us all to be quiet and listen to the silence. It was certainly a wilderness full of moss, ferns and undergrowth clinging to the perpendicular rock faces. Yesterday's rain meant the waterfalls were all running and today's sunshine made everything gleam. New Zealand is the cleanest place I have ever been to, and there was no litter anywhere. The flotsam in Doubtful Sound consisted of organic matter only - leaves, twigs and branches from the tree avalanches. Wilmott Pass, the ... read more

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