When we last wrote we were in Kaikoura waiting to go on a whale watching trip. Unfortunatly it kept getting cancelled due to the weather, and after two days of trying we ran out of time and had to leave. Shame, but since then we have done manyactivities to make up for that.
So, drove across the width of the south island to Punakaiki to stay the night and see some pancake rocks and blowholes. There had been a lot of rain the previous few days so other places to see were flooded as we discovered after 20mins on a gravel track! The pancake rocks were cool. At high tide the water rushing in the gaps forces it upwards gushing out of blowholes. Some of them were really noisey, like i would imagine dragons to sound like!
From there we drove on to Franz Josef, and climbed up the glacier. Ourhike started at 8:30am when we got dressed up in waterproofs, big hiking boots, fleeces and crampons. Then we had an hours walk to the terminal face (which took longer because the bad weather had washed away the normal path!). The guides cut steps into the ice and there were sometimes ropes to help but it was often tough climbing! Had beautiful views all the way up, and because of the amount of rain there were waterfalls all around. Really good day- we got to jsut over half way up before we had to climb back down (much easier in that direction!). That evening we made use of the glacier hot pools to ease our aching muscles.
From Franz Josef we drove to Queenstown- the most stunning drive so far and some really windy roads! We saw some lovely waterfalls over the Haast pass and then finally arrived in Queenstown. We did a river jet safari and 'Funyak" (
inflatable canoes) the next day. They took us to Glenorchy (the set for some of the Lord of the Rings films) and we started with an hours jet boat ride- going up to 80 km/h and doing full 360 spins- really good fun! Then we did some paddling down stream on the Dart river (apparently we've to look out for it in the new X Men film!) on our funyaks. They were really had to steer and the wind blew us around a lot but it was really cool and some stunning views. Then we stopped for lunch (and explored some caves) in the forest before paddling on down the really fast moving river. Another really cool day, probably the best scenary we've seen so far (and even the grey clouds couldn't change that!)
We're now in Te Anau and about to go to Milford Sound Tomorrow. The Photo uploading thing isn;t working so we'll try again some other time!
Hope you're all well, and thanks for your messages!
P and D xxxxxxxxxxx