We have just eaten really yummy pancakes next to the Pancake rocks in Punakaiki. We have been very busy since our last blog. In Queenstown, we did the Gondola up the mountainside to the top, and it gave us amazing views across the region. We have been lucky to get great weather so far as well. At the top of the mountain we did the Luge which is a 3 wheeled cart and you use the downhill to get your speed and just have breaks to stop you going too fast. We were definately the quickest and Kates kept shouting at people to go faster as some literally crawled down the hillside. That evening we stayed in a campsite - yey a shower. It was really nice as it had a woodburner fire which we sat next to all evening and Kates made friends with a cat that sat on her lap all evening.
The next day we did mountain biking, the people we hired bikes from dropped us off near Lake Moke and we had to work our way back. It was alot harder than it looked and Kates thinks I have found a sport I am really good at. I think it was more to do with the fact that she was very wobbly and fell off. It was definately a killer on the hills back but worth it for the views we got, so we treated ourselves to a second Fergburger - possibly the best burger in the world.
We drove out of Queenstown the next day towards Milford Sound. We didnt get all the way that day so we stopped in Te Nau for a wander round the shops looking for a Kevin. We get a lot of funny looks as we usually split up and from the corners of the shops you can here us shouting 'no Kevin'. We camped the night next to Lake Gunn and it turned out to be a really nice evening as we attempted to make a campfire with some german and american guys, without much luck as the wood was too wet. But they offered us beer and we spent the night chatting to them. It was possibly our coldest night as we slept fully clothed in our sleeping bags and a duvet and still managed to be a bit cold. Milford Sound was amazing and we got some really good pictures of Mitre Peak. We took a cruise arond the sound which was so picturesque. Search it online! We stopped on our way back through at a few sights, like the mirror lake. It wasn't a brilliant mirror image of the mountains but still impressive. Before heading back towards Queenstown and the West Coast.
On the way back through Queenstown we stopped at Gibbston Valley which is a winery and cheesery. The cheese was to die for, we bought a bit of garlic and chive gouda and some crusty bread. A bit further down the road, we parked up near a lovely lake and ate cheese and bread sat on the roof of our camper - you get better views from the roof. We drove the Haast Pass through amazing scenery all the way to Fox Township where we camped for the night in a car park next to Lake Matheson. We are now in Glacier Country. The next day we drove on to Franz Joseph to book on a glacier walk. It was amazing, incredible. It is completely different to most glaciers which move around a metre in a year whereas the Franz glacier can move up to 10metres a day. This is due to the temperature range. So all geared up we walked around the glacier seeing amazing sights. Again Kates managed to fall over, at the bit the guide said 'do not fall over here as you will fall down and cut yourself up'. It was very cool as we got to walk through an ice passageway!! I would do it everyday if I could.
So yesterday we left Franz Joseph Township to head up the West Coast. Being Sunday not alot was open, we stopped at a strange place called 'The Bushman Centre' It is themed around helping the enviroment by culling the possums and stuff and sells hunting gear but it is a little wierd. Kates didn't really like it as the some of the goats out the front had gammy legs and she thought it looked a little cruel. From here we drove to Hokitika where we looked around some jade shops and a glass blowing shop that Kates loved. We also had a very nice pie each for lunch at a cafe.
A drive further up the coast through Greymouth, we made it to Punakaiki where we are now. We camped on the roadside at a lovely lookout point and ate dinner while the sun set. The pancake rocks are incredinble and remind us a bit of the 12 apostles although the rock formation is slightly different. The weather isn't rough enough to make the blow holes blow but it is still a cool sight. We are heading further noth today and cutting across land to Kaikoura. Hopefully we will get to swin with dolphins and maybe do some whale watching.