South Island Trip
I am now on my way to Queenstown, which is in the South Island. We are driving to Wellington first then get the ferry to Picton. Any that has done this crossing will know how beautiful this is. Once we have crossed the Cook Strait we travel though (I think it’s the Tory Channel) then on into The Queen Charlotte Sounds. Its very much like being in the fiords in Norway.
We arrived in Kaikoura after dark so we had no idea what the place looked like. What a lovely surprise awaited us the next morning; blue sky and snow on the ranges.
We spent about 3 hours out at sea whale watching and we were not disappointed. First we saw the whale blowing then we saw the whale its self. What a sight that was. Eventually the whale did its famous dive when the last thing you see is the tail. We actuality saw this twice. I also saw dolphins, an albatross and a lot of other birds that I do not know the names of.
Our next stop was Hanmer Springs. This is a beautiful place up in the mountains. From here you can do just about every outdoor activity. They also have outdoor hot springs you can bath in them till late at night. Once again, snow-capped mountains surround us. It was a shame we had so little time here, I could have stopped a lot longer.
This was going to be a long day. The drive would take us about 5 to 6 hours. We took the Alpine Scenic Route. We passed though little towns and huge farms with rolling green country side, oh yes and the occasional sheep with their baby lambs
Another photo stop to take photos of The Church Of The Good Shepherd at Lake Takapo. The next lake was Lake Pukaki where if you are lucky you get a good view of Mount Cook. Unfortunately the clouds were too low so we did not see the Mountain.
The further south we go the better it gets. Just when you think ‘wow how can you top that sight’ you go around another corner and ‘wow’ again.
Wanaka not only has every outdoor activity its also has puzzle World. This place has the hardest maze I have been in; even after cheating Alex and myself could still not complete it
We have a short drive today only about 2 hours. We stopped at a lovely place called Arrow Town its Just has one main street with old buildings a bit like the Wild West. After lunch we walked along the river looking for gold.
At last we arrive in Queenstown. The view from our apartments was amazing. We look down onto Lake Wakatipu and up to The Remarkable (the mountains), which had had a new snowfall on them. The day we arrived we saw Queenstown at its best a deep blue sky and snow capped mountains. The next 2 days it rained on and off.
We booked to do The Shotover Jetboat for 11.30 at 11.45 it was called off because the rain was to heavy, then at 12.05 the sun came out and we were on our way down the river at break neck speed narrowly missing rocks and boulders. This was 40 mins of thrilling if not sometimes terrifying fun.
Next stop The Bunge Jump no not to jump just to watch.
A day trip to Milford Sounds, while Alex and co go skiing. The trip left Queenstown at 7.am but we would know if the road was open till 7.30am, as the road had been closed because of an avalanche the day before. I left Queenstown with the sun shinning and blue skies.
Stopped at a place called Te Anau for morning tea. The sun was still out so had good views of lake and mountains. I must have gone to sleep for a short time as the next thing I knew, the sun had gone and the clouds looked ominous. By the time we got to Mirror Lake it was raining again.
As we boarded the boat on Milford Sounds the rain had almost stopped, so I did get to see some of the mountains but it was not long before it was raining again. The whole place was covered in clouds giving it a mystically feel. I can see where Peter Jackson got his ideas from for his films. The only good thing about so much rain, was that there were so many amazing water falls.
Once again I am at an airport saying goodbye. Alex was leaving for home and I was leaving for Napier then on to Havelock North. I had to take the earlier flight as the weather was closing in fast and they did not think that if I waited for my later flight I would leave that day. I was flying to Christchurch first then on to Napier. The first 20 mins of the flight were a bit hair rising to say the least. The same with my onward flight to Napier bad take off and landing, but then I should not say that, as every landing is a good one. .
I am now back in Havelock North but on the move again. John and Lissa have sold their house. We are all moving into Lissa’s Dad’s house as they cannot move into their new house until the end of the month.