Sunday, 8 February 2009

Christchurch and beyond!

This is a slightly abbreviated version of the end of the South Island because I want to catch up to the present time!! ( I'm only a year behind!!) The journey from Queenstown to Christchurch was phenomenal with Mt Cook as a backdrop how could it not be?! We really enjoyed our last few days in the South Island. We stayed at this luxury B and B as it was Rosie's birthday and enjoyed the very English feeling Christchurch (even the B and B was owned by an English chap)
Rich and myself took the long route home to bring back the cars while Rosie and Kath enjoyed a flight back to Auckland with the children.

All I can say is...the South Island is completely AMAZING...I hope we come back some time!

Milford Sound

A "must see" of the South Island but we were pleased to only go for a day trip from Queenstown. We went on an overcast day which probably did not do the place justice but we were mildly disappointed. I think we built up this trip and our expectations were perhaps too high. Nevertheless it was really impressive but there are so many amazing places in New Zealand that this did not necessarily out do any of the others. Still... we managed to see some more dolphins which was brilliant!

Throwing stones in Queenstown!

Wednesday, 28 January 2009


Moving on from the very cold to the "Remarkable" Queenstown (quite literally). The Journey via the Haast pass was amazing. The sights were incredibly stunning on the journey and even the pictures don't really do it justice. Queenstown is the adrenaline capital of New Zealand. It is famous for Jet Boating and other equally dangerous pursuits. We loved it!
One of the highlights of our time was going to a farm park on the opposite side of the lake to Queenstown and feeding deer. Unfortunately, Matilda was not overly impressed when she got kicked over by one of the larger deers!! Amazingly she did not get hurt but it certainly added a bit of drama to an otherwise brilliant afternoon!

The Glaciers (Franz Josef and Fox)

We moved down the West Coast down to the Glaciers. Unfortunately it wasn't the best weather when we arrived...and it didn't really pick up either. We thought about the possibility of taking a helicopter to the Glaciers but because of the weather it wasn't worth it. They were still quite impressive as well as the reflections of Lake Matheson. It was definitely worth the stop over.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Rocky Pancakes!

Our week at Pohara soon came to an end and it was off down the rugged west coast of the South Island..destination Punakaiki and the famous Pancake rocks. The weather was gorgeous but I don't think the tide was particularly high so we didn't see the rocks in their full glory. It was still impressive though. The limestone rocks have been sculpted by the sea and unusual erosion. There are also fun little blow holes and rocks that look like animals (can you spot the lion??!).
We stayed at this crazy hostel in Punakaiki (poo on a car key!). It was in the middle of the "bush" and had a record player with a sumptuous collection of classic records. I don't think Rich, Kath and Rosie appreciated this quite as much as me! The shack was just a small walk from the coast and we managed to get down to the sea just before the sunset..great pictures to be had!! The other bonus with this wood shack/hostel was the fresh muffin breakfast that Rich went to buy in the morning. Great fun!

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Golden Bay

This is going to be a whistle stop tour of the South Island. I promised to myself that I would at least complete the NZ experience. I think I would like to continue it beyond NZ (is there life after NZ I am wondering?!?) but let's wait and see.
From Nelson we headed North to Golden Bay and the Sand fly capital of New Zealand! We were glad to be joined by Rich, Kath and Amelie in Pohara. The Johnsons found this great 4 bed bach with enough room for all of us to enjoy. We had a great time together. The highlight of this part of the excursion had to be the taxi boat ride around the Abel Tasman National Park from Kaiteriteri to Tonga Bay. Not only was the scenery incredible but we were joined by about 200 dolphins for the trip. This is where Rosie managed to win the "photo of the Amess NZ year" competition!
The only down side to the time in Pohara was that it rained a fair amount. Totaranui was our favourite beach. Rosie and I made full use of staying with the Johnsons by going out to a great local restaurant called "The Penguin". It was a great time together as families in the same house.