A Travellerspoint blog

New Zealand

Dunedin to Christchurch

sunny 21 °C

The Speights brewery was excellent! way better than cadburys and way better than the other brewery in greymouth! the guide was enthusiastic and we got half an hour to drink as much as we liked (or could hahaha).SDC11255.jpg We went out in to town after the tour and headed to the spots that had all the drink promotions on for the uni freshers! it was a really good night!
The day after we planned to spend the day over on the Otago peninsular but the weather set in again and we decided that another plan was needed. all being pretty hungover anyway we just headed to the other side of town to see the much famed Baldwin St - the steepest street in the world.SDC11278.jpg Well it was quite steep but not THAT steepSDC11279.jpg...but guiness book of records 1997 doesn't lie! yeah 1997 we found out after hahah!
The weather cleared thankfully and we headed out to the peninsular about 6.30pm to a spot that we found out about where you could see the rare yellow eyed penguins for free! everywhere tries to charge you for tours, about $40+ each! well we got there Just in time! the penguins had just started arriving on the beach when we got there.SDC11345.jpg we had to view them from a hide so not to disturb them so the pictures aren't great but with only about 100 of these penguins on the mainland it was still pretty cool! SDC11329.jpgSDC11316.jpgSDC11309.jpg
Also chilling out on the same beach were huge male sea lions! SDC11358.jpg i think we woke this big lad up SDC11289.jpg because we had to leg it when he started to chase us off!! SDC11294.jpg.
We left dunedin the next day and drove up to Mt cook. On the way we stopped that the famous Moeraki Boulders, they were pretty wierd things to see sitting in the middle of the beach with no other rocks around! SDC11362.jpg the scenery improved as we got nearer the mountains SDC11369.jpg but when we arrived at the mountains we couldnt see the peak for the cloud! and then the rain started again! we spent the afternoon in the Sir Edmond Hillary centre reading about all his achievements. The next morning we woke up super early and the sky was clear! we got a great view of the peak that even some Kiwi's have never seen.SDC11394.jpgSDC11414.jpgSDC11405.jpg We did a couple of short walks around the mountain and to the Tasman glacier lake. SDC11422.jpg.
We left mount cook and took two days to drive up to Christchurch, stopping in Timaru and Akaroa on the banks peninsular but the weather was too bad to leave the camper!
We arrived in Christchurch yesterday and walked around town. We are stayin with a family friend of Jo's parents called Elizabeth and her friend Basil. Jo can't stop saying how cute they are and they are trying to feed us at every available moment so i think they're great haha!
We leave NZ on wednesday morning aka Jo's birthday, bound for Fiji!

Speak to you soon!

love Rob and Jo xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Posted by rob_harvs 15:01 Archived in New Zealand Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Rain, Adrenaline and Chocolate

rain 12 °C
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We spent the next day walking round both Glaciers, Franz Joseph and Fox. SDC11230.jpg and then drove further down the coast and stopped at a DOC (dept. of conservation) camp site which should cost $6 each but if you run away from the ranger collecting the fees like us rebels its FREE :) haha. They are all in pretty spectacular places but the facilities are a little lacking! so the lake here acted as a big but VERY cold bath! SDC11240.jpg we drove on from wanaka after legging it from the ranger and arrived in Queenstown, the adrenaline capital of NZ theres pretty much everything there to get your heart pumping. including the worlds highest bungy at 142m!! i didnt do it though! Queenstown might be full of cool stuff but its waaaay overpriced for most of it. So after the great weather of our 1st day, where we pretty much just sat around and drank beer and cocktails from Teapots SDC11241.jpg, it rained! and it rained and it rained. Infact 5 days on it has only just stopped raining! So with the rain me and ben thought we might as well get wet so we decided our Queenstown activity should be Rapid Surfing.SDC11245.jpgSDC11244.jpg None of this going down in a boat stupidness, thats just soft. We went down the rapids on a body board (a small surf board) haha. it was brilliant, going over rapids called things like Man Eater etc. then at the end we did some rock jumping and some rope swings...all over 10m of course! meanwhile the girls in true Jo and Becky spirit went to sample some of Queenstowns best public houses.
Unfortunately the weather forcast is rubbish for at least the next 5 days meaning the 10hr round trip to Milford Sound is off the cards!! apparently there is just nothing to see if the weather isn't perfect! pretty gutted about that but nevermind.
We drove on from Queenstown yesterday and arrived in Dunedin. We took a tour round the Cadbury factory here yesterday which was average at best, but the others loved the free chocy at least!SDC11246.jpgSDC11250.jpg Today we have been walking round the city (quite big in NZ terms) and tonight we are going to another brewery tour (it was a package with the cadbury tour) haha, this time its Speights beer. its freshers week here aswell at the biggest Uni in NZ so theres plenty going on!!

Done.

(CHECK OUT THE PICS!!!!!!! all the way back from Rotten-rua!!)

Speak to you soon. Love Rob and Jo xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Posted by rob_harvs 19:09 Archived in New Zealand Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

National Parks and the West Coast

rain 15 °C
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After a night in the sounds SDC11147.jpgSDC11141.jpgSDC11124.jpgand some pretty cool driving we came to Nelson, and it RAINED! all day and all night! So there really wasn't much we could do apart from go down to the second hand book shop and trade in for some new ones to read all day. we did meet another couple (Ben and Becky) on the camp site though who are doing exactly the same as us, so we have travelled round with them since!
We ditched the rain of Nelson and headed in to the Abel Tasmen national park to go salmon Fishing! we got all the gear free you just paid for your fish (if you got one!)SDC11152.jpg I landed a MONSTER haha only joking it was 1.6kgs SDC11155.jpg and the people we got the gear from cut it up and all that jazz and smoked it there and then! Luckily ben loves salmon so he ate most of it and a Canadian couple bought half off us so it worked out a really cheap afternoon!
The next day ben and becky went off on a 2 day Kayak and me and Jo took a water taxi up the Abel Tasmen coast and tackled a 14km walk back down the coastal track past brilliant coastal scenery and some of the best beaches in the world (according to the guardian?!)SDC11190.jpgSDC11178.jpgSDC11167.jpg The day after we decided on a shorter walk in the morning to stretch out our tight calves and afterwards met back up with the other two and we drove on to a free camping spot towards the west coast.
We bailed from the free spot sharpish in the morning after being over run with biting sand flies (SO itchy!!!) and drove on to Greymouth on the west coast, the home of Montieths beer! Me and ben did some body boarding in the surf just opposite our camp while the girls gossiped about jessica simpson being fat or something?! then obviously we went for a tour round the brewery, got lots of free samples and then went on to an all you can eat barbeque!! could it get much better??!!SDC11213.jpg
Today we drove down the west coast to Franz Joseph Glacier. We stopped half way for lunch and to pan for some gold in a tiny little village called Ross. They found a 2.5kg nugget here once so we all had dreams of striking it lucky. All we found were a few more mozzy bites to add to the collection! haha.SDC11218.jpgSDC11214.jpg So tomorrow we are planning some kind of glacier walk/tour or something along those lines on one of the two massive glaciers here!

More to come soon!
The map here should give you a good idea of where we are now...

Lots of Love Rob + Jo xxxxxxxxxx

Posted by rob_harvs 21:13 Archived in New Zealand Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Wellington and North of the South

overcast 18 °C
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So we left Taupo and headed south to Tongariro National park. There are 3 huge volcanos which dominate the scenery, the last of which errupted in 1995! it was the one that was used for Mt Doom in Lord of the Rings! it didn't explode when we were there though.SDC11051.jpg We did some walking around the parkSDC11060.jpg and then drove down to Palmerston North. We got there in time for the friday Waitangi festival (a public holiday celebrating the treaty of Waitangi) it was alright, various local things for local people and fast food etc haha but bit of a different day! we then drove on down towards wellington and arrived on the saturday.SDC11082.jpg It was pretty busy down there for the rugby 7s so plenty of good fancy dress happening! and England beat NZ in the final so alot of unhappy kiwis at the end of the day haha. Wellington is a nice city though we walked around it on the sunday and headed to the free national museum Te Papa,SDC11088.jpg where they have the only Colossal Sqiud on display...its HUGE!!SDC11089.jpg there was all sorts of chinese new year things kicking off so seemed to be a good time to be in town! On monday morning we were up early and drove down to the ferry port for the 3 hour boat to Picton on the South island.SDC11094.jpg As we came through the Queen Charlotte sound on the ferry the scenery was amazing, like the mountains you imagine when you hear new zealand.SDC11105.jpg We spent the day in picton, doing a few short walks round the countryside there. On tuesday we drove the 30k to Blenhiem (Blenum) where the Marlborough wine region is just a short cycle away! So yesterday we hired a TANDEM bikeSDC11128.jpg, haha idiots, and spent the day cycling round the vineyards sampling the FREE wine!! and obliging ourselves to buy nothing haha. Happy days. well until we got back and our bums and legs were killing us. We cycled over 30Km in the day!! anyway today we are heading back up to Marlborough sounds for some more spectacular scenery!

Love Rob + Jo xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Posted by rob_harvs 13:57 Archived in New Zealand Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Next stop 15,000 ft

semi-overcast 20 °C
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We lazed around for another day in Rotorua in the hot pools and the swimming pool at the camp site and set off for Taupo the next morning. We went to the i-site which is like a tourist information palce and i booked on for my skydive for Tuesday 3rd!! that day we headed up to the Taupo bungy and watched for a while. neither of us fancied it especially after forking out a load for the skydive...so we left the car there and walked up to the thermal spa park up the road with hot streams and pools. We had a bit of a paddle and followed the walk on for an hour to Huka rapids and water fall!SDC10970.jpgSDC10966.jpgwe stood there hypnotized for a while then headed back on the track to the bungy. We stayed in Taupos free campsite that night (no facilities except chemical toilets haha) which was a nice break for the VISA card! Monday we had a bit of a lazy day where we took another boat ride to see some Maori rock art,SDC10989.jpgSDC10996.jpg we ended up getting a private charter since no other people had booked!! and Tuesday was the day!! i woke up around 7 to thick cloud and thought the jump was going to be cancelled but by 1pm when they picked me up the cloud had broken up nicely! We got there and went through all the safety stuff while Jo chilled out with other non-jumpers and took photos of me looking a bit nervous! I had to wait a while for the delayed loads (because of the cloud) went up and jumped but then it was my turn and in the little yellow plane and up we went on the 25min journey to 15,000 ft! i was first out the door after the solo sport jumper IMG_1749.jpg a little lean back in to the plane then WOOSH out we went! IMG_9697.jpg its hard to describe the feeling but you don't feel that feeling of dropping you just notice the speed! 200km/h MINIMUM!IMG_9714.jpg IMG_9705.jpg we plummeted back to earth for over a minute doing spins and turns and holding on to the camera man, but it only seemed like 10 seconds! Through the cloud cover IMG_9720.jpg and to the view below! IMG_9727.jpg At 5000ft we pulled the shute and it opened!!!IMG_9734.jpg From there i took the chords and did some turns and directed us down towards the airport before allen took them back and landed us safely on the X. AMAZING! Still trying to convince Jo to do it but i have my work cut out! SDC11017.jpgSDC11031.jpg

We have booked our ferry to south island for next week so more reports to come soon!

Speak to you soon! Love Rob and Jo xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Posted by rob_harvs 15:32 Archived in New Zealand Tagged air_travel Comments (0)

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