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Entries about backpacking

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
View Rob and Jo's Adventures on rob_harvs's travel map.

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!!


(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)

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)

Islands and Rotten-rua

semi-overcast 19 °C
View Rob and Jo's Adventures on rob_harvs's travel map.

So Jo jumped off the sky tower!!SDC10723.jpg SDC10738.jpg hahaha only joking Gail dont panic its her body double! After another day in Auckland SDC10703.jpg we headed north to the bay of islands, and a little town called Paihia (pie-here). We wasted no time and booked ourselves on to a boat to sail round the islands the following day!SDC10742.jpg We started at 10am and sailed out in to the bay, it reminded us of the whitsundays but instead of turtles we had penguins and instead of beaches we had cliffs and rock formations!SDC10749.jpg SDC10760.jpgSDC10763.jpgSDC10769.jpgThe trip was brilliant, we anchored up at a nice beach cove for lunch and then me and jo headed out in the kayaks to explore the rocks nearby, getting pushed through the gullys in the rocks by the waves was good fun! After lunch we headed back accross the bay to the black rocks (similar to the giants causway) and to try and catch some fish off the back of the boat. We caught nothing but the ganetts diving in around us seemed to be doing much better! We got back to town around 5.30 and headed back to the campsite for tea and to chill out by the beach (we were parked on it:) ) The next day was my birthday!!! woooo. I pretty much forgot to be honest haha...we headed in to town and hired a couple of kayaks for a few hours. we headed out across the bay to the town opposite, Russell. Russell was the first settlement of europeans in NZ and was lablled by dawin as the "hell hole of the south" thanks to the whalers and their drinking and debauchery! haha its alot nicer now though with loads of little cafes and restaurants and blue rinses haha. we ate our picnic on the beach there and carried on in a loop round the bay. On the evening we went out to a resaurant which was pretty average and headed out for a few drinks! we met a scottish couple and a few drinks turned in to many! The scottish couple gave us a voucher they won at the bar we were in for 2 for 1 parasailing which they couldn't use. So the next day we thought that NZ's highest parasail at 1200ft would cure the hangover!SDC10788.jpg it did.SDC10790.jpg It was a good view up there and alot calmer than you would think!SDC10821.jpgSDC10811.jpgSDC10819.jpg That afternoon we left the bay of islands and headed back to auckland for a night stop over and then we drove on to Waitomo to the glow worm caves.SDC10834.jpgSDC10830.jpgSDC10829.jpg The caves are similar to the ones we saw in Australia but they have a huge population of glow worms in the lower caves because of the river flowing through. It was pretty amazing! there were over 6 thousand of them lighting the roof of the cave, we floated through on a boat to get a better view of them.Waikato_07T_L.jpg On thursday we drove over to our current location Rotorua, or "rotten-rua" as it is also known thanks to the volcanic fields and the hydrogen sulphide they give off giving the town a healthy rotten egg smell! We chilled out in the thermal hot pools and the swimming pool for the rest of the day ready for an early morning yesterday. We got up and drove south a few K to a volcanic field where we managed to see a geyser erruptSDC10854.jpg and various other volcanic features like boiling mud pools.SDC10897.jpgSDC10884.jpgSDC10875.jpgSDC10870.jpg it was all very interesting and very smelly! Last night we booked ourselves on to a maori culture thing. We were picked up and taken to a maori village out side of town where a cheif from our group was selected and made to face the traditional challenge of the maori warriors!SDC10930.jpgSDC10925.jpg it was brilliant!! they managed to scare Jo so pretty authentic i rekon! we were accepted in to the village where we walked around and the guys told us about their tattoos and how the dye was originally made from dog poo!! and about their cooking etc. They then performed various maori dances and chants like the Haka, before we went to the main house for our "hangi" which is a feast cooked in a traditional earth oven. it was a really good night!!

Thats all folks

Lots of love Rob and Jo xxxxxxxxxxxxxx (more pics to come soon!!)

Posted by rob_harvs 15:36 Archived in New Zealand Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Cities and Scenery

semi-overcast 24 °C

We left Byron Bay and drove to the half way point between there and Sydney, Port McQuarie. The lonely planet bigged it up as a beautiful holiday destination and all that but it turned out it was a bit crap! so 1 night was all we stayed and we drove on, catching the western suburbs of sydney (obviously getting lost there because road signing in australia seems to be optional) and making our way out west of sydney to Katoomba and the Blue Mountains. The first thing we noticed was the FLIES!! millions of them! we had heard of the fly plague that hits Aus every year but we had no idea it was like that...they only seem interested in your mouth, eyes, ears and nose, and they are so persistant! really needed a swinging corks hat!! We had a walk round from the camp site to the mountain railway/cable car and for a view of the famous 3 sisters SDC10514_JPG.jpg We decided that it would be more fun to take the worlds steepest railway DOWN the mountain! SDC10518_JPG.jpg and the cable car back up to the top. At the bottom is an old coal mine where Jo conquered her fears and sat on a pit pony!!SDC10523_JPG.jpg In the afternoon we drove further in to the mountains to the Jenolan Caves. They are the most extensive limestone cave formations in the world apparently and were definitely worth the visit...pretty spectacular!SDC10570_JPG.jpg On the saturaday we left Katoomba and drove in to sydney. We had arranged to stay with Steve (Steve worked for my dad when he was travelling and so was happy to return the favour) and his fiance Danica in Bronte near bondi beach. We saw all the sights of Sydney on the Sunday, the harbour bridge SDC10583_JPG.jpg and we did a tour round the opera house.SDC10578_JPG.jpgSDC10585_JPG.jpgSDC10622_JPG.jpg Later in the afternoon we took a ferry through sydney harbour over to manly and spent a few hours over there. In the evening Jo met up with one of her friends from home, katie, who is over living down the road from steve, for a BBQ and a few drinks!SDC10640_JPG.jpg I met them after they had chance to gossip and drink a bottle of wine haha!SDC10641_JPG.jpg Good night though but the next day we felt a bit rough! This was the day we had to clean out the camper van...well i did while Jo slept off her hangover! It took ages! amazing the amount of crap you can aquire in 6 weeks! In the evening i made my debut in the AFL for steves local Aussie Rules team...it was only touch but apparently the Pommie was f***ing good haha?! we lost by 3 points though so not that good haha! :(
We left the camper off in sydney centre, after 4000Km in Aus, without dramas on the tuesday and met Katie agian to walk along the coast to bondi beach and back in the afternoon.
Wednesday we were up at 4am to get our flight to New Zealand...and at around 12.30 we arrived in Auckland! The campervan guy met us at the airport and drove us over the road to collect it! its a great big thing...much better equipped than the one in Aus and much more space!SDC10740.jpg i prefer this one and it is way cheaper!! happy days!
Yesterday we walked round downtown Auckland and went on a cruise round the harbour and today we are going up the tallest tower in the southern hemisphere! (Jo might jump off it!! with some peer pressure! haha)

Thats all for now!

Speak to you soon, Love Rob + Jo xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Posted by rob_harvs 16:34 Archived in New Zealand Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

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