Archive for July, 2005

Final Day in NZ

Saturday, July 30th, 2005

Our final day in NZ greeted us with bright sunshine — such a change from the start of the week. Since our only goal for the day was to reach Auckland ready to fly out early the next morning (I had to be at the airport by 5:30am), we decided to take a scenic route […]

Going underground

Saturday, July 30th, 2005

After the dizzy heights of skydiving the previous day, on Thursday we sought out adventure in the opposite direction: underground in the Waitomo caves. Having donned wetsuits and helmets with lanterns, our adventure began with a 35m abseil into a dark hole. This was lots of fun, although much harder work than it looks on […]

The view from 12,000 ft

Thursday, July 28th, 2005

Having finished exploring Thermal Wonderland (see previous post), a quick phone call to Taupo confirmed that the weather was as good there as in Rotorua and the decision to ditch our afternoon plans and drive the 50km back to Taupo to go sky-diving was a no-brainer. After the first company we rang were fully booked […]

Geysers and Alien Landscapes

Thursday, July 28th, 2005

Contrary to all predictions, and for the first time since the South Island, we actually saw the sun on Wednesday morning! Our first destination of the day was the Wai-o-tapu geyser since it spouts exactly once a day at 10:15am. For some reason I found this slightly disappointing — I suppose as a natural phenomenon […]


Thursday, July 21st, 2005

After another abortive attempt to go jet boating Tuesday morning, we gave up on Taupo and headed for Rotorua as the Rough Guide suggested there were a greater number of rainy day activities there and the forcast was no improvement in the weather until Friday. 🙁 On the way we stopped at the ‘Buried Village’, […]

Art Deco Napier and Taupo

Wednesday, July 20th, 2005

We left Wellington on Saturday and headed to Napier. The weather was not particularly nice so apart from pit stops for sandwiches, cake, and coffee, we made only one stop for scenery—a pretty waterfall. The city of Napier was completely destroyed by an earthquake in 1931, and was subsequently rebuilt almost entirely in Art Deco […]

Queen Charlotte Track and Wellington

Sunday, July 17th, 2005

Right, I’m almost up to date! Last week, after Nelson, we headed to Picton. We arrived on a lovely afternoon and did a short walk up to a lookout point which had a fantastic view of the harbour and Queen Charlotte Sound. Picton is quite a small place, but we amused ourselves playing mini-golf — […]

Films and Buses

Friday, July 15th, 2005

Thanks to everyone who has emailed me, and apologies for being rather behind at replying! A couple of things people have asked: 1. How many photographs have I taken? LOTS! I think I have so far used about ten nine 24-exposure films, and I think I’m just about to finish an eleventhtenth… I’ve slowed down […]

Whales and Dolphins!

Friday, July 15th, 2005

Sunday morning we left Christchurch at the very early time of 7:15am and headed to Kaikoura. There’s not much in Kaikoura, the main reason for going there being whale watching, and unfortunately the whale watching cruise we had booked for that afternoon was cancelled due to rough seas! 🙁 Fortunately we were able to move […]

Dunedin and Lake Takepo

Wednesday, July 13th, 2005

Having enjoyed Queenstown and the surrounding area it was time to get on the road again if we were to get around both islands in the time we had left! The bus to Dunedin was fairly uneventful, overcast weather in the morning didn’t allow too many scenic views, but fortunately it cleared up in the […]

Back to the Queenstown

Sunday, July 10th, 2005

Tuesday 5th July we headed back to Queenstown from Te Anau. The weather continued to be rather overcast and uninspiring and we had an early-start rafting the following lined up so we had an easy afternoon exploring a little more of the town and gardens. The evening was a lot of fun with a Mardi […]

Te Anau and Milford Sound

Saturday, July 9th, 2005

After two days in Queenstown we headed down to Te Anau, a small and very quiet town that was quite a nice change after the bustle of Queenstown. Once more the journey was lovely with ever-changing scenery that makes every journey in this country so pleasant. The main reason for going to Te Anau was […]

To Queenstown

Saturday, July 9th, 2005

On 1st July we took the bus from Franz Josef township to Queenstown, so-called “Adventure Capital of the South Island.” On the way we stopped at Lake Matheson which, thanks to the clear weather, had the most beautiful reflection of Mount Cook and Mount Tasman. As we got closer to Queenstown, driving through the Makarora […]

The Southern Alps and the West Coast

Tuesday, July 5th, 2005

With so much to fit into just under four weeks we decided it would be a good idea to hit the road as soon as possible and not spend too much time in Christchurch. Having said that, the first leg of out journey was actually by rail as we took the TransAlpine train across the […]


Tuesday, July 5th, 2005

Apologies for the lack of updates recently, NZ has kept me rather busy, and cheap Internet cafes have been somewhat scarcer than in Oz. So… I’ve actually been in NZ for over a week now — I can’t believe how the time has flown by! I landed in Christchurch, the largest city on the South […]