From its origins high in the Southern Alps, the Franz Josef Glacier descends deep into the lush rainforest of Westland National Park, offering us the opportunity
to explore the most spectacular glacial environment available to the general public anywhere in the world! We hired a guide excellent in step-cutting skills to
allow us to travel through the most beautiful glacier terrain I could imagine. We were provided with Goretex Rain Jackets, Gloves, Woolen socks, Boots and Ice
Talonz (crampons) allowing us to ascend and descend safely. A spectacular all day climb on a beautiful sunny day!
|Punakaiki is the gateway to the dramatic limestone country of the Paparoa National Park. It lies halfway between Greymouth and Westport on
the most spectacular coastal highways in New Zealand. The Pancake Rocks are columns of limestone resembling stacks of pancakes. This
bed of limestone known as Paparoa Syncline, uplifted from the seabed millons of years ago.
At high tide with a heavy swell running, seawater is forced upwards through blowholes creating dramatic plumes of white water spray.
New Zealand, a wealthy Pacific nation, is dominated by two cultural groups:
New Zealanders of European descent, and the minority Maori, whose Polynesian
ancestors arrived on the islands around 1,000 years ago.
New Zealand, about 1,250 miles southeast of Australia, consists of two main islands and a number of smaller outlying islands so
scattered that they range from the tropical to the antarctic. The country is the size of Colorado. New Zealand's two main components
are the North Island and the South Island, separated by Cook Strait. The North Island is 515 miles long and volcanic in its
south-central part. This area contains many hot springs and beautiful geysers. South Island has the Southern Alps along its west
coast, with Mount Cook (12,316 ft) the highest point.
- The National Bird, kiwi bird
lives in a hole in the ground, is
one egg each year
- The kiwi bird has been around
for more than 70 million years.
- New Zealand was the first
country to give women the
right to vote in 1893.
- There were over 100 million
sheep in New Zealand.
- Bungee jumping was invented
by a New Zealander, A. J.
- If you dug a hole directly
through the center of the earth
starting in New Zealand, you
would end up in Spain.
- New Zealand is the first
country to begin each new day
- Kiwi fruit was known as the
Chinese Gooseberry until
1959, when New Zealanders
gave it the name “Kiwifruit,”
after their beloved national
symbol, the fuzzy, brown Kiwi
- New Zealand has no snakes
or dangerous wild animals.
- The only native land mammal
in New Zealand is a bat
Abel Tasman One of New Zealands 14 National
Parks is located just 90 minutes from Nelson city on the
North-West corner of the South
Island. Abel Tasman is the
smallest and most beautiful
national park in New Zealand. You can do the Abel Tasman
Coast track , a 3-5 day walk the full length with campsites, huts
and lodges. We took a boat north and hiked the 8 hour
coastal hike through beaches, bush and rainforest .
NEW ZEALAND South Island
To walk day sections of the Abel Tasman Track you have to make use of taxi-boats - there are several
companies offering this at Marahau, just 45 minutes from Nelson. You load the boat/on tailor from the Water
Taxi office and then you are driven by tractor to the launch site. During low tide the tractor takes you out.
The experience is a real trip!
Punakaiki, New Zealand South Island West Coast
Franz Joseph Glacier
An all day glacier experience on the South Island West Coast
Thousands of years ago, a Maori god carved out a mighty mountain range, with an adze and laid bare a legendary source of pounamu - New Zealand greenstone.
Today Te Awa Whakatipu (Dart River) is home to Dart River Jet Safaris - an exciting 1.5 hr ride up the river and a 2 hr FunYak return to explore this beautiful remote wilderness.
We paddled downstream taking in the awe-inspiring sights including rock pools, chasms and many views of Isengard of the Lord of the Rings epic movie.
The TSS Earnslaw Vintage Steamship and Walter Peak High Country Farm is the elegance of turn-of-the-century travel with a cruise aboard the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw,
the only coal fired passenger carrying vessel still operating in the southern hemisphere. Affectionately known as the “Lady of the Lake”, the TSS Earnslaw has a special place in the
hearts of Queenstown people. She has been transporting goods to remote settlements and conveying passengers on beautiful Lake Wakatipu since 1912.
Destination; Walter Peak High Country Farm on the western shores of Lake Wakatipu. This European settlement of the 1880's was credited with developing many of the principles
of successful high country farming and at its peak, the station was most famous with 170,000 acres, 40,000 sheep and 50 full time employees.
Queenstown, so named in honour of Queen Victoria, is well-established as the "jewel in NZ's tourism crown", with more adventure options per square metre than any other similarly-
sized town in the world! And it was Bungy that got the whole thing started back in 1988 and setting Queenstown up as the adventure-tourism capital of the world. The Kawarau Bridge,
home to the original 43-metre Bungy Jump. If you've heard of Bungy, you've heard of Kawarau. The world's first and most infamous of leaps is still going strong, with tens of
thousands Bungying each year. At the world's best-loved Bungy site, you can choose from a number of options; topple over backwards, forwards, with another person, spin or
somersault. Kawarau Bridge Bungy is also the only Bungy in Queenstown where you can choose to bob above the water, touch it, or be fully immersed ~ I opted for 'Above the Water!'
AWESOME ! ! !
|minus 5 below is an absolutely unique experience. Here is a bar where everything is made of ICE. The walls, the bar, the menu, sculptures, the seats and even the glasses from
which you drink. We are fitted out into ice gear which includes sheepskin lined jackets, gloves and booties. Ready to brave the cold, in sub Antarctic conditions, we move into 2
chambers before arriving into the Ice lounge. Once inside the lounge, we notice the room is covered in ice sculptures that reflect the season. Bob heads to the bar and orders our
drinks then slides onto and ice couch covered in deer skin and talks with new friends. The music jams louder and all get up to dance and drink to John Travolta 'Staying Alive'. Was a
night to remember..... We chilled in Minus 5 degrees, Queenstown, NZ Very Cool !
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Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign...
Check out New Zealand Highway signs throughout the South Island
New Zealand SHEEP SHEARING
The New Zealand tourism authorities will not let you leave their country until you have seen at least one sheep shorn! However, it is best to just drive into a rural station,
pop your head into the barn to see an actual "Shear Gang" in action, in lieu of a show at a tourist facility. We did just that and stepped into the life of a sheep shearer. Their were 3
men shearing, one women sorting and another man packing. It is amazing how many of these animals are shorn in an hour. The country once boasted 100 million sheep, yet the
number of lively lambs has now dwindled to 47 million. Southland shearer Jimmy Clark has smashed a world record after shearing 560 ewes in eight hours. Over the eight hours
he averaged one sheep every 51.43 seconds.
Sights from around New Zealand
North Otago, South Island
Originally limey sand
accumulated in waters
75-100m deep in
Oligocene times, 26 million
yrs ago. Remnants of the
ocean sea floor.
Paragliding, Queenstown, South Island
|The sea nettle or brown jellyfish, can
grow to 30cm across, trailing its 24
brown tentacles to 2 metres behind. Its
bridal train of four tentacles, often looks
one at about 10" we stepped over while
boarding a skif at Stewart Island.
|Cathedral Cove Marine Reserve, covers 9 square kilometres and is New
Zealand's sixth marine reserve. Accessible only on foot or by boat,
famous Cathedral Cove is one of the "must visit" sites on the
Coromandel Peninsula, North Island
Lunch on the rocks
Ultimate Hot Tub
|Some volcanos develop huge underground
reservoirs of superheated water. Over time,
this water will escape to the surface — cooling
on the way. There are two fissures at Hot
Water Beach issuing water as hot as 64ºC
(147ºF) at a rate as high as 15 litres/minute.
Hot pools can be dug out of the sand at low tide
near the rocks and in places where steam can
be seen rising from the open sea at high tide.
South Island, West Coast
Go to Milford Track
|"Is this the place to
|"Bobby! Is this a
|"I told you to bring the
Kim on Ice
"Glad we've been dieting?"
"Bobby, what great legs"
"Kim, Is Spain down there?"
|"Kimmy! Your PB&J's have
never tasted better"
|"Kim, What do I do with
"Aren't we cute"
|"Bobby, I'm going as fast
as I can"
|Bobby: "Can I
rig a Sail?!"
Bob & Kim in Formal Attire
"Will he ever grow up?!"
|Singing: "Staying Alive,
staying alive... ou ou - ou ou,
Bobby: "My helmets too tight!"
|"Bobby! do you
want to play tag?"
|Kim: "Bob,This is as far as I'm
going to carry you"
|Waitomo is a Maori word made up of two
parts. 'Wai' which translates as water and
Waitomo can be translated as the 'stream
which flows into the hole in the ground'.
All Day Caving - Great Fun!
100 Meters to Cave Entrance
November 9, 2007 - MAY 6, 2008