(filtered by month 'April 2010')

Arthur's Pass

Added: April 26, 2010

Tags: NewZealand RTW photos waterfalls

Entrance to Arthur's Pass NP

14th of January. We knew we were not alone in dormitory, but our roommate was not there. He arrived at 2am and went directly to bed. We were sleeping too so we did not bother to check on him. Then his alarm clock rang at 7am, but he managed to snooze it 3 times by ten minutes. We were not sure he was not able to get up or he just wanted to make sure we could not sleep too. He went for quick shower and then left.

Only later we have noticed a paper next to door warning about fake backpackers operating in Greymouth area who steal from unsuspecting roommates.

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Detail of layers - Pancake Rocks

Full of experiences from Franz Josef Glacier we were speeding to the next point of interest - Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki. Punakaiki is 171km from Franz Josef. It was side trip for us and visiting that place was the only reason we did not book full-day walk on glacier, but only half-day. After finishing the walk we felt like we could be there for longer, but we looked forward to see Pancake Rocks.

We stopped in Greymouth to accommodate and continued in our ride to Punakaiki. It was getting more cloudy and late.

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detail of glacier crevasse

It is fantastic to live through our trip for the third time. The first time was when we were there, the 2nd time while I was processing photos and now for the 3rd time when I am writing this post. Our experiences from Franz Josef Glacier fully deserve to repeat them for the 3rd time. BTW while I am editing this post I am processing photos from Bolivia (Uyuni) on background making this post travelling flashbacks even more fun.

We had helicopter flight and we were also walking on glacier for a half day. I usually show all photos in one page, because I think some "quick scanners" would miss a link to the 2nd page, but there are too many photos here so the split is necessary.

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Lake Hawea

Landscape we have seen on Tuesday 12th of January was as close to my dreams about New Zealand as it could get. Snowy mountains against nice blue sky are reflecting in deep blue lakes. Lot of greens in tropical vegetation around.

Our only reason to rush through this paradise was to be at Franz Josef at about 2pm to catch so long awaited helicopter ride to Mt Cook. And the only reason to have negative thoughts were occasional, but cumulating clouds ahead.

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Wanaka

Added: April 13, 2010

Tags: NewZealand RTW city lake mountains photos

Wanaka

The same place can look completely differently when the weather changes. We could observe such a change in Wanaka. When we arrived it was cloudy and Wanaka did not look very nice. But next morning the sky was clean, sun was shining, birds were chirping and whole place seemed to be refurbished.

Colour of Lake Wanaka changed from ugly grey to beautiful blue. And the similar change happened with surrounding hills and mountains of Mount Aspring National Park - they grew from 2 dimensions into 3. My impression of Wanaka changed and I would put into my list of places I would like to live if I had one.

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Milford Sound

Added: April 13, 2010

Tags: NewZealand RTW mountains photos waterfalls

Mitre Peak at Milford Sound

Milford Sound is one of places used in promoting New Zealand. Others are Lord of Rings locations, of course... I would say it is a must-see.

We looked forward to be here not only to enjoy this place. We could resume our daily rituals like taking a hot shower in the morning. Can you imagine how much better is that compared to an alternative offered by Milford Track - cold water seeping through cheap rain coat whole day? Or not overhearing chatting girls on the third day judging their attractiveness: "I smell like a s**t"?

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Milford Track

Added: April 11, 2010

Tags: NewZealand RTW mountains photos waterfalls

Lake at at Mackinnon Pass

One of the activities we looked forward to in New Zealand the most was Milford Track - 54km long hike done in 4 days. Plus healthy amount of respect. That respect got even bigger when we arrived to Visitor Centre in Te Anau. Dark clouds to the north and the weather forecast for 3 days did not help to raise my mood. It said it will be raining all the time, it will be cold, snowing, windy and everything we hoped we will not experience there.

We left our car at Burglary point - nice name for parking lot near Visitor centre, took out backpacks and headed to bus for Te Anau Downs. Ignoring warnings I left my photobank and e-reader in the car. 15kg of stuff was about maximum I was willing to take with me.

It started raining before we jumped into boat and left our backpacks outside of cabin to give them the 1st test of our rain covers. We were not sure about it in the beginning, but the best buy we ever done in NZ was big yellow plastic bag we bought in Visitor Centre for 5 NZD. Thanks to it at least something stayed dry during whole hike.

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Waterfalls at Catlins

Added: April 08, 2010

Tags: NewZealand RTW photos waterfalls

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From Moeraki we sped to Catlins, completely skipping Dunedin. Cities are not what we came to New Zealand after. We wanted to see Purakaunui Falls and Peter found 2 more nearby.

When Zuzka and me are searching for places to go we are looking at photos in Google Maps, Google Earth, books and similar. On the other hand Peter checks where geocaches are. They are usually at interesting places and it happened many times he navigated us (pun intended) to wonderful places we missed.

This was our first encounter with rain forest and we liked it (it was not raining).

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Moeraki

Added: April 08, 2010

Tags: NewZealand RTW beach boulder photos waterfalls

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During planning of our trip in New Zealand I had hard time to persuade Zuzka to accept big side trip to Moeraki. I wanted to see those famous boulders and she preferred other places - there are so many of them in New Zealand. Peter sided with me so she finally accepted. But everything was resolved in favour of Moeraki after we failed to book Milford Track for beginning of our trip. The first available slot was at 6th, so that we needed to spend more time in south - the side trip sounded better now.

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To Oamaru

Added: April 05, 2010

Tags: NewZealand RTW cliffs lake photos

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Next day we woke up full of hopes to do helicopter flight to Mt. Cook. It was partially cloudy, but nearly half of sky was clear. We called to Tekapo Helicopter at 9am and they did not know when they will fly. I tried again at 10am with the same result. That's it, we could not wait longer.

According to original plan we wanted to do about 3h long hike in Hooker Valley under Mt. Cook. But due to bad weather we decided to skip it too. We had about 200km to go for today plus some stops and we lost some time by waiting for helicopter friendly weather.

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