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Author Topic: Middle Earth Tour 2016/17  (Read 7468 times)

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Online Ianab

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Middle Earth Tour 2016/17
« on: December 10, 2016, 03:22:12 AM »
OK, after several years of threatening to just "go bush" to avoid Christmas and all ensuing madness, and Lil saying "would like to see the South Island properly". Here is the plan. Over 3 weeks we will be in these places. I think there are 4 x 2 night stays. but most of the others are one night stands, with easy 2-3 hours drive to the next place, Time to look around and check in by dinner time.

So we have...

Stratford (Home)
Picton
Pakawau
Westport
Franz Joseph
Haast
Wanaka
Te Anau
Invercargill
Dunedin
Oamaru
Omarama
Geraldine
Amberly
Greymouth
Hamner Springs
Kaikoura
Wellington

Feel free to trace that out on Google maps, it's a few miles.

Kaikoura was hit with a big (mag 7.8) earthquake last month, but at least one of the roads in should be fully open next week, so we haven't canceled out of there. Changed a ferry booking because direct road wont be open any time soon, and got an extra night in Wellington.  The Last thing a tourist town needs after a natural disaster is no tourists... Campground is still open (if you can get there) so we will go. Maybe charter plane ride to look for whales because it's fun, and helps out a local guy that used his plane for emergency transport in the days after the quake.

Otherwise, it's pure tourist. Milford Sound. Mt Cook  etc, with visits to Fangorn / Edoras / the Barrel River / the ford at Rivendell and Laketown rtc. I will post some pics from some places and see if people can pick them from the movies. :)

Anyway only serious challenge is convincing the family that all they NEED to take will fit in the Toyota Blade hatchback. With 3 females that might be a challenge, but I'm saying we can go to the Cook Islands for 2 weeks with luggage that fits, so we can do NZ with the same. We could take Lil's Caldina wagon, which would be perfectly OK, but it's a 1.8 compared to the smaller and more comfy Blade with a 3.5 engine. Mt pass? What Mt pass  ;D

Anyway, my story is that that they have shops in the South Island. If you have forgotten some little thing, you can buy another one.

Anyway, this is basically a place holder for a travel blog. We leave on the 22nd, Christmas will be at the beach at Pakawau, New Year at Te Anau. Will have laptop / camera and all the campgrounds have wifi, so will keep things updated.

Did I mention it's Summer  ;D
Weekend warrior, Peterson JP test pilot, Dolmar 7900 and Stihl MS310 saws and  the usual collection of power tools :)

Offline Jeff

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Re: Middle Earth Tour 2016/17
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2016, 07:00:05 AM »
Can I come? ;) :)
Just call me the midget doctor.
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Offline LeeB

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Re: Middle Earth Tour 2016/17
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2016, 07:26:50 AM »
If you take enough pictures I guess we can all come along that way. Looking forward to seeing the journey.
'98 LT40HDD/Lombardini, Case 580L, Cat D4C, JD 3032 tractor, JD 5410 tractor, Husky 346, 372 and 562XP's. Stihl MS180 and MS361, 1998 and 2006 3/4 Ton 5.9 Cummins 4x4's, 1989 Dodge D100 w/ 318, and a 1966 Chevy C60 w/ dump bed.

Offline Magicman

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Re: Middle Earth Tour 2016/17
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2016, 07:41:04 AM »
This is exciting and will be interesting to follow.
Knothole Sawmill, LLC     '98 Wood-Mizer LT40SuperHydraulic   WM Million BF Club Member   WM Pro Sawyer Network

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Offline SLawyer Dave

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Re: Middle Earth Tour 2016/17
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2016, 12:22:05 PM »
New Zealand is definitely on my Bucket List.  Have a great trip.

Online Ianab

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Re: Middle Earth Tour 2016/17
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2016, 11:53:13 PM »
OK. Because we will be on the road over Christmas we had a small early family get together yesterday. We got lucky with the weather, about the best day of the summer so far. Weather usually comes right February, about the time school starts again from memory. Kids got to open most of their gifts etc.

So we could set up out on the lawn, borrowed the gas grill from Lil's work, sawhorses from the workshop and a couple of large boards with a Reindeer tablecloth over them and we are good to go.







And for desert we have Strawberries / Cream, cheesecake, Pavlova ( a sort of Meringue cake with cream and fruit on it) and jelly.



And you can clean up the present unwrapping carnage with a rake.  :D



So an early Merry Christmas from NZ.  ;D  The loud Island Shirt doubles for Summer and Christmas.  :D



We will be online when we are on the road, and will stash a few (small) gifts for the kids to open on Christmas morning at Pakawau Beach.

Weekend warrior, Peterson JP test pilot, Dolmar 7900 and Stihl MS310 saws and  the usual collection of power tools :)

Online samandothers

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Re: Middle Earth Tour 2016/17
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2016, 07:17:24 AM »
Merry Christmas Ian and safety travels.  I look forward to the trip.

Offline WDH

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Re: Middle Earth Tour 2016/17
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2016, 08:20:57 AM »
I will just have dessert  :D
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Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: Middle Earth Tour 2016/17
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2016, 12:15:00 PM »
 popcorn_smiley

Sounds like fun!
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Just North-East of Sacramento...

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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Middle Earth Tour 2016/17
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2016, 01:24:54 PM »
I want it all. I see a grill. I know what them der grills are used for!!!
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Online Ianab

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Re: Middle Earth Tour 2016/17
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2016, 01:22:40 PM »
Leaving the North Island along with the rest of the tourists. :)



Weather was average, but the sea was pretty smooth and the rain mostly held off until dark time, when we arrived.


Sailing into Tory Channel, about an hour more to Piction



Passing one of the other smaller ferries in the channel.


View down the channel


Taylor checking out Picton in the rain, just before we docked


So it's daylight now, looks like a nice enough day, and we are off of Pakawau, which is over in the North West corner of the Island. Via the Pelorus river (The Barrel River from the Hobbit)
Weekend warrior, Peterson JP test pilot, Dolmar 7900 and Stihl MS310 saws and  the usual collection of power tools :)

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Re: Middle Earth Tour 2016/17
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2016, 01:47:44 PM »
It's fun traveling with you Ian.   smiley_thumbsup
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Middle Earth Tour 2016/17
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2016, 02:58:39 PM »
Where is the picture of the children buried in the back of the car?? ;)
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Online Ianab

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Re: Middle Earth Tour 2016/17
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2016, 12:14:41 AM »
Where is the picture of the children buried in the back of the car?? ;)

Haha, so true. Cooler bag and the "electronics" bag has to share the back seat with them. Currently at Pakawau, which is about the last actual "place" before the road ends. I use the term "place", not Town. I have 1 bar of phone signal, and although I think there is internet up at the shop, there isn't anything down here beach front. So I will do more pics soon.
Weekend warrior, Peterson JP test pilot, Dolmar 7900 and Stihl MS310 saws and  the usual collection of power tools :)

Online Ianab

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Re: Middle Earth Tour 2016/17
« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2016, 02:36:57 AM »
OK, edited some pictures

Picton this morning. This is the Ferry way came over on, it's done another trip overnight, and is about to leave for the Nth Island again.


Export pine logs waiting for a ship at Picton.


At the lookout Taylor runs into a Weka bird.  These are another flightless naive bird, but not nocturnal, and not shy either. These ones seemed to just hang out at the picnic area / lookout. Taylor was not at all sure about this strange wild looking bird walking up to her, and was all ready to get back in the car to get away from it.


Then we stopped at the Pelorus River bridge, which was where the "Barrel" scene from the Hobbit movies was flimed.


Down at the river level.


Found some Hobbits....


Cool forest reserve around the river. This is a big ole Totara tree, probably 1,000+ years old.


Anyway, weather is clearing up here at the beach this evening after a nasty little squall came through. Weather looks good for tomorrow. Get in some local site seeing tomorrow, then Christmas eve here at the beach.
Weekend warrior, Peterson JP test pilot, Dolmar 7900 and Stihl MS310 saws and  the usual collection of power tools :)

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Middle Earth Tour 2016/17
« Reply #15 on: December 23, 2016, 05:48:11 AM »
A nice way to spend Christmas. Family and trees.  ;D
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Offline WDH

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Re: Middle Earth Tour 2016/17
« Reply #16 on: December 23, 2016, 07:54:55 AM »
Now you will probably grow hair on your feet. 
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Re: Middle Earth Tour 2016/17
« Reply #17 on: December 23, 2016, 08:41:35 AM »
Now you will probably grow hair on your feet.

 :D :D

Thanks for the pictures and tour!

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Re: Middle Earth Tour 2016/17
« Reply #18 on: December 24, 2016, 05:18:35 AM »
OK, Christmas Eve here at Pakawau Beach. Been a great summer day, so we have been seeing the sights.

First stop was Te Waikoropupu Springs. (try saying that 3 times fast),
Some nice forest around the springs.


And the main spring.


This pool has about 10 cubic meters of water coming up per second. It's hard to show how clear it is on a photo, but the science guys say it's got 63 meters of visibility. (Distilled water is about 80 meters) Anyone that's done any diving will understand how clear that is.


I have video that shows it better, but not the internet connection to upload it yet.

Then we went up the road a bit to the Pupu Hydro / walkway. This was an old goldmining sluice project that had been converted to generate hydro power in 1929. It had later been abandoned and neglected until a bunch of locals decided to rebuild it, and formed an incorporated society to rebuild and maintain it. It makes about 250k/w pretty much 24 / 7, the power is sold to the National Grid, and the society actually runs at a profit.


1/2 hour walk from the car park gets us to the top of the penstock which is 350 above the power house.


Then you can follow the headrace along the face of the hill, which is close to vertical. The walkway is built along the top of the water race's concrete wall. Tayor was a little concerned at first, with a 2ft wide boardwalk, running water on one side and a 350ft cliff on the other. But she managed it fine.


Checking out the view. That's the water in the head race behind them.


Follow the race for a mile or so and the river is coming up to meet us, and the gorge isn't as steep.


Until we get to the intake weir and a bridge over the river.


Then about an hour walk up and down a decent 4WD service track. View from the top of that track, the car park is at the end of the road you can see  in the middle of the picture.


Then we went up to the end of the Road at Farewell Spit which is the Northern tip of the Sth Island. Viewing point at the end of the road. You can walk a couple of miles further up onto the beginning of the Spit, but after the mornings walking, no one was very keen.


Back to our horribly crowded beach in front of the cabin.


For a quick swim before dinner.


So that's Day 3.  Day 4 we are heading to Westport. It's a fair drive again, but though some very scenic country, so we will get some leg stretch and photo breaks in.
Weekend warrior, Peterson JP test pilot, Dolmar 7900 and Stihl MS310 saws and  the usual collection of power tools :)

Offline sprucebunny

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Re: Middle Earth Tour 2016/17
« Reply #19 on: December 24, 2016, 05:30:50 AM »
Thanks for the great pictures !!

The spring and the hydro are very cool !

How much tide is there at the beach ???

 :christmas:
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