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Author Topic: Winter 2020 NZ road trip  (Read 5539 times)

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Offline Ianab

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Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« on: August 21, 2020, 03:37:04 PM »
Tropical island holiday is postponed, so we are off for a Winter road trip around the South Island.  Waiting to board the ferry in Wellington now. Clear calm morning so it should be a smooth trip.
<
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Offline Ianab

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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2020, 05:46:41 PM »
 Goodbye Nth Island. Calm crossing  with perfect weather today
 
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Offline Ianab

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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2020, 07:53:21 PM »
And here we are at the Sth Island. Yes I'm posting from the ship 🙂
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Offline Ianab

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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2020, 07:59:17 PM »
 About to berth at Picton.

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Offline Ianab

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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2020, 04:05:41 AM »
Ship spinning around to berth in Picton.



Lunch in Blenheim 



Then we drove the Christchurch for the night.
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2020, 11:28:47 AM »
Ian,

   You throw us for a loop here in the northern hemisphere talking about a winter holiday while we are suffering from heat waves and hurricanes. :D

   I met my wife for a trip in South Africa in June one time and we like to froze to death the first couple nights till we got closer to the equator and finally thawed out. We never thought about the fact it was winter there.

  I hope you and the ladies have a great trip. Stay safe and create lots of great memories.
Howard Green
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Offline Ianab

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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2020, 01:53:14 AM »
Weather not so hot today, fog and overcast. Not so much for sightseeing.

Went to New Brighton ( suburb of Christchurch).







Then through to Picton. A few logs waiting to load at the port.



We are now in Timaru. Have more pictures but the power supply for my laptop keeps tripping the GFI breaker in the cabin after a few minutes?  So I am probably stuck with cellphone pics until we get home

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Offline Ianab

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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2020, 05:18:03 AM »
Went down to the beach after sunset as there were apparently penguins that come ashore after fishing for the day, and it's a good spot to see them.

<


Yup, we are just on the footpath beside the car, the port is across the road where cranes are loading a container ship, lots of lights and noise. But these guys are used to it, and aren't worried about a few people wandering around.  Another one popped up and started grabbing tufts of grass beside my foot, then hopped off back to its nest in the rocks. No flash as that does scare them, just a cellphone at night, so not the best photo.
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Offline samandothers

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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2020, 12:11:52 PM »
Very cool, thanks for taking time to share.

Online sawguy21

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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2020, 01:48:02 PM »
Thank you, it is a fascinating country.
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Offline Ianab

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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2020, 01:42:41 AM »
Weather has been a bit mud today, not cold, just fog and drizzle. Not normal for this part of the country, but just like home :D

Called in and visited with Lil's cousin that works on a local dairy farm, so that was good. Then drove through to Oamaru. Cool little town, has an actual sweet factory (that hasn't been bought out by some multinational and shifted offshore). And they have a "factory shop", where the kids were delighted to find they sold 1 kilogram bags of sweets, for sensible prices.  



Then we stopped in at the Steampunk Museum which is a pretty "unique" sort of place, in a cool, but weird way. :D Put $2 in the slot and the old train blows smoke and shoots flames 8)

 

Then there is this lights / music / mirrors room. Every surface apart from the floor panel you stand on is mirrored. So reflections to infinity.






Anyone looking for an old lathe to rebuild?



I did find some wood porn, holding the building up. Those posts are about 18x12 and appear to be solid Rimu. The building is local limestone with this solid timber framing inside. 100+ years old. 1/2 the town is built in this style, and most of the older buildings are still standing. 



Didn't need the smoke machine to make the "Led Zepillin" look the part  :D



Anyway, that was today, bit of a "fog out" as far as sight seeing went. Heading further south to Dunedin tomorrow, then inland to the Lakes and Mts before making our way Nth again through the more scenic high country route. Got some multi night stops booked there, and much more scenery. Hopefully the weather clears.
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Offline Ianab

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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2020, 03:20:35 AM »
Headed South again to Dunedin.  Dont let the golden sand and blue water fool you, sleet has set in tonight and there will be snow on the hills by morning. 




Went to the museum for lunch, and it was nice and warm so we just hung out there for the afternoon. ;)




This is a single log dugout canoe made in the late 1800s.


Butterfly house was positively tropical, so we had a good look around there too.


The "palm trees" are actually bananas



Heading inland to Lake Te Anau tomorrow. Hopefully Milford Sound the next day.
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2020, 07:07:42 AM »
That steampunk museum would be right up my ally!
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Offline petefrom bearswamp

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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2020, 07:38:20 AM »
Thanks for the tour Ianab.
Looking forward to more photos and commentary 
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Offline Ianab

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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2020, 03:10:35 AM »
Hit the road from Dunedin this morning. This is the old town hall and cathedral in the middle of the city





Bridge over the Clutha river at Balclutha. This is the biggest river in the South Island. We will meet up with it again as we head North again.





The big trout at Gore. This is basically the centre of Southland. They have their own accent here, and the towns name is more like "Gorrr" :D





Heading up into the high country we start seeing some snow before the weather closes in again.






Went up the road to see the bird centre. It's a captive breeding / rescue centre, not a so much a tourist thing, it a Dept of Conservation centre.  This is a Takahe, which is one of the breeding pairs they have there. The birds were though to be extinct for about 50 years before a population of about 100 birds was found near Te Anau. There are now over 400 of them at several locations around the country.



 

View from the cabin looking at the hills across the lake. Cloud is down on the higher hills so you can't see them, but it's forecast  to go down to freezing tonight with hail and snow on the hills. Road through to Milford Sound is closed tonight due to expected snow, but weather is supposed to be better tomorrow, so we should be able to make a trip through to there.


 

Just after dark the fire siren went off and a couple of trucks went past. Short time later a rescue chopper set down behind the campground. So not sure if it was a road accident, or the fire guys were called to set up a night landing spot for a medical evac. It's about 2 hours to the nearest hospital from here, and 3 to the larger hospital in Dunedin. Kudos to the chopper crew getting up here at night in this weather :o
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Offline Chuck White

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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2020, 06:37:01 AM »
Really enjoyed the trip Ian, thanks for posting!
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Offline Ianab

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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #16 on: August 27, 2020, 05:27:00 AM »
OK, cameras got a workout today. Might need a couple of posts :D

Weather looked a bit ominous as we left the cabin and headed up the lake, low cloud and about 4°C, but the forecast was for improvement.



 

Sure enough it cleared up as we got up into the Mts more.



 

This is the Beech forest that covers the lower part of the hills. This was supposed to be "Mirror Lake", famous for reflections of the Mts behind it, but several ducks had taken up residence and kept making ripples. 





So we carried on and got to the larger Lake Gunn, which was  duck free, and a much better mirror

 

 

Stopped at a lookout and a curious Kea (Mountain Parrot) showed up. They are notorious scavengers, but you aren't supposed to feed them "people food". As revenge they like to steal windscreen wipers and and other part they can pry off a car.  :D





Got to some road works further up the road and there's another kea keeping the Stop/Go man company (or trying  to steal his lunch more likely). As well as directing traffic he had to shoo the bird off the road each time he turned the sign to Go. 

 

 

Last viewing spot before the "No stopping - Avalanche risk" signs. The road winds up a bit further then you get a 
3/4 mile one lane tunnel carved out of bare rock, 



 

Through the tunnel the road winds down again into the forest and down the sea level.
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Offline Ianab

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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2020, 06:36:24 AM »
Getting late so I'm just going to dump pics and run. Descriptions to come.

It's hard to capture the scale of the place in pictures. The peak in this picture is over 4,000 ft, straight out of the water, and it's like that in every direction.

This probably the most iconic postcard view in NZ, from the carpark / visitors centre at Milford Sound




The tour boats at the wharf. The most of the larger ones seem to be tied up for the duration, no overseas tourists, and the ones still operating have reduced passenger numbers. Normally the carpark would have a dozen busses, these days there a re a couple of mini-vans, and a few dozen cars / campers in the main carpark. We got tickets for the smaller blue catamaran in the foreground. 

 

 

This is a Kotuku or White Heron. Although they are fairly common in Australia and Asia they are rare in NZ with only one small breeding colony on the West Coast. When not breeding the forage up and down the coast.



 

Found my own "Mirror Lake" in the mostly empty carpark :D



 

And we are off on our cruise :)



 

Looking back at the wharf and Bowen Falls. It's glacier fed and one of the permanent waterfalls in the fjord.



 

Looking back up the valley where the road comes in. The airfield is at the lower right and must be one of the more interesting places to land a plane.





Around the corner is the commercial crayfish boats, airfield is behind them, and Bowen falls in the background

 

 

There is basically no topsoil on the cliffs, and the trees just cling their hanging on the crevices. Most of the time,,, Annual rainfall here averages about 30ft, so sometimes they get washed off in a tree avalanche, and it's 100 years for more to grow. They get at least some rain about 330 days of the year... 



 

Looking up at the side of Mitre Peak (the Mt in the first picture). It's 5,500 ft, basically rising straight out of the sea. The water there is also ~600 ft deep



 
.
More waterfalls coming down the side of the peak





Lara wanted to close up view :D

 



Heading further down the fjord.

 

 

From near the open ocean.





And actually outside in the Tasman sea. Captain Cook who was the first European to properly map NZ managed to sail past 3 times and never noticed there was a fjord there. It was marked on his maps as just a bay. 

 

 

Fur seals sunning themselves



 

Getting up close with Stirling falls, another glacier fed waterfall coming out of a hanging valley.


.


Same

 



Then we had a pod of dolphins follow us for a while. They aren't resident to the sound, but do visit occasionally.

 

 

Sun was getting lower by now, so time to head back before the road iced up for the night. I see the road is closed again to night until 10 am tomorrow, to give the road crews time to grit the road up near the tunnel, 





Anyway, that's Milford Sound, without the usual tourist hordes. :D It's one of the more remote parts of NZ, about a 2 hour drive from the township of Te Anau, One road on, one road out... 
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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #18 on: August 27, 2020, 06:44:51 AM »
Beautiful country. Thanks for taking the time to share.
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Offline nativewolf

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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2020, 07:05:17 AM »
Thanks from Virginia.  Tasmania is as close as I've gotten to NZ but it is on the bucket list.  Like to go there while I can still muck around.  I hear the insects can get brutal in the summer on the south island, is that right?
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Offline Hilltop366

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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #20 on: August 27, 2020, 10:04:11 AM »
 popcorn_smiley

Offline Ianab

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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #21 on: August 27, 2020, 03:17:26 PM »
Thanks from Virginia.  Tasmania is as close as I've gotten to NZ but it is on the bucket list.  Like to go there while I can still muck around.  I hear the insects can get brutal in the summer on the south island, is that right?
We have a small biting insect called the Sandfly which is common all along the West Coast, and more so in the South Island. They are harmless, but very annoying. Deet works to keep them away, but they are less active in the cold weather and didn't bother us much this trip.
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Offline samandothers

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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #22 on: August 28, 2020, 12:43:23 AM »
Really beautiful scenery!  Thanks for all the pictures. 

Offline Ianab

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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #23 on: August 28, 2020, 02:03:50 AM »
Have travelled up to a small village called Kingston today, and the end of Lake Wakatipu. We have 3 nights here so we can explore the area around Queenstown. It's normally tourist central with it's own small international airport, but noticeably quieter at the moment.

We did a run up the road to Arrowtown which is a historic gold mining town with most of it's old shops preserved (and functioning).



 


Kids found a small but VERY well stocked sweet shop. Not a cheap as the Factory shop with it's 1 kg bags, but hundreds of different sweets. 





 

 

Some of the rebuilt Chinese gold miners huts have been rebuilt down by the stream below town.



 

Got my "tropical pale ale" to remind me of Rarotonga, even with the snow on the hills in the background.



 

Will see what the weather is like tomorrow, and decide what we are going to see.
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Offline Walnut Beast

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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #24 on: August 28, 2020, 03:37:21 AM »
Looks interesting and sounds like your having a great trip. Nice pictures 

Offline Ianab

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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #25 on: August 28, 2020, 04:12:27 AM »
Bonus pic that Lil took. This is NZ State Highway 6, the number 2 main road in the Sth Island, and we come across a couple of thousand sheep being moved. :D

You know you are in NZ when....




 
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Offline Ianab

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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #26 on: August 29, 2020, 05:34:23 AM »
Woke up this morning to this view. Fine day, but a bit of wind blowing. So off exploring again,



Glenorchy is a small village up at the top of the lake. Originally it was accessed only via Steamboat. That was operated by the Govt Railway Dept. So they had a regulation storage shed, and possibly the worlds shortest railway that ran ~200 yards up to "town".


 

The wharf is still there and maintained.



 

The old wagons are still there too.



 

So then we headed up the road a bit further. Started looking like Lord Of The Rings Movie....



 




 

Turns out that some scenes were actually filmed here :D


Well up into the alps here.


 

The road at this point was down to 1 lane gravel with fords across the streams. Eventually it ended with a washout with a 4WD detour, but that was only a couple of hundred yards from the road end. This is the native beech forest that covers the lower hillsides.



 

Looking back up the lake one the way back to Queenstown. The Westerly winds will be dumping rain over the other side of the Alps (like Milford Sound), and some spilling over onto the central lakes,




 .

Queenstown is on the left, Kingston is up the lake to the right.



 

Queenstown, with the old Steamboat leaving the wharf. Tomorrows trip is on that.



 

Kids wanted to go ice bumper car driving, which is fair enough. I went and scoped out the trees in the park next to the ice rink. Here's Douglas Fir and a Giant redwood.



 

A quite impressive Pine tree



 

And a pretty impressive Douglas Fir.



 

This Giant Sequoia caught my eye too.



 

About 8 ft DBH?



 

None of these trees would be much over 100 years old as the park was only established in the late 1800s.

Looking out over the lake. Wind was gusting enough to create rainbows over the surface.


 

Stopped at the local supermarket for some supplies. They had a very impressive beer selection (Queenstown is pretty "upmarket"). Fortunately these don't come in 6 packs. It's Russian, it's 8% and it's 0.9 litres  :D



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: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #27 on: August 29, 2020, 05:43:28 AM »
Rainbows on the lake!!
I like that snow line too.
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Offline petefrom bearswamp

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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #28 on: August 29, 2020, 08:18:49 AM »
Thoroughly enjoying this tour, looking forward to more.
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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #29 on: August 29, 2020, 09:11:31 AM »
This is a wonderful tour through some beautiful and interesting country.  Keep it coming!  8)
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Offline Ianab

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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #30 on: August 29, 2020, 07:54:28 PM »

Posting from a ship again 🙂
Earnslaw is a 1912 steamship that used to service the lake before the roads were built . It runs tourist trips now. 



 
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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #31 on: August 29, 2020, 09:46:31 PM »
The trip included "barbecue lunch", but wasn't expecting a 4 course sit down meal. Letting the first 3 settle, then its desert time  digin1

 
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Offline Ianab

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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #32 on: August 30, 2020, 05:27:46 AM »
Another photo dump and run. Went into Queenstown today and just acted like tourists.


The Earnslaw steamer tied up at Queenstown wharf. Ship was built in 1911, shipped by rail to the lake, then bolted back together and launched.


 
Just some sky scene and the ranges on the west side of the lake.



 
Looking back to Queenstown




Taylor and I check out the engines. That's the cylinder heads of one of the 2 engines. The con rods and crankshaft are below.

 


Out on the fore deck. Yes its windy.

 


Inside has pretty much restored to original, with the addition of a modern bar / coffee shop. Before the ship sails you can walk onboard and by coffee like any normal shop.

 


The "farm park" on the other side of the lake. It's not accessible by road.

 



View from the top of the gondola ride.

 


They have a luge track and various spots to leap from, attached to a bungee cord or a para glider... we stuck to the luge track 

 
 
 

Looking across the lake. The steamer trip goes to the small flat you can see on the right of the picture.


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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #33 on: August 30, 2020, 05:32:17 AM »
Wwheee!!! :D



 
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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #34 on: August 31, 2020, 06:06:20 AM »
Another day on the road. Stopped in Queenstown again to meet an old friend of Lil's for coffee. We don't drink coffee, but the had milkshakes and mulled cider ;D


 

Found another Sequioa on the way back to the carpark. Can't be much over 100 years old though.



 
Lookout at the top on the Crown range leaving Queenstown. Car is going to need a wash when we get home. :D


 
Cardrona hotel. From the gold rush days, but the village now has  large ski field, so it's been restored.



 
NZ's most photographed tree at Wanaka. Wind was getting up at this point as you can see by the lake surface.


 

We carried on to Omarama, which is further North in the McKenzie basin.  Weather report has wind / rain AND snow warnings for tonight / tomorrow. AND a wildfire has closed the road to Mt Cook. Hopefully the rain will put that out, but then the snow will close it again ::)

So we shall see what tomorrow brings. We should be able to get through to Tekapo as planned, but if the weather is to rough we may gave to stay here another night.
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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #35 on: August 31, 2020, 11:36:19 AM »
Thank you for the tour, it is fascinating! So much of the couuntry looks a lot like British Columbia.
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #36 on: August 31, 2020, 03:48:55 PM »
Thank you for the tour, it is fascinating! So much of the couuntry looks a lot like British Columbia.
Probably similar climate in places. The trees that grow best are PNW species like Doug fir.
Woke up to this view this morning. 


 
Next stop is about 600ft higher up towards the Mts. But road to there should be OK. Dont have to go up over any passes for a couple of days.
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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #37 on: August 31, 2020, 06:28:57 PM »
Ianab

Is that near the Cardrona Ski Area?
~Ron

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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #38 on: August 31, 2020, 11:56:55 PM »
Is that near the Cardrona Ski Area?


Yes, you head up the hill from the village to the ski area.
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Offline Ianab

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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #39 on: September 01, 2020, 02:02:53 AM »
OK, not so much for sight seeing today, drove up to Lake Tekapo today through light snow all the way. Was settling on the road for a bit in the higher spots, but nothing serious. At least the rain and snow has put a dampener on the wildfire that had closed the Mt Cook road, and that's open again now. We had planned to head up there today, but we have 2 nights here in Tekapo and it's only a 30 min backtrack to the turnoff, so we will head up there tomorrow. Supposed to be cold tonight / clear tomorrow, so it should be a good day. 

This is the historic Church of the Good Shepard here at Tekapo. Usually it's surrounded by bus loads of tourists. today about 5 cars in the whole carpark. That's not dust on the lens, it's still snowing but the air temp was up to about 2C by lunchtime, so the snow wasn't settling down at lake level. 



 

So we told the kids we would go to the (outdoor) swimming pool instead....



 

Still snowing lightly, but the water is from a natural hot spring. Was fine as long as you stay in the water.



 

Possibly the country's coldest lifeguard tower? Where the lifeguard uniform is a puffer jacket / ski gloves and a wollen hat. :D



 

After that we could check into our cabin, although the park is pretty empty, so they upgraded us to one of the new t"fancy" kiwi batchs, which is basically a small 3 bedroom house.  No extra charge, but I think we owe them a good review online.   ;)



 

I think the whole place is being renovated after a fire a year or so back. But the hot pools are just down the road there. Lake is to the right.



 

View from the deck. Normally the lake would be higher but they are doing repairs to the lake control gate that feeds the Tekapo A power station, so the water is drained to the lowest possible. Water from here goes through 8 hydro stations before it gets to the ocean.  



 

The cabin is nothing "special", but it's all solid wood inside. OK it's pine because we are in NZ, but it's solid.  :D



 

Anyway, not much for the scenery today, but the cloud is lifting, I see some patches of blue sky and hint of sunset. Forecast is for -5C overnight, but fine tomorrow, so should be able to make up for things tomorrow. :)
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Offline Ianab

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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #40 on: September 01, 2020, 06:38:09 AM »
Some of Lil's pictures. Lake Pukaki, looking up towards Mt Cook (as we drove past) 



 

At the Church of the Good Shepard.  8)



 

This is a bronze statue from just along from the church. It's a sheepdog which are highly regarded in these parts. 



 

Then my Sis found this picture from ~50 years ago. 



 

Dog hasn't changed much... :D
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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #41 on: September 01, 2020, 06:42:28 AM »
No, the dog still looks good ;D
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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #42 on: September 01, 2020, 07:36:06 PM »
I just stumbled across this thread tonight.  Thank you, Ian, for sharing this.  I could use some cool weather, mountains and some salty water right now.
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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #43 on: September 02, 2020, 02:25:44 AM »
Weather played ball today, but I'm dog tired. Walked a lot further than we really intended. 

Teaser picture of Mt Cook (NZ's tallest peak). Views don't get much better than this. :)



 


From the cabin a few minutes ago. Sun setting on the hills across lake Tekapo


 
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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #44 on: September 03, 2020, 12:45:44 AM »
Out of the high country and back to the coast. Staying in Akaroa tonight which is very picturesque and has a French sort of vibe. ( It was originally settled by French colonists).

Still on limited internet, so just the view from the cabin deck this afternoon.



 
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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #45 on: September 04, 2020, 01:41:23 AM »
Went into Christchurch to see the sights and catch up with Lil's cousin. This is Akaroa harbour from the "scenic" route in.
The township itself is basically straight across from this point. Winding roads no matter which way you go.



 
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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #46 on: September 05, 2020, 06:19:12 AM »
OK, last night in the Sth Island. We have an early start tomorrow to get from Kaikoura to Picton to catch the ferry back to the Nth Island. 


internet here is a bit slow, but unlimited, so I can do some more pictures.

Rock up to the carpark and snow everywhere.



 

Meuller lake which is the lower of the 2. Its fed from the upper lake and the ganging ice shelf up above in the peaks



 

the path and one of the bridges.



 
Think you have problems problems with rocks? This one is ~20 ft tall and 40 ft across.




 

The hydro canal that takes water from Tekapo to lakw Pukaki


 

End of the canal feeds into penstocks down to the power station by the lake


 
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Offline Walnut Beast

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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #47 on: September 05, 2020, 06:27:40 AM »
Fantastic pictures and updates 👍

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #48 on: September 05, 2020, 08:54:15 AM »
Why are the rocks so small??  :D   :D
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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #49 on: September 05, 2020, 08:49:19 PM »
Back on the ferry heading home. Nth Island is somewhere in that cloud bank. Weather isn't as good as the other crossing, but only small swell so the ships not moving too badly.



 
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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #50 on: September 05, 2020, 09:29:51 PM »
Well DanG I hate for your trip to end, but I enjoyed seeing the part of your joy that was shared with us.  Thanks for taking us along.
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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #51 on: September 06, 2020, 03:40:41 PM »
Awesome trip Ian, 

Thanks for sharing!!

D

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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #52 on: September 07, 2020, 06:15:54 AM »
Was a long trip home, we left Kaikoura at 7am, but the ferry was delayed an hour or so, and we didn't get home till about 6 pm. 

But going though the last of the pictures tonight. 

Leaving Akaroa township for a sightseeing trip. The boat skipper is like a 5th gen local, so knows all the history, which is fairly interesting.  The harbour was discovered by a French whale hunter back in the early days. He decided it was such a great harbour that it would make for a good French colony, so he returned to France and signed up a boatload of French and German families to settle there. Eventually they got back to NZ in 1840, but had to call into the British settlement in the Northland for fresh supplies and repairs. While there someone let slip their plans, and the British Governor at the time didn't want that to happen. So he dispatched a navy ship to get to Akaroa first and raise the Union Jack flag for England. Due to weather and good luck the British ship got there first, and the French arrived to find an English flag flying and 9 armed soldiers on the beach. 

Apparently it came down to some cannon fire, but an agreement was reached where the French settlers could stay, and were granted 5 acres of land each, but all of NZ was by then a British colony, and they had to accept that. Anyway, they did, as it was a LONG way back to France, and the township still has a "French" vibe to it. 




 

Checking out the cliffs and sea caves at the harbour entrance. 



 

Looking at the layers in the cliffs shows the various volcanic eruptions that formed the peninsula. The solid rock layers are separated by thinner layers of soft volcanic ash that erodes away easier. But the ledges make ideal nesting for the local cormorants, hence the guano stains.  



 
We then came across a couple of dolphins, but the skipper informed us they were feeding and not interested in playing. So they soon dived and vanished. 



 

That's OK, more sea caves to check out. 



 

And some fur seals.



 

Then we headed out to sea where the skipper thought there would be more dolphins, local knowledge pays off. 
 


 

These ones were in the mood to play, and with the boat running at 8 knots they were happy to play on the bow wave and wake. Probably had 5 or 6 small groups home in on the boat and play for a few minutes. Albie is the boats "dolphin dog". Dogs can hear the dolphins sonar and communication whistles, so if it's a slow day they stop and let the dog listen. If they are nearby he will point them out. He's also fascinated by them. 

These are Hectors Dolphins, which are endemic to NZ South Island, and are the smallest species of Dolphin. (4 - 5 ft adult size) 



 

Hills and volcanic rocks on the way back.



 


Lil enjoys a glass of wine, while Albie rests after a hard morning of dolphin herding. 



 


Albie will get up for pats though.



 

On the wharf ordering fresh grilled fish sandwiches for lunch. Nothing fancy, just a huge fresh salmon steak in a bun.  ;D

  



Anyway, that's Akaroa. Got a handful of other pictures for tomorrow. 
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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #53 on: September 07, 2020, 06:23:13 AM »
Great pictures 👍

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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #54 on: September 07, 2020, 07:26:40 AM »
And Taylor got to drive the boat.  :D



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Offline petefrom bearswamp

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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #55 on: September 07, 2020, 07:42:59 AM »
Thanks for the great tour.
The only time we will get to see NZ
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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #56 on: September 07, 2020, 08:25:31 PM »
Thanks for the trip!!!
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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #57 on: September 12, 2020, 03:39:16 AM »
Couple of extra tree pics from Akaroa. We had an hour to fill in between checking out from the camp ground and the boat trip, and there was this sign that said "Tane's Garden". Tane is the Maori God of the forest, so it seemed worth investigating.  ;D  Most of the reserve was regenerating native forest with various walking tracks that the locals use. Nice, but nothing awesome. The original forest would have been felled by the original settlers to build their houses etc, but a lot of the area has since been left to regrow, give it a few hundred more years. 

Some of the more notable contents.  This is a Kauri pine, planted to celebrate the coronation of the Queen in 1958. Probably a bit small, but growing well South of it's normal range, and probably only survived because of Akaroa's coastal micro-climate.  

And yes that's a giant sequoia in there behind it.  So potentially 2 of the worlds largest trees in the same place. 


 

English Oak, planted in 1918 to commemorate the end of WW1. Neat to have the plaques to date some of the trees. 



 

A Deodar cedar. Lil is looking concerned because we have one in the back garden, and now she's worried about how big it might get.  :D



 

Another American import, Ponderosa pine. Grown to a decent size in ~100 years. 



 

And an Asian import, Cryptomeria Japonica or Sugi in Japan. Actually fairly common and used a shelter and an ornamental, but this is a really nice straight one, more like a forest specimen. 



 

The Sugi from further back, so it's growing up through other trees. 



 

Anyway, I've always got an eye out for interesting trees when I'm on tour.  :)

Then back to waiting for our boat ride  :D
 


 
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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #58 on: September 12, 2020, 08:15:52 AM »
Thank you Ian for sharing the sights and scenery seen on your family's road trip with us.  8)
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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #59 on: September 12, 2020, 12:21:24 PM »
I have enjoyed the journey too. 
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Re: Winter 2020 NZ road trip
« Reply #60 on: September 13, 2020, 05:33:18 AM »
Me too!
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