Saturday, October 31, 2009


i cut across the bottom half of the island-from the east coast to the west cutting out the far south. the drive is boring-nothing much to see. lots of green and rolling hills-reminds me of home actually! its raining when i arrive into dunedin. and rains at least once for the next couple of i dont get upto too much. i sleep in and try to do mostly indoor things! i do a tour of cadbury factory-it was amazing! and i do a tour of speights brewery-a southern new zealand beer/ale. yum yum! i book onto a wildlife tour and the rain stops just in time for the tour! i see albatross, penguins, fur seals, sea lions all in their natural habitat-it was amazing. saw plenty of other birds and ducks of course i can't remember the names! over all though i find dunedin a bit of a disappointment. onto christchurch!

the birthday

the birthday crept up on me. celebrated the day on a cruise on milford sound-you really couldn't ask for more!

... wanaka and mount cook ....

my road trip continued down the coast-a most beautiful drive. i stop along the way and take in some natural beauty at the blue lakes. eventually moving slightly inland to lake wanaka. i do very little and feel a but guilty because i know that my time is limited but i guess we all need our down days. well i take that back i did do something-i played a couple of very intense games of jenga with some scottish guys! bastien, a guy that i met in nelson arrives into wanaka so we hang out. we go clay pigeon shooting (i lost) and target practice (i win!). and a giant maze at puzzle world. he takes a notion and cooks an amazing french meal-fondue de burgoyne (spelling?) and white chocolate mousse. hmmm.
the next day starts early and we drive north to mount cook. one of the walks we wanted to do is closed because of avalanche. so while we're on another route i hear an avalanche-eshk! it sounds like a prolonged roll of thunder-quite scary considering the local information centre has a tribute book to all the people that died in the mountain.
it gets cold so we head to the one and only cafe. theres a giant fire on so we sit and have lunch and hot chocolates and watch the snow-bliss!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

road trippin .... punakaiki and fox

i rent a car in nelson and start my journey down the west coast. i stop in punakaiki to see the pancake rocks. stay in a lovely hostel on the beach front. just the one night and then hit the road again. i give a lift to a very chatty english girl as far as franz josef and then i continue on to fox glacier. i quickly drop off my bags and head to lake matheson to watch the sun go down-its sooooo pretty. i head back to the hostel for an early night.
up early to do the day glacier hike on fox glacier. am a bit nervous because im warned pre hike about rock and ice falls. when the glacier comes into view its absolutely stunning. hard to believe that a thing that size can move! and move quite a bit as it turns out. we walk up the adjacent mountain to access the glacier. theres a lot of stairs. we strap on our crampons and on we go. its quite surreal. especially when we stop to eat a sandwich in the middle of a glacier! the sun was soon clouded over and the rain starts pelting down and it gets really cold. we eventually find our way off the glacier and back to solid ground. what a day and my legs are killing me-but its all very satisfying. i fall into the bed after a charming meal of instant noodles and sleep sleep sleep.
hit the road again ....

Thursday, October 8, 2009

nelson and abel tasmin pics

south island first stop nelson

shiney happy nelson. home to the official centre of new zealand. of course its at the top of a very steep hill. me and maria from germany rose to the challenge! it was a tough one-but it was worth it. lovely views from the top.
end up staying much longer in nelson than previously intended because the sun is shining and i stayed in the best hostel. it was someones house! one 4bed dorm and 2 double rooms-thats it! it felt like home. everyone was cool and there was a real fire and comfy sofa. its hard to leave. so i stay on and do a wine tour, have a lazy day and go to abel tasmin. a national park on the north/east coast. its just stunning-the pictures will speak for themselves .....

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

welly pics

wellington aka city of the cully

cully and her beau andy court meet me at the station. the overview of the week i spend in wellington is food, food, wine and lie-ins. sheer bliss! there was botanic garden, wine tour in the martinborough wine region (mostly pinot noir), hiking, dvd watching, museums, hair appointment. but the highlight was our last supper in tinakori bistro: te kairanga pinot noir 06, prawns w/ garlic, butter cream, venison w/ roast garlic, kumara, flourless choc cake w/raspberry sorbet, remi cognac. yum yum yum-thanks cully! and not forgetting the cooking of max-he was one tasty trout! (cooked in foil w/garlic, olive oil, fresh parsley) with roast potatoes and veg and of course a glass of chardonnay!
i was suitably recharged and refreshed to hit the south island.

taupo pics

taupo pics

taupo (swiss german style)

this is what i like about new zealand-its small enough to meet the same faces on the 'circuit' as it were. always helpful when they are good looking men ...
me and dominic hit pubs and do shots that are native to our respective countries.
surprisingly we're able to rent bikes the next day and head to huka falls. its a modest waterfall. nothing too exciting there so we head back to town and have lunch and sit on the grass spotting animal shapes in the clouds! dinner and a dvd wrap up the evening as its an early start for me in the morning.
5:30 to be precise. im on a fly fishing expedition. i hit taupo lake with andrew christmas; my guide for the day. taupo is, apparently, one of the best places for trout fishing in the world.
im fitted out in my waders and warm jackets and we take on the river. we get there at around 6:30 and there's already many the man flying his fish.
its a tricky business to say the least of it. but we wade around from spot to spot. im even standing in water upto my tummy at one point! very cool. we have to most conversation-ranging from food, to fishing, to relationships, business, life philosophy. and all the while taking in the sun rise and nature. i can see why so many men do it!
and finally one catches! bring on the dinner. its a tricky business reeling him in. and the business to smashing his head with a rock and then gutting him is trickier still! but i do it! am pretty pleased with myself. we wrap max up in paper and he comes with me on the bus to wellington-where he will meet his final destiny .....

rotorua pics


ahhh nothing like the sweet smell of rotten eggs filling the air to ensure a great time! i arrive and look after the food situation. seems that the first thing i do anywhere and everywhere is food. im not reading anything into this, but you work away.
spend the evening in the polynesian spa. which is, according to conde nast, one of the top 10 spas in the world. well it was night and the pools are outside. they ranged in temperature from 38degrees to 42. i sat in the pools and watched the steam escaping into the night air. looked at the moon and the stars and listened to all the birds beside the lake. i floated back to the hostel and fell into the bed. best nights sleep .... ever.
next day feeling more relaxed than recharged i have a very slow meander around two of the parks and look at (and smell) some of the hot pools and bubbling mud pools. pretty crazy, their all just in the local park like it was a normal thing. people bubbling mud pools? not normal.
i take a nap. i do love a good nap.
then head to a maori hangi. which is an evening of food and cultural stuff. all the food is cooked in the hangi; which is basically an oven in the ground. i dont know how traditional it was to be honest as im not quite sure how garlic bread featured in the historical lives of the maori. but hey who am i to judge. i did get to see a haka dance which was very cool.
i also got to see a kiwi bird! man are they cool. oh sorry, 'sweet as' ....
went to the kiwi encounter. flightless bird, native to nz etc etc .... but the most interesting thing is of course the mammy kiwi bird - she carries baby kiwi in an egg that essentially takes over 80% of her body when its fully grown and then she lays that bad boy. human equivalent would be giving birth to a 35pound baby. sweet jesus. give it for the kiwi mamma!
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