Sunday, January 22, 2017

New Zealand (Part 3)

Mount Cook - the highest point in New Zealand but too dangerous for this East Coast girl to climb!  It was still incredible to view through the little break in clouds that we got.

Mount Cook Buttercups

chunks of the glacier floating in the lake

Sheep Shearing in Omarama - We got an up-close demonstration of sheep shearing.  They are known for their Merino Wool and we got to purchase Ice Breaker clothing here.  What an amazing process.  This sheep had its first shearing and she didn't seem too happy about it but was generous enough to pose for a picture before her haircut.

Akaroa - a great little town and another cruise, this time to see the smallest dolphins, the Hector Dolphin.

Final days - drive to Christchurch and touring around the city.

The trip of a lifetime!  I would highly recommend New Zealand to anyone.  Just make sure to stay at least a month as there is so much to see and it takes so long to get there!  Thank you Rita Morgan for being the best tour guide!

Til next time...Happy Trails!

New Zealand (Part 2)

Queenstown - We took the Gondola to the top for our Skyline Luge rides and a short hike before returning back to town for the infamous Fergburger!

More of nature's beauty and a hike on the Routeburn Track.

Time for a new adventure - a Heli-hike!  This was my first time in a helicopter which took us part of the way up Mount Luxmore to the Kepler Track.  From there a hike to the top of Mount Luxmore and then back down the mountain and into town.

We're landing on that little pad?!

It wasn't such a little landing pad after all!

Summit of Mount Luxmore

Milford Sound - a few days earlier the road was closed due to snow so we lucked out that we were able to make the scenic and winding drive to the Sound for our cruise.


Sea, waterfall and mountains all in one shot!
Part 3 (and final post) on its way.  Stay tuned!

Til next time...Happy Trails!

New Zealand (Part 1)

From the deserts of Winterhaven, CA I thought it's finally time to catch up on a few months of blogs!

Back in November my wonderful hubby drove me to BWI to send me off to New Zealand to meet up with Rita Morgan, an adventurous RV friend we met in AZ in 2012.  Tom stayed in PA to hunt (he did get 2 deer this past season - 1 doe and 1 buck) and to watch Moxie.  

I had 2 short weeks in NZ so Rita came up with a most awesome itinerary to help me see as much of the South Island as possible.  She was an incredible tour guide as she's been to NZ several times and knows the things I enjoy seeing and doing.  What a fabulous trip this was!  I'd post all of my pictures if I could but I'd blow up this blog!  So here are just a few to give you a taste of beautiful New Zealand.

After a long 1.5 days of flying, Rita knew just what I needed so we headed to Hanmer Springs for a dip in the thermal pools.

The silver fern (Cyathea dealbata) has been adopted as the symbol for New Zealand.  According to legend, the silver fern once lived in the sea.  We saw thousands of these beautiful ferns along our travels. 

Swingbridges are quite the popular thing in NZ.  There are so many rivers to cross on hikes and this is the preferred method of crossing.  On my first one, in Buller Gorge which is NZ's longest swingbridge, I was a little shaky.  Then after a few I became a pro and didn't even mind passing others on the narrow bridges.

We headed to the west coast of the island and took a short hike on the Cape Foulwind Walkway to see the Seals.

Pancake Rocks - they definitely are appropriately named.  They have been created over millions of years by rain and wind eroding the softer sandstone that was lifted to the surface from the ocean by earthquake activity.

Our Cave Adventure!  In Paparoa National Park we toured Ananui (Metro) Cave (where millions of glowworms live). But this isn't your typical tour.  We first put on our wetsuits, took a bus, hopped on a small train, hiked through the forest, picked up our tubes, hiked to and through the cave and floated to the end of the cave.  After the cave we took a short hike, hopped back in our tubes and floated down the river, hiked back to our train and back on the bus to the start.  What an exciting trip!

glowworms look like stars in the sky!
Franz Josef Glacier - It was raining (and thundering) but we took a hike to the base of the glacier since we could not get in the helicopter to take a hike on the glacier.

Scenic drive to Wanaka.  The 2 days of rain created incredible flows in the waterfalls and gave the mountains a fresh coating of white powder.

Rob Roy Glacier Track - In NZ what we call Trails are Tracks.   We hired a van to take us back the rough road to the start of this hike to the glacier.

Running out of space (pictures) in this blog so Part 2 coming shortly.

Til next time...Happy Trails!