Saturday, 30 April 2011

Heading North

I am now in the beautiful 'Bay of Islands'  area. Here are a few photos of the trip in the south island and coming north.
Bodhiyamarama Monastery near Wellington

The day before I crossed back to the north island there was a typhoon in Picton the town I was staying in. The passage acroos the Cook Straight to Wellington was exciting

Franz Josef Glacier
Abel Tasman Track - Apple tree bay

Friday, 22 April 2011

South Island - West Coast

Since the last blog I have been busy taking lots of photos, to the extent that my SD card is now full! I will put on a special event to share the photos. I have also been busy doing some pretty 'cool' stuff which is 'sweet as...' and as you can see I have picked up some of the lingo!
I did a three day cycle along the Central Otago rail track. This involve 151 km of cycling through some amazing scenery and going over some pretty high viaducts and through some long and dark tunnels. It is a must for cycle enthusiasts. I stayed one night at a pioneer farm, which was well over a hundred years old with its own veranda and if you can imagine a wild west ranch, then this was it. There were only 2 WOOFERS and me staying so I had a brilliant night. From the bike ride, I went to Queenstown where the temperature plummeted to zero with the wind blowing off the south pole. That required a quick visit to Mac Pacs for a warm coat. I did a day trip to the amazing Milford sound and did some nice cycling around the Lake.
The last three days I have been using a car, which in this part of the world seems to be the most sensible form of transport. I have been through the Southern Alps and needless to say the scenery has been incredible. Yesterday, I went for a day hike into the Franz Josef glacier and I was lucky with perfect weather. We walked through crevasses and visited some ice caves.
I am now on my way to Abel Tasman and also plan to see Farewell Spit before returning to Picton and the ferry back to the North Island. Will post some more photos soon

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Otago Peninsula

Had a great David Attenburgh experience yesterday. Went along the Otago peninsula to a beach teaming with wild life. First off saw a big group of fur seals playing around in rock pools. It was a nursery and the young fur seals were learning to do what they do best... swim and have fun. A bit further along we met up with some yellow eyed penguins who were coming out of the water and walking up to their nesting site. Best of all were the Sea Lions. They were on a sandy beach and the males were squaring up to each other. There was a cute baby sea lion hiding in the grass.

Fur Seals

Cute baby Sea Lion

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Some photos from New Zealand

Sperm Whale Diving at Kaikoura


Emerald Lakes at Tongariro Crossing

In the bush


Saturday, 9 April 2011

Travelling in New Zealand

I have  reached Christchurch and there is an autumnal feel to the weather. I am staying with Ian MacLellan, a friend of Saartje's in a very pleasant area near the coast. There is a lot of destruction obvious and not so obvious all around the area. The epicentre of the earthquake wasn't very far from here and some nearby cliffs and houses took a pounding.
I arrived here from Kaikoura. It is a tremendous coastal town near  to some deep ocean canyons which attract whales dolphins and seals. Yesterday morning I went whale watching on a very big sea swell. We saw two impressive Sperm whales and I got a photo of one diving.
I'm going to spend a few days in this area, doing a bit of cycling and then continue sounth to Dunedin and Queenstown

Tongariri crossing

Had a great day on the Tongariri crossing. It meanders through a highly volcanic area. Got some great photoes including some of Mount Doom