A Travellerspoint blog

Picton

Swim with the Dolphins

sunny 17 °C

1st October 2014
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We had woken early to catch a 8am boat through the Marlborough sounds to do a walk on the Queen Charlotte track. When we got to the there was some confusion with times so we decided check the availability of the swimming with the dolphin tour, this was free.
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Carol got suited up and we headed of in search of dolphins, it was quite cold but it was a perfect morning with still water and sunshine.
We spotted a few different pods and the group jumped in at one spot but the dolphin’s didn't hang around. Eventually we found a pod that was happy to stay around the boat, the group jumped in the water and the dolphins swam around them. Carol had one within a foot away from her. It was a great experience.
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After lunch we went on a cruise around the sound that was also a mail drop for the remote residents that live on the various islands and inlets. We also found there were a number of lodges scattered around the area that people can stay in when trekking on Queen Charlotte track.
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Posted by cbrewster 01:01 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Up The West Coast of New Zealand

sunny 15 °C

29th September 2014

Woke to another fine morning at Franz Josef so, after breakfast we went for a short walk to get another glacier view.
We then drove up the west coast to Punakaiki via Greymouth. We stopped for lunch at Hokitika and surprisingly we ran into a family in a café that we did the Glacier tour with . When reached Punakaiki we walked around the Pancake Rocks and the Blow Hole which was amazing then went looking for accommodation.
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Carol found a back packers place that was right on the beach, it had a self-contained bungalow that overlooked the beach, and it also had a shower with a window so you could watch the ocean while taking a shower. It was quite a unique place. We checked in then drove down to Truman beach which was recommended to see. It had a track through a rain forest to get to it, then the beach had huge caves with rolling surf, instead of sand the beach was small stones, it was a beautiful spot.
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We had dinner at the tavern just down the road then went back our Bungalow veranda to watch the sunset!!!!
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30th September 2014

Woke to the sound of the surf beach, it was a bit cloudy but not too cold. We left Punakaiki and headed for Picton.
The day was mostly driving with a few stops for photos and lunch.

Arrived a Picton at about 4pm, searched for accommodation then walked around the town.
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Posted by cbrewster 23:37 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

The Glaciers

sunny 15 °C

27th September 2014
Woke to a beautiful sunny morning in Queenstown, unfortunately we were leaving! We packed and headed off to the West coast, first passing through Wanaka where we stopped and had a coffee. It looked like a very nice place on the lake and would be a nice place to stay.
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We drove then towards Haast through the Haast pass, a very scenic road through the mountain range. We made a stop at the blue pools which were aqua coloured water pools from a mountain river.
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The road through Haast pass has been closing at night due to rock slides and at one area where they were repairing the road we had to wait about 30 minutes for traffic and road clearing.
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Once reaching the coast we drove to Fox Glacier. It was only a short couple of Km walk to see the Glacier, pretty dirty looking and the cloud had lowered so we couldn't get a perspective of its size. We then drove to Franz Josef and it rained all the way. It was about 6pm when we reached Franz so there wasn't time to see anything. We were hoping that the weather would improve for our Glacier tour tomorrow and make it a bit harder to wake it was also the changeover to day light savings!

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28th September 2014

The sun was shining in the morning and we headed out for our Glacier tour. We were given coats, pants and boots for the Glacier walk and headed to the helicopter. There were quite a few groups going as it was the first good day for a while. We flew and landed about half way up the glacier then followed a guide through different hills and crevices that made up the breaking front section on the glacier. It was huge once you could see across it and have the perspective of other groups in the distance. It was a very good tour.
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We caught the helicopter back, had lunch then went to the canyon walk to the front of the Glacier, it was surprising that we could hardly see in the distance where the helicopters were landing for the walking tour we had done earlier. We went for another walk through the rain forest at the end of the glacier canyon then called it a day.

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Posted by cbrewster 01:29 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Queenstown

4 days in Queenstown

sunny 15 °C

23rd September 2014

Left Te Anau and drove to Queenstown. Arrived about 1:30pm and found our hotel,( it has a great view from the window) then had a look around town, a very nice town. We took the Gondola up to the lookout and had a go on the luge which was fun. We took a few photos of the view and arranged to go back for dinner.
View From our window!
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Queenstown
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Luge ride
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We got back up on the mountain to see the sunset then had dinner overlooking the town, with window seats!
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24th September 2014
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Woke up to a fine sunny morning, we left early and drove to Glenorchy for a jet boat ride up the Dart River. It was great, and we spun and twisted up the river for about 1.5 hours. We got out up the river a bit and got into a 4 WD bus that took us for a tour through the forest. We did a small walk where the guide talked about the trees, animals and vegetation in this part of NZ.

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We then drove down that road to view an area that has been used as a back drop for many films and commercials like Lord of the Rings, Wolverene, Hobbit, Bega cheese adds and Milka adds.

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We headed back to Glenorchy and had lunch at one of the café’s, it is a very small town!

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We finished our time there with a walk up the Routeburn track, we walked about 8 or 9km through very nice beech forest and streams, it took about 2 hours.
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26 September 2014

We woke to a fine morning, sunny and still. When having breakfast we noticed they had started the Paragliding from the top of the Gondola so we raced to where they had landed to find out more. There was no bookings taken, you just had to go to the top and get in line, so Carol caught the Gondola up while I grabbed the cameras. In the time Carol had reached the top and was waiting in line the wind had picked up and they cancelled the day.

We decided then to head off for a walk to the top of Queenstown hill, it was quite steep and took about 1 hour to get to the summit but the views were magnificent.

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We spent the remainder of the day in town, had dinner at one of the many nice pubs and watched the sunset at the harbour.

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Posted by cbrewster 02:32 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Doubtful Sound

sunny 12 °C

Headed off early to Manapouri for the Doubtful Sound cruise. We left by boat from Lake Manapouri and cruised to the other side, we then got on a bus which took us to doubtful sound. This cruise took us through the sound until we reached the Tasman Sea then back.
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The whole journey was truly amazing and so picturesque, the day started cloudy but before long there wasn't a cloud in the sky, a beautiful day. Although it was still chilly in the wind! The sound was far larger that Milford and we thought much better to see.
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On the way back they took us through the hydro power station, it was a long way underground!

Posted by cbrewster 01:33 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

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