A Travellerspoint blog

Back to Milford Sound

all seasons in one day 8 °C

21 September 2014

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Woke and found the Milford road had opened, but we had to carry chains. We picked some up at a local servo and headed to Milford. The road was cleared through the snow and tunnel so we didn’t need to use the chains.

Had a coffee at Milford lodge and picked up some clothes we left behind in our last rush to leave on our last visit!
We then took the cruise on Milford Sound which was really good and we were lucky that it didn’t rain until we were off the boat and at the car.

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Finished the day with a look at The Chasm Water falls, the water falls near Lake Marion and a walk to the Key Summit, unfortunately the clouds covered our view at the summit.

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

Te Anau

Escape from the snow!

semi-overcast 10 °C

19th September 2014

We woke up to the sound of heavy rain, it rained all night without stopping. At 8am there was a bang on our door, the hotel staff explained that the road was closing at 9am and may not open for a few days. If we didn’t want to chance being stuck there we had to leave straight away. Due to the heavy rain and the weather reports indicated it wasn’t clearing we decided to go. It was an adventurous trip with heavy rain at first then snow.
The snow got heavier as we got to the tunnel. We were stopped at the tunnel with a few other cars then told to all go together behind a snow plough to get down the mountain.
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We arrived at Te Anau at about 11:30 sorted out our hotel and tours then looked around the small town! We took a small walk around the lake then went on a glow worm tour. This was quite good with a boat ride to the caves then an interesting walk through the caves over a number of water falls. It ended with a boat ride at the back of the cave to the glow worms.
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Once back in Te Anau we saw a film in the Fiordland national park, a beautiful vision of the area from helicopters over mountains and down the rivers. Finished the day with dinner at a Chinese restaurant.

20th September 2014

After breakfast we started a walk on the Kepler Track. We first started on one end that took us to hiking huts at Lake Manapouri, it was about a 13km round trip that took about 3 hours. The walk took us through very lush and green ferns and moss. It followed a river to the lake where the huts were. After we returned we had lunch then walked another section of the track, this was about 12 km return which followed Lake Anau . We returned to town and had pasta for dinner!
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Posted by cbrewster 02:36 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

New Zealand Milford

Milford

rain 12 °C

18th September 2014
It was a better morning with the sun shining on the beach. We went to Dunedin town centre and found a vegetarian café where we had breakfast. Carol had pancakes with berries, I had the usual eggs. We had a quick look at the shops and brought some gloves then headed for Milford. I was long drive, over 5.5 hours!! We had stopped for lunch at Gore then drove straight to Te Anau.

At Te Anau we found there that the Milford road was going to close the next morning due to snow. It rained from Te Anau to Milford and the drive took about 3 hours. There was a lot of traffic going the other way leaving Milford. We drove through the mountains covered in snow and due to the rain there were waterfalls everywhere. There is a one way tunnel through the mountain that we had to wait until the leaving traffic was clear, later found it was made in 1935! Pretty good feat.

When we arrived in Milford we found our cabin which was very flash, it has large windows overlooking the river and mountains. It was still raining so we drove the short distance to the boat terminal and took a few photos. Then had dinner at the blue Duck hotel, Arancini balls and Pizza! We were about the only ones at the Hotel! This may be the case tomorrow if the road doesn't clear.
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Posted by cbrewster 02:40 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

New Zealand first days

South Island - Christchurch to Dunedin

semi-overcast 12 °C

Melbourne to Christchurch
13th September 2014
Caught a flight from Melbourne with Air New Zealand departing at 9am. Slight delay with the flight that meant we were required to fly over Sydney, Auckland then to Christchurch. It was a long 4.5 hour flight arriving in Christchurch at about 4.00 pm.
We picked up our car, Hyundi then headed to the Hotel. Christchurch city was very much in a destruct and rebuild time, many building have been removed leaving vacant blocks. Our hotel, Rydges, was only about 1 year old, surrounded by empty blocks and a park. A very nice and flash hotel that also had a gym!
We had dinner at the hotel, like a late lunch for us , then went to another part of town for desert. There was an area near the casino that had a number of restaurants to choose from, we found a little pub type place that was nice.

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14th September 2014
Woke up and went for a run around town, we were able to get a good look at how the city was affected and how nice it was. Tried the gym out and then went up the street for breakfast. Found a nice mall that had a number of café's and had the historical tram going through it.
From here we walked and drove around town, went to the botanical gardens and tourist information centre for directions to the Gondolas. Drove about 20 mins out of town for a ride up the gondolas and a great view if the city. Had lunch up at the top and then headed back to town and looked around restart mall. We went through the Quake city exhibition which was quite interesting and we were surprised how many recorded quakes there have been. We then looked around the town some more back to the hotel then out for dinner. Found a nice place on the edge of the botanical gardens, had vegie lasagne and desert.
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15th September 2014
Had breakfast at a café in the restart mall the left Christchurch and headed for Lake Tekapo. Arrived there at about 3pm. We stayed at a B & B, the owners made us a cup of tea before we headed to the lake for some pictures. Took some pictures of the old stone church and then had a look at the hot pools. It was very windy and very cold, our hand were going numb. We had dinner at a nice pizza type of place that had a fire! We were going to star gaze but it clouded up and later rained.
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16th September 2014
Left the B & B after nice breakfast and drove to the observatory lookout. We were lucky that we managed to get a few photos and walked around the top before it started snowing! We went into the small café, had a coffee watching the snow.
Headed off then to Dunedin passing some beautiful lakes, we stopped plenty of times to take photos. When we reached the coast road we headed to look at the Moeraki Boulders. Took the scenic road from Oamaru .
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From the boulders we drove to Dunedin and straight to Lanarch Castle. The room we stayed was beautiful, the Rhododendron room. It had unrestricted views over the bay . We booked for dinner at the castle and this was very flash. The dinner was in the old dining room and the meal was very nice. We had pear salad, pumpkin tart and raisin pudding or chocolate tart. It was like dinning like you see in the movies, very exquisite. After the main course the waitress gave a talk on the history of the family and we then just chatted with the other people. We walked back to our room in the rain, lost all of our wonderful views!
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17 September 2014
Woke up to fog and rain, our beautiful view had disappeared! We had breakfast in the old stables which was then did a tour through the castle. It was still raining so we headed to town, looked at the train station, town centre and Cadbury factory tour. Brought plenty of chocolates! We then drove slightly out of town to St Clair where we stayed on the beach front. We had dinner at nice little Italian place on the water front then called it a night.

Posted by cbrewster 02:06 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

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