The ferry ride from Picton to Wellington was quite bumpy. The first part through the Fjord was not so bad but as we reached the open ocean the ride became quite bumpy due to the big waves. But not too big to get sick I drank a beer and watched Harry Potter on my iPod haha
Arriving in Wellington I drove to Jasper’s House, a good friend from years back who has been living in New Zealand for 5 years now.
From Murchison I drove through Nelson to Picton. The weather was terrible as there was a huge storm and news on the radio said people had drowned up north and house and roofs got blown away. I soon got to experience the weather more closely as there was a fallen trea on the road in front of me. In the car behind me was a camera man who filmed the tree and I actually saw his footage that night on the TV with the New Zealand news.
The next morning I went to see the Hokitika Gorge, a nice gorge with very blue water, just like lake Pukaki.
From Hokitika I drove up north. Just before you enter Greymouth there is a Honda C-50 graveyard-exhibition on someone’s backyard. About 12 old C-50′s against wooden poles; here’s one:
After Greymouth I visited the Pancake Rocks and blowholes at Punakaiki.
Near Westport there is a seal colony to be seen:
After the seal colony I drove to Murchison to spend the night.
Leaving Haast to go see the Glaciers I saw a helicopter carrying Deer, probably the New Zealand way to hunt?
After having walked some nature trails I went to see the glaciers. The first of the two glaciers is Fox Glacier:
And the second one is the Franz Joseph glacier. I did not know it was such a long walk to get to the glaciers face, otherwise I would have spent less time at the Fox glacier. You can also do a guided walk through the glacier’s tunnels and see the blueish light inside. Perhaps some other time for me…
After having visited the Glaciers I headed for Hokitika to spend the night, driving through the dark:
From Te Anau I drove up the mountains through Queenstown and Wanaka, the two major wintersport towns. Fortunately there was no snow on the roads so I did not have to use my snow chains. From Wanaka you have to drive over the Haast Pass to get to Haast, a tiny village on the West coast.
After the pass you get a great view of the Haast River:
I almost had the campsite for myself, with only 3 other caravans / campervans on the campsite. I made some quick snaps of the sunset:
From Dunedin I had drive to Te Anau near New Zealand’s West Coast to spend the night. The next morning I left Te Anau to drive about 120 km’s to Milford Sound, the most popular Fjord to visit in New Zealand.
Along the way you pass the mirror lakes, beautifully reflecting the mountains around:
In Milford Sound I booked a boat cruise across the Fjord; when we reached the ocean and looked back to the Fjord it looked like this:
On the way back to the harbour we cruised passed the Stirling Falls which violently dropped in the Fjord below:
Almost next to the Harbour where the Bowen Falls, now beautifully lit by the sun:
On the way back I passed a spot where plants where totally covered in ice:
The next morning I left the campsite in Dunedin and drove to the Otago Peninsula. According to the Lonely Planet there would be penguins, seals and albatrosses to be seen at the peninsula, as well as an excentric castle.
Unfortunately the castle charged about 20 dollars entry and I found that a bit much for a castle of about 100 years old. So I continued on towards Harington Point where the seal colony could be found.
At Harington point there where steep cliffs down to the rocky beach below where the seals where lying on the rocks. The photo below shows the cliffs and one of these pixels is a seal, pretty much invisible in this photograph
On the way back I passed this shed in the sea; I couldn’t resist taking a photograph
After having spent the night on the empty campsite in Twizel I left to see mount cook. Unfortunately due to the clouds the mountain itself wasn’t visible, but the drive past Lake Pukaki to the foot of the mountain was great. On the way back I made a couple of photographs of Lake Pukaki:
From Lake Pukaki I drove past Twizel towards Duntroon where -according to the Lonely Planet- a fossilized whale could be seen in the mountains. On the way to Duntroon I found this lonely chimney in the middle of nowhere:
After driving a couple of kilometres over dirt road to see the fossilized whale I finally found a couple of bones, in a rock of about 1 m2. Kind of a dissapointment actually. I was expecting a full size whale lying in the rocks but in fact it wasn’t more than a small pile of bones that could just have been of a dog or something.
So after Duntroon I decided to head for Dunedin to spend the night.
Yesterday I ad picked up my campervan at the Britz office in Christchurch and I stayed for the night at the Top 10 Holiday park in Christchurch. After waking up I drove off and headed for the Mount Cook area. After a long ride past Lake Tekapo I reached the brilliant bright blue Lake Pukaki; the lake is so blue because of rock sediment that floats in the water. The sediment originates from a huge glacier which lied in the valley a couple of thousand years ago. Because it was getting too late to visit mount Cook I drove to Twizel to make camp for the night.
I have been getting questions how job hunting was going and if I already got an apartment. Well, none of that is going to happen (actually I did get two job offers) as after long long thought I have decided to change my emigrating / moving plans into a new plan: a long world trip Australia is wonderfull and I really enjoy traveling here, but I realized that I don’t want to stay here. I want to live and work in Holland and just for now enjoy a long time off, travelling around the world.
Today is the first day of my new journey; I am leaving Australia and I am flying to Christchurch (New Zealand). I have booked another campervan for three weeks and visit my mate Jasper in Wellington. After that I will leave New Zealand from Auckland and my next stop will be San Francisco where I will get a car and drive cross-country to Boston in about 6 to 8 weeks.
And after that? I really don’t know yet