Tuesday, 23 February 2010

The deep south. Here we are in Wanaka, having climbed on the Franz Josef glacier and been on my first helicopter ride. the glacier was amazing creaking & groaning, water rushing in streams downhill over white & blue striped ice looked like toothpaste spread everywhere!!
Next we walked up to Fox Glacier and ate lunch at it's snout! with the water rushing out of the terminal cave, anamazing experience!! Then out into the temperate rainforest, felt really weird!!
No rain just 20ish degrees C every day, I keep trying to blow you all some warmth north but there seems to be a bit of a block!!
Have seen Fur seals basking on the beach along the Tasman Sea. Missed the Blue penguins but they are nocturnal & I'm not very good at being a 'night owl' - too much walking.
Wanaka is well known for its skiing, so if anyone feels like skiing during the summer hols, this is the place for you! It has a huge lake which is quite warm at present & the surrounding mountains are barren and dried up, waiting for the weather to change for winter!

Hope everyone at WPS had a good half-term break. Has Caroline had the baby yet? I do hope all is well.
More anon.......

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Now reached South Island. Rotorua was interesting for the pulsating mud pools. The geyser was a bit a fake as they had to put soap flakes into it to make it erupt at 10.15 am! The colours of sulphur, bright yellow, a lake of lime green & another with an orange edge. Lake Taupo is huge like an inland sea with great waves & blowing a gale!! Fantastic B & B in Tangurini & a red rose delivered by the lady of the house for Paul to present to me, arn't I lucky!!
On to Wellington Delightful city, took a tour of the parliament building very interesting. They have abolished the Upper Chamber but it still seems to work through lots of committees. They also have proportional representation so that all the communities are fairly represented.
Fabulous Botanical Gardens full of both familiar & unusual plants - rose beds to Gum trees.
Stayed with a lovely lady, who must have been 75, yet still worked 2hrs a day playing the Grand piano in the most emminant department store Kirkcardie & Staines. She had 2 harps , a baby grand & several uprights in various rooms - a unique experience!!
Interislander ferry was lovely, sea like a mill pond fortunately. The ferry wended its way passed islands covered in fir trees and little inlets where a tiny community nestled.
Picton, just a small port, picked up new car & travelled along the coast road to Nelson. We would not have found this but had been advised by a friend to download the maps of NZ onto Tom Tom before we left so we have had fantastic routes to follow all the way around, brilliant!!
We have spent 2 days here gone on a tour of the area, enjoyed wines at a winery, eaten olives grown on the farm, & eaten apples off the trees. Saw the factory for Gensa the company that we get our apples from in Waitrose!! The fruit here is generally much larger than we get in UK so they must grade us down!!
Off to Westport next, it's a fanatastic place, the high mountains loom.
More later......

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Have arrived safely in NZ having travelled via Bangkok, only saw the inside of the airport. Visited Auckland staying in great room with a complete kitchen!! Needless to say we only used it to make tea!! but we did use the washing machine/dryer!!
Views from Sky Tower were fantastic, wall to wall sunshine, mid 20's C Tshirt & shorts time!!
B & B's great, everyone really friendly & giving loads of helpful ideas.
Up north it tends to rain for 20 mins in the afternoon - torrential & steaming!!
Paihia & Bay of Islands is glorious, sea is deep blue & sky has puffy white clouds!
There is an island we visited today called Piercy Island it has a huge arch through which the boat shot!
More next time........