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Travel Report New Zealand

New Zealand
one stop on Wendy's & Joe's world tour 2004/05

Queenstown, Te Aneu, Milford Sound, Franz Josef Glacier
 

 

 
Kind of travel: Travelling alone
Year of this voyage: 2005
Author's age: 30-45 years
 

 
Journal Update 07th January 2005 / New Zealand
Hello from Middle Earth, we are now truly in Lord of the Rings country in rural New Zealand.
We rented a little car which is a little white Jap model and we bought a tent. All the campers where rented for the high season but this has been the worst summer on record since 1914 apparently.

Yesterday was a glorious, sunny day. We took off from Christchurch and explored Akorao which is a lovely French town on the coast then journeyed inland to a place called Geraldine. We went to a local Bottle shop to scrounge a couple of beakers to drink our wine from and Joe was very impressed to see you could buy booze, beer and spirits in what ever size bottle you wished and were charged accordingly. The guy was so generous; we bought nothing but came away with beakers and some BBQ rub he insisted we take as a souvenir.

We also visited a wonderful old independent cinema and saw a great flick called "2 Men Go To War", a true British Second World War story about two hapless dentists who decide to invade France. The great news is our friend in Kamala is very safe and well and has emailed to say he escaped the waves as he had moved way back behind the beach. Hopefully he will send us pics of Kamala so we can get an idea of what had happened as we have had to rely on the radio and internet to see the news. By the way Robert you would love New Zealand, Christchurch is the gateway to the Antarctic (it is a ten hour flight) the place is full of outdoor types and explorers all wearing hiking boots and fleeces. We visited the Antarctic Centre and experienced an artic storm of minus 25°. I have felt colder on my way to school in the 70's.
 

Journal Update 09th Jan 2005 / Queenstown
Hi folks
We are now in the adrenalin adventure capital of the world. We are surrounded by bungee jumpers and absailers. We are once again in our little tent after spending a night in the Bates Motel as the weather yesterday took a turn for the worse and it poured down with torrential rain from morn till night.

The motel we stayed in was on a desolate hill and was heavily discounted and empty which we thought strange for this time of the year, as it is peak season. As the night drew in and the mist surrounded us we realised that the place was haunted. Joe thought the place would be good for a murder mystery weekend and the staff were perfect for an Agatha Christie horror. The room smelt musty but it did have nice deep pile carpet (or it had been back in the 70s). We woke in the middle of the night to hear something scratching down below the window. Joe was shaking as he peered through the net curtain only to see a MONSTER RABBIT and his mate scurrying below in the rain. After that we slept fine until the morning and took off for the city.

 
We figured at least we could shop until the sun shines again. Queenstown is a lovely little place set around a lake and surrounded by alpine type fur trees. There is a steep gondola above the campsite up the mountain, which Joe quite fancies having a go at.
I have my heart set on a wine tour and there is Milford Sound to check out too. Off to buy some possum gloves, hat, and pants (as unlike Australia where they are endangered, here they have the status of a rat in East London)

Journal Update 10th Jan 2005 / Te Aneu, New Zealand
Hi guys
We are now in Te Aneu a little town in the middle of no where on the way to Milford Sound. Yesterday was glorious weather and we drove through the most fantastic scenery I have ever seen to a place called paradise. We parked the car up and basked in the sun. Only to be attacked by little black flies nipping at us. We visited a fur trappers shop and Joe considered buying some possum socks to go in his booties. I reminded him of the good time we had on New Years Eve with our friend the possum and he decided against them. Though they did look rather soft and warm, I don't think we could live with the guilt!

Journal Update 11th Jan 2005 / Milford Sound, New Zealand
We are lucky as yesterday we had the most magnificent day to drive to Milford Sound. This was the most spectacular sight of high mountain peaks with melted glazier water tumbling down. We stopped at a creek and a bus load of Japanese tourists came down to fill up their water bottles. Joe had immense fun gesturing to them holding his throat and heart like he was just about to die and pointing at the water. For some reason they didn't get the joke and all hurried back in the bus looking quite worried.

It was the one day of the year it didn't rain at Milford Sound as usually they get 30 FT a year. We went out on a cruise around the sound and out to the Tasman Sea (which is usually very difficult due to the swells). Even the skipper was having an ace time and we thought it was worth every penny. We saw high waterfalls and sea cliffs with seals basking in the sun. The group on the boat were great people and we palled up with a couple that had travelled through Asia, too. Though felt very jealous as they were continuing on to South America. Though, they were stretching their budget somewhat, as they had spent $2000 in Queenstown on sky diving, stunt planes and various activities.

We all felt very sad when the wind blew off an old mans favourite Harry Potter hat (especially as it was his crew hat from working on the film) still as Joe says when someone finds it they will be very happy! We rounded off a smart day with a special dinner (instead of the usual soup and chips, we had roast lamb with all the trimmings and mint jelly (Joe) and pan fried snapper (Wendy). We retired to our little tent full of hot food and cheer. We are off to Doubtful Sound today and the sun is still shining. Let's hope it stays that way as this place if frightfully dull, dull, dull in the rain.

Journal Update 14th January 2005 / Mount Cook, New Zealand
Hi Guys
Quick hello from the bottom of Mount Cook.
Up there the mountain is covered in thick snow. We are sitting in the foyer of The Hermatige a luxury hotel sheltering from the wind. It is a glorious day and the sun is shining, sky is blue. We have visited Dunedin (a Scottish town) and been to the most southerly point on the South Island. Now we are working our way back up to the glaciers on the Western side.

All is well with the tent but spent a night in a motel for a bit of luxury and for a much needed bath!

Journal Update 16th January 2005 / Franz Josef Glaicer, New Zealand
Hi Guys
Well we are in high spirits today, though the weather is once again raining cats and rather large doggies. We are meeting some interesting people on our travels, in Dunedin we met a redundant sheep slaughterer who runs up and down the steepest street in the world (which is in Dundedin). He does it at least 60 times a day and is 54, very bald and wears very small shorts (but has good legs).

We made fast friends though he scared me a bit as he related how the sheep is killed on the chain. Apparently they break the neck, slit the throat and pull a hook through the heart to bleed them. He wanted to hang out with us for the rest of the day, but Joe started to retreat as we got the distinct impression he had a lot of blood lust (and no fingers!!!).
 

Joseph Brilus
Joseph Brilus

Wendy Brierley
Wendy Brierley

 

We decided to blow the deposit for a house on a grand world tour through 2004. We booked through STA travel and put together a brief itinerary including the Far East, Australia, New Zealand and the USA. As it turned out we experienced China, Bali, Fiji and many more places in between.

We decided to end the trip with a wedding in Las Vegas (which was very memorable!) As a wedding present my brother put together an on-line travel blog for us which was a great tool for documenting our journey. This experience truly changed our lives and we encountered many fantastic people through out the world. I hope you enjoy reading some highlights of our journal!

contact via: mail@WorldTravelReports.com

© Copyright for article and pictures reserved by the author

 

 

We have driven through the Catlins which are on the south eastern tip and discovered a campervan which had run off the road. Joe had a look inside to check if anyone was in it but it transpired that it had run off the road the night before and thank God no one was hurt. But it was a bloody big drop and the van was on its roof in a ditch.

We spent the night in Wanaka on a campSHITE, we were woken at 6.00 am by 3 ginger children in the tent behind shouting and whining for their breakfast little bxxxxxstrds, but it got us up and at it early on our journey along the west coast.

We are now at Franz Josef Glacier and plan to climb either the Fox or Franz Josef Glacier tomorrow in flip-flops and a T-shirts. There is a helicopter ride up there that sounds totally awesome dude but it is 75 quid but would be a once in a life time thing mmmmmmm. Food for thought.

Off now to get squiffy on some NZ wine in a seedy model that smells of cats.

Wendy Brierley

a further stop on Wendy's & Joe's world tour 2004/05
 

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World Tour Travel Reports from Wendy & Joe:
Japan > Singapore > Malaysia > Thailand > Laos > Vietnam > Cambodia > Indonesia > Hong Kong > China >
Australia > New Zealand > Fiji > Cook Islands > USA

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