S: The Curtis family Trip Around the World - New Zealand
FC: New Zealand | The Curtis family Trip Around the World
1: Paid $35 NZD = 28 CDN for a family pass to the thermal pools ranging from 28 C to 41 C. It felt great especially with the cooler weather of 15 C The Hike up Conical Hill | Picked up the campervan in Christchurch, bought groceries at New World and drove on the left side of the road in a standard drive oversize vehicle with some hairpin turns on hilly terrain to Hanmer Springs. Lots of one-lane bridges and sheep! | Kia Ora!! Our tour of the South Island from November 21 - December 19, 2009 | Hiked up Conical Hill then enjoyed the view
2: We took highway 7A back to 7 then turned onto highway 70. It wasn't much of a highway! The road twisted and turned, went up then down, across single-lane bridges past hundreds of sheep farms. Finally, we arrived at the coast at Kaikoura. We drove out on to the peninsula for a great view. Then we continued north along highway 1 and into the wine growing areas of Marlborough as we made our way into Blenheim. We pulled into the Top 10 ("top tin") Holiday Park - there were ducks everywhere you turned.
3: We left Blenheim by 10 am and got to Picton a half hour later. We bought our return tickets to Wellington on the Interislander for just under 300 NZD. We parked the motorhome for the night and walked into the main area of town. The kids went to the playground while the adults enjoyed a flat white (3 NZD each) and the warm sunny weather
4: The "Beehive" | Across the Cook Strait to Wellington! | New St. Paul's | Outside Old St Paul's | Inside Old St Paul's
6: Collingwood Beach
7: Mike says put on your "sunnies" coming out! | Extinct Moa bones, stalactites and stalagmites | Drove to Motueka and stayed at the Top 10 resort there. M & A had a blast on the huge jump pillow and swam in the pool. Had some local green mussels for dinner. Aftewards, we played euchre.
8: Split Apple Rock | Kaiteriteri Sea shuttle up the coast
9: Abel Tasman Park After a beautiful 6 km walk, we arrived at the beach at Torrent Bay
10: We walked across Buller Gorge on the longest swingbridge in NZ
11: Panacake Rocks and Blowholes Hundreds of layers of alternating mud & limestone sculpted by the sea
12: Greymouth Our campsite was right by the beach so we could hear the roar of the surf on the large pebble beach
13: Arthur's Pass | The Kea loves to rip apart the rubber seal on car windows
14: Hokitika | Lots of Pounamu (Maori name for Jade), bioluminescence in the Glow Worm Dell and milky turquoise waters under the Gorge Swingbridge
15: We drove through Ross where NZ's largest gold nugget was found (the 7 lb Roddy). We stopped in Pukekura (population 2) at the Bushman's Centre for a hot lemon ginger toddy and toured their museum feeding the possums and watching a DVD on the history of the deer industry
16: Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers
17: juggling pebbles | Hairpin turns
18: Mitre Peak (1682 m) One of the world's highest mountains to rise out of the sea Stirling Falls | Milford Sound (Milford Fjord) was simply beyond description!
19: Homer Tunnel | Doing our daily exercises | One of the wettest places in the world but luckily we had a beautiful sunny spring day to enjoy it!
20: Toured the Catlins via the Southern Scenic Route | At low tide, we walked on a petrified forest from the Jurassic period
21: McLean Falls, a hike to Jack's Blowhole and of course SHEEP!!
22: Dunedin The rose gardens at the Botanical Gardens were gorgeous and the ducks seemed to think we were too! Baldwin Street ("steepest street in the world") was conquered!
23: Moeraki boulders made of mud, silt, clay and calcite | March of the rare yellow-eyed penguins up the beach (far right) and one hanging out in the high cliff bushes (far left)
24: By 8 am, we were on the Hooker Valley Trail. It was misty, we couldn't see much around us at the start. Going over the swingbridge was thrilling. The glacier water was moving so fast over boulders the size of small houses. Then the sky cleared and we could see Mount Cook and the Tasman Glacier. By 9:30 am, we reached Hooker Lake - a glacier lake with chunks of glaciated ice floating in it. Then, Mount Cook misted over as we walked back.
25: Mount Cook (3754 m) | Andy climbing to the peak
26: May's meat pie 3.60 NZD in Twizel | Lots of lupins | Andy and Morgan's room | In Omarama petting some lambs | Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre 3D movie | Lake Tekapo Church of the Good Shepherd
27: Random Photos
28: Akaroa The harbour here is in the middle of a caldera from a volcano millions of years ago | There are many french flags and street names from the early french settlement here in the 1840s
29: Christchurch We toured the Kiwi Centre & Aquarium where we saw kiwis running around in the dark. We went to the Antarctica Centre to see the little blue penguins, experience a -16 C storm and do some ATVing. We took the Gondola up to see the city, and a bus tour from Lyttleton to Sumner stopping at a chocolate shop on the way. We punted down the Avon river. Morgan and Andy did flips on the bungee-trampoline. We also took a tram ride of the city.