12 janvier 2010

Go North

Our ride to the North Island is scheduled for 1 pm on the Interislander, one of the finest ferry trips. But first we have to figure out how we get out of our hidden heaven: last night we got a little stuck in the mud as we parked but we stayed there hoping it will dry till morning. Not quite… We spent nearly an hour going back and forth, filling the soil with gravels, until we finally made it. We end up wet, muddy and ready to have another shower, but time is not on our side and the road ahead is one of the most challenging so far.... [Lire la suite]
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09 janvier 2010

Wine, lands and shores

  Marlborough country. The real one is on this island. Here, Sauvignon blanc and Riesling dominate the landscape, rain and clouds rule the sky. Perfect day for savoring the region’s wine caves. We treat ourselves to a fine lunch at Twelve Trees located in the Alan Scott winery before sampling the wines at three other wineries. We found the wine too heavy on the taste at Mahi (and very expensive as well). We got excellent Gerwutstraminer and Pinot Gris at 'The Grove Mill', and we finished with the best wines of all (so far) at... [Lire la suite]
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07 janvier 2010

Bliss roads, kiwi version

  Even though there is no set itinerary for our trip, it was agreed that we’d go north of the South Island towards Abel Tasman NP. [How come the islands don’t have names? could at least have made it simpler with Zealand one & 2 or sheep bird island and human island (not creative, ok)]. So we visit some jade shops in Hokitika and I get some nice necklaces in local pounamu stones. To tell you the truth, we were a bit disappointed with the West Coast scenery and attractions and the ride north seems long with only the... [Lire la suite]
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05 janvier 2010

Of tropical forests and glaciers

The itinerary takes us West where the plan is to skirt the coast of glaciers and beautiful beaches. We pass through Haast which is supposed to be of great scenery but the lush tropical rainforest on both sides of the road makes it a bit dark to see anything else. We have a small mechanical problem and waste around an hour to get it fixed. As we arrive at Fox Glacier town, we find out we can’t join a tour on a Glacier walk with Noemie (no babies allowed!) so we settle for the walk leading to around 200 meters from the ice. The Fox... [Lire la suite]
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30 décembre 2009

From Milford Sound to Wanaka and Makarora

  We are awoken by a fresh feeling as we are completely out of gas and heating. We take a look at Milford Sound from a distance but decide not to go on a boat cruise. Instead we enjoy breakfast near the harbor while watching the hordes of tourists getting ready for a cruise amidst camera flashes and noisy group tours. The Milford road is less scary on the way back and we soon came to miss the ‘Avalanche area’ signs. We pass by Queenstown which we find much more pleasant on a sunny day. We stop for lunch at a very nice venue... [Lire la suite]
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28 décembre 2009

Doubtful Sound

  Morning has never felt better. We had packed our stuff last night thoughtful of today’s trip to Doubtful Sound. We take the boat outside the Real Journeys ticketing office. This first boat is quite nice and it takes us to a big power station built on lake Manapouri. There, a big bus takes us through Deep Cove, the last station before Doubtful Sound. This little hamlet hosts only 1 permanent inhabitant who is also the owner of a backpacker’s place for the adventurous few who trek this part in search of loneliness or new... [Lire la suite]
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26 décembre 2009

Queenstown from above - Serenity of Manapouri

  We shall remember this day at least for the rest of this vacation… We take our campervan to the Gondola station not knowing what to expect. Bad news first: as we park, the top compartment opens setting free all inhabitants, including our beloved camera… The zoom is broken and can only function once held tightly over the camera. We’ll have to replace it or treat it with very special care until the end of the trip…So much for the bad news! As we take the gondola and go up in the forest, a magnificent scenery unfolds with this... [Lire la suite]
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23 décembre 2009

Queenstown

  So we check-in in a real camping. Let’s face it, we need water, we need to charge our camera and laptop…and we need a good shower! We’ve always preferred to do camping in the wild, so organized camps are not our thing. But hey, we have to try it especially that it’s our first time with a campervan. So we got help from our neighbor in the parking. I wished the help came before getting ourselves wet and dirty and in need of a second shower… It’s rainy and definitely not a good day for skydiving or hang-gliding as I had... [Lire la suite]
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10 décembre 2009

Mount Cook

Morning feels like dawn as the mist covers the lake shores and the surrounding mountains. Noemie is still sleeping so we get out and have breakfast in the meantime. It’s very cold outside. We take the road to Lake Pukaki. From there we could not see Mt Cook yet but the clouds were clearing up. So we take the one hour road to see New Zealand’s highest peak. The scenery along the way is stunning. I could hardly find words to describe it, but it goes like this. The road crosses a large valley surrounded by tall brown mountains... [Lire la suite]
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07 décembre 2009

From Christchurch to Lake Tekapo

  Traveling with Noemie on board means customizing our trip to accommodate the 3 of us. The rest of our holiday will be a campervan road trip. We’re not really the campervan type, but this seems a very popular option to visit Kiwiland. Plus this means more flexibility for Noemie and she gets to sleep comfortably in her car seat. So we start with the South Island and off we go from Christchurch through Geraldine. After 30 min on the road we stop for a photo shoot. The car won’t start again. Guys stopped by and helped us push... [Lire la suite]
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