Up horrendously early, to get over to the airport before 6:30. Hopefully getting away a day earlier than the official start of the school holidays will help, I’d hate to see the place tomorrow or over the weekend.Continue reading “Day 1 – Home to Christchurch”
We’ll today didn’t go to plan at all. The idea was to pick up the van first thing, do some shopping then drive west across Arthur’s Pass and find a spot to camp. Ideally by Mid-Afternoon, given we’re in winter it’s pretty much dark around 5pm. Well that was the plan.Continue reading “Day 2 – Christchurch to Hokitika”
A gloomy, cold, wet day as we get up, not only is it dark at 5pm, it doesn’t get light till 8 or 9am….
The almost empty caravan park is not much more than a field with water and power posts doted around and an amenities block in the centre. It looks brand new, all the plants around are just saplings. They haven’t quite got the rain water drainage sorted either.Continue reading “Day 3 – Hokitika to Gillespie’s Beach”
The day starts out grey, but at least it’s not raining. We drive to Lake Matheson as there is meant to be a walk that gives you a great view of Fox Glacier over the lake, on arrival, we find it’s a 1.5-2hr walk, and we really don’t have time to fit that in, so we give the walk a miss. We still get some good photosContinue reading “Day 4 – Gillespie’s Beach to Pleasant Flat”
First up is a stop at Thunder Creek Falls and then over the bridge at the “Gates of Haast”. The river drops steeply here and the water is flowing so fast.
A quick stop at Fantail Falls then we make our way over to Blue Pools. While maybe not the deep blue that some of the photos show, the water is so clear with a blue/green tinge. It is so clear that it’s easy to make out huge trout swimming in the river. The kids have fun running around and building these cairns.Continue reading “Day 5 – Pleasant Flat to Lake Hayes”
It’s a really cold morning, so cold that puddles in the park are frozen, so the kids have a ball breaking the ice. Fortunately no major mishaps and no one falls in.Continue reading “Day 6 – Lake Hayes to Te Anau”
Another big day
We’re picked up early from the van park by the tour bus, a 15 seater Merc minibus and it ends up being a full house, could be worse, we could be in a coach!Continue reading “Day 7 – Te Anau to Milford Sound and Return”
We’re on the road not long after sun up, which this far south in winter is not that early! We take the back road due south of Te Anau directly to the south coast
There is heaps of frost and ice on the road so driving is a bit interesting. Everyone goes on about the Black Ice, apparently you can’t see it. So, as you can’t see it, I’m not sure we came across any of it. They say try not to drive until about an hour after sunrise so most of the ice will have melted. The frost is also bizarre, today it covers parts of the road where the trees or other shadows cross, but is gone in areas of direct sunlight.Continue reading “Day 8 – Te Anau to Purakaunui Bay”
After a morning walk on the beach where we spot some more seals on the other side, it’s a short drive to a place called “The Nuggets”, that gets the kids attention! This whole area is known as “The Catlins” which of course we rename “The Caitlins!”Continue reading “Day 9 – Purakaunui Bay to Omaru”
Omaru’s an interesting town, lots of large old Victorian buildings. They’ve also got this “steampunk” museum/exhibition and have really taken it to theme the town. Next to the caravan park is this foreshore playground with some absolutely amazing play equipment, the kids have a ball playing while I empty the dunny and top up the water tanks.Continue reading “Day 10 – Omaru to Mt Cook Village”