Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Te Anau - Glenorchy - Arrowtown - Wanaka - Christchurch

From Te Anau - Glenorchy via Queenstown.
Duration from Te Anau to Glenorchy 3.30hr, included 20 minutes stop.
Gueenstown - Glenorchy 40 minutes.
Horse riding at Glenorchy town.
 Accommodation : Glenorchy Camping Ground (campervan, caravan, tent, cabin). Located just next to the Glenorchy information Centr
Others accommodation available around : Glenorchy Backpackers Retreat, Glenorchy Hotel.
Glenorchy - Arrowtown - Wanaka
Glenorchy - Arrowtown, 1.20hr.
Arrowtown - Wanaka, 45 minutes, through Crown Range scenic drive.
One of the activitie in Arrowtown, gold panning.
We drove from Glenorchy to Arrowtown via Queenstown and stop for an hour for a rest near the Arrow river. We felt very narked due to hot and dry weather. Arrowtown is a historic gold mining town. The local believe the Arrow river still has gold.

Crown Range, scenic drive from Queenstown - Wanaka
Crown Range is one of the highest sealed road in New Zealand. The bottom start with a zig zag road climbing up to Crown Terrace, the large flat area. The highest point of Crown Range is at 1076m.
Crown Range also the access road to Cardrona Skifield.

From the Crown Range Terrace, the road goes down the hill.
Driving from Arrowtown to Wanaka via Crown Range, 45 minutes.
Accommodation in Wanaka, Lake Outlet Holiday Park, $14 per person for camping site, 15 minutes drive from Wanaka town.
Puzzling World, Wanaka.
I was so excited as our car passed by the Puzzling World, with a Leaning Tower of Wanaka and eccentric tumbling towers at the front facing the main road.Entrance fee, $12 (Illussion room + the great maze).
Leaning Tower of Wanaka.
Hall of Following Faces
 All the faces in the room seems to turn and follow u around the room.

Tilted House, Puzzling World.

Ames Room, Puzzling World.
The technique of Ames Room illusion was used in the Lord of The Ring film to creat tall and little people. Viewed from the outside through window, this room look normal.

Roman Style toilets.
This is not the real toilet, you don't have to poop and pee like the Roman. It would be quite intresting if we have this kind of toilet. I usually take longer time to poop, instead of reading magazine I can chat and make new friends.
The Great Maze (Labyrinth), Puzzling World.
I lost patience in The Great Maze after an hour finding way out and almost went out through the emergency door. It was summer, the sun was so hot and dry, I was thirsty and hungry. We finally finish the maze after 1.30 hr roasted in the maze.
Chilled at the camping ground, I build Petronas tower/ Twin towers with the 3D puzzle.
Wanaka was the last destinition for our Christmast trip. Back to Christchurch from Wanaka - Omarama - Twitzel - Fairlie - Geraldine - Ashburton - Christchurch. It tooks about 4.30 hours with 2 stop about 15 minutes only.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Remembering 22 February, Christchurch earthquake

Today has been an emotional day particularly in Christchurch as the country remember those who lost their live in the  6.3 magnitude earthquake that struck Christchurch on 22 February 2011. A memorial service has taken place at Latimer Square, Christchurch. At 12.51noon and 2 minutes silence.
Picture from SNPA. Memorial service at Latimer Square, Christchurch.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Day 8 & 9 Te Anau - Milford Sound (Christmast & new year holiday)

Hi there, how are you doing? What are you up to? My current location still in Christchurch, New Zealand... yip been almost 11 months here, means that almost a year here.
Te Anau - Milford Sound (1 hour - plus a few stop)
Milford Sound is New Zealand most popular tourist destinantion and also in 2008 has been judged the world's top destination.
Mirror Lake
If you overnite at the parking area, the fees is around $10 per nite (i dont remember). The next morning the person in charge will go to each car to collect the fees. If you want to avoid paying the fees, as early as 6.30am you can start your engine car and go somewhere else.
Near the Homer Tunnel. It's a one way tunnel.
Travelling at State Highway 94, from Te Anau to Milford Sound, you will driving into the Homer Tunnel. The tunnel has traffic light and please take note that the traffic light only operate from 6am-9pm.
Water flow from the mountain after rain. Leftover of the falling ice.
Accommodation are pretty limited here. There are always heavy booking situation especially in the summer. So, it is best to book accommodation before you coming here. Only one bar and restaurant located 100 meter from the jetty, those who overnite at the parking area will spend most of their time in the bar.
Milford Sound get a rain for 182 days a year (6, 813mm).
Bring your insects repellent, you will need that to avoid from sandfly bite. The sandfly are annoying little creature that sucks your blood and leave large, red itchy bumps that may turn into a rash. These bumps are frequently several times as itchy as mosquito bites, and tend to last longer as well.
Milford Sound is the wettest inhabited place in New Zealand and also one of the wettest place in the world.

Milford Sound cruise.
Milford Sound Cruise can be book online at Southern Discoveries.
1 hr 30 min cruise

New Zealand seal.

Close encounter to waterfall. You will be advised to bring your raincoat or you can buy at the counter before getting on the cruise.

We had a close encounter with Kea, the mountain parrot, a social bird; driving from Milford Sound back to Te Anau.

Scenery near the Homer Tunnel. We stop for a picture on the way back to Te Anau.

It's summer, not cold, im roasted standing on the ice with a strong sun.

This ice tunnel is cold, you can feel the cold air from the tunnel.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Day 5,6,7,8 Mount Cook-Kingston-Lake Mavora-Te Anau (Christmast & New Year Holiday)

Day 5, Mt. Cook - Kingston.
On the way heading to .... no plan where to stop and spend a nite, we stop at some places that was used as a location in the Lord Of The Ring movie. I will update about Lord of The Ring Location Guide.
River boarding at Kawarau River (the locals pronounce it kworra), on the way to Queenstown.

The Remarkable, taken from Frankton Ladies Mile Highway.
We skipped visiting Queenstown as we both went there before (where we first met). So we just drove until we reached a little town called Kingston and decided to spend a night at the camp site.

Sunset at Kingston

Lake Wakatipu, Kingston
Drive down from Kingston to Lake Mavora.
Lake Mavora DOC camp site.
The next morning we drive to Lake Mavora. A few location around this lake were used as a location in LOTR. From Te Anau-Mossburn highway 94, it tooks about 45 minutes to get to Lake Mavora on an unsealed road. Department of Conversation camping ground is located nearby the lake. The fee for adult is only $5, no shower provided, only chemical toilet and water supply from the lake. We always camping at DOC to cut our travelling cost. Usually after 2 days with no shower then only we will camping at the proper camp site which is usually $15++ per person.
Lake Mavora - Te Anau.

A full walk at Kepler Track take about 3-4days.
On the 7th day, we drove to Te Anau from Lake Mavora that took about 1 hour. We stay at a proper camping ground and had a shower!

Quintin MacKinnon statue, the first European to travel overland lake te anau to milford sound.