Monday, December 23, 2013

New Zealand Itinerary with Annotations and Pictures

My last travels have let me to the South Island of New Zealand during November and December 2013. Here’s my itinerary with annotations and already some picture. Details on observations will follow soon.


Some sights right after the start. India under a veil of clouds. Some sleep.

A beautiful morning across Australia.

Nice views of Aotearoa. Especially I liked seeing Mt. Cook / Aoraki and the West Coast; I could see exactly, where I was going to be on the second half of the trip.

The mountains merge with the clouds, also to be seen Okarito

CHK – Hillmorton – Halswell – Little River – Takamatua - Akaroa – Flea Bay

No hassles at the airport. I feared having to drive into the evening, but light stayed until past 9 p.m. Akaroa is reached by a steep road. It retains some French flair and some streets still have French names, but I guess the real reason behind this is tourism. Just went to the supermarket as I was heading for the wilderness.

Flea Bay
Flea Bay or the Pohatu Marine Reserve isn’t far away from Akaroa, but you need to travel by gravel road, which is very steep and dangerous. The bay is a dream. You hardly see other people, sometimes a couple of hikers. The house was small, basic, and the toilet (no WC!) 30 m away from the house. Only natural sounds around: wind, waves, penguins, sheep, cattle. Very relaxing. Liked the small blue penguins very much.

Broom in bloom

Flea Bay early in the morning

A little blue penguin

On the way to Akaroa

Flea Bay – Akaroa – Tai Tapu – Lincoln – Burnham – Rakaia – Ashburton Geraldine – Fairlie – Burke’s Pass – Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo
I stayed with my friends at the ritzy Opera House (named after the Sydney Opera House). The Church of the Good Shepherd and the Shepherd Dog Memorial as well as Lake Tekapo were well in sight of the house and its huge balcony.
Some trips around Lake Tekapo, to Lake Pukaki, and to Mt. John and its observatory.

The Church of the Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo – Twizel – Omarama – Clearburn – Lindis Pass – Lindis Valley – Tarras – Lake Dunstan – Cromwell – Kawaru Gorge – Gibbston – Frankton – Queenstown

Nice Café in Tarras.
Bungee jumping at Kawaru Bridge.

How close are jump and dumb?

We only stayed overnight in Queenstown (outskirts).

Queenstown – Kingston – Fairlight – Garston – Nokomai – Athol – Parewa – Five Rivers – Mossburn – The Key – Manapouri

Red Tussock on the way

Large house, good view of Lake Manapouri.
The trip to Milford Sound was extraordinary. Very good weather. Only the mirror lakes weren’t mirroring the surroundings. Kea were up to their reputation, trying to take the car apart. Mitre Peak in broad sunlight with a nice reflection on the water. Seals and one (1) penguin.
Kepler Track (only first part). Rainforest in sunlight and also during a light rain.
Borland Road with some nice views, but the power lines were always in sight (Green Lake / Grebe River). Monowai Lake is more for people with boats.
Te Anau and the Takahe.

Kepler Track

Mitre Peak

Seals on their preferred rock for a sunbath


Takahe - there are only 300 left!

Manapouri – The Key – Mossburn – Lumsden – Balfour – Riversdale – Mandeville – McNab – Pukerau – Waipahi – Clinton – Toiro – Otamomo – Port Molyneux – Kaka Point – Nugget Point

Nugget Point
Penguins and quite a lot of them at Roaring Bay!
We looked closer at the Catlins.
Also seals / sea lions.
Staying in a house on a rock. Also a wonderful garden.

Penguins at Roaring Bay into the bay

Penguins at Roaring Bay coming out of the water

Penguins at Roaring Bay going back to the sea

Rocks with nesting birds - Nugget Point

Nugget Point - Lighthouse

Nugget Point – Kaka Point – Balclutha – Crichton – Manuka Creek – Waitahuna – Lawrence – Beaumont – Miller’s Flat – Ettrick – Roxburgh – Coal Creek Flat – Alexandra – Clyde (please, don’t let the dam break!) – Cromwell – Lowburb – Mt. Pisa – Queensgate – Luggate – Albert Town – Lake Hawea

On the way to Lake Hawea

Lake Hawea
Splendid view! The house has the best view and the name Bellevue has been righly given.

Wanaka – Glendhu Bay – Matukituki Vallley / Mt. Aspiring -: this tour brought me very close to some bulls and of course to a walk near Mt. Aspiring.

Lake Hawea - from the house

Black bull

Mt. Aspiring

Lake Hawea – Makaroa – Haast Pass – Haast Junction – Knight’s Point – Moeraki – Lake Paringa – Bruce Bay – Jacob’s River – Karangarua – Fox Glacier – Franz Josef Glacier – Tatare – The Forks – Okarito

Fox Glacier - what global warming has left

Wonderful mirror effects in the lagoon. I saw a white heron, but couldn’t make a photograph because I had been driving.

First glimpses of the West Coast

The beach

Southern Alps across Okarito Lagoon

After sunset - the better part belongs to the lagoon

Okarito – Whataroa – Harihari – Kakapotahi – Ross – Ruatapu – Mananui – Takatai – Hokitika – Seaview – Kaikinu – Mumara Junction – Kumara – Dillmanstown – Jacksons – Aickens – Otira – Arthur’s Pass – Bealey Spur

Arthur’s Pass / Bealey Spur
Bridal Veil Falls. Devils Punchbowl.

Lupines - not the "Dimly burns the light of the lupines" variety of Ingeborg Bachmann

Devil's Punchbowl


Bealey Spur – Cass – Castle Hill Village – Porters Pass – Springfield – Sheffield – Weddington – Darfield – Kirwee – West Melton – Yaldhurst – CHK

Soon in the clouds. Sunny Sydney.

Started right into the evening.

Reached Dubai at dawn.

Nice views of the emirates. Then clear view above Iran with Isfahan, Zagros Mountains and Mt. Ararat. Some Nice views of Poland, too.

Other texts on this New Zealand travel:

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