Heading north in the South Island
Trip Start Jan 03, 2009
4Trip End Feb 22, 2009
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We have made our way up from Slope Point and across to Milford Sound, a spectacular drive through mountain passes where we couldn't help ourselves but to stare in awe at the utterly spectacular scenery, it really is like nothing else - we both agree that alpine country is the place to be! From there we head back inland to Queenstown, adrenaline central, and then on to the more relaxed environment of Wanaka
A book sale in Wanaka, and we have stocked our library of reading material, an iron man competition named Challenge Wanaka and we are shamed into doing some level of activity, a convincing level of enthusiasm from Karl (a bit of an out-doorsey nut himself) and we are booked on a days canyoning... 5 hours in the freezing canyon of the Niger River, in the shadows of Mt Aspiring, jumping off 12m waterfalls, abseiling over-hangs and sliding down rock faces into plunge pools - it was like waaay loose man!
We have clocked up a few walks in the area, stayed with some fantastic people, met many more and enjoyed every minute. It is with a mix of feelings, the sorry of leaving and the anticipation of the next stop, that we head off further north and further west today..
We have found a chance so we are adding more...! We left you at Wanaka, so from there we headed north along the west coast - very breezy and very sea scarred. We eneded up at Fox Glacier and signed ourselves up for a full day walk on the glacier its self... Our guide Matty took us over 150m deep ice, investigating caves, crevices and ice holes. Cramp-ons made the walking easier and it was all very exciting and very cold. A sandwich or two on a glacier top has to be one of our most exotic lunch spots. After warming up back in the township we headed to a little river and lake area where we woke to spectacular clear blue sky views of the mountains and glaciers reflected in the waters. Time to move on as we have to eventually catch a ferry to the north island, but not before we have alittle look at the very far north of the south island. A 'quick' stop over on Arthurs Pass for a days walk up a ridge to a panoramic view of the southern alps. A quicker drive down tha pass, a morning swim in the Golden Bay area sea (Ali even braved the icey waters, especially as it meant sunbathing for a further hour to warm up again!) and a slow winding road over and around the Able Tasmin National Park and we enjoy anther river side stop just outside Takaka - a really chilled out but bustling little town, remnances of Pai Thailand! Today we have made a short journey to Nelson where we plan to feel normal even for 15mintues by having an actual coffee in an actual coffee shop! Tomorrow we leave the South Island from Picton and catch the ferry to Wellington to start our jaunt around the North Island.
The south is so varied and so spectacular with enough for everyone, again it will be sad to leave (apart from the stupid sand flies) but the north is calling...