I arrived in Christchurch, where we stayed at the YMCA
which had basic facilites for late night travellers, and basic everything.
The next day we drove over Arthurs Pass across to Greymouth
and then to Franz Josef Glacier, which I have climbed, but it was far too wet this trip.
The drive across the Pass was divine ,and in better weather
one would get even better photographs. This is well worth doing both by train and by road.
At Arthurs Pass there were two Keas at the roadhouse who were
attacking the rubber of a small white car, to the fascination of the japanese tourist, who was possibly not realising the
damage the bird could do.
However, this Christmas the weather was appalling, and the
rain was continuous for the whole fortnight.
FoxGlacier and Franz Josef were both barely visible from the
lookouts, but the walk through the tree ferns wearing a towel to keep the rain off my camera was an experience. The trails
are fantastic and a must if you have a camera for the tree ferns and the 'Lord of the Rings' mossy trees and groves.
The glaciers are awesome...grey ice eroded rocks and
this very glacial blue, very cold water and some fantastic views of the glacier, and also of bridges along the road. This
drive is breathtakingly beautiful.
The Hassts Road has some awesome mountain views, which in
summer were very beautiful, with the greys and snow topped mountains, against the blazing wild lupins that were everywhere.
Queenstown was beautiful and we drove to the top of Coronet Peak which was stunningly green and studded with yellow lupins
in summer. In winter, you need snow chains and the entire mountain is white and full of skiers, with deer tracks
along the edges.
Wanaka was beautiful. We stayed at the caravan Park in small
huts, and visited the Puzzle House.
Invercargill was my base for the week and we drove to Riverton
and also did a fantastic round trip to the Catlins. That was beautiful. The Tatura House and the Invercargil Museum is an
absolute must for everyone.
Every inch of New Zealand is a photograph, and I kept stopping
the car every few yards sometimes.
New Zealand has to be one of the most beautiful places I have
ever visited and well worth taking a camera to.
You may like to view my NZ photos at webshots :