Yvonne Reinartz

Joined February 2016
  • Day26

    Walter Peak (Queenstown)

    March 25, 2016 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    Sheep time on the Walter Peak High Country Farm! An old steamship, the TSS Earnslaw, brought us over Lake Wakatipu. The weather was gloriously sunny and I enjoyed not having to drive for a change.

    They didn't let me shear a sheep 🙁 but I helped feed the animals, saw the sheep dogs in action and watched a sheep shearing display. I also got yummy afternoon tea with scones and home-baked cakes.

    My hostel in Queenstown is small but lovely Butterfli Lodge. The view from my room is amazing and I can't wait for the sunrise tomorrow morning. 😊

    Here is a link to the hostel: http://www.butterfli.co.nz/

    Now off to nurse my sandfly bites. These little buggers are everywhere and their bites itch worse than mosquito bites. No joking!
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  • Day25

    Shallow Bay & Moturau Hut (Kepler Track)

    March 24, 2016 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌧 14 °C

    It rained this morning, but that didn't keep me from going out on a 4 hour hike to Shallow Bay and Moturau Hut which are at the start of the Kepler Track (one of the Great Walks).

    Most of the track leads through mountain beech forest and I felt like I had been transported into an enchanted fairytale forest. It is so beautiful and calming and I was very lucky that the sun came out just after I started my walk.

    I tried to be aware of all the smells and sounds of the forest and all the little things that grow and live there. It was absolutely wonderful! 🐦🌳🏞😊
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  • Day24

    Doubtful Sound

    March 23, 2016 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    Today it was time for the Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise.
    The boat left at 8am and it took us around 40 mins to cross Lake Manapouri. Once we got to the wharf on the other side a bus brought us to Deep Cove via Wilmot Pass (that took about 30 mins). Once there, we went onto the boat for the tour of the Sound.

    It is a vast and unspoilt Wilderness and I was feeling grateful for having chosen to see this - more remote - Sound instead of the more touristy Milford Sound.

    At some point during the cruise the skipper shut down the motor and generators and asked everyone to be still for about 10 mins so that everyone can enjoy the absolute silence. It was quite something to experience! ⛴💖
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  • Day23

    Manapouri

    March 22, 2016 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    A 4 hour drive brought me to small but perfect Manapouri, which is my home for the next 2 days. They have 2 cafes and a restaurant here, otherwise it's just outstanding natural beauty all around.

    I'm staying at a lovely Airbnb (https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/5239304) with views over the river. It is so quiet here and just the right place to relax. It's also the ideal base for the Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise I'm doing tomorrow. ⛴😊Read more

  • Day22

    Taiaroa Head

    March 21, 2016 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌙 20 °C

    Taiaroa Head is a headland at the end of the Otago Peninsula, overlooking the mouth of the Otago Harbour. It lies within the city limits of Dunedin. The nearest settlement, Otakou, lies three kilometres to the south.

    The cape is home to a lighthouse, built in 1864, and a colony of over 100 northern royal albatrosses, which established itself in 1919 - the only such colony on an inhabited mainland. There is also the Royal Albatross Centre.

    I came to see the sunset and the lighthouse (of which you can just about see the top). Was lucky to see 2 albatrosses, who were showing off with their flying skills. A lovely end to the day. 😊
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  • Day22

    Penguin Place

    March 21, 2016 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    Penguin Place is a private conservation reserve dedicated to helping the endangered Yellow Eyed Penguin survive.

    This conservation project is entirely funded by guided tours of the reserve. This funding provides habitat restoration, predator control, a research programme and on-site rehabilitation care for penguins that are sick, starving or wounded.

    I saw some penguins in the hospital who are being cared for until they can be released into the wild again. We then went to see penguin couple Jim (22 years, so really old) and his partner Maggie (10 years and his 4th partner) in the little swamp they live in.

    At the beach we were waiting for the penguins to come back in from feeding and just when we were about to leave we saw two waddle out of the water and onto the beach. Unfortunately they were too far away to get a good picture but they are so cute. We also saw fur seals again. Wahoo!
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  • Day22

    Larnach Castle

    March 21, 2016 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    Larnach Castle (also referred to as "Larnach's Castle"), is a castle on the ridge of the Otago Peninsula close to the small settlement of Pukehiki. It is one of a few houses of this scale in New Zealand. The house was built by prominent entrepreneur and politician, William Larnach who - unfortunately - committed suicide in Parliament. The Castle is now privately owned by the Barker Family, and operated as a tourism destination.

    The Castle and Grounds are open daily to members of the public. The Larnach Castle gardens are one of only five gardens nationwide to have been given the rating of "Garden of International Significance" by the New Zealand Gardens Trust. These were the first gardens in the South Island to receive the title.
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  • Day21

    Dunedin

    March 20, 2016 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    Today I drove from Mount Cook to Dunedin. The drive took around 4 hours and I stopped to see the Elephant Rocks which are 5 kms from Duntroon.

    Weather was funny and I had everything from 15° and rainy to 31° and gloriously sunny.

    Once I arrived in Dunedin and had checked into my hostel 'Kiwi's Nest (it's a bit basic but clean which is the main thing), I went out to explore the city.

    I went to see the railway station (loved the glass stained windows and the mosaic on the floors), the Otago Settlers Museum and the Chinese Garden. The museum was great and so informative. It's unbelievable what the first settlers went through to get to this country.

    Dunedin is known for its Scottish and Maori heritage, Victorian and Edwardian architecture and a large student population. The adjoining Otago Peninsula is home to colonies of albatrosses, sea lions and rare yellow-eyed penguins.

    I'll be seeing the penguins tomorrow. So excited! 😆
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  • Day20

    Tasman Glacier

    March 19, 2016 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    It's been raining and very windy since last night, but I decided to jump in the car and take a walk to see the Tasman Glacier.

    This Glacier is 24 kms long and retreats every year by 480 - 820 metres. They expect it to be 20 kms long by 2020.

  • Day19

    Mount Cook National Park

    March 18, 2016 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    My home for the next 2 days and it's my birthday. Wahoo! 😊
    The weather forecast is a bit miserable, it's supposed to rain all day tomorrow and the day after, but I don't mind. I had a wonderful day today.

    After checking in to Motel (Aoraki Court Motel, Mount Cook Village), I went on a 3 hour hike of the Hooker Valley Track. It's quite an easy hike and I was lucky enough to have the sun come out for part of it. On my way way back the fog was descending and it started to rain a bit.

    On the track there are 3 swing bridges which are a lot of fun and you have views of Mount Cook, Hooker Glacier and the Southern Alps. It is really quite impressive. 🗻😃
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