Joined January 2020 Message
  • Day38

    Speed hike to Kea Point (Mount Cook)

    March 5, 2020 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    Time to say goodbye to Queenstown and once again getting up early after a not really good sleep. At 7:20 am the bus to Mount Cook and afterwards continuing to Christchurch left Queenstown. I really do not know how many hours I have spent in busses and vans by now😄 Once more I had a bus driver, Tom, who gave a lot of interesting information on the trip, but he was not talking as much as Paulie😂 We had a first refreshment break at a fruit and vegetable store by the road with a beautiful garden and nice sculptures. Furthermore Tom made a photo stop on a beautiful pass. The landscape almost on the entire trip was amazing again. When we arrived at Lake Pukaki Mount Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain, came into our view. Tom said we were pretty lucky with the good view. After a photo stop at Lake Pukaki we continued to the Mount Cook village. Most of the passengers had booked lunch in the Hermitage Hotel, but I wanted to have at least some time in the nature. What I did not know before was, that I would only have about 100 minutes. There was a sign to kea point (viewpoint on Mount Cook) which would take one hour one way. I decided to do it anyway being pretty confident to be able to do it much faster. The track was not difficult, but pretty nice. After about 35 minutes I arrived at kea point. The view on Mount Cook was gorgeous. I had hoped to see keas here (the name of the track was very promising, too), but once again no keas. It probably was the last chance for me to see them. Well, I am a bit sad about it, but on the other hand this just means, that I have to come back to New Zealand😊After about 85 minutes I arrived back at the Hermitage Hotel (some 6km - it was a speed hike😁). After Mount Cook, we had a photostop at Lake Tekapo and a refreshment break in Geraldine. At about 8:00 pm, I arrived in Christchurch. I am excited about tomorrow. There is going to happen something special. Stay curious😉Read more

    oh cool. ich liebe Canyoning! Julian

    3/6/20Reply
     
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  • Day37

    Canyoning in the Routeburn Canyon

    March 4, 2020 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 7 °C

    For my last day in Queenstown I had chosen something active and special. I went canyoning for the first time in my life. It was very much fun and I want to do it again in Europe. The canyoning tour started with a safety briefing in the office in Queenstown. We were ten participants. After the briefing, Andie, one of our guides drove us to the base camp were we got all the equipment like wetsuits, helmets and shoes. Then, we continued with all three guides - Andie, Pete und Rachel - to the start of the Routeburn track (more than one hour drive) where we put the wetsuits etc. on. We started going through a river. Then, we had to hike up for about half an hour to the Routeburn canyon. We were explained some theory about canyoning and abseiling and then the adventure began with an abseil. I had to get used to it. The water in the canyon was only about six or seven °C "warm". It was so much fun to just go through the water, to glide, to abseil and to jump from five meters or so into the water. In total, we were a bit more than three hours in and around the canyon. I would have loved it to be even longer. Back at the van, we changed into dry clothes and had some sandwiches and brownies for lunch. We were back in Queenstown at about 4:00 pm. I went for some souvenir shopping and then enjoyed a warm shower in the hostel. I ended my stay in Queenie with a burger and some beers in my favourite craft beer bar.Read more

    Voll cool :) Respekt! Wollte ich auch immer schon mal machen.. LG Carolin

    3/10/20Reply
    Gudrun Proksch

    Schöne Bilder auf denen Du auch zufrieden und glücklich aus siehst

    3/10/20Reply
     
  • Day36

    Milford Sound

    March 3, 2020 in New Zealand ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

    Milford Sound is gorgeous - except for Oslo Fjord I have not been to the Norwegian fjords yet, and I like the Icelandic westfjords -, but Milford definitely is a highlight. Did you know, that the name Milford SOUND is actually incorrect. Paulie had explained to us that a sound was originally created by a river and then flooded by seawater, whereas a fjord was created by a glacier. Well, Milford was created by a glacier or according to Maori belief by a demi-good who carved all the fjords in Fjordland National Park with Milford being the last, the most northern and his masterpiece. The reason that the New Zealand fjords are called sounds is, that in the English language there did not exist a word for "fjord" when the names were given. Only, in the middle of the twentieth century the word "fjord" was transferred from Norwegian into English and that's why the National Park is called FJORDland. The rain had stopped by the time the cruise started. There were still some "mystic" clouds, but also blue sky could be seen in between. Due to the rainfalls in the night and morning there were many temporary waterfalls that only come into existence after rainfalls. The waterfalls gave an additional beauty to the landscape. At the edge to the Tasman Sea the ship turned around back into the fjord. At one rock we could see some furseals and twice the captain steered the vessel directly into a waterfall. I enjoyed the cruise very much. Well, after 90 minutes the cruise was over and we had to drive the five hours back to Queenie. When we came back to the harbor, still no keas had appeared. That made me a little sad, but I was hoping for more one more chance to see them at Mount Cook. On the way back, Paulie did not talk as much as on the way to Milford. Most of the time, I was just looking out of the window. For the last two hours, Paulie had put a movie with Anthony Hopkins about the New Zealand motorcycle race driver Burt Munro on the screen which was pretty good. I tried following the film as well as looking out of the window😂Back in Queenstown on the way to the hostel, I went for a beer and some fries into a bar. Anyway, I was pretty tired and did not stay very long.Read more

    Gudrun Proksch

    gefällt mir auch

    3/6/20Reply
     
  • Day36

    Scenic drive to and from Milford Sound

    March 3, 2020 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌧 13 °C

    What a long day - at 7:20 am the bus from Queenstown to Milford Sound started, at about 8:30 pm we were back in Queenie. The air-line distance is not even one hundred kilometers, but because of the mountains and the respective roads going to Milford Sound from Queenstown is a more than 300 km one-way drive. It was raining quite heavily when we left Queenstown. The bus driver, Paulie, was really cool. You could feel, that he loves his job and the nature of Fjordland National Park, which Milford is a part of. He told us so many stories and information about the area we were driving through. In the beginning he was talking for more than one hour without any break. It was super interesting what he was saying, but, since I had slept not very well once again, I just wished he would stop talking for a while😄We had a refreshment stop in Te Anau. I used the opportunity to have a quick look around the main street as well as the lake. After Te Anau the road to Milford got really scenic. The Fjordland National Park is really beautiful. I would have loved to be able walk around, but the view from the bus was better than nothing🙃Nevertheless, it was raining again. At the moment, the Milford Road is only open to touristic busses. About a month ago, there were a big thunderstorm and floodings that destroyed some parts of the road. The busses need to go in a convoy through the most destroyed area. The convoy starts at 12:00 pm. Paulie wanted to be in the back of the convoy because our cruiseship at Milford was the last one to be boarded. So, we very cruising relatively slowly and could enjoy the landscape. After we were released from the convoy we made an additional photo stop. Whereas most of the people were mainly interested in the river and the bridge, I also had a glimpse in to the forest, which is supposed to be a rainforest. The area around Milford gets the most rain in whole New Zealand. When we arrived at Milford, I hoped that some keas where there. Well, no luck, no keas... At about 1:30 pm, we boarded the cruise ship...Read more

    Ines R.

    These colours.... amazing... 😍

    3/8/20Reply
     
  • Day35

    Back in Queenie

    March 2, 2020 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    Goodbye Stewart Island, what a beautiful and peaceful place... I took the 8:00 am ferry back to Bluff on the South Island. From Bluff a minibus took me to Invercargill where I had to change to another minibus. I had abouf half an hour before the next bus departed, so I did a "speed tour" around the city centre of Invercargill - at the first and only glance nothing special. On the way to Mossburn where I had to change again, I slept most of the time, but from Mossburn to Queenstown, I watched the beautiful landscape with the mountains. Back in Queenie, I first did my laundry and at 5:00 pm, I went for a short hike on the Tiki Track which goes up the mountain behind Queenstown (you can take a gondola as well) - only 8 km back and forth, but an elevation difference of some 500 meters. A good part of the track was quite steep and the surface quite demanding. You should definitely wear hiking boots. For me it was much fun, but it is definetely no track for someone who has no hiking experience. However, I also saw a (female) idiot doing the track in flipflops. I did the ascent in one hour and seven minutes and was once more rewarded by a stunning view on Lake Wakatipu. Well, I had also brought a beer and there actually cannot be many more beautiful places to have it😄 I had to go the same way down again. At some points you definetely have to be cautious and slow down. After a well-deserved shower, I went for dinner in town.Read more

    Gudrun Proksch

    Schöne Landschaft, weiter gute Reise

    3/3/20Reply

    Liebe Grüße und weiterhin tolle Erlebnisse wünscht Karin

    3/3/20Reply

    Ach Michael es ist fantastisch was du alles sehen darfst ich freue mich mit dir.L.G.Ursula.

    3/3/20Reply
     
  • Day34

    Birds, brain and band

    March 1, 2020 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Another day to charge the battery a bit... After getting up without any alarm again and starting the day slowly, I went to Ulva Island, a small island close to Stewart Island, which is well-known for its birdlife. The whole island is basically a forest, so beautiful and quiet. There are a few tracks open to the public, but more than half of the island is not accessible to the public. I enjoyed four hours on Ulva, took my time and tried to spot and observe as many birds as possible. I saw quite a few smaller birds like the tomtit, the Stewart Island robin, maybe a silvereye and/or a grey warbler, furthermore quite a few New Zealand parakeets (beautiful green birds with a red crown) and wekas, some oystercatchers, as well as two kakas (the lowland counterparts to the keas in the mountains), one of them very close. One of the robins was kind of brave. It was on the track pretty close to me and I was standing still watching it. Then, it came twice on my feet picking on my hiking boots. The one kaka was sitting on a branch close to the track cleaning its feathers. I could watch it for a pretty long time. A weka wanted to pass me while I was standing still watching it. It came slowly towards me. When it was very close to me, it started running to pass me quickly😀The silence in the forest, the birdsung and the smell of the forest as well as the sea was once again great to calm down and relax. In the evening there was a pub quiz in the hotel bar. I did not take part actively, but I was having a beer at the bar listening to the questions, and in the second half I kind of assisted one of the teams. We did not know very much though🙃Later, there was live music in the pub. The band was pretty good, playing a good mix with kind of a focus on country music. Anyway, I was once more pretty tired and did not stay to the end of the concert.Read more

  • Day33

    A quiet day on Stewart Island

    February 29, 2020 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    I only got up after 9:00 am, but again did not sleep well. From the beginning it felt like a lazy day. I did not feel like doing a lot. At about 11:00, I went to the small Stewart Island museum. It is a small house with only two rooms. There are many different things exhibited (e. g. mussels, fishing equipment, sawmill equipment, a maori bag made from kiwi feathers, and much more). It appears a little chaotic; however, the whole museum is run by volunteers, so, they do a good job. Most impressive to me was the kiwi feather bag, as well as some art on whale teeth. After some quiet time again, in the afternoon I went on a 10 km hike around a peninsula to the Horseshoe Bay. The track was pretty beautiful. I was back in the forest again, with many ferns and birdsung again😄; in between beautiful views on the sea, bays and beaches. After a beer in the hotel bar (I really like that place🙃), I had my dinner (just bread with some spread, I had a fish burger for lunch...) at the hostel and then went for one more little walk to view sunset from Observation Rock and to enjoy dusk at the sea.Read more

    Gudrun Proksch

    Schöne Bilder, gönne Dir mal etwas mehr Ruhe, gehst Du noch nach Australien?? liebe Grüße

    3/1/20Reply

    Was du lb.Michael jetzt alles siehst und erlebst kann dir niemand nehmen.Es bleibt ein lebenslang deine Erinnerung.Ursula.

    3/3/20Reply
     
  • Day32

    Kiwis

    February 28, 2020 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌧 10 °C

    It was a long evening, but such a great experience; maybe the highlight of my trip, at least one of the top 3 probably. After a beer at the hotel bar (the cheapest place to have a beer I've gotten to know so far in NZL - I would never have expected that in the bar of the only hotel on Stewart Island) I went to the wharf where the Kiwi encounters tour was to start at 8:30 pm - sixteen people, two guides, one skipper going by boat to a remote area of Stewart Island where kiwis can be found feeding in the bush as well as on the beach. The tour started off with a very interesting presentation about the Stewart Island kiwi which can only be found here. They are relatively tall kiwis (6-8 kg). Some interesting information were e. g., that they live in kind of groups (very atypic for kiwis), that the parents and even other kiwis share the incubation of the eggs and that the egg can make up to 25% of the whole body weight of a female kiwi. Furthermore, the hedged kiwi is practically fully developed and will not be fed by the parents at all. They will get some assistance by the parents, but after one week they are completely on their own. The boat ride was about half an hour, not much to be seen in the dark. It also had started raining, during the presentation, but when we arrived at the kiwi place it was dry again😀 We went out in the bush in two groups of eight people and one guide each. It was completely dark, but we had torches. We were so lucky to spot the first kiwi after about fifteen minutes already. It was a female not taking care of us at all, moving around and feeding. We could watch her for more than twenty minutes. It was amazing. I was lucky to see the second kiwi - a male - for a few seconds because at that point of time I was walking on the third position of the group. The last ones did not get to see him because he disappeared very quickly in the bush again. We made our way to the beach where we saw the third kiwi. He was running around very fast - I would not have expected them to be so fast. Beside the kiwi, there was a stunning sky. I have not seen such a beautiful sky without light pollution for a long time. On our way back to the boat, we saw another kiwi; might have been the first one again, we do not know. It had gotten pretty cold, so, back on the boat, I think, everyone appreciated the hot chocolate and cookies that were offered. At 1:00 am we arrived back at the wharf in Oban. I was very tired, but it was a wonderful evening.Read more

  • Day32

    Stewart Island

    February 28, 2020 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    I am on Stewart Island now (much more south is not possible in New Zealand😀). It was a five hour journey from Queenstown. A van picked me up at 7:00 am. We had to change the van twice (in Mossburn and in Invercargill). The drive was most of the time not that spectacular, furthermore I was pretty tired and was sleeping for a while. From Bluff at the shore I took the ferry to Stewart Island, about one hour sail on a catamaran motor vessel. Oban, the main village on Stewart Island, is pretty small. How quiet and peaceful it is here: just a small supermarket, one café, one hotel with bar, one fish and chips place. It is nice to be here. Anyway, in the afternoon I was not doing anything special because I was very tired.Read more

    Ines R.

    Maybe too much beer the day before... 😉 Keep enjoying your journey! Hugs from the other side of the world...

    2/29/20Reply
     
  • Day31

    Craft Beer Tour

    February 27, 2020 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌬 22 °C

    What a day - no alarm, not too much program (just a relaxed craft beer tour in the afternoon😂), no hurry... Anyway, I was active, too, at least in the morning. After waking up at 9:00 am (last days I sleep very badly at the hostels), I went for a run at the lake. I was not in a good shape though. I ran some 10 km, but I really had to fight to make this happen, after 6 km I was already about giving up. At noon I was picked up for a craft beer brewery tour. I was the only participant, but it was great anyway. So, I had a lot of time to talk with Lewis who runs these tours. First, he took me to the Altitude Brewery on the fringes of Queenstown. Pretty small location with a cool atmosphere with skis and lift seats on the "terrace". They have some twenty beers on tap. I could choose five of them which was not so easy😀 Well, I think, I had a good mix with a plisner, a pale ale, an India pale ale, a sour and a stout. I liked them all, well, the sour (it is sour!) for me only matches a hot summer day/evening when you want a really refreshing beer. Then, Lewis took me to the Cargo Brewery about half an hour away from Queenstown which used to be a winery before it was turnt into a brewery about two years ago. The tasting room is an old church. There, I could taste four beers together with four corresponding small dishes: a refreshing lager wih some cheese, a wheat beer with a spicy sausage, an India Pale Lager with some jalapeño cheese balls, and a porter with a chocolate cake. All went really well together. I did like the wheat pretty much because it had some notes of banana, also very nice for a hot summer evening. I think, I had never drunken an India Pale Lager before. It has a more interesting taste than a regular lager. After Cargo, we had some spare time before going to the last brewery. Lewis took me to Arrowtown, a little town which was founded in the gold rush of the late 19th century. I am happy, I could see it. On my own, I would never have gone there. On the way back to Queenstown, we had to wait for a rescue helicopter to land on the road. There were also many police and fire brigade cars. It must have been a heavy crash, but we could not see any details. Lewis decided not to wait for the road to be opened again, but to turn and take another road. We came into Queenstown over Queenstown hill. I was flashed by the view on Lake Wakatipu, the mountains and Queenstown - amazing! The weather had become so nice again. When we started the tour there were many dark clouds and Lewis expected it start raining soon. Fortunately, the clouds pushed along with only a few drops of rain. The last brewery - the Searchlight Brewery - was in Queenstown again; a pretty hidden location in a commercial/industrial area. Here, I could chose four from sixteen beers, again not easy, but I went four a "wheat" (not so special like the one before, but also good [close to a "Kristallweizen"]), a brut IPA (very special), a red ale (very nice to drink), and a milk stout (a nice sweetness from the added milk). At Searchlight, I could also visit the brewing area with the malt mill, the heating tanks as well as the brew tanks - pretty small, considering that they have sixteen beers on tap. I also bought a bottle of beer there which I am going to enjoy the next days. Searchlight was the end of the great tour. I thank Lewis, that he ran it even though I was the only customer. After the tour, I got some stuff organised for the weeks to come and went for dinner and a beer at a craft beer place in town where I could get a 15% discount because I had gone on Lewis' tour.Read more

    wow echt schön!! liebe grüsse carolin

    2/28/20Reply
    Gudrun Proksch

    Lecker Bier? war es gut?

    2/29/20Reply
     

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