Nach einem schönen Tag, sind wir heute schon eher auf dem Campingplatz und lassen den Tag entspannt ausklingen.
Great stop at Mitchell's Gully Gold Mine!! Amy and I donned the headlamps and went exploring all of the old mining tunnels and equipment. There are a few "what the heck is that?" moments and one "which way now?" moment, but we loved every dark, dank meter of it! And found glow worms!
Immer an der Westküste entlang, fahren wir unserem Weihnachtsgeschenk entgegen! In Charleston legen wir eine Pause ein, um Mitchells Gully Gold Mine zu besuchen. Das sind Reste einer alten Mine ganz liebevoll wieder aufbereitet. Das alte Zeug ist teilweise sogar noch funktionstüchtig und der heutige Besitzer hat damit 2010 seinen ersten Goldfund gefördert, den er auch gleich aus der Hosentasche zieht und uns stolz präsentiert. Er hat einen Wert von 700 $ und wird nicht verkauft, da der erste Fund niemals verkauft werden darf (alte Goldschürferregel!).
Wir gucken uns alles in Ruhe an und sind ganz begeistert! Wir dürfen überall herumstöbern und auch in alle Tunnel kriechen, sehen Glühwürmchen und anderes Getier und bekommen am Ende sogar noch frischeste Eier von umherlaufenden Freilandhühnchen geschenkt. Hat viel Spaß gemacht, zumal wir nicht einen einzigen Touri treffen!Read more
Auf der Suche nach einem schönen Picknickplatz finden wir den Nile River mit schönem Strand und tollen Felsformationen am Meer, die wir uns gleich erklettern. Die Haare der Meerjungfrauen wabern im Wasser bzw. kleben am Felsen und sehen so gar nicht hübsch aus. Außerdem riechen sie nicht besonders gut. Trotzdem ein schöner Platz zum Verweilen.
Besichtigung einer Goldmine
Since leaving Kaikoura, it's just been a bit of a road trip, making our way round the north down to Franz Josef. First we stopped at Blenheim, and then made the gorgeous drive down to Westport, passing through the bustling town of Nelson for a spot of lunch along the way. We thought the goldmines were in Westport, but turns out they were twenty minutes down the road in a quaint place called Charleston. We had the whole goldmine tour to ourselves, despite the beautiful weather. The man that runs it gave us some very useful information on how they used to get the gold, and methods used. It was a lot of work for a tiny piece of gold. But 3 tiny pieces of gold was the equivalent of a months wages, so I'm guessing it was worth it. Afterwards we went on a nice costal walk and then watched a beautiful sunset over the sea. The next day we indulged in a few more walks, the 'trueman walk' - a very spritely 10 minute walk through some forestry until you get to a nice little beach cove. We then drove to Punakaiki, to have a 40 minute walk looking at some pancake rocks and blowholes. I'd love to tell you how the pancake rocks are made, because they looked insane, but nobody knows. There are lots of theories, but they don't know for sure what has caused the strange rock formation. We then went on and drove until we got to a little place near Greymouth. The weather is still beautiful, and the campsite we were staying at had a trampoline so....it would be rude not to. We kicked off our heels, and let out our inner child. A few things to note before getting on a trampoline as an adult....1) you are not as limber as you once were - these manoeuvres will hurt you for days afterwards. 2) Adults require much bigger trampolines!! 3) The overwhelming fear that you may break something will stop you doing a forward flip - no matter how much you want to. So after our mildly successful trampolining attempt, we went in search of another beautiful beach to watch the sunset. Greymouth did not disappoint. We found ourselves on a large deserted sandy beach, with impressive waves crashing against the shore and a spectacular sunset. So far the south island has been pretty good to us, nothing but sunshine and spectacular scenery, long may it continue.Read more
Another early start this morning to start our drive to Charleston for our Underworld Adventure. We had about an hour and a half of backtracking the route we took to Abel Tasman before we got on a new road to take us to the west coast. New Zealand speed limits are typically a limit, but a goal to try to get to for the most part. We did make good time, google maps said 3:30 and we were right close to that.
Before getting to Charleston we stopped near Westport to go visit a fur seal colony. A short hike got us to the seal colony where Chad got to try out his dual purpose selfie stick/monopod for pictures of seals and seagulls. The hike also offered spectacular views even though we didn't quite have time to make it to the high point where a lighthouse was. We then finished our drive to charleston and had lunch near the beach at Constant Bay. This is a small bay where ships used to deliver goods to charleston when it was a gold mining town. They said it was ships up to 40 tons.
The main event of our day was the Underworld Adventure. We showed up and were instructed in the application of our wet suits. Socks, boots, wet suit, wet suit jacket, life jacket, helmet. Chad looked quite fetching in his skin tight wet suit. We then boarded a bus and rode to the train. There was a neat train that took us through the forest to a path where we walked to a swing bridge. We picked up our tubes, which turned out to be child sized tubes (this comes into play later). We then met our guide, Tim. We climbed 130 stairs to the entrance of the cave. It was a hot climb up, but was a cool 11 degrees inside. There were really cool formations, and we hiked for about 1 hour in the cave, carrying our tubes. At one point we "stopped for a rest" and all sat down in our tubes, turned off our lights, and there were glowworms! They were so cool! We then proceeded on, over a small crevace, and then met a river. We formed a line in our tubes, and all linked up. Then we floated through the river, and at first we saw a small line of glowworms, but then it opened up, and the whole roof was covered in glowworms! It was surreal and so cool! The river was a little low, so when we got to the river (which was overwhelmingly green after the black and blue of the pure dark and glowworms), we had to wiggle and push our way through the rocks and rapids. The child sized tines meant that our backs and butts took the brunt of the bumping, as the tube opening was big, but the tube width itself was small. After our refreshing dip in the cool water we made it back to the bridge and boarded the train (run by our guide in his wetsuit) for the trip back to the bus, whilst waiting we were swarmed by the resident sand flies (i.e. Glowworm food), the local couple told us that the Maori believe that the gods put sandflies in the nicest places to keep people out. Lucky for us, this didn't work on us, as the glow worms were one of the closest things we've ever seen!
We asked a local couple where the best place to watch the sunset would be and they directed us to fishermans rock. We had a quick dinner getting rid of all of our leftovers and took a quick shower before heading out to fishermans rock.
Luckily we were able to decipher the kiwi's directions and eventually found the parking spot to the rock. (Not before multiple U turns and passing the same on the road at least 5 times) We grabbed our bottle of Chardonnay and quickly completed the short walk on the beach, scramble on the rocks, through the NZ flax forest and across the old concrete foot bridge to fishermans rock. The sunset and waves were quite spectacular, and we were the only people there which made it even better.
We managed to stay up past 10 PM for the first time since we've been here.Read more
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