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Mackenzie District

Here you’ll find travel reports about Mackenzie District. Discover travel destinations in New Zealand of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.
  • Kurz bevor wir zum Mount Cook gefahren sind, wollten wir in Twizel auf einem Holiday Park übernachten. Es war alles super, ich hab an der Rezeption für unseren Camper gezahlt. Als wir auf unseren zugewiesenen Platz fahren wollten sind wir aber im Gravel also im Kies steckengeblieben...

    Nach ein paar Minuten stand der ganze Campingplatz bei uns und hat versucht, unseren Camper rauszuziehen. Das tonnenschwere Teil lässt sich aber leider nur schwer mit 10 Mann auch nur einen Zentimeter bewegen, wenn es bis zur Achse im Gravel steckt 😂

    Also haben wir die AA angerufen, die auch sofort gekommen ist und tadaaa es war einfach der gleiche Typ, der mir vor ein paar Monaten bei meinem Auto mit der Batterie auch geholfen hat.. Ein besseres Wiedersehen kann man sich kaum vorstellen 😂 aber es war ziemlich witzig. Er hatte natürlich seinen kleinen Master Truck dabei und hat einfach mit einem Stahlseil den Camper rausgezogen. Wahnsinn, was das Ding für eine Power hat!! Und mal wieder ein Hoch auf die AA 🙆
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  • Die Fahrt zum Mount Cook war traumhaft, es ist so gigantisch dort in der Gegend, da steht einem oft der Mund offen 😄

    Mum und ich haben uns dazu entschlossen, einen Teil vom Mueller Hut Track zu machen. 2200 Stufen soll es hochgehen. Herausforderung angenommen! Der Track war soooo gut und es hat richtig viel Spaß gemacht, bei der Aussicht immer weiter nach oben zu kommen!
    Mitten auf dem Weg haben wir den Jungen von der steilsten Straße wieder getroffen... langsam wirds creepy 🤔
    Oben hatten wir einen hammermäßigen View! Leider lag der Mount Cook völlig in den Wolken, sodass wir ihn nicht sehen konnten aber die umliegenden Berge waren genauso erstaunlich 😍

    Als wir am Lake Tekapo waren haben wir uns die Curch of Good Shepherd angeschaut, bei der sich natürlich wieder hundert Chinesen für ihre Bilder in Pose geschmissen haben! Auf dem Weg zurück zum Camper habe ich irgendwo in der allerletzten Ecke vom kleinen Dorf Mona und ihre zwei Freundinnen zufällig getroffen... Wir konnten nicht mehr vor Lachen 😂 irgendwas hat das zu bedeuten, dass wir uns die ganze Zeit wieder sehen 😀
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  • After missing out on a helicopter ride and hike on a glacier twice, we still wanted to see if we could do it somewhere.
    We'd already heard about Mount Cook, and it is the largest mountain in the south island, plus next to it is the largest glacier in the southern hemisphere, Tamsin glacier. This was only an hour drive from our next destination (Lake Tekapo) so we mixed up our plans, made a few calls, and managed to get ourselves booked on a trip up there.

    We got up early and did the 3 hour drive from Queenstown, all the while excitement building and enjoying stunning scenery. As you approach Mount Cook it is an incredible site and also has Lake Pukkaki which is a a bright shimmering shade of blue I've never seen before. Quite a sight as you drive closer and closer. Once in Mount Cook village at the base of the mountain, we met our guide Ant and the rest of our group (8 of us in total). We got our gear and hopped in the van to drive 10 minutes down the road to the smallest 'airport' I've ever been too. We were due to go to a snow flat above the glacier and land there by ski plane and wear snow shoes. We squished into the plane and the propellers started to go - yes propellers. If you know me well you'll know I hate flying so can't say I was overly enjoying this bit. But the adrenaline and excitement was getting me through. However the pilot suddenly switched off the engine and turned to us saying he's just been told we can't fly as cloud had just swept in over where he was going to land, meaning he now won't be able to. So out we jumped and for a moment I couldn't believe our luck being so close and missing out a third time.

    Thankfully however Ant had a plan and off he went leaving us all sat in the airport to chat. Interestingly the rest of the group knew each other... they were all part of the crew filming a major Disney movie in nearby Wanaka. This was their one day off and this is how they were spending it! How random that we ended up with them. They were all friendly, some more chatty than others so we didn't get to know much about all of them. However there was Reese the assistant director (quite a big deal in the movie world we have since found out, having worked on all the Bourne movies as well as Jack Reacher and more). We also chatted a lot to three ladies from the costume department, including the really lovely Stacey who is the supervisor. She's worked on all he Pirates of the Carribean films and knows all the actors well. But her favourite person to dress is Meryl Streep, a very gracious and kind lady apparently.
    Anyway the movie they are working on stars Reese wetherspoon and Oprah, it's called a 'Wrinkle in time' and is based on a favourite children's novel. Look out for that in 2018!
    Fascinating and random meeting for us!

    Anyway Ant reappeared bearing crampons and a plan. He'd organised a helicopter and said we were going to land directly on top of the glacier instead. We were all weighed and the helicopter would have to go on two flights to get us all there. Being the smallest I had to sit right at the front shoved in between the pilot and the guide. Again, is this the best place for someone who is afraid of heights and flying? Tough luck! I had to get over that very quickly.

    Off we went, the helicopter started to lift instantly and we felt weightless. We flew across the valley gracefully hugging the mountain side to avoid sudden wind gusts. It took about 10 minutes flight time and we were over the glacier. Quickly we were ushered out and had to stay low while the helicopter took off to go get the others. Suddenly it was silent and we were greeted with awe inspiring sights all around us. Instantly you feel how solid and thick the ice beneath you is, and the deep blue colour inside. You also see snow covered mountains in all directions and the edges of the glacier coming down the rock. It also looked like there was lots of rock areas, but that is apparently just rock debre that has landed on top of more ice, so now we could really see what an epic size this glacier was. Immediately we got our crampons strapped on our feet so we were able to move without slipping, then took in the surroundings until the others arrived.
    Once together we started trekking across the extreme ridges and shapes of the icey landscape, stopping regularly to drink the pure glacier water.

    As we trudged along we came across the main destination, an entrance down into a deep ice cave! Our guide went ahead and put in a handline (using his ice axe) and we were instructed to come down one by one. Somehow I ended up going down first. It was roughly 10 metres below the surface down and at a steep 45 degree angle it was a little daunting. Especially as the cave was so perfectly formed and smooth that it was incredibly slippery, along with a small trickle of water making it even more so. Down I went stepping in some make shift footholds by Ants axe and also just by jabbing my crampons into the ice. At one point you have to turn round and go down backwards. At this stage Reese (assit director guy) is attempting to come down too. He swiftly slips knocking a big piece of ice down the cave tunnel and unleashing a big stream of water that hits me in the face and shoots down the inside sleeve of my coat, the cold alone nearly knocked me off my feet let alone the actual water slippery my feet away. I managed to regain my footing and didn't fall all the way down, as I would have done had it not been for my tight grip on the handline.
    Recovered, I continued down and landed in the middle of the expansion of an incredible cave.
    First thing I noticed was the unbelievable blue lighting causing by the thick blue ice. The walls were also so smooth it looked practically man made. There was a large hole in one part of the roof where the sun was beating down and melting that section. Plus a deeper section where the cave went down further, but got much darker. We didn't venture down there but made our way through a few levels of the cave and it opened out into a valley of ice and fallen rock.
    Then we clambered back up onto the glacier. Very carefully we continued to hike, watching every step as there were holes in the ice that you couldn't see the bottom of.... pretty terrifying thought slipping or falling into one of those.

    By now it had been several hours and it was time for the helicopter to come back and get us. Before we knew it we were back gliding through the air, level with the mountains and buzzing off the whole experience. Back on land it seemed surreal to believe we'd just experienced such a wonder of nature. Pretty harrowing thought to know that if global warming continues at its current rate that glacier won't exist in 35 years time...

    Back in the car we drove on to our rest stop for the night Lake Tekapo. On route we went back past the majestic Lake Pukkaki which now was an unbelievable shade of blue, brighter than the sky and just as still. As we arrived Lake Tekapo was similar but we felt not as stunning. We viewed it's sweet famous church on the waters edge (Church of the good shepherd) as the sun was setting. Finally we stopped at our cute airbnb place for the night - a converted shipping container - and crashed out asleep after such an epic and exciting day.

    Beth
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  • This morning we were taken by bus to the Tasman Valley to see the glacier. We had a 1.5km alpine walk to get to the lake and then boarded a jet boat and taken to see the pieces of icebergs that had broken off the glacier. We were able to get right up close to one piece that had fallen over overnight so was safe to do so. We were able to touch the ice. We were then taken to see the glacier but weren't able to get too close in case some broke away. This glacier wasn't anything like the ones we saw in Canada. They were white and blue and clean looking but this looks dirty due to being covered in rock mantle (rocks, debris and soil) but it does insulate the ice and slow the melting process. We have been lucky with the weather as on all APT trips this season they haven't been able to see MT Cook. Although the weather has been good it was not suitable to take a helicopter flight over the mountain and glacier as it was too windy where we were to have gone.
    We have an early 7.30 start in the morning so as to get to Dunedin in time to do a train journey tomorrow afternoon which was scheduled for Tuesday but had to be cancelled.
    Iceberg
    Tasman Glacier
    Jan & Kay
    Piece of ice off iceberg
    Iceberg
    Jet boat
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  • After a couple of days in the Christchurch adventure park and lots of vertical descent racked up on the bikes we headed off in search of the Southern Lakes. En route we passed Lake Tekapo with it's stunning blue waters, Lake Pukaki with awesome views over to mount cook, and stopped for lunch at the back of Twizel where shots for the Lord of the Rings 'Plains of Rohan' scenes were filmed. We arrived into Wanaka, just North of Quenstown in the evening for a couple of days exploring.

    Ben
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  • On Saturday morning as we were leaving Christchuch we were taken on a tour of parts of the city, where we stayed was the area that had the most devastion. The bus driver wasn't sure which streets he could travel as the closed road signs change daily and overnight.
    Many business have set up out of Christchurch and also new suburbs.
    We travelled south through dairy country towards the Southern Alps until we got to the hilly country which looked very desolate. We stopped to have a look at the little Church of the Good Shepherd on the edge of Lake

    Tekapo and were to have looked inside but there was a Japanese marriage ceremony about to take place followed by another later in the afternoon, apparently quite popular for weddings because of the view. We travelled on to Mt Cook where we had a welcome dinner.
    Mt Cook
    Desolate hills
    Church of the Good Shepard
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  • Beautiful views to Mount Cook from lake Tekapo and some extra large pine cones for sale. The monument is a tribute to the sheepdogs in NZ, without whom the early settlers would never have been able to manage their stock and survive.

  • Wir mieteten uns am 03.03 ein kleines Auto, damit wir in Richtung Lauras Eltern fahren konnten.
    Die Strecke kannten wir schon auswendig und dank des guten Motors kamen wir dieses Mal sogar die Berge recht zügig hoch. 😄
    Den Eltern hatten wir vorgegaukelt, dass wir sie am 04.03 direkt in Queenstown treffen wollen - doch wir hatten da so einen Plan. 😉
    Wir fragten sie, auf welchem Campingplatz sie denn die Nacht stehen und ob wir ihn kennen.
    Somit wussten wir, wo sie die Nacht schlafen und fuhren dorthin hin, versteckten uns und warteten.
    Nur 10 Minuten später parken Sie durch Zufall nur 15 Meter von uns entfernt und die Überraschung konnte beginnen.
    Laura rufte ihre Mama an und fragte sie, warum sie denn so stehen und nicht anders.
    Die Mama sagt nix mehr und kam aus dem Camper raus, um zu gucken wo wir denn sind.
    Von dem Moment an war die Überraschung perfekt. Wir liefen auf uns zu und die Freude war riesig. 😍
    Die ganzen Abend quatschten wir über unsere Reisen, lachten und waren froh, dass wir wieder alle zusammen sind. ☺

    In den nächsten Tagen fuhren wir nach Queenstown, in die Milford Sounds, zum Mt.Cook und zum Lake Tekapo.
    Wir kannten ja schon alle Sehenswürdigkeiten und spielten somit den Touri-Guide. 😁

    Außerdem machten wir einen Stopp bei den "Moeraki Boulders", welche auch wir noch nicht gesehen hatten.
    Kugelrunde Steine, welche von der Natur geschaffen wurden und nun am Strand liegen.
    Wie genau sie entstanden sind, ist noch nicht geklärt und bleibt ein Geheimnis der Natur. ☺

    Nächster halt ist Christchurch und am Sonntag Abend werden wir mit der Fähre auf die Nordinsel übersetzen. ☺
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  • Onderweg van Dunedin naar Christchurch zijn we een flink eind om gereden om Mount Cook, de hoogste berg van Nieuw Zeeland te kunnen aanschouwen. Een omweg van ongeveer 200 kilometer, maar zeer de moeite waard. Zonnig weer, mooie blauwe lucht en helder blauw water van het meer leverden de volgende mooie plaatjes op.

You might also know this place by the following names:

Mackenzie District