Saturday, May 12, 2007

South Island Autumn.

Ella getting up close and personal with the flight staff, and asking the Pilot if he knows how to fly...

A bit of south island acclimatisation was needed, and we found the perfect place for that inside this antarctic storm simulator at the antarctic center.
Although Ella and Nat were not so happy about acclimatising...

the penguins didn't seem to mind the cold. but then i suppose they are designed for it!
the friendly Kea came to say hi when we stopped for lunch at Arthur's Pass, but we can't have fed him enough as he then (unknown to us) went and ate a big chunk of silicon sealer out of Guy and Theresa's campervan roof, (which became apparent later that same night when we were blessed with some west coast rain, some of which came and visited Guys feet while he lay asleep in bed!!! what we discovered in the light of the following morning, was a great big beak hole in one of the silicon seals between the two roof panels, which was then obviously letting in a lovely torrent of water during the rain fall we had overnight!!! (lucky we knew the camp owners and were able to borrow a little silicon sealant that soon had that little leak sorted!!!!!) I hope the Kea had a stomach ache... Guy would have liked to have given the Kea more than a stomach ache!Looking down to the west coast from Arthur's Pass.

The campground where you get to park your Campervans In a barn (it had windows in the barn, so you still got to enjoy the view...) which was handy as it rained most of that night. unfortunately for Guy the bit of the van that had a leak thanks to that Kea, was still poking out from under the roof, and hence he got wet feet at 3am!

Lake Brunner, on a cold and misty morning.

Shanty town for a ride on the steam train, and a spot of gold panning.

Nat carried his "Goldfish" (small jar of water with Gold flakes in the bottom) around for the remainder of the holiday...

A day spent exploring the glaciers, it was a bit wet to start off, so we didn't go on any scenic flights or walk up the glacier or anything, but did have a great walk around lake Matheson in the afternoon, (which we all enjoyed except Sophie, who refused to walk and preferred her plush ride in a back pack!!!)

sunset as we made it into Haast for the night.

Lake Wanaka turning on it's usual charm.

Ella discovering the laws of physics, on some of the best play ground toys I have seen in ages. I came away from this particular whirlygig feeling like I wouldn't then want to go and have a second meat pie from the bakery...
A joy ride for the adults, with great views of Queenstown/Mt Ernslaw (picture)/Aspiring/Wanaka/Cardrona thanks to a good friend of mine Kerry O'Keefe, and his flatmate Lachie (pilot) and a box of speights!

Ella and Nat taking a joy ride of their own, with Finn at the wheel of this great tractor he had the pleasure of borrowing for the weekend, while we enjoyed the company of Fiona and Jimmy and their 3 kids, Kate Anna and Ben. Guy and I enjoyed a long day in a sheltered spot overlooking a dam, soaking in the culture that is Duck Shooting opening day, from 4.30am till 11pm! We had meat for breakfast at 5am (Chops/bacon/Eggs/cereal/tea) meat sandwiches all morning, (with relish and cheese) just a few Speights to wash down the sandwiches, maybe a touch of port. followed by lunch which was of course meat, BBQ this time (adjacent to the dam of course) chops/Sausages/steak/and I think there was bread and sauce and onions too, but mostly meat.

Lucky Finn and Nat and Ella enjoyed this tractor, as the next day was more of the same followed by plucking the ducks/gutting the ducks/roasting the ducks/eating the ducks (washed down with more speights of course!)
The kids had a great time, and enjoyed being looked after by the older kids Kate/Anna and Ben.
Ella having a little adventure ride of her own in Cromwell, and no Ang this flying fox was not as steep as it looks. (or at least that is the story me and Ella are sticking to...)

Spent a wonderful night catching up with an old and treasured school friend of Ang's.
Well removed from the nearest street lamp, this idyllic little spot where Jazz lives near Clyde, is just great. Ella fed the pet ducks, and we enjoyed a lovely roast dinner and conversation under a brilliant star filled sky.

dawn and a brisk walk over the hill as the sun poked it's head up to shine on an awesome day right over the whole South Island. We unfortunately had to cover a bit of ground today, getting from Clyde in central otago, up through the amazing Terrain that is the McKenzie basin, with awesome views of Cook, and all the lovely lakes through that region, back to Christchurch.

Lake Pukaki with Mt Cook in the distance

Lake Alexandrina which the local fishermen would prefer stayed a little known secret. just an amazing spot!
The stone church of the good shepherd overlooking lake Tekapo, on what must have been one of the most amazing days I have experienced in the South Island, not a cloud in the sky, from central Otago, to the west coast, to the East and Christchurch.

The last morning of the holiday, filling in time, while Campervans were being packed... keeping the kids occupied... race you to the swings...

An amazing holiday, would go back again tomorrow...

looking at me?

looking at me?