This is the last part of the New Zealand Special: Our last trip from Christchurch was a bit more exciting or rather relaxing than the train ride with the Tranzalpin: we went to Hamner Springs, an alpine town with thermally heated spring water which has a highly famous Pool & Spa. At 140km from Christchurch it makes a good day trip. We booked a tour including transport and the entrance to the pools. Continue reading
This is the seventh part of the New Zealand Special and it is about a train ride. On our third day in Christchurch we wanted to do a trip and the ride with the Tranzalpin crossing from Christchurch on the East coast to Greymouth on the West coast was suppossed to be super nice. We booked a trip that went to Greymouth and directly back again just for watching the scenery. Continue reading
This is this sixth Post for the New Zealand Special and it is about Christchurch. Please note that I visited Christchurch before the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 hit the town. What you’ll see here therefore are undestroyed buildings. In this post I will try to figure out what happend to the places during the earthquake and what is there to visit now. For up to date information check Christchurch’s homepage.
But first of all another remark: We arrived in Christchurch after a day-long drive from Te Anau on the 20th July 2007 stopping along the road to have a look on some buildings in Dunedin but lingering there not for long. This doesn’t sound like a very special date but actually it was. We had to drop off the car the next morning at the airport and there it hit us:
Continuing this is now part 5 of the New Zealand Special: Milford Sounds. On our short visit to Queenstown we had already informed ourself on how to do a trip to Milford Sounds. Actually we wanted to drive there but as there was a black ice warning for the area plus they told us that you shouldn’t drive there without having snow chains and we didn’t know if we had some nor would we have known how to place them. So we booked a trip that included pick up in Te Anau.
And what an amazing trip it was. Continue reading
This is part 4 of te New Zealand Special: After the two days ride and a night at a hostel in Wanaka (I can’t really remember which one but I can remember that it had several unlinked buildings, one with a communal area, some with bedrooms and one with the bathrooms, making it freezing to go for a morning shower with minus degrees outside) we started our way to Queenstown. We didn’t linger much in Wanaka which is supposed to be good starting point for walks and ski trips in winter because we neither had the time to do something like this and complete our trip in time nor did we have the money to do so. But it is an alpine region so even before we reached Queenstown we had great views. Continue reading
This is part 3 of the New Zealand Special: We started in Picton where we had left the ferry from Wellington and then drove south with our rental car for about 500km to the small village of Franz Josef near Fox and Franz Josef Glacier. This took us the rest of the day and we merely made until closing time of the Youth Hostel we had booked from Wellington‘s tourist information.
In the 7 hours long drive we passed only five towns and not because the highway passed them by and you wouldn’t notice that there were towns nearby but just because there are just so few people in New Zealand. Personally I found that somehow cool but also a bit disturbing. I think it has something to do with being used to densely populated Europe.
Driving in New Zealand is a pleasure Continue reading
Here is part two of the New Zealand Special: After the days in Wellington we crossed over to the South Island. We took the Interislander Cook Strait Ferry from Wellington to Picton. It was not so cheap but hey it is also a 92km voyage that takes 3 hours.
We were told that this would be one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world. So when we boarded the ship early in the morning we were very exciting. It was literally freezing but we stopped for a photo session on deck. Continue reading