North & South

Trip Start Sep 04, 2007
Trip End Dec 18, 2007

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Wed 21st Nov. We left lake Taupo & headed across to Napier, found a nice hotel on the front opposite the local sea life center & guess what ? the next morning we were woken up at the crack of dawn not by a rooster but a sea-lion honking away ! Good job really because we had a long but good day. First we drove out to the bird sanctuary at Cape Kidnappers, then on the way back we stopped off at the "British Car Museum", what a place that was ! A35's, A40's, Morris Minors by the dozen. Mr Thompson's Vauxall Victor (In Joke) & Fords of all shapes & sizes. In the afternoon we took a walking tour of Art Deco Napier, both enjoyed that. Then in the evening went for dinner at the RSL Club, very nice  cost us 38 dollars all up !
Friday and it's south again to Paraparauma, where we had a nice lunch with Alan & Brenda, made us most welcome. Then onto our home for the next three nights with Mel & Rob & his parents Wayne & Robin, had a nice dinner out with all that evening. It's Saturday morning & my first game of golf in two and a half months with Wayne, really enjoyed that apart from taking the head off the 5 wood ! Brenda went shopping with in the afternoon we all went to see the plot for their new house, it's going to look nice but lots & lots to do, then it was on to Mel's friends for drinks. Sunday 25th. We had made arrangements with Alan & Brenda to go out to see their son Paul & his wife Mary at their farm (Lower Hutt) what a marvelous place they have, & to have overcome all sorts of problems to make it work. So after lunch & a walk round the estate (17 acres) Alan & Brenda took us back to Mel's where we said out goodbyes. Really enjoyed that ! In the evening my Brenda cooked us all dinner as Robin had to work.
Monday 26th & it's time to say goodbye to all at Paraparauma & cross over onto the south island. A quite uneventful day apart from Brenda booking us on the ferry the wrong way round ! "No problem, sweet as !" as the Kiwi's say. Stayed overnight in Nelson.
Tuesday was just a big drive day Nelson to Franz Joseph. One thing though after dinner on our way back to the hotel we only bumped into one of the girls (Hanna) from our cruise on the Whitsundays in Australia. It can sometimes be a really small world.
Wed 28th Nov & another one of those days you will never forget, took a small plane flight up into the mountains, the weather was beautiful, we saw Mt Cook & the glaciers then the pilot landed the plane up there on a snowfield, we all (4 of us + pilot) got out for photo's & snowballs then back on board again for a hairy take off ! and back to the real world. "IT WAS FANTASTIC" In the afternoon we had a walk to the face of the Franz Joseph glacier, dinner & sweet dreams (knackered)
Thursday did a short walk to Fox glacier, then walked "UP" the other side, knackered again !
Friday & another long drive to Queenstown via Wanaka, what a lovely town that is right on a lake, sun shining, snow on the mountains in the distance, beautiful !
Saturday believe it or not we went to the New Zealand golf open for the day ! Then in the evening went on the paddle steamer "Earnslaw" across the lake to a farm for dinner & sheep shearing exhibition, both really enjoyed it.
Sunday & a couple of hour drive to Te-anu the jumping off point for Milford Sound our last major quest. But first we took a boat across the lake in the evening to the "Glow worm caves" (There everywhere in New Zealand)
Monday 3rd Dec (Oh dear ! Christmas is only three weeks away) and we have booked a coach ride into Milford for a change. Lots & lots of beautiful scenery & waterfalls plus a great big road tunnel for luck. Had a boat trip through the sound out to the sea & back again (2 1/2 hours) it was stunning ! Then back on the coach to Te-anu & one of Brenda's stunning dinners ! (steak & chips) 
Tuesday 4th Dec &  we have decided we have time to drive the "Southern Scenic Route" we went through Invercargill, saw more beautiful beaches, beautiful waterfalls, beautiful scenery, I'm even beginning to feel beautiful ! However we did stay at a motel on Tues night, No Telly ! No Phone ! & No Mobile signal ! our room backed onto the main road & I swear only 2 cars went by all night. Oh yes they had a restaurant with a menu of Lamb as many ways as you could throw a stick at it, including lamb soup !
Wed 5th Dec More of the same, overnight at a nice apartment on the Beach at Dunedin. But what a quick change in the weather. Last leg (not lamb) coming up !
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