Te Anau - New Zealand
Trip Start Aug 15, 2008
90Trip End Aug 14, 2009
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The next destination was Lake Te Anau in Fjordland in the Southern Alps. We passed through Twizel which claims it's Lord of the Rings country, but in fact Twizel was a Swizzle - the filming was done in several locations around South Island but none in Twizel itself.
We were again lucky with accommodation, the Information Centre offered us a split level, 5 bedroom, holiday home with all mod cons for the same price as 2 rooms in a motel.
This allowed us (Michael) to cook at home & spend the money we saved on wine. This was to be the pattern throughout our stay in New Zealand.
To see the Sound you have to take one of the many cruise boats which take you up & down the fjord & be treated to witty (?) commentaries by gap year students.
At least the rain kept the sand flies away.
We were taken right up to, & in-fact under, some of the many waterfalls - soaking those trapped on the foredeck.
Dolphins escorted our boat for a short time, until they got bored & we passed a herd (?) of seals basking in the rain.
The trip was rounded off by a visit to the Deep Underwater Observatory. This is like a fish tank in reverse - the humans are 10m below the surface in a glass-walled aquarium & the fish are on the outside, looking in. There are trays around the outside on which they have "planted" various corals.
30th March - Queenstown
We retraced our steps to Queenstown, the activity centre of New Zealand. The town overlooks the beautifully blue Lake Wakatipu, shaped like the scar on Harry Potter's forehead. In summer the town can be like an overcrowded theme park - everywhere there are helicopter trips, scenic flights, ski planes, heli-biking, jet-boating, yachting & white-knuckle rafting.
The world's first commercial bungee venue & still the most popular jump, is A J Hackett's 43m Kawarau Suspension Bridge jump, just north of town. For your money you get a certificate, Tee shirt, video & clean underwear.
It was an America's Cup boat, "NZL14" that competed in the 1992 San Diego series AND they were selling tickets to sail in her. So what could I do - I had to have a go. I was dressed up in Team New Zealand weatherproof kit before boarding for my 2 hour blast up & down the lake.