Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Wet, wetter, wettest

Our visit to the glacier at Franz Josef was greeted with some drizzle, but luckily we were still able to shoot some nice pictures. Both from the glacier and one of the nearby lakes, once formed by the glacier when it retreated.

From 201012 Down South

But as MetService predicted a 'significant event', we drove from Franz Josef via Haast to Queenstown. Around 500mm of rain was expected for the day and we've got some footage that will give you some idea of the road conditions following this deluge...! But, the currently available Internet connections are not up to scratch and do not allow us to post it at this stage. More later.
Here's another impression instead - a more poetic one: a wharf building at Okarito lagoon.

So, it was yesterday that we arrived in Queenstown, and although this morning it was still wet, we braved the elements and walked to town centre to have a look around. On the way back however the weather Gods were relentless: we got soaked and one of our umbrellas did not survive the trip back. An Irish lady gave us a ride for a few hundred metres which reduced our exposure to the cold and wet by a couple of minutes. Nevertheless the clothes are still hanging in front of the oil heater.
Our accommodation is great though: warm and spacious - it even has double glazing. A real safe haven for when the weather doesn't want to play nice.

This afternoon it really cleared and so we went for another attempt and this one succeeded! And tomorrow is promising to become a real fine day. Probably one for a trip to Glenorchy.


Monday, 27 December 2010

Road trip through S-Island

A quick update: we're in Franz Josef at the moment and will drive to Queenstown today with exceptional rainfall - they're expecting up to 500 mm in 24 hours or so. We'll see how far we can get - from our hotel room to the car we definitely need our swimming gear as the lawn in between resembles a pool. BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Monday, 20 December 2010


Ordered mid-winter and installed mid-summer: our new logburner! Not that it usually takes this long to get the thing installed, but our installer's business went down. Luckily for us we didn't buy the woodburner itself from him, otherwise it would have been byebye to our money and burner!

As explained previously we had to get a new clean green burner, as the burner that was present in the house when we bought it didn't comply with the new emission regulations. So we weren't allowed to use it. We couldn't decide whether to get a woodburner, pellet burner, heatpump or other form of heating, but finally decided on a woodburner again. It's such a nice heat that comes out of it, doesn't make noise and is cheap to run. And people love their woodburner, it's a popular form of heating.

So, after the council inspected and approved the installation of the fire last week we were allowed to use it! The manual of the fire told us that for first time use it'll be necessary to open all doors and windows, as any paint and other residues inside the firebox would burn off. Better not leave that for a cold wintry day, so we thought let's try it now! Okay, it was about 20 degrees in the house, but it had been raining all day so it didn't feel very pleasant inside.

It was the scariest thing ever, I really thought the house would burn down! The new fire and flue (chimney thing) are definitely way better than the old one, so we hardly needed matches to light the fire. It's also a bigger firebox and the fire is much better to see because of the big clean glass door, the fire itself was all very impressive. And then the paint started to burn off, I was in the kitchen and turned to look at Age in the lounge and could hardly see him because of the blue smoke coming from the burner. So yes, we really had to open all doors and windows. And even then we could feel heat radiating our way.

After a while I got less nervous about our bright fire, the smoke subsided, we had it all under control, we could close a couple of doors and windows, and when we noticed we'd made it 26 degrees inside we unanimously declared that our fire passed the test.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Golden Bay

Below an impression of our few days away with Age's parents in Golden Bay. Stunning scenery!

1) On Takaka Hill - a lookout over the Tasman Bay
2) We had a nice unit in Pohara and enjoyed a light meal on our deck

3) Farewell Spit seen from the visitor centre
4) We went to Farewell Spit to have coffee and cake at the visitor centre, but our main goal of the day was a walk to Wharariki Beach, on the Western coast of Golden Bay.
5-10) Wharariki Beach was the most fantastic unspoilt beach ever! Unsafe for swimming, but otherwise superb!

Besides Farewell Spit on the Western side of Golden Bay there is also the Abel Tasman National Park on the Eastern side. Abel Tasman Park is accessible from two sides: Tasman Bay (the Nelson side) and Golden Bay. So on our last day in Golden Bay we went for a little drive towards Totaranui, one of the bays in the Abel Tasman Park where you can pick up the Abel Tasman coastal walking track. We didn't have enough time to get there, so we checked out Wainui and Tata beaches instead. Funny how the sand on these beaches is similar to that on the other side of Tasman Park (Kaiteriteri and Marahau); very golden and quite coarse. And how different this sand is from that in Pohara (only a few kilometers away), which was grey-ish, and from Wharariki Beach, which was incredibly fine and white.

We definitely need to go back to Golden Bay as there is much more to see and do! We totally understand why it is one of the popular holiday destinations for Kiwis!