Rotarua

Well we made it to Lake Taupo yesterday evening and were to late to book the Tourangi Crossing for today. Instead, we went to a lot of the natural thermal areas etc around Lake Taupo.

We went to the information center in the morning to see what Taupo had to offer. We tried signing up for the crossing tomorrow but it was conditional on what the weather will be and they won’t book anything until 2pm in the afternoon. So we decided to see what else it offered.

We did the Huka Falls, what a tremedous amount of water flowing through that little channel. Pretty impressive how that one river consititues 25% of all New Zealands energy.

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Off to Nelson

We’re not dead!

Sorry for the delay but we have been at a blistering pace the last few days.

Last you heard we were going downhill mountain biking in queenstown and on our way to Manu Pori to catch our doubtful sound cruise the next morning. The downhill mountain biking was great and the scenery was fantastic. I took a bit of a fall and got a few bruises but overall it was a good fall, all things considered, no permanent damage.. 😀 ..

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Shenanigans in Queenstown

Yesterday was an experience. It was pretty intense with class 3+ and 4+ rapids. If you know anything about rapids, those are pretty big. Class 5 is the highest that is still ride-able by the best in the world and class 6…Think Niagra Falls. The white water boarding was fun, for me. Lua didn’t enjoy the sensation of almost being drowned or smashed into rocks in 40 degree water as much as me, not sure why….Probably wont be high on our list of things to do together again

We are about to head over to our downhill mountain biking. We left it as our last activity in queenstown as I thought that it would be the most likely that I could physically injure myself…. 😀 … It is down skippers canyon which is famous in New Zealand not only for it’s mountain biking but they also have many scenic tour via 4wd vehicles due to the beauty up there. We are looking forward to it.

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Off to Queenstown

Two days ago we hiked the fox glacier on a full day hike. Lua and I were both pretty sore from the hike the day before to the seal colony and were pretty slow to get started in the morning. We got to the Alpine Guide building around 9:15 am got fitted with cramp-ons and other assorted gear for the hike. A short bus ride took us to the trail head at Fox Glacier and we had fairly tough hike until we actually got on the ice. It was pretty incredible once we got there and the weather agreed with us. It was a bit overcast but no rain! We got some great photos of the glacier as words can’t really describe it.

Once we got back to the car we head down to Haast which is in the middle of nowhere but has very pretty surroundings. We were originally going to try to get to queenstown but we were passing out by around 7pm and it was another 3 hours to queenstown. We were glad we did because the drive the next morning through Haast pass was amazing, waterfalls and canyons everywhere.

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Trans Alpine Train

Our second day we woke up early in the A.M., about 5:30am still a little screwed up on the time zone shift.m A few hours later our shuttle picked us up and took us to the TransAlpine train which left at about 8:15 in the morning. The train ride was about 4.5 hours and was very pretty. I know our pictures didn’t do it justice. It was a bit overcast but it was still very beautiful.

When we arrived in greymouth we picked up our rental. What a POS but it was half the price of a renting from hertz or budget and all we would have gotten was a newer POS. I think it has about a .7 liter engine and our top speed is about 12. It is a 1996 Nissan Sunny, an ingenious marketing name that really captures the essence of this 4 wheeled contraption…. But we are saving money and with the .7 liter engine we get great gas mileage.

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