New Zealand – Nov / Dec 2005

Pete, Kath, Ange and her best friend Carrie spent a lovely month in New Zealand, revisiting (for some of us) some much-loved places, and seeing many beautiful new ones.Highlights of the trip included the Tongariro Crossing in Tongariro National Park, a spectacular day walk up past volcanoes, still fuming volcanic craters and crater lakes and back down down down through grassland and forest.. It started snowing at the halfway point — glad we brought all our gear!

We visited cousins Uta, Michael and Barbara in Wellington before crossing to the South Island where two beautiful hikes awaited us; the Queen Charlotte Track north of Picton, 71 km over four days along the ridgeline between two sounds, and further south, a week later, the Routeburn and Greenstone Tracks, through the beautiful unspoiled alpine scenery between Lake Wakatipu and the Milford Sound Road.

Another highlight was a helicopter flight from Twizel over the Mt Cook region — NZ’s highest mountain, glaciers, hanging valleys, lakes, mountain ranges, all from above and up close — unforgettable! We finished that day with a walk up to the mouth of the Hooker Glacier in lovely sunshine. Return to Christchurch via the southern end of the South Island, and home just in time for Christmas!

photo Photos

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Square kauri, Coromandel Peninsula Wai-o-tapu, near Rotorua Fern unfurling Being welcomed to Te Puia, Rotorua Aranui Cave, Waitomo Mt Ngauruhoe Setting off on the Tongariro Crossing Coming out of the South Crater. Mordor just ahead! The Red Crater Descending to the Emerald Lake Yep! Snow in November! Visiting Uta, Michael and Barbara in Seatoun Beautiful views from the Queen Charlotte Track Beach vista near Mahana Homestead Lunch, Day 3 above Waikawa Bay Silver fern Nearly there!! (71 km in 4 days) Sunset near Hanmer Springs Lupins everywhere Mt Cook / Aoraki First ever helicopter flight. What a blast! Dry country near Twizel Approaching Mt Cook Looking down to the Hooker Glacier We landed with a great view to Mt Cook Flying back down the valley Lake Pukaki below Hiking up the Hooker Valley towards Mt Cook the same day The glacier's snout - all grey! The most we saw of Mt Aspiring from near Wanaka Crystal clear tributary of the Dart River Ready to tackle the next hike! Quite steep in places! View from Routeburn Falls Hut Hiking past Lake Harris View from Conical Hill past Lake Harris to where we'd come from Traversing above the Hollyford Valley Lake MacKenzie at last! Morning reflections of Emily Peak Heading down the Greenstone Track - a long day! Arty shot of the day. Greenstone River. Boat tour of Milford Sound. View over Christchurch to the Alps.

Posted on December 1st, 2005, tagged with travel

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