Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Last of the South Island

Well this is what we have been up to in the last few weeks of being on the South Island, which is of course now tinged with sadness after the recent earthquake in Christchurch - our hearts go out to everyone affected.

So.... On the 5th February we went to Nelson for Pru and Denis' wedding festival, here is the bride arriving with her bridesmaids

... the ceremony

..and the happy couple

Rob and Dave raise a glass to celebrate..

...but the emotion of the day was too much for Sam and Dave!!

Maria and Anna discuss how to revive the boys...

Maria and I have a relaxing drink whilst the boys are out of the way ;)

The day after - it was hell. We chilled out by the pool at Pru's parents house

Then after the wedding we headed around the coast and stopped at countless deserted beaches like this one - the area is full of amazing beaches.

Then on Saturday 12th February we all went off to the Marlborough Wine Festival where all the local vineyards showcase there wines for us to sample :) Here's me, Maria, Caroline and Scott

Scott, Sam, Dave and Spratty

Dave and Sam cool off in the fountain

After a day of sampling wine we got into playing a few drinking games - can you pick up the box with your teeth??!

Apparently Sam can!

Dave excelled at a different game!

Then afterwards we had a week of quiet  time with Dave's parents - included morning walks up in the Wither Hills

A trip to Whites Bay beach for a picnic

And dinner with Dave's aunt and uncle - Here is Rob's treasured wine cellar

Their lovely vineyard

The family - Terry, Toni, Dave, Tan and Rob

And finally a trip back to the bach, for some fun on the water

..and to relax

Then on Monday 21st February we set off for the North Island stopping in Wellington first and catching up with some of Dave's friends - Kara, Kolya and her son Noah

..and Kim, Steve and Erin

and a trip to the local museum to see some traditional Maori artefacts like this Marae, the main house for events.

Well that's got you up to date. We are off around the rest of the North Island and to Auckland next.

Hope you are all well, keep the posts and messages coming :) Miss you all xxxxxxxx

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

New Zealand - The South Island Tour

Ok folks - brace yourselves this is a big one! We have just got back from our tour of the South Island and have lots and lots of photies to share with you :)

We left Blenheim on Wednesday 20th January heading first for Christchurch and Dave's Dad Terry joined us for the first leg.

This is us in Kaikoura on the way

In Christchurch we caught up with lots of Dave's family - his Auntie Jackie, Auntie Sue & Uncle Peter, cousins Jeremy and Tim (and Tim's girlfriend Bron) and also our friends Clay & Vanessa below

This is us in Christchurch....not Cambridge

And they have trams - very English!

Then we set off for Lake Tekapo - see how blue the water is?! This is caused by rock powder left by the glacier

We camped right by the lake..

The next day we did a long hike and ended the day in the hot pools to relax ahhhhh :)

Next we headed to Mount Cook and were very lucky to get clear weather and a great view... this view is from the Tasman Valley glacier that you can see in the background

...and these are bits of iceburg broken away from the glacier - wow!

Mount Cook

The stream we had lunch by - it was ice cold.

Then we spent a few days relaxing in Wanaka, this is me by Lake Wanaka. Unfortunately the weather wasn't great after the first day -

So we went to Puzzle World! This is me in the illusion room and then we went to the Shootin' Range!

After Wanaka we stopped in at Queenstown for lunch and Dave swam in the lake

 Then we set off for Milford - the most beautiful part of NZ I've seen so far. This is one of the many rivers and valleys.

Mirror Lake - as it is said to reflect the mountains behind - which it is doing! 

A Kea parrot - native and very cheeky ;) They hang around tourists waiting to be fed!

The first of many wonderful waterfalls - this one is on the road to Milford, see how clear the water is.

This is Hollyfird Camp where we stayed which was so great - these are the original 1930's cabins that the men and their wives lived in when they were building the Milford road. They still have the original wood burning ovens in them that you use to heat them, and we did!

The Hollyford river and we met two guys who kayaked down here!

 Us stopping for lunch and to admire the view of Milford

We took a cruise into MIlford Sound and these are the photos .......

Did you see the rainbow?!! Amazing place. 

Next was back to Queenstown for a night - this is the harbour

The park...

Then we drove to the wild west coast passing through Haast Pass which is a mountain pass and stopped at the blue pools - these stone towers are a comon sight here.

Dave skimming with the perfectly flat rounded stones here...

...Dave swimming again - even colder he tells me...

More waterfalls ....

And the wild west coast - the final leg

This is Fox Glacier - we got within 80metres

And this is Franz Josef Glacier - we got within 100metres of this one

Then our final stop was Hanmer Springs to bathe in the natural apline hot springs - it was hell!!!

Life's tough on the road but someone's got to do it! Do we miss work?........Urm NO!!! :)

Well that's it for now - hope you enjoyed seeing the photos as much as we enjoyed taking them. We are having the most amazing time and I am loving New Zealand, its beautiful.

Hope you are all well and happy - miss you all and its been great to talk to people on the phone this last month. Lots of love xxxxxxxxxxxxx