Day 15 A Sound or a Fijord

Well the earliest start yet. 6.00am breakfast then on the bus at 7 and off we set on a 4 hr journey to the sea. First coffee stop at a road side cafe that I don’t remember as i was snoring lol. Then onto Te anu. Quick stop for a bite to eat even if it is only 10am. more like a coffee and pick up a pie for later. Pies are quite common in these parts and quite tasty. Not that I would eat the venison ones as every time we passed a field of deer I thought of Bambi !!











Plan A was coach to Milford sound and fly back to Queenstown from the airfield there, but it was plain that this was less likely to happen by the hour. A front was coming in. Wind, rain and mist. 2 hrs later we came upon the Fiordland national Park wherein Milford sound resides. Lovely scenery then through the tunnel dug through some of the hardest rock around, which is y its probably only one lane. Reached Milford sound (Named after Milford haven in wales) and got our 1.00pm sailing. A tour of the sound reveled it to actually be a fijord and as Rudyard Kipling once said the eight wonder of the world. With the rain the waterfalls down the sheer cliffs, which rise more than 1200 m each side, where spectacular to say the least. The forests climbing these cliffs where just amazing. Birds and seals dotted the water and when we reached the sea and turned round I watched it all again with eager fascination.












Once we got back to land it was clear that it would be a coach home as the rain came down in sheets. If you saw the sheer cliffs either side of the airfield you would know why there was no flights in or out. 4 hours later we got back to Queenstown a sandwich and bed as I had a long day tomorrow. Would I do that 8 hrs on a coach again to see such a sight? of course. Its a Historical site and something that I would have regretted for the rest of my life if I had missed it.

Why do we always wait for the storm to pass when we can learn to dance in the rain…


Day 14 Queenstown

Leaving the wondrous Mountain district under Mt Cook we head down the trails towards Queenstown. This was after watching the local gang of parrotts systematically destroying someones car. Pulled into the Wrinkly Rams for coffee. Lots of Sheep ready for shearing. lucky that wasn’t one of Ron’s surprises lol. Rattling along at brake neck speed we stopped briefly in Twizel for a quick look at where they filmed The Battle of the pelenor fields for LOTR. Didn’t look like much but then everything has gone now. From here we stopped at Tarras for lunch where we saw Shrek the sheep, (well his wool anyway.) Apparently he holds the record for the biggest amount of wool off a merino sheep.P1010916












After lunch Rons surprise was revealed. A trip to Aurum wines WOOT. Tried 4 loverly wines, all organic. Not one of the bigger sellers (2500 cases a year) but very well regarded in the local area. Just the 4 of them run this 5000 vine winery…phew. But they enjoy it. Nice life.

We called by the bungy jumping bridge at Kawarau. Not something I would do myself but looks good from the view point. this one goes into water if you jump hard enough. Sorry to say they where to fast for my camera lol. From here onto Queenstown and a trip on the Gondala to the top of the mountain overlooking the town. Here was my first taste of cold. Wind was bitter. Dinner was a sad affair as we loose Lynn and Clive here. Both off to other respective tours before heading home. Good luck, keep in touch.












Day 13 The Glacier

Leaving Mount Somers we headed towards Lake Tepako, stopping for Coffee along the way. What a beautiful place for lunch. I have never seen water so Blue. Visited the church of the good Shepard and saw the dog statue of the Sheep rustler Mackenzie. Even the local Buskers were not bad. Played bagpipes lol. Ate my cheese & tomato sarni and we headed on towards the Mountains.











Onwards to our Hotel for the night. Very nice Hotel perched in the mountain range at Aoraki and overlooked by the great Mount Cook. 3754 meters of rock snow and ice. After check in we climb into a bus and are driven to an adventure of a life time. After a 20mins walk we arrive at the boats that are going to take us to the Tasman Glacier.






Jackets on Cameras held onto for dear life and we set off across the water to first look at the Icebergs and then onto the glacier itself. Retreating at a fair rate of knots, Ice bergs regularly break off so we cant go to close. Apparently it goes back 1 mile every 10 years, melting into the lake before it. Originally over 100km long this Mighty remenant of the ice age is now just 23 km long and retreating faster and faster each year. The 30 meters above the water belie the 200 meters below with an Ice shelf of about 50 meters out. A wonder of nature in its last throws: or not. Who knows where we will end up as climates change upon this planet. back we go getting rather wet along the way. But who cares. Ive seen a glacier……Thanks guys. Dinner at the Mountain cafe and bed. Well not before Ive done my work. Internet at last !!!!



















Forgot to mention to those interested mount Sevastapol is next door. Thats where they put Minas Tirith!!!

Looking up at those majestic mountains I remembered a phrase. The definition of life is not about the abilities that you have…..its about the choices that you make.

Day 12 Cowvention

Off bright and early this morning (No change there!!) and we headed for Christchurch to drop of Elizabeth and pick up 2 new lambs for the slaughter….ahem I mean 2 new passengers. We stopped for a mid morning coffee at a quaint station building in Dornett full of loverly brick a brack. It was run by an x cruise ship sous chef and his wife. Food looked good but after a largish breakfast a coffee was all I could manage. Then off we toddeld to the wreckage of Christchurch. There where gaps everywhere, chimneys missing and churches propped up by girders. The town center looked like a builders yard. We dropped off liz at the airport then picked up Madge and Alison from the B&B and headed off to lunch.











We drove into Diary Country, Mount Somers to be precise. Looked just like England. Once there we found A spot of Hampshire in the fall. Diana & Ians place was just exquisite. Beautiful house and fabulous gardens. Dianas lunch was superb. I got my recipe for roasted veg salad here, cant wait to get home and try it. Everything was grown reared or  cooked at the house. Loved the dogs too and yes I drank to much, but hey who was counting lol. This sort of visit was Moa trek at its best. Ian was a superb host then explained what he did at the farm. Hardly a farm. 1200 hectares of wheat, grass seed, and radish seed. 350 cows and some lounging pigs. Ians knowledge was extensive as he showed us round the fields. Apparently sheep farming is becoming less profitable than diary so the locals all seem to be going for the cows. This of course means complete change to the landscape as cows need green grass & green grass needs water. Thanks to you both. If you need a washer up or a commie chef Diana just mail me. I can take the dogs for walks to. It seemed rude to take pictures.

30 mins later we arrived at our accommodation. Nice chalets and a superb Dinner. Thanks Sean and Madeline.