Landing in the past, departing from the future!

13.11.2016 New Zealand / 12.11.2016 Rarotonga – 12,4km

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International date line

We left Christchurch with a 11:00 flight to Auckland.

The drop off at ACE was perfect, no problem, fast and the shuttle to the airport last just few minutes.

Arrived in Auckland we decided to send another bag direct to Rarotonga and to leave mine at Ibis hotel, where I will sleep at my return.

In the international you could find the yellow bus that would drop you to the hotels close to the airport for 6NZ$ only. The bus is regular every 30 minutes.

Ibis Hotel is really close to the international and you could even walk 15 minutes (880 m)

Crossing the International Date line, even if it’s an imaginary line on the surface of the earth let you feel really strange…
I will arrive yesterday night and I will live twice the 13th November!
Our new time zone is -23 hours Auckland time, -11 hours Zulu Time

From Christchurch via Auckland to Rarotonga
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The muffin explosion!

11.11.2016 – 312,6 km

The Catlins are marvellous, even with a grey sky, the rainforest you find all around you will make you alive… and more than this!!!

Rainforest in the Catlins

The lake Wilkie is dark and give you the opportunity to see the different stage of the forest that will decrease until the sea border. Really amazing!


Then on the way the most photographed waterfalls of New Zealand.

The most photographed waterfall in New Zealand

At Owaka we had breakfast. The lady of the shop on the move told us that she would come in April 2017 in Italy, from Sicily to Valentino Rossi’s town to have a pizza. She is a fan!!!

Valentini Rossi’s fan

We arrived at Dunedin with a grey sky, no sun, so we had just a quick look of this beautiful city,

Marvelous Dunedin

a drive in Baldwin street, the Wrold’s steepest street

Baldwin street

and just drive in the Otago Peninsula until Portobello. I guess that Dunedin will worth at least a day, but we must move and we drive then to Oamaru.

Otago Peninsula

When we arrive to our family, we were really happy about our choice. Amazing location, warm welcome, great children, delicious Shefferd pie and lovely cats and dog. Then we started to play with the children. It made everybody laugh!with the pillow war, one shot total exploded one muffin! 😂😂😂

Our family in Dunedin

But we booked the Penguins view in the Blue colony and after dinner we just move to the show…

Time with children

Yes, the show, this is the right word. NEVER EVER IN MY LIFE AGAIN!!! The commentary was too loud and was completely scaring the penguins, people all over, too close with the animals that was waiting too long to come back to the nest. The tunnels that drive the penguins to the tourists!!! Please do not go!!! Better to wait and to see just one or none, in the wild and not scaring them like in this terrible touristic show!

We met then 2 scared penguins in the road to home… the road should be closed! Those are animals!!!

Penguin crossing the street

Just relaxing…

12.11.2016 – km

Today is a relaxing day. Just spent few hours with our great and amazing family.

Springhill Farmstay

We had a walk around the garden, milked the goat, saw the chickens, the baby goats and the sheep that think to be a goat… amazing!

Animals!

Then after seeing the two children cooking, we drove through Oamaru, to see the artist street, with plenty of rare books and artists selling their products.

Artist in Oamaru

Then drive to Christchurch.

Christchurch

Now, I was expecting an active city, full of people outside in the road, like Wellington, even better. It could be the lazy Saturday around 17:00, the fry of the sky, but I could feel the sadness in the eyes of the people. Frankly speeking, not so much to see, not so much to do… just few shops, all around Chinese.

Christchurch historic tram tour

The owner of the house where we sleep, Chinese as well, live here since 16 years. She is happy, she would not change Christchurch with Wellington, never with Auckland. She told us that the reconstruction started with people’s houses, then, just last year, with the building in center…

Waking in Christchurch city center

Anyhow, everything is an open construction site and leave the ineluctable sadness…

Milford sound

09.11.2016 – km

We decided to buy a full package with a cruise in the Milford Sound from Te Anau.

Waterfalls is everywhere after a rainy day

I do suggest to do the same thing:

The way to Milford Sound

1. You will have finally a day off from your drive and this is a great and amazing think

The “highway”

2. With many rental cars you would not be allowed to drive in this road. It is not so dramatic, but too busy, really narrow

Amazing waterfall

3. You would see everything with the right pace, and you would arrive “just in time” to get the best place in your boat!!!

Just on the “highway”

The “highway” to the Milford sound is amazing, breathtaking, the Sounds itself gorgeous!

Reflection lake

When we came back we had just a walk across Te Anau, really beautiful with the sunshine.

Starting point of the Milford Track

We decided to eat something with a good wine in a great pick nick area in front of the lake.

Drinking wine @ Te Anau lake

And then we saw the sunset with a little girl that was swimming with her dog while her mother was caressing their home sheep!

Family @ lake

And thence we came forth to see again the stars…

07 November 2016 – 335,5 km

And when you wake up in the morning and you see the sun after the heavy rain, your day could be only a great one!!!

An easy walk of about 2,5 km to arrive directly at 750m from the Franz Josef Glacier… Amazing!!!

Walking to the Franz Josef Glacier
Franz Josef Glacier

The road to the Fox Glacier Town is really beautiful and we drove directly to the lake Matheson to see the reflection of the Mount Cook. You can see the amount Cook while you are driving!!!

Mount Cook
And now we are deep in the rainforest and then the sea, at Bruce Bay. Tasman sea, the ocean with big breakers.

Bruce bay

Then again rainforest, until lake Paringa, a breathtaking lake where people fish the Whitebait. The season last only 2,5 month, until the 14 of November. So we are lucky and the whitebaits really delicious!!!

Whitebait capital

After Haast, we will start a winding road to theHaast Pass (a little more than 500m height) to arrive in the Lake District!

Wanaka lake

Marvelous! I tried to make some shot, but the panorama are so beautiful and unique!!!

Lake Hawea

We spent the night in Wanaka, just relaxing and having some beer and wine.

Reflection at Lake Wanaka

What a marvelous day!!!

Family, gulls and a breathtaking Panorama

Ready to go?

Just arrived at Frankfurt airport.

Technology is all over! Self check in, self baggage drop off… I would really wonder why do we need to be so early for the flight, as I spent only 15 minute total with passport and security check!!!

My flight is at 17:15, so still some time remaining to eat and relax….

And then, ready to go!!!

Under the rain…

06 November 2016 – 340,4km

Today was a rainy day, but this is the west coast and the South Island…

We start from Cape Foulwind to see the Seal Colony; just few of them, but agai, a must to see. The panorama is breathtaking, with a long sandy beach and the rocks that are popping up from the sea.

Cape Foulwind

Two gulls are in the mating season and the male is dancing in front of the female. So cute!

Mating gulls

We had a stop over in Charleston, I guess 2 people city, not more, for a egg and bacon and then we drove through the coastal highway, the sea on the right, rainforest on the left… the perfect daydream

Driving trough the coastal highway

We visit the Pancake rock with a miserable stormy weather… the tide was low, so no splash inside the multiple holes, but the rocks itself were incredible. It really seams a multiple layers of pancakes!!!

Pancakes rocks

Hokitika is the city of the jade and the whitebait… nothing more.

Along the road to Franz Joseph there was raining cats and dogs!!! We also stopped because we were not able to see.

“Beautiful” weather

We just decided to spend our time just relaxing in the hot pools having a dinner and planning for the day after…

Relaxing at Glacier hot Pools

And then, as if by magic, the Franz Josef Glacier appears!

Franz Josef Glacier