13.11.2016 New Zealand / 12.11.2016 Rarotonga – 12,4km
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
The Catlins are marvellous, even with a grey sky, the rainforest you find all around you will make you alive… and more than this!!!
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.
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!!!
We arrived at Dunedin with a grey sky, no sun, so we had just a quick look of this beautiful city,
a drive in Baldwin street, the Wrold’s steepest 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.
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! 😂😂😂
But we booked the Penguins view in the Blue colony and after dinner we just move to the show…
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!!!
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!!!
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!!!
And now we are deep in the rainforest and then the sea, at Bruce Bay. Tasman sea, the ocean with big breakers.
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!!!
After Haast, we will start a winding road to theHaast Pass (a little more than 500m height) to arrive in the Lake District!
Marvelous! I tried to make some shot, but the panorama are so beautiful and unique!!!
We spent the night in Wanaka, just relaxing and having some beer and wine.
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.
Two gulls are in the mating season and the male is dancing in front of the female. So cute!
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
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!!!
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.
We just decided to spend our time just relaxing in the hot pools having a dinner and planning for the day after…
And then, as if by magic, the Franz Josef Glacier appears!
Takaka is an hippie town and the organic market is every Saturday. You can find really great and delicious product, people are peaceful, happy and smart and worth for sure a visit!
The same I should say about Pupu spring, the cleanest spring in the world. A short track drove us through the bush full of fern until the spring. The water is so pure and crystal clear!
When we arrived to Westport, after 270km, we were quite depressed about the weather and the ugliness of the city… so we decided to leave our luggage at the hotel, where you can feel as being in Biennale
and to drive 100km more in the north to visit Karamea… the end of the world!
The road to Karamea is winding, with plenty of house to sell and a great spectacular path through the rainforest,
then appear an improbable city, where there should have been a petrol station… but closed!!! So tank before!
All the people wear plastic boots and should remove their shoes to enter into the supermarket…
Close to the beach of Oparara, a men with his child on a Quad, driving like crazy taking the dog out for a run through the beach…
We drove to the end of the road, with a foggy and variable weather, with the complete feeling to be close to the end of the world…
Just few people, some houses, and the magic of being at the end of the world…