A Travellerspoint blog

Taking the Big Dive


sunny 27 °C

So today, we all drove out to Kawarau River bridge – the place where modern bungy began a few decades back. While not the highest to be found, it is THE place if one wants to say they’ve bungied in New Zealand. Alison and I did a tandem jump… you know… where they attach us to each other before taking that big step. OK… ’nough banter… here’s the pics and video. Enjoy!


After that, we popped over to this winery for lunch and samplings. A good stop to ease the adrenalin rush. Next thing we know, it’s almost time for the next adventure… jet boating on the Shotover River. A one hour high speed romp over fast flowing water.


Still after all this, we took the Skyline Gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak for a look see. Still more pics.


Tomorrow, we get up early (6:00am) and head by bus over to Milford Sound.

Posted by Ali-Mike 02:07 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Traveling to Queenstown

sunny 24 °C

Today was traveling from Franz Josef to Queenstown. No big adventures, just great countryside.


Posted by Ali-Mike 02:05 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Up, Up and Away

Birds Eye View of the Glacier

sunny 22 °C

Mountain Helicopter was our choice for a 30 minute flight around the picturesque Mt Cook, Mt Tasman, Franz Josef and Fox glaciers. They offered Hughes MD500 helichoppers which have distinction of riding three up front and two in the back unlike most choppers which ride two up front and three in the back. The middle person in the back gets cheated in these. We would get to enjoy a window seat for each of us in the MD500.

We woke up this morning to dazzling sunshine with not a cloud in sight. The top of Mt Cook was looking very inviting for our upcoming aerial tour. We arrived at the appointed pickup place at 10am just as the copter was landing. The line boy efficiently got us secured into our seats with Gavin and Murrette taking the front seats. They’d never been in a wopptychopper so they deserved the full experience up front. The ride was relatively smooth considering the standing mountain wave and rotor that would exist. Of course, the pilot would know about these and stay clear. Anyway, lots of pics.

Just after landing about 40 minutes later, the clouds closed in and shrouded the mountain tops. But we got the peaks in their entire splendor. The Year of Mike continues!

Later in the day, we hiked Lake Madison. This was hoped to have a photo opportunity with the mountains reflecting off the water. Unfortunately, with the winds, this was not to be.

Posted by Ali-Mike 01:57 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Franz Josef Glacier

Slip slidin’ away

sunny 20 °C

Today, we ascended the glacier. We took a 4km bus ride from the village to the parking lot. From there we hiked along the rock and boulder strewn Wiahau River wash for another 2 km and then along a backwoods path complete with rock climbing and ladders for those portions that were too sheer. At the terminal face of the glacier, we were instructed to put on the crampons that we’d been issued back at the village. These are metal stud platforms that are attached to the soles of your hiking boots to give grip on the glacier’s ice.

Our guide lined us up like ducklings and once ordered to his liking, we were off. What a blast. The trail up the face had a track cut into it to assist us consisting of ice steps cut into the face. You can see these in the pics.

Posted by Ali-Mike 02:56 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Franz Josef Glacier

A big slippery slope

all seasons in one day 20 °C

Today, our motley group rolled into the Franz Josef Glacier area. Basically, this was a leisurely travel day arriving in mid afternoon. It rained on and off throughout the trip. Even so, there was spectacular scenery on great road that had sections that were twisty turny. Would be fantastic if we had a Harley.

Some interesting things:
Bridges sometimes share the train tracks.

They make omelets kinda funny using ‘white bait’, a small fish.

As we arrived in Franz Joseph, the glacier peeked from under its cloud cover to reveal what we were going to experience tomorrow.

On a side note: I came across a rather unusual name for a mountain peek. All set? It’s ‘Taumatawhakatatanghangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu’ which translates to ‘The place where Taumata sat and played his flute to his beloved’.

Posted by Ali-Mike 02:40 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

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