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Pure Madness

April 6th, 2009 | Posted by Davey in 12-New Zealand - (2 Comments)

White water river boarding down the Mighty Kawarau River River in Queenstown –the scariest god damn thing I have ever done and will never do again – what was I thinking!

It’s sheer madness but being a confident swimmer I was sure I could handle it.  Before I go on, on average two people die per season!  Basically you surf an 8km stretch running, surfing and dodging waves, rapids and whirlpools. The Kawarau River is a grade 3+, perfect for kayaking but riverboarding I’m not so sure.  I came off my board on the ‘Man Eater’ rapid (first video) and was pulled under for a good few seconds and emerged gasping for air – my life flashed on front of my eyes.  I picked this activity instead of a bunjy and I’d make the same choice again, it was worth every penny and more but I’ll never do it again – pure adrenalin and not for the faint hearted.

I don’t have any pictures. There were pictures of the group and a few of the rapids but they weren’t worth the asking price so I’ve embedded a few YouTube videos to give you a flavour of the activity – these are all surfing the same stretch.  We were in the water for a good two hours and exhausted by the end.

The last video is a little long but if you have time will give a great insight.

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Proper camping

April 4th, 2009 | Posted by Davey in 12-New Zealand - (1 Comments)

On our way back from Milford we pulled into a forest and setup camp for the night.  We had spent two nights in the pissing rain and being eaten by sand flies so it was nice to be finally under cover and be able to light a campfire. 

Danny knocked up his favourite meal Mexican wraps.  We ate and drank until the early hours and when the girls finally went to bed Danny and I hit the emergency stash and stayed up until 4am.  I think we burnt everything known to man trying to keep the fire a light – what a great night!

Danny and Janneke have their own blog too so you will most likely see pictures of us there but it will be written in dutch – probably best you can’t read it .

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One of NZ’s biggest tourists attractions, Milford Sound receives about half a million visitors each year.  Some 14,000 arrive by foot (tramping) and the remainder either via bus tour or camper like us.  There is only one road in and out and around 600k from the main tourist highway.

Milford receives the largest rainfall in the whole of NZ, up to 9 meters a year.  We took a  four hour tour by boat around the area.  Just before we arrived and while we were there it was pelting which wasn’t so nice but created a spectacular deluge of cascading waterfalls all along the trip.  We were expecting to see seals, dolphins and penguins but at times it was too dangerous to step out on deck to look and in the end we saw absolutely nout.  We really enjoyed the trip but it was damn expensive to get there and the tour.

Anybody out there that loves waterfalls, this is your mecca.

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A spectacular World Heritage Area.  Of the 27 NZ mountains over 3050m, 22 are in this park.  The highest is the mighty Mt Cook and at 3755m it’s the tallest peak in Australasia. 

The area is a trampers heaven with over a hundred walks varying in length and grades. We arrived early in the afternoon so had time to fit in a gentle two-hour walk.  The next morning we headed off for a 4–hour walk into Hooker Valley where we took the majority of these photos – we’ll let them speak for themselves. The last one is a little spooky, on the peak of Mt Cook you can see a face in the background – it doesn’t look very happy.

For us the park was one of the most enjoyable areas we have been to in NZ – awe-inspiring scenery and very relaxing. Amazingly, we met Janneke and Danny, a Dutch couple we had previously met while trekking the waterfall way in Australia.  We are really enjoying their company and have agreed to spend the next week or so touring together.

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On route to Mount Cook

March 31st, 2009 | Posted by Davey in 12-New Zealand - (1 Comments)

We couldn’t visit the south island without a stop off at mighty Mt. Cook.  The drive there was so beautiful it warranted a post of its own.  We stayed a night by Lake Tekapo which was lovely and the next morning visited an observatory where we took a picture of the mountain through a telescope.  Although it seemed close in the scope it was around 200 kilometres away.

About half-way we stopped off at a different section of Tekapo for our weekly wash.  The background scenery was just incredible but the water was the coldest we’ve ever encountered, melted snow from the mountains.

Who wouldn’t enjoy scenery like this!

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