A Travellerspoint blog

Arrowtown & Fiordland

Rain, rivers and waterfalls

Hi again,

Hope you're all enjoying a good start to 2009! We spent Jan 2nd visiting Arrowtown, a little town just north of Queenstown. It had a very wild west feel, probably as it was originally a gold mining settlement...has actually only been there since 1860!

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Had a wander round the original Chinese gold miners settlement for a bit of culture and then set off on one of the walking trails which leads out of the town into the 'bush'. We thought we were on the Arrow river trail (a 40 min meander by the river) but ended up climbing higher and higher and eventually realised we were on the perilous Sawpit Gully trail! Good views over the Arrow River but decided to turn back before certain death and as we were in need of coffee and a cake!

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The following day we headed south-west to Te Anau which is basically a stop on the way to Milford Sound- one of the must-see spots in NZ. Our hostel was part of a holiday park- all a bit carry on camping but served our purpose!

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Redneck Rusty Haynes here judging by the above photo, Milford Sound is amazing. The road to get through to this 1/2 horse town was only completed in 1983!! We have to drive for about 2-2 1/2 hours and literally see nothing apart from awesome country, no towns nothing! We have a stop off at Mirror Lakes which reflect the snow topped peaks in such a way it looks like staring into a silver mirror. This place is amazing, we then reach the Homer Tunnel which is where the road builders came to the foot of some massive mountains in the middle of nowhere and made the sensible choice of going straight through them!! It is a hole in the side of a mountain just about big enough for a bus to get through!

Anyway arrive at the Sound and it is quite simply stunning, we pile off the coach and onto the boat and within 5 mins we are joined by the below swimming next to us.

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We sail out into the middle of this vast inlet from the Tasmin Sea and the even though an eldritch fog has enveloped the place it has a magic feel to it, with rushing waterfalls and Seals and Birdlife.

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We sail all round this right to the point it joins the Tasmin sea then back again and get back on the Coach for the return journey which this time stops at.....Dun Dun Duuuuunnnn....The Chasm. This turns out to be a short walk through the lushest green rainforest to another amazing waterfall.

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When we get back after all the excitement the only thing that can help is a few beers! Love to you all miss you lots and will catch up soon! Russ N Cath

Posted by russncath 16:36 Archived in New Zealand Tagged backpacking Comments (4)

Queenstown

The festival that became a town!

sunny 20 °C

Well we've only been here two days but has been a rollercoaster ride already!! Was bloody raining when we arrived yesterday which was a bit miserable but fortunately it's glorious today. The town itself is a bit like Disneyland or something, all the buildings seem really new and sort of like they've been made for a film set- hard to describe. Everyone here is really cool in an outdoorsy, surfy laid-back kind of way. It definitely has a festival feel about it! So many funky little shops and bars, we're trying really hard not to spend too much money!! Found ourselves a cool bar last night and partied with a variety of random revellers- here's us drinking to the health of all of you lot back home!

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So with hideous hangovers this morning we thought we'd better take in some more of the sights and headed up to the skyline gondola. Mum there is NO WAY you could have gone on this, basically some mini cable cars whisk you up the side of the mountain, which is so steep and high. I was quite brave on the way up (as we were in the car with some other dudes) but actually cried a bit on the way down- much to Rusty's amusement! No bungee jumping for me then.

Egg here, this place is amazing at the top of the cable car the view was amazing and the mountains are aptly named! (The Remarkables)

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G and Will you need this in your life, you can do any stupid and dangerous thing you want to here and the Boarding is meant to be awesome in winter! Did a short walk round at the top through these massive Douglas Fir trees and after that had a quality bit of sitting.

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I am feeling rough from last nights revelry and will have to go outside now. Big love to you all and hope you all had a wicked New Year! Mum & Dad love you loads and I have not been arrested........Yet. xXx

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Posted by russncath 19:29 Archived in New Zealand Tagged backpacking Comments (3)

Tokyo

Crazy, sexy, cool!

sunny 8 °C

Apols that it's taken so long for us to get round to our first blog. We did start this entry in Tokyo but the computer kept typing in Japanese which made Rusty rather too cross to continue! Anyway we loved Tokyo- hotel was really plush, and the view was fantastic, as modelled here by ugly doll:

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We did lots of wandering and taking in the sights of the city, it's all really modern as you'd expect and Rusty described the buildings as 'sexy' which I think means they were very tall and shiny looking! Whilst it's really busy the streets are so wide and clean that it feels quite peaceful walking around. (Apart from the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world- see pic below, and a couple of shopping areas we went to, one which was just like the Laines in Brighton only super super cooooool and another which was nine floors of Boutiques which felt a bit like Afflecks palace on acid!)

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We made it to a couple of shrines which are hidden away in the city, which were even more peaceful and gave us a chance to see some more traditional Japanese architecure. Food was great too- found an awesome little place under the railway arches near our hotel where you could have a "hot pebble" dinner which was basically rice, meat and veg and a raw egg served in an extremely hot stone bowl. (Mum don't be alarmed by the raw egg, the bowl was so hot the egg cooks as they stir all the ingredients round at your table!) The people are all really polite and you get used to the bowing after a while (the bell boys even bowed to our bus as it left for the airport!)

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So we were sad to leave but happy to be heading towards the sun (was sunny but cold in Tokyo). Even happier when we had a whole row to ourselves on the plane and actually got some sleep- hurrah. Love to you all, C&R xxx

Posted by russncath 19:11 Archived in Japan Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Getting Ready

TEST

Just getting everything together for flying out on the 26th Dec. Wanted to say thanks to everyone for two fantastic nights on the Stag & Hen dos.

Will miss all you guys!!!

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Posted by russncath 09:58 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged preparation Comments (4)

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