A Travellerspoint blog

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Day 51 New Zealand - South Island - Franz Josef (+12 GMT)

sunny 16 °C

Having thought we would wake up early, we managed to sleep until 9:30! When we opened the campervan door we had a beautiful view of a mountain covered in fir trees. After an obligatory cooked breakfast (Sausage and Mushroom sandwiches) we continued north-west to Kumara and then turned south onto the 6 going along the coastline heading towards the Franz-Joseph glacier.

We stopped at Hokitika to lie on the beach for a while, however we found out the sea comes in very rapidly and very nearly got soaked!

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We stopped to make afternoon tea at Ianthe lake. The views were stunning and the water was very clear.

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After the cold weather last night, we booked into a much plusher campsite at Franz Josef with showers, a tv room, internet, cookers, toasters and a microwave. It also has a power supply so tonight we can have light and plug in the fan heater if we need it.

Posted by RobBuckley 03:31 Archived in New Zealand Tagged round_the_world Comments (1)

Day 52 New Zealand - South Island - Queenstown (+12 GMT)

sunny 16 °C

We were up for a 11am hike up Fox Glacier, the views from the van were snow capped mountains, and the weather was great. After a 15 min bus journey from the Fox resort, we had a 90 walk up many steps through the bush (it was rain forest) until we put on crampons, grabbed our poles and went out on the ice. The guide spoke about how glaciers were formed and how new and quick growing the one we were on was. We walked with a group of 11 other people, a mix of US and Australian students, and Australian, polish and South African couples.

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We arrived back at 4.45 and set off to our next camp just south of Queenstown, called Nine Mile Delta stopping at x for a burger on route. the roads were quite winding and mountainous and we got to the campsite about 11.30.

Posted by RobBuckley 03:56 Archived in New Zealand Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Day 53 New Zealand - Oamaru (+12 GMT)

sunny

We woke up this morning to sunny skies and a beautiful lakeside view.

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After a leisurely breakfast of bacon and scrambled eggs we set off for Oamaru. We headed west to Palmerstown and then north along the coast. We stopped to stretch our legs at Moeraki beach, famous for it's boulders.

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At Oamaru, we headed for the yellow-eyed penguin colony, one of the rarer varieties. We saw 5 or 6 on the beach through binoculars, but as they are very shy, you can't get any closer. (Not quite like Boulders Beach in South Africa where I nearly trod on one!)

Posted by RobBuckley 03:57 Archived in New Zealand Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Day 54 - New Zealand - Christchurch (+12 GMT)

sunny

Another beautiful sunny day, not a cloud in the sky.
We continued driving north, stopping in Timaru and sitting on the beach for a while.

This side of the island has much more traffic than the West Coast and the roads are long and straight. We eventually reached Christchurch as the sun was setting. We went to the cinema to watch Clash of the Titans and then out to dinner to sample some New Zealand lamb (Rob's note: I had the pork roll and couldn't eat it all).

Posted by RobBuckley 03:59 Archived in New Zealand Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Day 55-61 Fiji - Treasure Island (+12 GMT)

sunny 30 °C

We returned the campervan this morning and headed for Christchurch airport. The flight to Nadi in Fiji was nearly 4 hours. from the airport we got a taxi to Vuda marina and got the high speed transfer boat to the island along with Graeme, the general manager, his wife and two children. Graeme was not too happy that we had to make our own way to the marina, and offered us a lift on the boat, 2 hours earler than our scheduled transfer. (They are originally from New Zealand and his wife had visited New Zealand to have a piece of (wine) glass removed from her hand).

The republic of Fiji consists of more than 300 islands. Treasure Island is a 14.5 acre white coral and sand fringed atoll about 17 kilometres from Nadi International Airport.

We have a beachfront bure (62), it's 4 paces to the hammock, 17 paces to the beach, and another 12 to the sea. The weather was forecast to be rainy and cloudy for the week, so we were quite pleased the rain was minimal on our first day. and then cleared up for the next 4 days. Resting in the double hammock just outside our bure and snorkelling seem to be the order of the day.
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Hawksbill Sea Turtles (an endangered species) are reared in captivity the island for 12 months. Once they are mature enough to survive in the wild they are tagged and released. The island also has a sanctuary for the Fiji Crested Iguana.

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There is plenty of wildlife around from flightless Banded Rails, to parrots landing in the trees above your hammock to a group of 6 black tipped baby reef sharfs that circled us in the water as we sat in the warm shallow water.

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Whilst snorkelling, we saw mainly brightly coloured fish including a small stingray and numerous blue starfish.

We hired a kayak for a couple of hours and paddled over to the sandbank and a quick visit to Beachcomber Island. The walk around the beach took about 6 minutes, so we just had time for a frozen cocktail before paddling home.

We watched a Fijian Kava ceremony and tasted the Kava which is made from the same plant they make paper from, it's quite strange and makes your tongue go numb, and yes it does taste like paper. The nights entertainment was made up of local dances and music.

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The rest of the week will be made up of the daunting tasks of deciding whether to lie on the beach, in a hammock, snorkel or kayak......

Each day at 10:15 a boat departs for coral viewing and fish feeding - the fish are so used to being fed that they actually eat out of your hand.

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Posted by RobBuckley 04:14 Archived in Fiji Tagged round_the_world Comments (5)

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