Te Anau to Picton

Picton Travel Blog

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lost Aims
I lied to you in the last blog. We weren't in a place called Wanaku - it was actually Wanaka!! Its hard getting to grips with the names over here! And we didn't hire bikes the next day either! Instead we drove down the road to a place called Puzzling World. There is a big maze here and a few illusion rooms with cool stuff in them. We amused ourselves in the illusion rooms first and then went to tackle the maze. The aim of the maze is to get to all four coloured corner towers and then back to the start again. Average time to do this in is about half an hour. We managed to get to all the towers in this time but finding our way out again was the hardest part! I took us another good half an hour at least!

After a hard earned rest we hit the road again this time heading towards the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers.
This is on the west coast of the South Island and to get there you have to drive through Mount Aspiring National Park. This is one of the most beautiful places we have seen and the difference between the west coast and everywhere else was so amazing! It seemed like we were in the tropics again with all the lush scenery. When we drove out of the park we were in a place called Haast which has a wonderful lookout over the coast.

After arriving in Franz Josef we did a bit of shopping around to find a good deal on a tour to the Glacier. There are loads of companies doing tours and treks etc. We settled on a 20 min helicopter ride which included a landing up there where you can get out and look around before you get too cold and have to set back off again! After waking up the next morning to amazing views of the mountin, we set off in our helicopter up to the glacier.
the penguins must have been expecting us
We have never been in a helicopter before and it was so good! We even got to sit in the front next to the pilot on the way! We landed and you only get about 5mins to take pics and have a look at the ice but it was so amazing!!!

After our glacier experience we set off up the west coast and although we didn't intend to, we ended up driving for about 8hrs and got all the way up to Richmond, which is just down the road from Nelson! We stopped off a couple of times on the way though for lunch and to have a go on NZ's longest swing bridge. We had been on one of these swing bridges in Thailand (Do you remember that, Rosie??? Lol) but this was alot longer and alot swingy-er! I didn't mind it too much but Adam wasn't too keen on it! We also drove through Wakefield of all places on the way, and took loads of pics! We bought a pork pie from the butchers (who was English!) and had a stroll around the place.
Water Taxi at Abel Tasman
It was alot smaller than the real Wakefield but really nice!

The next day we visited Abel Tasman National park. This park has some amazing bays and beaches which are lapped by beautiful turquiose water. You can't drive through the park, you have to get a water taxi which stops off at the various bays. We decided to do a walk along the popular coastal track which can take 5 days to walk the whole thing! We opted for the 2 1/2 hour walk instead! It was the best walk I've ever done - so pretty! If you look at the pics you would be forgiven for thinking we were in Thailand again in the hot humid sun but it was pretty cold! Perfect walking weather!

Thursday started out very nicely. We had a walk around Nelson and a spot of lunch. It was nice and sunny and warmer than it had been when we were further down south.
i'm home
In the afternoon we set of on the short drive to Blenhiem. The worst thing happened on the way. We hit an eagle. Well ok it wasn't an eagle but it was a bloody big bird of prey. It landed in the road in front of us and started to fly away from the van but didn't make it and ended up sprawled against our (already cracked) windscreen. I got out of the van and grabbed a tea towel and gently picked up the bird (which was still alive) from the middle of the road and put in some grass on the side of the road where it wouldn't get squashed by other cars. I hope the bird was ok, it was still breathing and wasn't bleeding as far as could tell - maybe it was just in shock. It was very upsetting and I felt awful for the rest of the day. We were lucky though as the windscreen held together ok.
And I guess it could have been alot worse.

The main reason to go to Blenhiem is for the wine tasting. There are around 40 wineries in the area, and all near to each other too! We hired some bikes from a guy called Nigel who also gave us some pointers on which wineries were good for certain types of wine, and a panier to carry all our bottles back with! We also met another couple who were doing the same thing and we spent a wonderful day together cycling from winery to winery and tasting lots of different wines! Lovely! We managed to get to 7 wineries, having a nice lunch and a glass of chardonnay (which I have discovered I like) in one, and 1 pub all in all. So as you can imagine at the end of the day we were slightly wobbley on our bikes and it was a good job the roads are pretty quiet around here!!!

Today (saturday) we are recovering, having a look round Blenhiem and we have just booked our ferry for tomorrow to get us over to the North Island!

Bye for now XX
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lost Aims
lost Aims
the penguins must have been expect…
the penguins must have been expec…
Water Taxi at Abel Tasman
Water Taxi at Abel Tasman
im home
i'm home
Ads is a Smooth criminal
Ads is a Smooth criminal
start of Franz Josef glacier
start of Franz Josef glacier
Puzzling !!
Puzzling !!
when you need to go...
when you need to go...
lifted with one little finger
lifted with one little finger
bloody cold !!
bloody cold !!
horrible
horrible
Trek time
Trek time
Beautiful
Beautiful
not more damn swing bridges
not more damn swing bridges
yay
yay
ive signed up
i've signed up
The split apple rock
The split apple rock
the sober start of our wine tour b…
the sober start of our wine tour …
how its made
how its made
enjoying a tipple of Sauvignon Bla…
enjoying a tipple of Sauvignon Bl…
too much walking for Ads
too much walking for Ads
yes !! another bouncing pillow
yes !! another bouncing pillow
Moo
Moo
Peggy - the one legged duck
Peggy - the one legged duck
at last a beer !!
at last a beer !!
Picton
photo by: glennisnz