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Merry Christmas one and all!
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burrahobbit
Rohan


Dec 25 2012, 8:23pm

Post #26 of 37 (87 views)
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Merry Christmas and a happy new year everyone! :-) // [In reply to] Can't Post



Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Dec 25 2012, 8:43pm

Post #27 of 37 (103 views)
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While driving (or bussing?) down the West Coast, [In reply to] Can't Post

consider stopping at Okarito and taking the tour (by jet boat) down to the White Heron breeding grounds - it's a wonderful experience. If you're staying at Franz Joseph, there's a shuttle link to Okarito.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Dec 25 2012, 9:53pm

Post #28 of 37 (86 views)
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Merry Christmas to all! [In reply to] Can't Post

And may you all be enjoying a wonderful holiday!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"I desired dragons with a profound desire"






Elizabeth
Valinor


Dec 26 2012, 6:41pm

Post #29 of 37 (86 views)
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Yes! We've already booked it! [In reply to] Can't Post

Not only the White Heron tour, but also the "Kiwi experience" the night before (they claim 98% probability of seeing kiwis in the wild).

We are driving from Greymouth (having arrived there by train from Christchurch), and have booked rooms in Okarito and Haast. Google claims only 3 hrs driving/day for the distances we have to cover, even on winding roads, so we expect lots of time for wildlife, walks, etc.






Join us NOW in the Reading Room for detailed discussions of The Hobbit, July 9-Nov. 18!

Elizabeth is the TORnsib formerly known as 'erather'


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Dec 26 2012, 8:43pm

Post #30 of 37 (75 views)
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Excellent! [In reply to] Can't Post

That kiwi tour sounds really interesting - I went on one on Stewart Island (across the Foveaux Strait at the bottom of the South Island) and saw them feeding on a beach, flipping over kelp to catch the insects. They really are odd birds.

If it's a stormy day when you get to Greymouth, consider driving up the road to Punakaiki to see the pancake rocks. The sea washes into these coastal rocks and during high seas, the spumes are spectacular.

When you get to Hokitika, hunt out the Jade Museum - their pieces of carved greenstone are outstanding. The prices are eye-watering so unless you see something unique there that you absolutely must have, hold off buying anything until you get elsewhere - but their work really must be seen to be believed.

At Franz Joseph there are lots of things for visitors to do, such as helicopter up to the neve of Fox Glacier (which I did) and an off-road 4WD tour around the landscape (which I wish I did).

Um, don't expect much of anything at Haast. It's nothing more than a bend in the road with a hotel and shop. However the road from Haast to Queenstown is jaw-droppingly gorgeous (second only, in my estimation, to the road from Te Anau to Milford Sound).

You'll have a blast down the West Coast. I can't wait to hear about your trip! :)

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


(This post was edited by Ataahua on Dec 26 2012, 8:44pm)


Elizabeth
Valinor


Dec 26 2012, 8:57pm

Post #31 of 37 (81 views)
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Thanks! [In reply to] Can't Post

We don't expect anything at Haast other than fairly rustic accomodations, but there are amazingly few places S of the glaciers to break the trip!

I really appreciate all your tips, and any more would be very welcome.






Join us NOW in the Reading Room for detailed discussions of The Hobbit, July 9-Nov. 18!

Elizabeth is the TORnsib formerly known as 'erather'


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Dec 26 2012, 9:29pm

Post #32 of 37 (65 views)
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Well, [In reply to] Can't Post

there's the Oparara Basin at the top of the West Coast road, but it'll be too far away for you to drive to - it's north of Karamea (which itself is way north of Westport). Its features include the Moria Gate - someone way back when on the Lands and Survey Board was a Tolkien geek.

I'm trying to remember the name of a lake, I think just south of Fox Glacier, which has a walk around it and at one point is a great stop for photographing both the lake and Mt Cook. I think the name starts with M - I've searched on a map and can't spot it. Perhaps another Kiwi TORNado will know which lake it is.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Kimi
Forum Admin / Moderator


Dec 26 2012, 9:59pm

Post #33 of 37 (64 views)
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Lake Matheson. [In reply to] Can't Post

It's the place for the classic view of Mount Cook. Of course the day we went there it was pouring with rain - not exactly unusual on the Coast. :) But it's a pretty spot even in the rain.

http://www.newzealand.com/int/feature/lake-matheson/

Cape Foulwind is a great spot for seeing (and smelling!) seals, as there's a colony there. There's also a very nice restaurant.

http://www.newzealand.com/int/feature/cape-foulwind-seal-colony/


The Passing of Mistress Rose
My historical novels

Do we find happiness so often that we should turn it off the box when it happens to sit there?

- A Room With a View


(This post was edited by Kimi on Dec 26 2012, 10:03pm)


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Dec 26 2012, 10:23pm

Post #34 of 37 (55 views)
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Kimi to the rescue. :) / [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Dec 27 2012, 12:02am

Post #35 of 37 (51 views)
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Merry Christmas tout le monde! [In reply to] Can't Post

It's Boxing Day (December 26). We are just hunkering down for a winter storm the likes of which only Rudolf could dash through... better late than never Wink


(This post was edited by SirDennisC on Dec 27 2012, 12:03am)


Lissuin
Tol Eressea


Dec 27 2012, 12:03am

Post #36 of 37 (61 views)
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Continuing Elizabeth's itinerary: [In reply to] Can't Post

I looked at our map book and the notes I kept from 2006. Highway 6 goes inland from Bruce Bay down to Lake Moeraki before it goes back to the coast and on to Haast. At first I was disappointed to leave the coast, but the road goes through the most magical forest of native trees, so tall the sun disappears, and when the car is turned off, there is not a sound to be heard expect for bird song. (Not much traffic on the South Island, thou knowst.) It was one of my favorite places, awe inspiring, similar to being among the redwoods and sequoias of California.

Then on my map I wrote the note for Haast, "Come back!" True, there is little sign of human habitation there, but it's q..u..i..e..t, with empty beaches, and the visitor centre was very interesting. The drive along the Haast River is Spectacular, as Ataahua so rightly said.

Happy trails in 2013!


Elizabeth
Valinor


Dec 27 2012, 12:45am

Post #37 of 37 (101 views)
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More thanks!// [In reply to] Can't Post

 






Join us NOW in the Reading Room for detailed discussions of The Hobbit, July 9-Nov. 18!

Elizabeth is the TORnsib formerly known as 'erather'

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