November 28th, 2007:

Nearly Dun

Last night we stayed in Dunedin and during the day we visited a penguin sanctuary that allowed you to get close to the Yellow Eyed Penguins due to the network of tunnels they had built for viewing and we also did the Cadbury World tour.

Back last Tuesday we left Franz Josef and headed for Wanaka where we decided to have a relaxing day following a long drive and we enjoyed a meal over the banks of Lake Wanaka.  The next morning we visited the brilliant Puzzling World and enjoyed the maze and the puzzle rooms.  It was great fun.

After Wanaka we headed south to Te Anau where we crossed the famous Crown Ridge Road where you cross the highest public road in the entire country. We stayed at a small cottage on a farm just outside the centre of town and Kathryn was excited to be able to feed the pet sheep.

We had a second night in Te Anau and on the morning of the second day we took a bus tour to Milford Sound but on the way stopping for a strenuous mountain walk and a few other sights. We then had a boat trip around NZ’s most famous fjord, Milford Sound. Despite the weather it was spectacular and a lot like being back in Alaska. Slight problem was when we reached the end of the fjord and out into the open Tasman Sea where my seasickness really kicked in with a few big waves. This after I got soaked when the boat sailed under a waterfall – my fault really, they did say we’d get wet but I didn’t realise to what extent!

From Te Anau we headed back up to Queenstown, adventure sports capital of NZ and the weather really brightened up for us. It was shorts weather for the next few days.

In Queenstown we took the gondola up to the mountains above the town and road the Luge ride which was great fun for such a simple ride. The views were spectacular and you could see one of QT’s famous Bungy jumps. The next day we road the famous Shotover River Jetboat which gets you very close the the canyon rocks at great speeds. The wind was bitter and Kathryn got brain freeze but it was amazing fun and we seriously considered having a second go. We also went along to see one of the other larger bungee sites. I wasn’t tempted but Kathryn considered having a go. I suggested we sky dive instead but in the end we did neither. There is so much to do in QT you really could do a different activity every day for weeks.

From here we headed east on our final stretch and thats when we ended up in Dunedin. We are now in Oamaru where we plan on seeing the Blue Penguins as the come ashore tonight. This could be our last blog from NZ as we’re heading up to Christchurch tomorrow before flying home on Friday.