A Travellerspoint blog

Greymouth and the TranzAlpine

goodwill reigns...

snow 0 °C

Randomly met a couple in Franz Josef at the pub during happy hour. We got talking, explaining that we're heading to Greymouth for a ride across the South Island on the train. The girl came from Greymouth and works in a cafe there - told us to go and ask after her boss, Julie. So we did! Two double eggs benedict later and some free sausage rolls for the journey and Julie saw us right! Amazing goodwill! We have to say that wherever we've been in NZ, the service has always been with a smile - people generally interested in your day and take time to talk, without compromising service for others.

Sad to hand back the 4 x 4, however was the right choice to take the train. The weather was indeed starting to close in and it was snowing lightly during the trip. The train goes through the mountains, up tunnels, round cliff edges and through deep gorges - really quite spectacular. Arrived in Christchurch to the impending weather panic.... we're safe and warm and that's what counts.

Posted by peterzoe 22:37 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Franz Josef Glacier

Fingers crossed we should escape the Antarctic blast....

all seasons in one day 10 °C

Asked a million people today about the weather and seems we should beat it but then meet it at Christchurch...... The coastal road up the west coast is low (and the blast is coming in from South East) and the Tranzalpine train is hardly ever cancelled. Anyway....

Franz Josef turned out to be a little hidden gem... beautiful drive along the coast, really friendly people upon arrival, warm rainy afternoon, spectacular sights of the glacier and of a pair of Kea parrots to finish off the day.... oh, and happy hour and an apple & blackberry crumble ;-)

Posted by peterzoe 02:24 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Swimming with the Dolphins in Milford Sound

We had them with us for nearly 20 mins!

sunny 9 °C

Posted by peterzoe 01:34 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Moeraki

semi-overcast 8 °C

Drove west to east coast 3.5 hours today to see the Moeraki Boulders just north of Dunedin only to arrive at high tide! D’oh! Nothing we could do about it, I guess, and we did capture some of them, but got soaked climbing them. The coast was not dissimilar to the North York’s coast on a sunny day and so we drove down the coastal road and right out to the very eastern tip of the Otago Peninsular to spot the Albatrosses – unfortunately got there too late to seem them nesting though. Think we may have seen our first possum (known as New Zealand’s natural speed bumps) as we’re writing this blog in the car on the way back. (We’ve had a very comfortable ride in our Suburu Forrester 4x4, which may see me eat my words a few years into the future!)

Well… not sure what’s going to happen over the next couple of days. The weather report is for a 1 in 62 year Antarctic blast!!!!!!! This potentially poses us a slight logistical challenge as we head north to Franz Joseph Glacier and up to Greymouth for the TranzAlpine Express train to Christchurch – wish us luck!!! (Glad we booked the 4x4!)

Posted by peterzoe 01:14 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

The Sydney Morning Herald headline

“British Welfare State has bred a feral underclass” and the only topic of conversation on New Zealand radio and TV news is how soft the police and the courts are on the rioters. Their political commentary sees Cameron as talking tough but not acting enough on those who exit the courts smiling! It’s all rather embarrassing.

Posted by peterzoe 01:13 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

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