Across the Ditch in 2012: A Little One Day, A Lot The Next

Thursday – a very quite day. Stu went fishing with Ann’s friend and left us to our own devices. We took full advantage of this and went to the hairdresser. And that was about it until we got home.

Stu had caught a nice rainbow trout and had a good day out.

P1000279 P1000277We had thought we might get to Hokitika Gorge but didn’t make it. Maybe tomorrow.

We made some bookings for activities and accommodation for the next few days, and that was it. Sometimes you need days like that, just to catch your breath a little. Some people think it’s a waste of holiday time. I never feel that way.

Friday was a lot more active. If we had some blank spots in yesterday’s calendar, we made up for them today.

We started by picking up our hire car in Greymouth and visiting Shantytown – an open air museum which is something I always enjoy. I think we could have spent quite a bit more time there but we managed to see most of the buildings and ride the steam train.

Our efforts at panning for gold produced a few tiny flecks that won’t quite pay for our holiday. Better luck next time.

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Back down to Hokitika for lunch and then up to the airport for our scenic flight over the glaciers and around Mt Cook. The words outstanding, spectacular, beautiful, amazing and on and on would never tell you how much we enjoyed this. I don’t usually post links to commercial sites but I really want to share this one with you. If you’re visiting that part of New Zealand I can’t recommend it highly enough. One of the best tours we’ve ever done. Anywhere.

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We originally intended to do a helicopter flight over the glaciers but so glad we changed our minds and took this fixed wing flight with Wilderness Wings. The helicopters looked like mosquitoes on the glaciers below us. Though they might have got a closer view, we think that dollar for dollar and time spent we got the better deal.

I’ve limited the number of photos. I really have, I promise. It was hard and I’ve culled some beautiful scenery but there’s still so many. So I’m posting them in a smaller format.

We also took the added option of a high country landing at a private airfield.

Our pilot, Ben, has such a passion for the mountains and gave a wonderful commentary throughout. The landing at Manuka Point Lodge was fabulous and we were greeted with freshly cooked pikelets and muffins, tea and coffee and enjoyed a couple of drinks as well. So isolated … lovely and peaceful.

Flying back to Hokitika you can easily see how the braided rivers get that name. And again we’ve seen how much dryer the east is compared to the west.

The day ended with another failure … we still haven’t been to Hokitika Gorge. Maybe tomorrow on our way out.

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