Rab & Lesley's Big Trip

Days 33 to 42 - Waihi to Wanaka

Day 33 - 2nd January 2016
New Plymouth

Travelling again. Rain started about 48 hours ago and hasn't stopped.
Somewhere on the road between Waihi (Y'hee) and New Plymouth

Our brief sight of the sea on the 'coast' road to New Plymouth
We came to New Plymouth to see Mt Egmount but it has been whited out by the weather and is nowhere to be seen The sun is expected to make an appearance sometime tomorrow afternoon

Day 34 - 3rd January 2016
Rainy Drive to Wellington

Weather has not been kind. We had no sighting of mount Egmont or to give it its proper name Mount Taranaki, it was still lost in the cloud cover.
The drive to Wellington was in driving rain (misnomer as no-one wants to drive in it) and was heavy with traffic that often came to a crawl. So no pictures taken today and its just taken me 40 minutes to get a connection to the web.
However Hobbit / Lord of the Ring fans might be interested in these two from yesterday.
A ridge supposedly used in filming the Hobbit

And I think this was used in Lord of the Rings when Aragorn was lost in a battle with Wargs

Apologies for poor quality- weather and no proper editing facility

Day 35 - 4th January 2016

Now in Wellington and the sun is back but one sunny harbour looks much like any other so we went to a museum
We went to the 'Our Gallipoli' exhibition at the Te Papa Museum
These models were twice live size. The detail and the anguished expression added much poignancy to the displays

Day 36 - 5th January 2016
Picton to Nelson, South Island

After the Ferry crossing from Wellington to Picton we are now in Nelson
View as we approached Picton

Looking back on the channel we had just come down

On the drive nearing Nelson

Shore at Nelson - its a long way if you want a paddle

Our room for tonight is on the right so maybe a spot of bird spotting with the 300mm while supping a glass of red on the balcony

Day 37 - 6th January 2016
Nelson to Greymouth

Again fabulous scenery but impossible to capture on camera without causing an obstruction on the road (and risking life & limb)
Taken from the Iron bridge on the Buller River

The shore north of Greymouth

Crop of the above showing that it is not just cloud in the distance but snow covered peaks (that we will be driving through in a camper in a few days time

Mailboxes. Is it just my imagination or does anyone else see comic storm troopers?

Day 38 - 7th January 2016
Transalpine train from Greymouth to Christchurch

The sky did not look too promising!

I can't say with certainty where any of these were taken - Suffice to say en route...

Day 39 - 8th January 2016

Email from my website host advising all sites being moved to new servers so there might be a few hiccups (hiccoughs) viewing my pictures at some time over the next few days/weeks
Mrs D in the Botanic Gardens

The Cathedral that was destroyed in the earthquake

A Church just a few hundred yards away that survived - as the Deacon said to us "it's wooden"

I was surprised by just how much of the city was damaged in the quake but they cleared the worst and built a shipping container Mall to keep the commercial interest going while they rebuild. There's even two banks operating from containers!

The Millennium Chalice in Cathedral Square

And finally - Punting on the Avon river that flows through the city

Day 40 - 9th January 2016
Arthur's Pass

First for me. Using my phone to provide a wifi hotspot for the laptop. Worked first time.
Home for the next 12 days

En Route to Arthur's Pass

Even Mrs Rab took a picture with her Sureshot!

Day 41 - 10th January 2016
Franz Josef Glacier

Camped close to the Franz Josef Glacier and hope to take a trek up there in the morning
Lets start with one from last night after I had posted for the day
A Kea dropped by and raided the rubbish from the site next to our van

Today en route from Arthur's Pass to Franz Josef

Mrs D took this one, I was too busy gripping the steering wheel (not to mention clenching of buttocks)
Chute to take rainwater over the road, followed by a 'rock shelter' to take the rocks over and then a bridge over the gorge - all after coming down a 1 in 5 series of z bends....

And for the wildlife fans - a little Damsel

Day 42 - 11th January 2016
Franz Josef Glacier

Where we camped last night was very quiet apart from the wind which we thought might tip the van, which was a pity because it was a clear night and our first good view of the southern stars - brilliant but too windy to get a steady shot of the sky
Our first view of the Glacier

Close up of the head of the Glacier

We then drove south towards Wanaka
View from Knight's Point lookout on the Haast Coastal Highway

Mount 'Something' poking above the clouds

I think this was in Haast Pass

The north end of Lake Wanaka as seen from our campsite

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