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Hotel Kebun Mawar Situhapa, Garut

Kalo ke Garut, nginap deh di Hotel Kebun Mawar Situhapa, recommended banget deh. Asik banget tempatnya. Dinding dan lantai hotel terbuat dari kayu. Suasana dalam hotelnya enak, suasana di luar hotel juga asik karena hotel ini terletak di tengah-tengah kebun bunga. Kebun bunganya luas banget (luas tanah 5 HA). Kalo lagi berbunga semua pasti indah sekali. Sayang sekali kemarin waktu kami nginap di situ hanya beberapa aja yg berbunga, tapi tetap asik sih suasananya karena semuanya serba hijau & segar udaranya. Udaranya cukup dingin (terutama di malam hari), so jangan lupa bawa baju hangat ya.

Jika nginap bersama keluarga atau teman-teman, lebih baik pilih type kamar magnolia, karena magnolia adalah 1 rumah yg terdiri dari 2 lantai, 3 kamar, 2 kamar mandi, & 2 ruang keluarga. Ruang keluarga lantai 2 (yg ada sofanya) sangat asik utk dipakai ngumpul bersama keluarga atau teman-teman untuk main kartu atau nonton TV atau sekedar ngobrol.

Magnolia berada pada titik utama kebun, dengan pemandangan langsung ke hamparan kebun bunga.

Detail kamar Magnolia (2 lantai):

lantai 1:

  • 1 kamar
  • 1 kamar mandi (di dalam kamar).
  • 1 ruang ruang keluarga (meja & kursi)

lantai 2:

  • 2 kamar
  • 1 kamar mandi (di luar kamar)
  • 1 ruang ruang keluarga (sofa, meja makan, TV)
  • 1 balkon (pemandangan luar: kebun bunga)

 

Foto Magnolia lantai 2:

 

Foto Magnolia lantai 1:

 

Foto kamar Geranium:

Foto kebun:

 

Alamat hotel: Jl. Raya Kamojang KM. 5, Garut, Jawa Barat 44161.

Pesan ke hotel : 085100706006 / 0811247057 / 085101817148. Atau bisa juga pesan lewat agoda.com.

Informasi lainnya (& foto-foto lainnya) bisa dilihat di site ini: http://www.kebunmawar.com/

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2017 in travel

 

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New Zealand trip, sleep at holiday parks (cheaper than hotel)

In my New Zealand trip, I have slept in campervan (in holiday park), rented room (in holiday park), and in hotel. Among those 3 choices of accommodation, the cheapest one is campervan, and the most expensive one is hotel. Rented room in holiday park is cheaper than hotel but more expensive than campervan.

Holiday parks are equipped to please a wide range of people for a minimal cost.

Holiday parks provide rented room (motels, units, cabins, etc). Holiday parks also provide sites (powered sites & non-powered sites) for campervans, caravans, motorhomes, tents, etc.  

If you need electricity in your campervan (for keeping the fridge on, or charging your cell phone, etc) you need to park your campervan at powered sites of holiday park so that you can connect the power cord from your campervan to the power source.

Holiday parks facilities vary from one holiday park to another holiday park. Some holiday parks have complete facilities, some holiday parks have only several kinds of facilities. These are some facilities that you can find in holiday parks: shared kitchen & dining room, shared bathroom (showers & toilets), laundry room, games room, children playground, BBQ, swimming pool, mineral pool (hot water), spa pool, internet, etc.

If you sleep in campervan and park it in holiday park sites, you can take a bath in shared bathroom and you can cook in shared kitchen and you can eat in shared dining room. You can also use all other facilities in that holiday park (games room, TV room, laundry room, etc).

If you sleep at rented room (motel or unit or cabin), it can has its own kitchen & bathroom… or not, because it depends on what type of room you choose. Motel has its own kitchen & bathroom. Self-contained unit has its own kitchen & bathroom. Ensuite unit has its own bathroom but doesn’t have its own kitchen, so you have to use shared kitchen if you want to cook. Standard cabin has to use shared bathroom & kitchen. Kitchen cabin has its own kitchen but has to use shared bathroom. Bathroom cabin has its own bathroom but has to use shared kitchen. So you need to read or ask what facilities does the room has, before you book that room.

If you want to sleep at holiday park (at campervan or cabins or motels or etc), I highly recommend you to choose “Top 10 holiday parks”. If you cannot get top 10 holiday parks, then choose “Kiwi holiday parks”. In my opinion, “Top 10 holiday parks” is the best holiday parks, and kiwi holiday parks is the second best holiday parks. The facilities in Top 10 holiday parks are better & more complete than in kiwi holiday parks.

Top 10 holiday parks have over 45 holiday parks located throughout New Zealand, and Kiwi holiday parks have over 41 holiday parks located throughout New Zealand.

You might think “What is holiday park like?”. Well… see these photos to get you the idea of what it is like. I took these photos when I slept at several different holiday parks throughout New Zealand:

Campervan parking site (at powered site):

my sister wanted to connect power cord from campervan to power source

connects the power source to campervan using power cord

campervan (seat turns into bed)

 

Rented room (with its own bathroom & its own kitchen & TV):

 

Shared bathroom (showers & toilets):

 

Shared kitchen & dining room:

 

Laundry room:

 

Children playground:

 

Games room:

 

BBQ:

 

Swimming pool:

 

Mineral pool (hot water):

 

Spa pool:

 

For more detail information see these sites:

Top 10 holiday parks: https://top10.co.nz/

Kiwi holiday parks: https://www.kiwiholidayparks.com/

 

Previous New Zealand trip posts:

New Zealand trip, where to go

New Zealand trip, tips and tricks

New Zealand trip, travel with campervan 

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2017 in new zealand, travel

 

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New Zealand trip, travel with campervan

A road trip is the best way to explore the beauty of New Zealand’s very diverse landscapes (The NZ South Island landscapes are amazing!), as you can cover many of its highlights over the course of short time. The best way to travel around New Zealand is by campervan and I also recommend you to sleep at that campervan. The reasons are:

  • If you sleep at campervan, you are pretty flexible with your schedule and can rearrange things if needed. For example: you planned to stay at certain place of interest for 1 day, but when you arrive at that place you want to stay there for 2 days (because you like the place), so you can just change your plan easily because you sleep at campervan. But if you have booked a hotel room or holiday park’s rental room (instead of sleeping in campervan) then you cannot change your plan because you have to be at the hotel (or holiday park’s rented room) at the date you have planned if you don’t want to lose your booking money (in other words, you need to stick to your planned schedule, if you have booked a room).
  • It’s more fun to travel by campervan and sleeping in a campervan
  • Sleeping in campervan is cheaper than sleeping in a hotel or in holiday park’s rented room.

If you plan to sleep in campervan, you need to park your campervan in a holiday parks sites because you are not allowed to park anywhere you like (such as on the side of the road or at other not supposed place). If you park somewhere you’re not supposed to be, you’ll very likely have an encounter with a policeman, not to mention a hefty fine.

In holiday park:

  • you can park your campervan in “powered sites” or in “non-powered sites”.
  • you can take a bath in public bathroom (shower & toilet room).
  • you can cook at public kitchen and eat at public dining room.

To know more about holiday parks, read it at this post New Zealand trip, sleep at holiday parks (cheaper than hotel) .

You’d better rent a campervan from a good company. You need to choose which campervan is suitable for your need because there are many types of campervan. These are some types of  campervan:

  • “powered campervan” or “non-powered campervan”
  • for 2 people or 4 people or 6 people.
  • Toilet or without toilet.
  • some have these equipments and some don’t have: fridge, microwave, stove.
  • Etc

I recommend you to choose “powered campervan”. If you choose “powered campervan”, then when you want to sleep and park the campervan in holiday park (in the powered site), you can connect the external power cord from your campervan to the power source in powered sites of the holiday park. By doing that, you will have electricity in your campervan so that you can keep the fridge on, charge a cell phone, laptop, camera or even use a hair dryer. If you have raw meat in your fridge, you need to keep the electricity on. That’s why it’s important that you rent a “powered campervan”.

We used Britz campervan in our trip. You can see several types of campervan on this Britz site

This was the campervan that we used in our trip:

my sister wanted to connect power cord from campervan to power source

connects the power source to campervan using power cord

 

Inside the campervan:

campervan (seat before turning into bed)

campervan (seat turns into bed)

campervan bed on 2 floors

campervan (put things under the seat)

kitchen equipment in the drawer of campervan

 

My other New Zealand trip posts:

New Zealand Trip, where to go

New Zealand Trip, tips and tricks

New Zealand trip, sleep at holiday parks (cheaper than hotel) 

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2017 in new zealand, travel

 

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New Zealand trip, tips and tricks

When you want to go to New Zealand, you might have these questions in your mind: what is the best time to go, where should I go, which transportation should I use, where should I sleep, what activities can I do, etc.

I’ve visited New Zealand on summer and winter season. I’ve been to south island and north island of New Zealand. So I want to share some tips & tricks that I learned during my New Zealand trip. Hopefully this tips & tricks can help you in planning your New Zealand Trip.

If you want to know about what places should you visit in New Zealand, you can go to my previous post “New Zealand trip, where to go?

These are some tips and tricks for a New Zealand trip:

1. The best time to go is on summer. The reasons are:

  • The daylight hours is long. Dawn is as early as 5 am, while dusk settles around 10 pm. So you will have a lot of time to go anywhere and do lots of things. Summer weather in New Zealand allows you to spend a lot of pleasant time outdoors. When I went on a vacation there on summer (december 2011), every day is a nice clear day (good weather, blue sky) and never rain.
  • There are lots of colorful flowers in many places (I saw lots of them in december 2011), so it’s beautiful to see.

lots of flowers along the roadside

  • You can enjoy the time outside doing this things: siting on the grass or sitting on the bench outside or sitting on the shore of the lake or do other things.

Notes for summer :
On summer season, temperatures on the South Island of New Zealand can be as low as 2 degrees Celsius (36 degrees Fahrenheit) at night and as high as 33 degrees Celsius (91 degrees Fahrenheit) during the day.

2. Don’t go on winter. The reasons are:

  • It’s dangerous to drive in winter season in New Zealand. The roads are slippery, and there is landslide at some part of the road (the landslide can hit you when you drive).
  • Some roads are closed due to snow.
  • It’s raining almost everyday (it was raining almost everyday in my winter trip), so in a lot of time you cannot see anything. New Zealand landscape (especially South Island) is amazing and very diverse, so it’s a pity if you cannot see such amazing scenery due to rain.
  • The amount of daylight hours is so short. It has around 9 to 10 hours of daylight in a day. So your activities (seeing scenery, doing outdoor activities) can only be done in a short time.
  • You cannot enjoy the time outside doing this things: sitting on the grass or sitting on the bench outside or sitting on the shore of the lake.
  • You cannot do some of outdoor activities, such as kayaking, canoeing, etc, because it’s so cold outside.

3. Minimum time to visit New Zealand is 2 weeks. Don’t visit New Zealand less than 2 weeks. Actually, even in 2 weeks, there will be several places that you don’t have the time to visit.

4. In that 2 weeks trip, just stick to the South Island. The reasons to visit South Island (instead of North Island) are:

  • South Island’s landscape is much more beautiful and more diverse than North Island’s landscape. The South Island’s scenery is breathtakingly beautiful. South Island has the best scenery of New Zealand. Because of the stunning nature of New Zealand, The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy was being filmed in New Zealand, mostly in South Island.
  • You will be covering more places in South Island than in North Island, at the same amount of time. In South Island, many places of interest are located near to each other (all within easy reach of each other), so you will be covering quite a lot of places in South Island in a short time. In North Island, the distance between one place of interest to other place of interest is quite far (compared to places in South Island), so you will be covering only a few places in North Island in a short time.
  • New Zealand has a total of 14 national parks, 9 of which are located on the South Island.
  • The 10 highest mountains in New Zealand are all located on the South Island. The highest mountain is Mount Cook. The Southern Alps run from the top of the South Island all the way down to the bottom of the South Island.
  • New Zealand has many glaciers. The 5 largest glaciers are located on the South Island.
  • Fiordland national park on the South Island is New Zealand’s largest national park, and also a large wilderness area. This area does not only have large lakes, but also tall mountain peaks and waterfalls tumbling down into the fiords. It offers some of the most spectacular scenery in New Zealand.
  • Four of the 5 largest lakes in New Zealand are located on the South Island:
  • Marlborough, which is located on the South Island, is New Zealand’s most significant wine-producing region. In addition, Central Otago on the South Island is becoming well-known for its wineries and award-winning pinot noir wines.
  • The South Island has Queenstown as the adventure capital of New Zealand.
  • The South Island is more rural than the North Island, so there are many farms and there are many sheep that you can see while you are driving. Sometimes you will also see cattle while you are driving.

For New Zealand South Island, 2 weeks itinerary/ road trip map, see my previous post “New Zealand trip, where to go?

5. A road trip is the best way to explore the beauty of New Zealand’s very diverse landscapes, as you can cover many of its highlights over the course of short time. The best way to travel around New Zealand is by campervan and also sleep at that campervan. The reasons are:

  • If you sleep at campervan, you are pretty flexible with your schedule and can rearrange things if needed. For example: you planned to stay at certain place of interest for 1 day, but when you arrive at that place you want to stay there for 2 days (because you like the place), so you can just change your plan easily because you sleep at campervan. But if you have booked a hotel room or holiday park’s rental room (instead of sleeping in campervan) then you cannot change your plan because you have to be at the hotel (or holiday park’s rental room) at the date you have planned if you don’t want to lose your booking money (in other words, you need to stick to your planned schedule, if you have booked a room).
  • It’s more fun to travel by campervan and sleeping in a campervan
  • Sleeping in campervan is cheaper than sleeping in a hotel or in holiday park’s rental room.

I recommend you to choose “powered campervan” instead of “unpowered campervan”.

For more detail about campervan, read it in this post: New Zealand trip, travel with campervan.

6. Pick up brochures and guidebooks (free of charge) on arrival at the airport or at I-SITES or at holiday parks or at car rental office. In those brochures/ guidebooks, you will find many information about New Zealand (places of interest, accommodation, maps, holiday parks, etc), and you will also find discount vouchers and/or special packages.

7. These are several things you can do that can help you minimize costs of your New Zealand vacation:

  • Use discount vouchers and/or special packages from many of the brochures/ guidebooks that you picked up at the airport or at I-SITES or at holiday parks or at car rental office.
  • Sleep at campervan, instead of sleeping in a hotel or in holiday parks’ rental room. Sleeping in campervan is cheaper than sleeping in a hotel or in holiday park’s rental room.
  • If you don’t want to sleep at campervan, you can sleep at holiday park’s rental room (cabins, units, motels). The holiday parks’ rental room is cheaper than hotel room.
  • Eat well with less money by buying your food ingredients in supermarket (SuperValue or PAKnSAVE or Countdown) instead of buying food at the restaurant. You can even eat steak everyday with a cheap price. This is how you do it: buy marinated steak in the supermarket, then cook it in the kitchen of holiday parks or hostel. When we went to the supermarket in our trip, there was a marinated lamb t-bone steak (1 pack consists of 6 slices of lamb t-bone steak) with the price of 5 new zealand dollar. So you get 6 slices of lamb t-bone steaks for 5 dollar. It’s cheap, isn’t it? If you like to eat rice often, then you had better also buy rice cooker and rice at that supermarket.

8. If you plan to sleep in campervan, you need to park your campervan in a holiday parks sites because you are not allowed to park anywhere you like (such as on the side of the road or at other not supposed place). If you park somewhere you’re not supposed to be, you’ll very likely have an encounter with a policeman, not to mention a hefty fine.

9. Holiday parks provide sites for tents, caravans and campervans and many also have simple cabins, self-contained motel units and backpackers’ lodges. If you want to sleep at holiday park (at campervan or cabins or motels or etc), I highly recommend you to choose “top 10 holiday parks”. If you cannot get top 10 holiday parks, then choose “kiwi holiday parks”. In my opinion, “Top 10 holiday parks” is the best holiday park, and kiwi holiday parks is the second best holiday parks. To know more about holiday parks, read it at this post New Zealand trip, sleep at holiday parks (cheaper than hotel) .

10. If you are a muslim, be careful when you buy a sausage, because lots of sausages in New Zealand contain some pork in it, even though it is a beef or chicken sausage. The beef or chicken sausage often is not consist of 100% beef or chicken, but it contains some pork in it. So when you buy a beef or chicken sausage in supermarket, you need to read the ingredient lists on the label on that sausage to know whether that sausage contains some pork or not.

11. See a “sheep shearing” show & “heading dog” show at The Wrinkly Rams. To know more about this, read this post New Zealand trip, where to go? part 9: Omarama “sheep shearing”.

12. Visit Jones Family Fruit Stall in Cromwell “fruit town” to buy fresh fruits. Their cherry is so sweet in summer season. To know more about this, read this post: New Zealand trip, where to go? part 8: Arrowtown, Cromwell “fruit town”.

13. Learn about New Zealand road rules before going to New Zealand. To know more about it, read it in this post: New Zealand road rules (to be written soon).

14. To know most up-to-date road condition (map and webcams of traffic conditions) go to this site: traffic and travel information or go to this site traffic information map. or ring 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 444 449). This phone service is available 24/7. From that links or phone number, you will know which road is closed, and other live traffic information.

15. For state highway road map, you can download it from these sites: state highway map 1, state highway map 2.

16. Use google maps to get an approximate travel time and distance between two points in New Zealand. If you know your travel time and distance, you can make a better plan of your New Zealand trip.

17. You can check on New Zealand weather conditions on the Met Service website. This is what you will see on that website:

To know the weather in detail for each city, click “town and cities” and choose 1 (for example choose queenstown), and you will see this:

18. The number to call if you need the Fire service, Police or an ambulance in an emergency is 111.

19. You might want to download CamperMate app on your smartphone. In that app, you will have information such as free campsites, cheap campsites, holiday parks, hostels, public restrooms, wifi, water, etc. You can download that app from this site: CamperMate  

 

My other New Zealand posts:

New Zealand trip, where to go?

New Zealand trip, travel with campervan

New Zealand trip, sleep at holiday parks (cheaper than hotel)

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2017 in new zealand, travel

 

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New Zealand trip, where to go? Final part

Before reading this post, you might want to read part 1 (road trip map), part 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13.

LAKE TEKAPO → CHRISTCHURCH, via SH 8, SH 79, & SH 1

Drive from Lake Tekapo to Fairlie via state highway 8, then from Fairlie to Geraldine via state highway 79, then from Geraldine to Ashburton via state highway 79 and state highway 1, then from Ashburton to Christchurch (final destination) via state highway 1. From Christchurch airport you can fly back to your country. End of trip.

When you’re driving from Geraldine to Ashburton, before you reach Ashburton you will find farmers corner/ highway one restaurant. In that place you can eat at the restaurant, or buy somethings in the shop, or see many flowers & alpaca animals on the outside of the building.

In the shop, they sell any kind of things, but my favorites are the animal toys. The animal toys are so great & cute (penguin, sheep, alpaca, etc). There is a penguin toy that can be transformed into a pillow. And there is a sheep toy that can be transformed into a pillow.

These photos are taken at farmers corners/highway one restaurant, on december (summer):

alpaca, farmers corners

alpaca, farmers corners

The location of farmers corner/ highway one restaurant:

We have come to the end of this series “new zealand trip, where to go?”. I hope my posts can help you in planning your New Zealand trip. Till we meet again in the next post (New Zealand trip, tips and tricks).

Have a nice day everyone 

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2017 in new zealand, travel

 

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New Zealand trip, where to go? part 13: Lake Tekapo

Before reading this post, you might want to read part 1 (road trip map), part 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,10, 11, 12.

MOUNT COOK → LAKE TEKAPO & CHURCH OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD, via SH 80 & SH 8

Drive from Mount Cook to Lake Pukaki via state highway 80. Then drive from Lake Pukaki to Lake Tekapo via state highway 8.

Lake Tekapo & Church of the good shepherd

Lake Tekapo is surrounded by rugged mountains, wide open skies, tussock vegetation, and at times, brightly colored lupins.

Picturesque by day and dazzling by night, Lake Tekapo is part of UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, making it the perfect spot for stargazing.

Lake Tekapo has been ranked one of the best spots in the world for stargazing. Most of the areas in the Northern Hemisphere had too much light pollution which prevented good stargazing, whereas the Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve, of which Lake Tekapo was part, had used special shields and lightbulbs for 30 years to point the light downwards in order to preserve the night sky.

Lake Tekapo (and Lake Pukaki) are my most favorite lakes in New Zealand. The view of the lakes and surrounding area are so breathtakingly beautiful. I was mesmerized by the view. The color of the lakes are turquoise (bluish-green color). Lake Tekapo gets its intense milky-turquoise color from the fine rock-flour (ground by glaciers) which is suspended in the water. The lakes looks much more impressive when you see it in person than it does in photograph or video. But you have to catch the lakes on a sunny day to get to see its mesmerizing color.

There are lots of beautiful lupin flowers on the shores of the Lake Tekapo when I was there on December (summer).

On the shores of the Lake Tekapo, you’ll see the Church of the Good Shepherd, where the altar window frames a perfect view of the Southern Alps beyond the lake.

Built as a memorial to the pioneers of the Mackenzie region, the Church has been home to thousands of weddings, and has seen more than its fair share of visitors to its grounds.

The foundation stone was laid by HRH the Duke of Gloucester, on January 15 1935. The builders of the Church were instructed that the site was to be left undisturbed, and that even the matagouri bushes surrounding the building were to remain.

Videos (Lake Tekapo & Church of the good shepherd):

video by Mark Gee

video by Fraser Gunn (beautiful night sky in the Tekapo – Mt Cook area: milkyway, aurora, etc)

Photos (Lake Tekapo & Church of the good shepherd):

Church of the good shepherd

lupin flowers on the shores of Lake Tekapo

lupin flowers on the shores of Lake Tekapo

lupin flowers on the shores of Lake Tekapo

we slept here, in front of Lake Tekapo

in front of Lake Tekapo

we had breakfast here, in front of Lake Tekapo

 

To be continued to New Zealand trip, where to go? Final part

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2017 in new zealand, travel

 

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New Zealand trip, where to go? part 12: Mount Cook

Before reading this post, you might want to read part 1 (road trip map), part 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10,11.

LAKE PUKAKI → MOUNT COOK, via SH 80

Drive from Lake Pukaki to Mount Cook via state highway 80.

MOUNT COOK

Mount Cook is the highest mountain in New Zealand.It lies in the Southern Alps, the mountain range which runs the length of the South Island.

Mount Cook and it’s surrounding alpine peaks were used as backdrop while filming the movie “The Hobbit”.

There is a village at the base of Aoraki/Mount Cook. The village provides a range of accommodation from an international style hotel to motels, backpackers and camping.

When staying in Aoraki/Mount Cook village, you become immersed by mountains.

To know more details read it at this link: Aoraki/Mount Cook

Video by Raw Cinematics

To be continued to New Zealand trip, where to go? part 13 (Lake Tekapo, via SH 80, SH 8)

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2017 in new zealand, travel

 

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New Zealand trip, where to go? part 11: Lake Pukaki

Before reading this post, you might want to read part 1 (road trip map), part 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,10.

LAKE OHAU → LAKE PUKAKI, via Glen lyon Rd

Drive from Lake Ohau to Lake Pukaki via Glen lyon Rd.

LAKE PUKAKI

Lake Pukaki is a glacial lake. It is the largest of three lakes (others are Lake Tekapo and Ohau) occupying ancient glacial valleys in the Mackenzie Basin.

Stunning Lake Pukaki was chosen as the filming location for Laketown in the movie “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”.

Lake Pukaki (and Lake Tekapo) are my most favorite lakes in New Zealand. The view of the lakes and surrounding area are so breathtakingly beautiful. I was mesmerized by the view. The color of the lakes are turquoise (bluish-green color). These lakes looks much more impressive when you see it in person than it does in photograph or video. But you have to catch the lakes on a sunny day to get to see its mesmerizing color.

Mount cook with snow on its peak (even on summer you can see the snow on its peak) on the background of Lake Pukaki adds the beauty to the lake scenery.

There are spectacular views of the lake on the drive on State Highway 80 to Aoraki/Mount Cook Village, and also along on the road between Twizel and Lake Tekapo Village.

Photos (Lake Pukaki):

Click the link (word with color) to see a great photo of Lake Pukaki with snow-capped Mount Cook in the background 

video by Richard Magid

To be continued to New Zealand trip, where to go? part 12 (Mount Cook, via SH 80) 

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2017 in new zealand, travel

 

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New Zealand trip, where to go? part 10: Twizel “salmon”, Lake Ohau

Before reading this post, you might want to read part 1 (road trip map), part 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.

OMARAMA → “High Country Salmon” Twizel, via SH 8

Drive from Omarama to “High Country SalmonTwizel via state highway 8.

TWIZEL

Twizel – the region’s main country town – appeared in movie of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy as the location for the Pelennor Fields. This was the largest scene filmed in the Trilogy with over 1500 actors and crew involved. Twizel was also being used as filming location of The Hobbit movie.

“High Country Salmon” Twizel

I recommend you to stop at “high country salmon” (salmon farm) to purchase fresh salmon. You can eat the salmon in the restaurant or take it with you to the hotel or car or wherever you want to eat it. Their sashimi (fresh raw salmon fish sliced into thin pieces) and their smoked salmon are very delicious. I love their sashimi and smoked salmon. You can also feed the fish in high country salmon.

To know more detail, go to their site: high country salmon.

Open: 8.00am – 6.00pm
Phone: T: 0800 400 385. M: 021 400 385
Address: State Highway 8, Twizel

Photos (High Country Salmon, Twizel)

*********************************************************************************************************************************************************************

“High country salmon” Twizel → Lake Ohau, via Glen lyon Rd

If you want, you can go to Lake Ohau after visiting high country salmon because its location is near to high country salmon. Drive from “high country salmon” Twizel to Lake Ohau via Glen lyon Rd.

LAKE OHAU

Lake Ohau is a glacial lake in the Mackenzie Basin of New Zealand’s South Island. It is fed by the Hopkins and Dobson rivers, which have their headwaters in the Southern Alps, and has its outflow in the Ohau River.

Lake Ohau is the smallest of three roughly parallel lakes running north-south along the northern edge of the Mackenzie Basin (the others are Lake Pukaki and Lake Tekapo).

To be continued to New Zealand trip, where to go? part 11 (Lake Pukaki, via Glen lyon Rd) 

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2017 in new zealand, travel

 

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New Zealand trip, where to go? part 9: Omarama “sheep sheering”

Before reading this post, you might want to read part 1 (road trip map), part 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

CROMWELL → OMARAMA, via SH 8, stop at Wrinkly Rams “sheep shearing” show

Drive from Cromwell to Omarama via state highway 8.

Lindis Pass

When you are driving from Cromwell to Omarama via state highway 8, you will see stunning scenery (Lindis Pass) in front of you, and also on the left and right of the road. I don’t have a good photo of Lindis Pass, but you can see a great photos of Lindis Pass from this person: Lindis Pass photo 1, Lindis Pass photo 2.

The Wrinkly Rams “sheep shearing” show & “heading dog” show

Want to buy the finest Merino garments? or want to see a “sheep shearing & heading dog” show? Just go to the Wrinkly Rams. The Wrinkly Rams is located on twizel-omarama road.

Merino wool is the exquisite, finely spun fiber from the Merino sheep, practically beyond reproach when it comes to insulating the body from the cold—and incredibly, the heat, even when it’s wet.

In the wrinkly rams shop, they sell merino wool products. They wrote this in their shop site: “Not to mention we are the area’s only stockist of Icebreaker pure merino garments and sportswear, as well the RM Williams brand of clothing and accessories”.

To see the products that they sell in the shop you can see it in this site: wrinkly ram shop.

It’s very interesting to see “sheep shearing” show & “heading dog” show, at the Wrinkly Rams.

In “sheep shearing” show, you will see a professional shearer doing the shearing process to a live sheep on the stage.The sheep will transform from a woolly sheep to a shorn sheep, using both modern and traditional methods of shearing.

In “heading dog” show, you will see dogs that use its visual prowess and quick movement to control sheep.The dog will brings a mob of sheep together from out on the farm and gets them to go into a special pen.

Showtimes vary throughout the day, so before you go there, call the wrinkly rams to check when their next show starts.

Video of heading dog show at Wrinkly Rams:

Photos of sheep shearing show at Wrinkly Rams:

heading dog and the sheep

 

Location & Phone of the Wrinkly Rams:
Phone: +64 3 4389751 .Fax: +64 3 4389731
Address: 24-30 Omarama Ave, Omarama

For more detail information, go to these sites:
http://www.thewrinklyrams.co.nz/show.htm
http://www.thewrinklyrams.co.nz/findus.htm

To be continued to New Zealand trip, where to go? part 10: Twizel “salmon”, Lake Ohau

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2017 in new zealand, travel

 

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New Zealand trip, where to go? part 8: Arrowtown, Cromwell “fruit town”

Before reading this post, you might want to read part 1 (road trip map), part 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.

QUEENSTOWN → ARROWTOWN, via Gorge Rd-Malaghans Rd or via SH 6

You have a choice of two routes:

Route choice 1: drive from Queenstown to Arrowtown via Gorge Rd-Malaghans Rd. This is a scenic route passing the entrance to Coronet Peak.It takes you over the historic Shotover Bridge and through Arthur’s Point. Shotover jet boating (water adventure) was also located on this route. Stop at shotover jet if you haven’t go there when you are in Queenstown

Route Choice 2: drive from Queenstown to Arrowtown via state highway 6.

ARROWTOWN

Things to do & see in Arrowtown:

Arrowtown Village
Arrowtown Chinese Settlement
Took your picture at “Old Fashioned Costume Photography studio”
( https://www.facebook.com/oldfashionedcostumephotographyarrowtown )

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ARROWTOWN → CROMWELL “fruit town”, via SH 6 & SH 8

Drive from Arrowtown to Cromwell via state highway 6 and state highway 8.

CROMWELL “FRUIT TOWN”

Cromwell’s major industry is fruit growing. If you’re here over summer, roadside fruit stalls are a delicious temptation.

I recommend you to visit Jones Family Fruit Stall in Cromwell. They have lots of very fresh fruits. My favorite is the cherry. When I bought the cherry at Jones fruit stall on summer, it was sweet & the price was cheap, but when I bought it on winter the price was quite expensive and the taste were a little sour (maybe because the cherry’s season is on summer).

Fresh fruit availability at Jones fruit stall from december to november:

to know the varieties of fruit at Jones Family Fruit Stall go to this site

Jones Family Fruit Stall address: Suncrest Orchard Ltd • PO Box 19 • Cromwell – Phone/Fax: +64 3 445 0275

 

Photos (Jones Family Fruit Stall, Cromwell):

To be continued to New Zealand trip, where to go? part 9: Omarama “sheep sheering” show & “heading dog” show.

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2017 in new zealand, travel

 

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New Zealand trip, where to go? part 7: Queenstown

Before reading this post, you might want to read part 1 (road trip map), part 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

TE ANAU → QUEENSTOWN, via SH 94,SH 97, SH 6

After using bus (tour bur) from Milford Sound to Te Anau, you will need to sleep at Te Anau. Then the next day, drive from Te Anau to Queenstown via state highway 94, then state highway 97, then state highway 6.

QUEENSTOWN

Queenstown is the Adventure Capital of the World. It is home to a huge choice of adrenaline activities. It was also used as one of the filming location of the movie Lord of the Rings.

The town is built around an inlet called Queenstown Bay on Lake Wakatipu, and has spectacular views of nearby mountains such as The Remarkables, Cecil Peak, Walter Peak and just above the town; Ben Lomond and Queenstown Hill.

Things to do and see in Queenstown:

Lake Wakatipu
Skyline gondola & luge
Kiwi Haka Maori culture performance (in skyline)
Water adventures : shotover jet boating, kayaking, paddleboarding, white water rafting, river surfing and sledging
Bungy jumping & Nevis Swing: AJ hackett
Skydiving: Nzone
Salmon fishing
Paragliding, parasailing
Skiing
Hiking
Biking
Glow worm
Scenic flights
Dining out at wide selection of top restaurants
Cafe, bars & clubs
Visit neighbouring towns: Arrowtown, Kingston
And many more….

Photos and videos:

Me, skydive 12000 feet (freefall at 200 km/hour), Queenstown:

 

Nevis Swing (AJ hackett):

My sister and her husband tried the nevis swing together (tandem). For you who don’t know about Nevis Swing, it is the world’s biggest swings.

Nevis swing video:

other Photos (Queenstown):

shotover jet boating

shotover jet start point

For more detail information, go to these sites:
Shotover jet: http://www.shotoverjet.com/
Bungee jumping & Nevis Swing: AJ hacket : http://www.bungy.co.nz/
Skydive: http://www.nzoneskydive.co.nz/home
Skyline gondola, luge,kiwi haka maori culture performance: http://www.skyline.co.nz/queenstown/
video: Skyline gondola & luge, Kiwi Haka Maori culture

To be continued to New Zealand trip, where to go? part 8: Arrowtown, Cromwell “fruit town”

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2017 in new zealand, travel

 

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New Zealand trip, where to go? part 6: Milford Sound

Before reading this post, you might want to read part 1 (road trip map), part 2, 3, 4, 5.

TE ANAU → MILFORD SOUND → TE ANAU, by tour bus

at Te Anau, book a “Milford Sound” package tour (for the next day) or you can book in advance when you are in your countries or in New Zealand’s other towns. But even though you book from Queenstown, you had better book the trip “te anau – milford sound – te anau” instead of “queenstown – milford sound – queenstown”. I recommend you to go to milford from te anau instead of from queenstown, so that you are not to tired of doing a long trip to milford sound. it takes you 4 hours from queenstown to milford sound, but it takes you only 2 hours from te anau to milford sound. If you go from queenstown to milford sound, you will be quite tired because of a long trip from queenstown to milford sound. Included in the tour package: bus from Te Anau to Milford Sound and back to Te Anau, lunch, and Milford Sound boat cruise.

MILFORD SOUND

Rudyard Kipling called Milford Sound the eighth Wonder of the World.

Milford Sound is a fiord. Milford Sound is a body of water carved out by a network of glaciers that once flowed to the sea. What’s left behind is a sea flooded inlet of water surrounded by staggeringly steep cliff walls. Glaciers once carved a path through this ancient, lush rainforest. Located on the remote, pristine southwest coast of New Zealand’s South Island, Milford Sound lies within the World Heritage area of Fiordland National Park.

Milford Sound’s raw natural beauty has inspired poets, painters and authors. Visitors travel from all of over the world to witness its staggering beauty on a clear day.

Milford Sound is by far the best scenery I’ve ever seen.The scenery took my breath away. I was blown away by the view. It was breathtakingly stunning! so spectacular! It’s difficult to describe the beauty of Milford Sound. Milford Sound scenery looks much more impressive when you see it in person than it does in photograph or video. Even professional photographers cannot adequately capture the majesty of the landscape. My photographs of Milford Sound were not good to show you the beauty of the scenery, so I searched the internet for photograph or video of Milford sound to show you the beauty of Milford Sound, but the beauty captured in those photograph and videos were nothing compared to the beauty that I saw with my own eyes. It’s 50 times more beautiful seeing it with your own eyes than in the photo or video. But you have to see Milford Sound scenery on a clear day (good weather and clear blue sky) to get to see its mesmerizing scenery.

I was so lucky when I was taking a boat cruise from Milford Sound marina to the open sea, it was on a clear day (good weather and clear blue sky) so that I was able to see a stunning scenery of Milford Sound. A person once told me that when the weather is not good, the Milford Sound scenery is not that impressive. The weather in Milford Sound is famous for its ability to change (deteriorate or improve) in a very short period of time. Milford Sound is a rainy area of New Zealand (rainfall is quite consistent around the year). When you get there, I hope that you get a good weather and clear blue sky so that you can see the mesmerizing scenery of Milford Sound.

Dolphins can occasionally be spotted in Milford Sound, as can penguins (rare). I didn’t see any dolphin or penguin, but I did see some lazy fur seals sunning themselves on rocks.

Milford Sound cruise is a “must do”. Getting out on the water is what a Milford Sound trip is all about and there’s no better way to appreciate the natural spectacle of the fiord than taking a scenic cruise. The journey from the Milford Sound marina to the open sea is a visual treat.

So you had better take a boat cruise to see the beauty of Milford Sound scenery. You can stay inside the boat or outside the boat. I highly recommend you to go outside the boat (on the boat deck) while the boat is going from Milford Sound marina to the open sea because you will see Milford Sound stunning scenery if you stay outside. You can book a Milford Sound cruise from real journeys

Important notes:

For Milford Sound tour: book ahead in high season. If you’re planning to go during the high season, particularly during a holiday weekend, be sure to book in advance. This is a popular trip and your tour may be booked full if you don’t get a chance to reserve your space in time.

In winter season, you often cannot go to Milford Sound, because occasionally the Milford road is closed due to snow.

What to pack to Milford Sound:
Sun/rain hat & rain coat
Wind jacket (coz it’s very windy)
Camera
Binoculars, if you want to keep an eye out for birds and marine life.

Photos and videos (Milford Sound):

Even though it’s 50 times more beautiful seeing Milford Sound scenery with your own eyes than in the photograph or video, these photos and videos can give you a glimpse of Milford Sound

These are some good photographs of Milford Sound scenery: photo 1, photo 2, photo 3

fur seals at milford sound

fur seals at milford sound

Video:

video by devinsupertramp

To be continued to New Zealand trip, where to go? part 7 (Queenstown, via SH 94,SH 97, SH 6)

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2017 in new zealand, travel

 

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New Zealand trip, where to go? part 5: Te Anau

Before reading this post, you might want to read part 1 (road trip map), part 2, 3, 4.

WANAKATE ANAU, via Cardrona Valley Rd, Crown Range Rd, SH 6, SH 97, SH 94

Drive from Wanaka to Te Anau via Cardrona Valley Rd, then Crown Range Rd, then state highway 6, then state highway 97, then state highway 94.

TE ANAU

The township sits on the edge of Lake Te Anau. Te Anau is the perfect place to stay when visiting Milford Sound. It is recommended that you take a night out in Te Anau, before you go to Milford Sound the next day. Guided tours to Milford Sound depart or stop at Te Anau.

Instead of driving by your car or campervan  from Te Anau to Milford Sound, it’s better that at Te Anau (or book in advance from your countries, or from New Zealand’s other town) you book a “Milford Sound” cruise package tour. Included in the tour package: bus from Te Anau to Milford Sound and back to Te Anau, lunch, and Milford Sound boat cruise. If you book it in Te Anau, you can ask information about that tour in your Te Anau hotel (if you sleep in a hotel) or in Te Anau Top 10 holiday park (if you sleep in top 10 holiday park). When you go by that tour bus, you can left your car / campervan at the Te Anau hotel or holiday park (the place you were sleeping before going to Milford Sound).

Things to do & see in Te Anau:

Lake Te Anau
Te Anau glowworm caves

Photos (Te Anau):

lots of flowers along the roadside

lots of flowers along the roadside

To be continued to New Zealand trip, where to go? part 6: Milford Sound.

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2017 in new zealand, travel

 

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New Zealand trip, where to go? part 4: Wanaka

Before reading this post, you might want to read part 1 (road trip map), part 2, 3.

FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER → WANAKA, via SH 6

Drive from Franz Josef Glacier to Wanaka via state highway 6.

WANAKA

Wanaka is a resort town situated at the southern end of Lake Wanaka. It is surrounded by mountains. This town is the gateway to Mount Aspiring National Park.

Wanaka is a beautiful place of lakes, mountains, rivers, diverse attractions, and endless activities.

Wanaka appeals to both adventure lovers and relaxation-minded travelers. This town is the perfect place for every type of tourist wishing adrenaline-pumping experience, or family friendly activities, or a romantic experience.

Things to do & see in Wanaka:

Mt Aspiring National Park
Lake wanaka
Lake hawea
Puzzling world
(bizarre buildings, rooms of illusion, and the world-famous Great Maze).
National transport and toy Museum
(One of the largest private collections in the world, with over 600 vehicles, 15 Aircraft, over 60,000 toys and 1,000’s of miscellaneous items).
Warbirds & Wheels museum
(world-class collection of classic and vintage automobiles & military aircraft).
Learn to fly a plane.
(The company will offer you for trial flight of 20 min, 30 min, and more, over some of the beautiful scenery in New Zealand. My sister tried to fly a plane in Wanaka).
walking, hiking, mountain biking.
horse trekking
canyoning
trout & salmon fishing
skiing
jet-boating, kayaking, paddle-boarding
airborne adventures
wine-tasting
and many more…

Photos (Puzzling World Wanaka):

Roman style toilet

Never ending stairs. Try to find the top and the bottom.

An impossible building. No end to the stream. Columns make the building appear vertical. The right angles of the aqueduct make the building appear level.

A remarkable building. Note how the supporting columns on the lower level support the wrong part of the building. Also the two floors of the building are not actually parallel.

 

Study the 3 domes. Each dome is similar in appearance yet the left one is viewed from the outside, the right one is viewed from the inside and the middle ine could be viewd from either the inside or the outside.

other Photos:


For more detail information, go to these sites:
Puzzling world : http://www.puzzlingworld.co.nz/
National transport and toy museum : http://nttmuseumwanaka.co.nz/
Warbirds & Wheels museum: http://warbirdsandwheels.com/
Learning to fly an airplane : https://www.learntoflynz.com/trial-flights or http://www.u-flywanaka.co.nz/index.html

To be continued to New Zealand trip, where to go? part 5 (Te Anau)

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2017 in new zealand, travel

 

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New Zealand trip, where to go? part 3: Franz Josef Glacier

Before reading this post, you might want to read part 1 (road trip map), part 2.

HOKITIKA → FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER, via SH 6

Drive from Hokitika to Franz Josef Glacier via state highway 6.

FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER

Franz Josef Glacier is one of the largest glacier in New Zealand. Glaciers are persistent body of dense ice that is constantly moving under its own weight; it forms where the accumulation of snow exceeds its ablation (melting and sublimation) over many years, often centuries.

Things to do & see in Franz Josef Glacier:

Experience walking on glacier
See awesome glacier scenery
Glacier hot pools

The options are…taking a scenic flight by helicopter or plane over the glacier, or taking a glacier heli-hike (there is “walking on glacier” for this tour), or taking a heli-ice climb (there is “walking on glacier” for this tour), or taking a valley walk (there is “NO walking on glacier” for this tour). For the detail of each options see on this site: franzjosefglacier tour.

A guided tour is a must for walking out onto the ice (glacier). Stay with your guide on the path and follow his instructions exactly. The tour will provided you with the gears, such as jacket, boots, crampons (a metal plate with spikes fixed to a boot for walking on ice), gloves, etc.

Photos and videos (Franz Josef Glacier):

To see a glacier experience (walking on ice, etc), watch this video:

 

For more detail information, go to these sites:
http://www.franzjosefglacier.com/social/blog/what-are-crampons-and-how-do-they-get-you-to-some-of-the-most-amazing-places-on-the-planet/
http://inspiringtravellers.com/franz-josef-fox-glacier-glacier-hike-choose/
http://www.franzjosefglacier.com/http://www.franzjosefglacier.com/more-info/franz-josef-or-fox-glacier/

To be continued to New Zealand trip, where to go? part 4 (Wanaka, via SH 6)

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2017 in new zealand, travel

 

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New Zealand trip, where to go? part 2: Castle Hill, Punakaiki, Hokitika

Before reading this post, you might want to read part 1 (road trip map).

AKAROA → CASTLE HILL, via SH 75 & SH 73

Drive from Akaroa to Christchurch via state highway 75. Then drive from Christchurch to Castle Hill via state highway 73.

CASTLE HILL

You will see the awesome presence of limestone large rock formations in Castle Hill.

The rock formations of Castle Hill have always captured the eye of photographers. These limestone rock formations are the water eroded remnants of limestone formed during the Oligocene age 30-40 million years ago when much of present day New Zealand was covered by the sea.

The hill was named Castle Hill because of the imposing array of limestone boulders in the area reminiscent of an old, run-down stone castle.
Nearby Flock Hill station was the filming location of the movie “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.”

Photos and videos (Castle Hill):
I don’t have a good photo of castle hill, but this site has great photos: Castle Hill photos

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CASTLE HILL → PUNAKAIKI, via SH 73 & SH 6

Drive from Castle Hill to Greymouth via state highway 73. Then drive from Greymouth to Punakaiki via state highway 6.

On the way from Castle Hill to Greymouth, when you go through Arthur’s Pass road, you will see beautiful scenery (grassland, mountains, etc) : Arthur’s Pass scenery photos.

PUNAKAIKI

Things to see in Punakaiki: Pancake rocks & blowholes

The Pancake Rocks look like giant pancakes.They are limestone formations that began forming 30 million years ago from minute fragments of dead marine creatures and plants landed on the seabed. Immense water pressure caused the fragments to solidify in hard and soft layers. Gradually seismic action lifted the limestone above the seabed. Mildly acidic rain, wind and seawater sculpted the bizarre shapes.

Sometimes heavy ocean swells thunder into the caverns beneath the rocks and huge water spouts blast skywards through the blowholes in a truly spectacular sight.

Photos (Punakaiki):

I don’t have a good photo of the blowholes, but you can see a great sight of blowhole in this site: blowholes photo.

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PUNAKAIKI → HOKITIA, via SH 6

Drive from Punakaiki to Hokitika  via state highway 6.

HOKITIKA

If you think you don’t have much time to complete your 2 weeks trip itinerary, you can skip Hokitika, and go straight to Franz Josef Glacier.

Hokitika is greenstone capital of New Zealand. You’ll notice galleries specialising in pounamu (greenstone) jewellery and art works. The Arahura River, which enters the sea just north of Hokitika, is a traditional source of pounamu (greenstone).

Things to see in Hokitika:

Hokitika beach
Hokitika Gorge
Lake Mahinapua
Lake Kaniere

For more detail information, go to these sites:
http://www.hokitika.org/places/59/Hokitika-Gorge
http://www.hokitika.org/places/60/Lake-Mahinapua
http://www.hokitika.org/places/61/Lake-Kaniere

To be continued to New Zealand trip, where to go? part 3 (Franz Josef Glacier, via SH 6)

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2017 in new zealand, travel

 

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New Zealand trip, where to go? part 1

If you love nature or outdoor / adventure activities (including extreme activities), New Zealand is the best place for you to visit.

Maybe this question pop up on your mind “What places should I visit in New Zealand?” In this post & next several posts (part 1 up to final part), I will give you the itinerary / road trip map for 2 weeks trip on New Zealand. You can see the road trip map in the middle of this post.

There are so many outdoor / adventure activities that you can do in New Zealand, such as skydiving, bungy jumping, stargazing, kayaking, rafting, jet boating, skiing, cycling/mountain biking, surfing, hiking, horse trekking, fishing, paragliding, parasailing, etc.

The best way to explore the beauty of New Zealand’s very diverse landscapes is by doing a road trip.

Among all places that I’ve been to, New Zealand is my most favorite country, especially the South Island. I was blown away by the natural beauty of the South Island. The scenery is breathtakingly beautiful! Absolutely stunning! The South Island has extraordinary diverse landscapes of snow-capped mountains, glaciers, fjord, vast grassy plains, lakes, rivers, forest, hills, valleys, etc.

The dramatic, contrasting landscapes of New Zealand have inspired the world’s best filmmakers. Because of the stunning nature of New Zealand, The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy was being filmed in New Zealand, mostly in South Island. More than 150 locations throughout the country were used to film The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogy movie. These movies were also being filmed in New Zealand: Chronicles of Narnia, The Last Samurai, Wolverine, Vertical Limit, The Piano, King Kong.

In these videos, you will see some of stunning New Zealand scenery:

video by Raw Cinematics

video by Timestorm Films

video by Timestorm Films

On my summer trip on South Island (December), while we’re driving on the road, I loved seeing the scenery along the roadside because the landscapes were so diverse and stunning. I also loved seeing lots of lupin flowers, sheeps, and cows along the roadside.

One of my favorite scenic road is Lindis Pass. Lindis Pass lies between Cromwell and Omarama. When you are driving through Lindis Pass, you will see mountain slopes with yellow-brownish grass on that mountain slopes. The scenery at Lindis Pass is stunning, but it’s hard to describe it. It’s better you see the photograph of Lindis Pass scenery to see the beauty of it. Unfortunately I don’t have a good photo of Lindis Pass scenery, but you can see the beauty of Lindis Pass from this great photos: Lindis Pass photo 1 , Lindis Pass photo 2 .

My other favorite scenic road is the scenery from Te Anau to Milford Sound. You will see snow capped mountains, rivers, rainforest, meadow, etc along the way. The scenery is stunning. This is a great photo of one scenery that you can find on the road to milford sound: mirror lake photo .

Other stunning scenery photos of New Zealand: photo 1, photo 2, photo 3, photo 4, photo 5, photo 6.

I recommend you to spend a minimum of 2 weeks in New Zealand. If you only have 2 weeks, stick to the South Island. The reasons to visit South Island (instead of North Island) are:

    1. The South Island’s landscapes are much more beautiful and more diverse than North Island’s landscape. The South Island’s scenery are breathtakingly beautiful. South Island has the best scenery of New Zealand.
    2. You will be covering more places in South Island than in North Island, at the same amount of time. In South Island, many places of interest are located near to each other (all within easy reach of each other), so you will be covering quite a lot of places in South Island in a short time. In North Island, the distance between one place of interest to other place of interest is quite far (compared to places in South Island), so you will be covering only a few places in North Island in a short time.
    3. New Zealand has a total of 14 national parks, 9 of which are located on the South Island.
    4. The 10 highest mountains in New Zealand are all located on the South Island. The highest mountain is Mount Cook. The Southern Alps run from the top of the South Island all the way down to the bottom of the South Island.
    5. New Zealand has many glaciers. The 5 largest glaciers are located on the South Island.
    6. Fiordland national park on the South Island is New Zealand’s largest national park, and also a large wilderness area.This area does not only have large lakes, but also tall mountain peaks and waterfalls tumbling down into the fiords. It offers some of the most spectacular scenery in New Zealand.
    7. Four of the 5 largest lakes in New Zealand are located on the South Island.
    8. Marlborough, which is located on the South Island, is New Zealand’s most significant wine-producing region. In addition, Central Otago on the South Island is becoming well-known for its wineries and award-winning pinot noir wines.
    9. The South Island has Queenstown as the adventure capital of New Zealand.
    10. The South Island is more rural than the North Island, so there are many farms and there are many sheeps & cows that you can see along the roadside while you’re driving.

Some people want to go to Hobbiton movie set (in North Island), well then… my advice to you is…. you need to add 3 more days in your New Zealand trip. It means 3 days for a trip from Auckland to Hobbiton and back to Auckland then fly from Auckland to Christchurch, then start a 2 weeks trip in South Island.

You can use this service to go from Auckland to Hobbiton and back to Auckland: Hobbiton tour 1, Hobbiton tour 2.

This is the itinerary / road trip map for 2 weeks trip on South Island of New Zealand:

New Zealand South Island, 2 weeks trip’s road trip map/itinerary :
Christchurch (A) → Akaroa (B)→ Christchurch (C)→ Castle Hill (D) → Punakaiki (E) → Hokitika (F) → Franz Josef Glacier (G) → Wanaka (H) → Te Anau (I) → Milford Sound (J) → Te Anau (I) → Queenstown (K) → Arrowtown (L) → Cromwell (M) → Omarama (N) →“high country salmon” Twizel (O) → Lake Ohau (P) –> Lake Pukaki (Q) → Mount Cook –> Lake Pukaki (Q) –> Lake Tekapo & church of the good shepherd (S) –> Christchurch (A).

What you see above is the itinerary / road trip map for 2 weeks trip on South Island, that start at Christchurch and end at Christchurch. You can follow that road trip map, or modify it into a trip that “start at Queenstown and end at Queenstown”. Both Christchurch and Queenstown have airport, so you can go from your country to Christchurch airport or Queenstown airport, and then go back to your country from Christchurch airport or Queenstown airport.

In this blog I will show you the itinerary that start at Christchurch and end at Christchurch. Below the last scenery photos, you will find a more detail information about each “place of interest (town, glacier,lake, etc)” that I wrote on the road trip map above. If you want to read information about each “place of interest” that was written on the road trip map, just skip these scenery photos and jump into information below last scenery photo.

These are the scenery that I saw along the roadside of South Island on my summer road trip (December):

cow along the roadside

sheep along the roadside

lupin flower (purple) on the right of the road

lots of flowers along the roadside

 

Now, Let’s begin the road trip!

CHRISTCHURCH

From your country or from wherever you are, fly to Christchurch airport. Then spend time in Christchurch.

Christchurch is the garden city. It is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand. It is situated on the edge of the Canterbury Plains that stretch to the Southern Alps. Christchurch has a history of involvement in Antarctic exploration. Within the city, the Canterbury Museum preserves and exhibits many historic artefacts and stories of Antarctic exploration.

Things to do & see in Christchurch :

Botanic Garden (New Zealand’s largest inner-city park)
Canterbury museum
Quake city
Air force museum
International Antarctic Centre
Cathedral
The Court Theatre
The Isaac Theatre Royal

Photos (Christchurch):

For more detail information, go to these sites:
Botanic garden:
https://www.ccc.govt.nz/parks-and-gardens/christchurch-botanic-gardens
http://www.gardens.org.nz/christchurch-canterbury-gardens/christchurch-botanic-garden/
Canterbury museum: http://www.canterburymuseum.com/
Quake city: http://www.canterburymuseum.com/whats-on/quake-city/
The Court Theatre : https://courttheatre.org.nz/
The Isaac Theatre Royal : http://isaactheatreroyal.co.nz/

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When reading my statement “drive from C to D via state highway number x”, you had better see it in the “state highway map” . The state highway map will help you get the whole picture. You can download the “state highway map” from this link: state highway map 1state highway map 2.

CHRISTCHURCH → AKAROA , via SH 75

Drive from Christchurch to Akaroa via state highway 75.

AKAROA

Akaroa is the most French town in New Zealand. It was the only French settlement in New Zealand.The area still has a French influence. It is situated in the heart of an ancient volcano.

The best way to explore Akaroa is on foot. Begin at the information centre, which is on the corner of Rue Lavaud and Rue Balguerie. You’ll find brochures and maps that will help you to decide where to walk.

Things to do & see in Akaroa:

The Giants House (sculpture & mosaic garden)
Shamarra Alpaca farm
Swimming with dolphins
Seeing penguins in their natural habitat
Nature Cruise
Sea kayaking
Paddle boarding
Jet Boating
Walking/trekking/hiking round the mountain
Biking
Surfing
Fiik motorised skateboarding
Museum
Fishermans Bay Garden

Photos (Akaroa):

For more detail information, go to these sites:
Akaroa : http://www.akaroa.com/
The Giants House (sculpture & mosaic garden) : http://www.thegiantshouse.co.nz/
Shamarra Alpaca farm : http://www.shamarra-alpacas.co.nz/farm-tours/

To be continued to New Zealand trip, where to go? part 2 (Castle Hill, Punakaiki, Hokitika, via SH 75, SH 73, SH 6)

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2017 in new zealand, travel

 

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#HappyBirthdayLanaParrilla became worldwide trending topic. Yeah!

A couple days ago, Evil Regals (fans of Once Upon a Time ‘s Evil Queen/ Regina Mills/ Lana Parrilla) from all over the world, including me, were planning to trend #HappyBirthdayLanaParrilla on Lana Parrilla’s birthday (July 15, 2013). So, the trend date & time was set. We would trend it on July 15 2013, at 10:00 AM PT (Los Angeles timezone). Fans from all over the world would tweet #HappyBirthdayLanaParrilla at the same time, so every fan had to pay attention to the time of his/her country timezone. July 15 at 10:00 AM in Los Angeles = 6:00 PM (July 15)  in UK  = 3:00 AM (July 16) in Australia = 00:00 (july 16) in Jakarta (Indonesia), and at ….. in other parts of the world. Finally the trend date & time came. Fans in Los Angeles tweeted at 10:00 AM (july 15), fans in UK tweeted at 6:00 PM UK (july 15), fans in Australia tweeted at 3:00 AM Australia (july 16), I tweeted at 00:00 (july 16) Jakarta (Indonesia), and fans from other countries tweeted at their countries’ timezone. And we finally succeeded in trending it. #HappyBirthdayLanaParrilla became worldwide trending topic (in 2nd rank). Yeah!

Lana Parrilla 's birthday worldwide  trending topic

Lana Parrilla ‘s birthday worldwide trending topic

Picture’s source: frivolouswhim

 

 

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Is this smiley & expressive woman (Lana Parrilla) really the Evil Queen? (once upon a time)

Is she really the Evil Queen?  Look at her! Lana is so smiley and so expressive (look at the pictures below). She doesn’t look like the Evil Queen or the reserved Mayor Regina or the sad & crying Regina (once upon a time TV series). Lana looks like a completely different person than the Evil Queen or the reserved Mayor Regina or the sad & crying Regina. Her acting, portraying so many different versions of Regina/Evil Queen in once upon a time TV series, was so great.

If I meet her in the street I will never know that she is the Evil Queen or the reserved Mayor Regina or the sad & crying Regina, because Lana is such an outgoing person, so smiley and so expressive.

This is the smiley & expressive Lana Parrilla in several interviews / other shows:

01 lana02 lana03 lana

04 lana05 lana06 lana

07 lana         08 lana

09 lanabetween091010 lana

11 lana12 lana13 lana

14 lana15 lana16 lana

 

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