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Our Honeymoon March 2002!

We recently traveled to New Zealand for our honey moon, 14 days 15 nights. This is the trip as I saw it at the time with the odd snap thrown in, I may at some stage add more. Time eh, who's got enough of that? As I get snaps back from the lab and scan them I'll update, so come on back for more.

I've added a list of ALL our accommodation.

We will eventually, lists facts and figures about the trip. For example we travelled a total of 3850 km's, averaged about 500k's to a tank of juice, and I shot 11 rolls of film. Fascinating eh!!

Week one | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thur | Fri

Week Two | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thur | Fri | Sat

Day 15, Saturday

Christchurch to Melbourne.

A hotel in NZSpent the day wandering around Christchurch [ the weather was awful, wet, grey] so we caught a movie. Amelie a fabulous French movie about love and chance and fate and destiny, great photography some of which I suspect, but couldn't prove was digital. Returned the car and hung out the airport what a schnorefest, but time did pass, and here we are heading back home after 14 days a tearing around another small country. Next time if there is one we'll do it in a shorter time frame and sloo............................wer!

The return journey was also in a Boeing 767-338, we had better seats this time, I got the window seat, and no-one was behind us so it was easy to relax right back and work away on this page and listen to my own music.

Day 14,Friday,


Dunedin to Christchurch, via Anakua

The last day of driving turned out not to be as bad as we had anticipated. What a relief. We even side tracked to a quaint 19th Century village on a peninsula outside Christchurch, the hills in and out were the windyiest we've seen on the trip so far, Nikki had to drive back it was that bad!

When we finally did get to Christchurch we checked into our Hotel the Last Five star one for the trip, and it sure was a five star hotel. Porters looking after our bags and parking the car. The restaurant was nice, busy though as it was a Friday night. Nikki ate Venison, I had the fish.

Day 13, Thursday

Manor Inn

Te Anau to Dunedin

A Castle in NZPleasant drive, rolling hills very similar to Gippsland. Stopped for morning tea at a pleasant babbling brook. The hills into Dunedin are huge! Once again I'm surprised by the size of towns here, Dunedin seems a large and bustling city. It is also spread out, with an active dock. Something that surprises me about these seaside towns in N.Z. is that they haven't tapped into the whole water front trend that seems to be so prevalent in places like Melbourne, and I'm assuming here London.

Stews placeChecked out a castle built way out of town by a local politician. Small, not what I'd call a castle as such, but great views of the bays around Dunedin and Dunedin itself. Then into town for an evening meal, plenty of places to choose from, it took two walks up and down the main drag Princess St. to decide. Our Hotel was opposite a strip club and of course the late night revellers leaving the club, woke me up, oh boy looking forward to our bed at home!

Day 12, Wednesday

Village Inn

Te Anau to Milford Sound Return

Hommers tunnelA big day! A wonderful day! The drive was pleasant, we didn't stop much on the way up, we were trying to beat the bus traffic up, we did. The sailing was calm and we saw seals AND dolphins. Stopped on the return journey for a few shots and a quick walk. There is a tunnel on the way up called 'Homers tunnel', I called it 'Homer's Passage' it was really weird, no lights two lanes real low and claustrophobic thankfully no buses came our way either up or down! Got a great shot on the way out though! The walk nearby was stunning, it overlooked the valley and just added to the feeling of insignificance that has been prevalent throughout this part of the trip. We stopped a couple more times on the way down but we were running out of light and it was getting hard to get a good shot, we'll see how the analog shots turn out?

Tonight we ate in town, and as I sat in the restaurant looking out the window I couldn't help but feel like I was looking a scene that was a cross between the Bill Henson 'Glen Waverely' shot and 'Twin Peaks' I think this is exaggerated by the 'conservative' feel about NZ I keep getting? both the restaurants in town we've eaten at only employ young teenage girls as waitresses, why?

Drank this beer called 'dB' it had no body, flavour or real taste, but fuck it was alcoholic! Wayhey!!!

Day 11,Tuesday

Explorer Lodge

Queenstown to Te Anau

come fly with meWell we finally got off the ground so to speak, $255.00 EACH, NZ poorer but what an excellent experience, 4000 feet up 40 minutes of travel time a few shots, some frolicking in the snow, including some feeble snow ball throwing, and we were back on the ground.

Te Anau is a nice, quaint town, small some touristy features, but no real hustle or bustle. The scenery as always is outstanding, lakes with huge snow capped mountains in the distance. Tomorrow we head off to Milford Sound for more spectacular scenery.

Day 10, Monday

Sherwood Manor x 2

Queenstown day 2

show us ya.....?Spent all day pottering around in town waiting for the weather to clear for our helicopter flight over the area needless to say it didn't clear up at all, in fact it snowed on the hills. We checked out the view from the cable car awesome views, a bit scary on the way back down but once we were rolling it wasn't too bad. Checked out Arrowtown as well, nice old town full of tourists, oh yeah we are tourists too! Anyway hope the weather clears coz we have wanted to do this helicopter ride since we first planned this whole trip.

Day 9,Sunday

Fox Glacier Hotel

Fox Glacier to Queenstown

Spent a restful night in an old pub in Fox Glacier. Woken by some siren of some sort at about 6:30 ok I suppose but please don't make a habit of it! Got 'on the road' nice and early, which was good because the day was shaping up to be a real nice one lot's of blue sky, which in turn enabled us to 'see the scenery' unlike the night before when we arrived! First stop, the 'grand view' it was a little spot outside town by about 10k that gave spectacular views of the valley and the glaciers behind. Half a roll of film later we headed off to Lake Matheson for a short walk to the lake itself and again more 'views', only a couple of shots this time. A small observation it was amazing how people just charged on in and charged on out, now we are no hard-core hikers, yet at least we try and soak in the atmosphere/scenery/vegetation etc. Still it was good to get out and about in the fresh air with some sunshine around, we had all but given up on that stuff since Friday arvo. We are also starting to notice the cold, especially Nikki.

totemsAfter a morning of soaking up the view around Fox glacier, we headed off to Queenstown, it was not a bad drive and we arrived in time for............. more............. rain. The air is really chilly now, and the snow is visible on more and more mountains around us. While we're here we we plan on taking a helicopter ride over some part of the NZ landscape, really looking forward to that one!

Day 8, Saturday

Rosewood B&B

Greymouth to Fox Glacier.

Greymouth is indeed a grey town. Yesterday 'Good Friday' it was also a dead town, today it came alive but I feel that it's not yet embraced tourism with the zeal it could. Met some characters at brekky in the lovely B&B we stayed at last night. A NZ couple and an English guy who had spent several years here. Both had interesting things to stay and the conversation was stimulating, if somewhat dominated by the Maori guy.

hard pancakesWe then headed off to the 'Pancake Rocks' at Punakaiki . Awesome stuff. Blowholes and unusual rock formations. Pretty fearsome the blowholes were too! The response drifting across from the groups of people who would gather to watch each eruption of water was a real good indication of the power of those fuckers[ ever wonder what it would be like to drown down there in one of those, yeah me too but all just a dream coz.....................I hate the water generally speaking, ocean's and stuff anyway!]. Got some good shots I hope and seem to have the extended arm digi shot down pat.

Next stop the Glaciers. Several hours of driving got us to Franz Joseph with time to spare for a quick walk to a convenient lookout [we got drenched on the way it's been raining on and off since yesterday! and when I say rain I don't mean a polite Melbourne shower or two!] and a couple of shots then back to the car to head off to Fox Glacier village. At Fox Glacier Village we checked into this nice quaint Pub which is an old 1920's Hotel now operating as a Pub/Hotel/Motel. Even this is better than that shit hole we stayed in in Wellington! Of course by now the clouds are getting lower, and the light is disappearing fast, we went off in search of some 'views' alas to no avail it's all under cloud or requires too long a walk for this time of night! Back into town for a snack and a drink. After this we head over the road for the world's shortest tour, a glow worm grotto. Very iridescent, and almost a blue green, then off for another early night.

Day 7, Friday

Carlton Hill Lodge

Christchurch to Greymouth.

Drove across the mountains and sure enough it starts to rain and it has hardly stopped since. The drive across was spectacular we stopped at a viaduct with some truly stunning views, cold wet and windy too, by the way did I mention the awesome views. Across the ranges and Greymouth on good Friday isn't exactly a hopping town, looks more like a fishing town than a tourist town. Some nice architecture and some strange sculptures, as well as the usual tourist stuff [ see the pic of the day]. Rained a lot later on so we just kicked back in our B&B for the arvo it's a nice one, too.

Day 6, Thursday

'The Heritage', Hanmer Springs

Wellington to Picton to Hanmer Springs.

An uneventful day in many respects, drove from Hanmer Springs to Christchurch. The scenery around Hanmer Springs is stunning we had a quiet brekky by the river not far form the Hotel.

Christchurch itself is a very nice town, I like it the most of the other cities we have stopped/stayed in. Perhaps because it has some sense of a centre and some feeling of history, compared to Auckland and Wellington. It is almost too English however, still we'll be back for another visit at the end of the trip as we fly out of here Saturday week.

a quiet crossingAccommodation almost proved to be an issue this weekend, it's the Easter weekend. It was all sorted in the end thank God. Hope the traffic's not too bad tomorrow? Yesterday in Wellington we met this really intense guy who was almost manic! We asked a simple question and about 25 minutes later we had a pot boiler version of the entire history of Wellington. All I wanted was a good map? We have driven/walked around the CBD in Chistchurch a couple of times and are starting to get a feel for the city. There are tons of Thai restaurants here, and sure 'nuff the one we ended up in was just like a good cheap one in Melbourne.

Day 5, Wednesday

Wellington to Picton to Hanmah Springs

Spent the morning on the ferry it was a nice trip. It was great getting shots of the coast which by the way looked stunning. Saw some dolphins, one chick went nuts! Also couple of young Scandinavian guys on the boat had a soccer ball and wouldn't stop playing with it/kicking it around, grrr I guess I'm getting old. The whole trip across not too rough, got really burnt I hope I'm not gunna regret it.

Picked up another great little ford laser in Picton [ a hatch ], goes real good, and the drive down the coast was stunning. However if we did this trip again, I'd do it in a Campervan and I'd stop along the coast overnight and really lap up the atmosphere, actually I'd stop everywhere more often all over NZ.

cruising alongTonight's hotel is a huge improvement on the last, that's for sure, in terms of cleanliness and quality but it had a feel to it that reminded me of the shining, this big empty hotel miles from anywhere, full of secrets............oops did it again, where was I? Oh yeah. It seems we can't estimate arrivals times at all well here in NZ we have had to ring twice to let hotels we were still coming, mind you I think the coastal route was probably the longest way to go, on this occasion, but boy was it scenic. We encountered a couple of tunnels on the highway, a bit of a first for us and of course we were stuck behind a truck at least once on one of these tunnels weren't we? The beaches here seem to be mainly made up of grey/black sand and not all that inviting to my mind either, still we all know how much I enjoy the beach don't we?

Day 4, Tuesday

Brentwood, AKA 'Da shit box'

Martinborough to Wellington.

yummm brekky on the balconyAfter a luxurious brekky at Martinborough we headed off to Wellington, [windy Welli] checked into the dodgiest hotel in the world and spent the day in town wandering around and checking out a few of the sights. Got a print made straight from the PCIA card form that camera, pretty impressed with the quality overall, it's a pity I had to recompress it a jpeg again otherwise, it would be flawless. Can't say enough bad shit about the motel.

Day 3, Monday


Rotorua to Taupo. Taupo to Napier. Napier to Martinborough.

The day was a car day and not much to say about it, the scenery is getting more and more spectacular, the roads are not like Oz, but not as twisty and windy as I expected.........yet. The car we have for the North island is a great little car, a ford laser 1600 sedan holds the road like you wouldn't believe, and has plenty of poke too! Had wound out to 130k's a couple of times as well...........sshhhh don't tell anyone!

phew what a smellRotorua is real smelly and we didn't stay long, the night before we were in a hotel that was over run by bus loads of tourists! Americans Koreans you name it, of course the yanks were as loud as ever, "kill all the red blooded flag waving young...................oops wrong train of thought! We had a great room over looking the lake Rotoiti, with a great aspect that meant that I was gunna get good sunrise shots if I got up early enough. [I did let's hope the shots are good!]

Taupo was nice and next visit I'd like to do it proper so to speak, but time was of the essence and we needed to move on.

sheep ANd corrugated iron!Napier was quaint but it's charm was being drowned out by the commercial aspects of a living town unlike Maldon in Vic which is probably been rescued by tourism after dying off completely. Got a couple of good shots here and really enjoyed the fish and chips we had on the foreshore, I wouldn't call it a beach at all!

The drive to Martinborough was OK nothing extraordinary, unlike the stay at the Martinborough hotel. What a B/B and a wonderful evening all round. Not freaking cheap, worth it though, sampled some great local beer again, can't remember what it was called though?

Day 2, Sunday

Otago Bay Resort

Aukland to Rotorua

Traveled form Auckland to Rotorua, half a day driving, Nikki got egg on her plate yesterday but didn't today, I lost a sock on the first day but have lost none since. The landscape is awesome and weird, lot's of lumps a bit like South East Gippy near the Prom. Got sucked into a typical touro trap. The reason we went there was to see the remains of a ruined village from the 1800's, nothing much really, but a pleasant set of lawns with a couple of old restored huts, beautiful light though and the lakes in the area are awesome! Hope to get some good shots in the morning of the water and light.

Roadkill seems to be more pronounced here than in Oz, weird I know but it just caught my eye as a passenger. Maybe coz I am a passenger, but Nik noticed it as well. The car is a gutsy little ford seems to have plenty of poke, has lot's of bells and whistles which are fucking annoying! Otherwise it's a nice car, got the CD player happening too it's great, kicks out an awesome sound!

This Hotel, our third has been the best so far, a nice spacious room, with a balcony that overlooks the lake, Lake Rotoiti, very idyllic and tranquil, and not too much smell from the thermal springs in Rotorua. Narrowly missed a 'Hungi' tonight too, phew that was close. Other cultures are interesting, but really can you get a finer appreciation for them in a 20 min tour or, performance created with the lowest common denominator in mind?

Qantas hassles are still a problem coz it's Sunday and nothing can be reorganised till tomorrow, this is slowing down the whole trip. Another round of phone calls in the morning that delay our departure.

Day 1, Saturday.

The Sheraton Towers

capital of NZSpent the day moving from one Hotel to the other, and trying to sort out some issues with our itinerary, hmmm, Qantas, lookout! Finally got out of tonight's hotel "The Sheraton" and cruised down to the harbour area [pun intended], looks a lot like circular Quay in Sydney. Wandered around and took some analog snaps and had 2 excellent NZ beers in the Hilton, one was called Mac's Gold the Other Mac's Dark, WOW, great beer, smooth sweet tasty all round, will be hunting that one down when we get back, [the pic above is from the docks area and the Hilton, click it to see a bigger one]. Can't wait for tomorrow and finally we hit the road, mind you tonight's meal will be pretty special, our first official "honey moon" meal together, and don't talk to me about the pepper grinders. Crikey the waitress almost needed a crane to lift 'em!


[Grand Chancellor]

Finished the DVR part of the MA, packed showered and jumped on a Boeing 767-338 bound for New Zealand.

I love flying, so much so that, Joff gave me a pair of binoculars for our trip, he was thinking of NZ, I used them heaps before leaving even! The flight was uneventful till the last 40 minutes or so where the air turbulence really got a bit fun! The meal for anyone who cares was Ravioli, lucky Mrs Murdoch got 2 serves. The pics will be added as I go but as we are in NZ for 2 weeks I have no idea how I'm going to upload.