A Travellerspoint blog

Franz Josef Glacier

sunny 19 °C
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This was probably one of the best days I have had in New Zealand so far! The sun was shining and the glacier was amazing. Firstly we had to climb the 100m high pile of loose rocks at the foot of the glacier. Then once on the ice, our guides cut paths into the glacier with pick axes as we went. In some places we were climbing up over ice using ropes and also went down into some crevasses which were barely more than half a metre wide!

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Posted by BensWorld 18:07 Archived in New Zealand Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Franz Josef Helicopter Flight

sunny 19 °C
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The weather was so good when I got to Franz Josef that I decided to go on one of the helicopter flights over the glacier. The flight was amazing and we landed on the top of the glacier for about 10 mins to have a walk around. This was something special because it would take days to hike up this high. I now know what I am going to spend my money on if I win the lottery (a helicopter, not a glacier!)

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Posted by BensWorld 17:48 Archived in New Zealand Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Nelson to Greymouth

sunny 22 °C
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Here are a few pictures from our bus journey down the west coast of the south island. Some amazing scenery and coastlines. The third picture shows the 'pancake rocks' as they are known, but do they really look like pancakes? Hmmm, not sure....

In Greymouth I did the brewery tour, which was great because there wasn't really much else to do in Greymouth! The beers were very good, and we even got a meal included, which is always good when backpacking!

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Posted by BensWorld 17:30 Archived in New Zealand Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Tongariro Alpine Crossing

all seasons in one day 21 °C
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Whilst in Taupo I did the Tongariro Crossing, a full day hike up and between some of the highest mountains in the north island of New Zealand - Mount Tongariro and Mount Ngauruhoe. The walk was 19km and climbed from 1,000 up to 1,900 metres. The weather started off a bit sketchy to say the least, as you can see in the photos below. But almost as soon as we reached the first peak the clouds started to clear and we had perfect weather for the rest of the day. It was amazing to watch the mountains appear out of the mist, something really special!

The volcanic landscape was amazing and it was used in the Lord of the Rings films (of which the Kiwis are very proud!). Mount Ngauruhoe was Mount Doom in the films apparently.

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Posted by BensWorld 18:08 Archived in New Zealand Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Waitomo Caves

sunny 26 °C
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I hopped off my bus at a small village called Waitomo to see the glowworm caves, which I had heard were really good. One of the activities I really wanted to do was a night abseil through the caves, which meant I had to stay overnight (for 2 nights because there was no bus the next day). When I arrived, I found there was nothing in the village - my hostel, a couple of caving companies and (most importantly) a pub, so I was a bit worried it was going to be a boring couple of days. However, the scenery was amazing and the weather was good - also in the evenings I bumped into seven different people I had met at various places around Australia! It was crazy seeing so many people I knew in the middle of nowhere!

The night abseil was really cool - it was a 50 metre abseil and I did it twice, once at dusk and once in the dark to see the glowworms. It was fantastic - looking up at the canyon walls it was like looking up at the stars. Unfortunately the photos of the glowworms didn't come out very well, so I haven't put them on here. I also went into the Ruakuri caves, where we saw some amazing stalactites and stalacmites and the glowworms up close. They hang threads (like spider's webs) down from the ceiling of the caves and use their lights to attract flying insects, which then get trapped in the webs and eaten - really cool!

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Posted by BensWorld 17:46 Archived in New Zealand Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

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