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Five weeks in New Zealand

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by warpus, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    Yeah, by the same token, if you have any intention of visiting Glacier National Park in the US, you'd better do it soon, or it will be too late.
     
  2. Formaldehyde

    Formaldehyde Both Fair And Balanced

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    That is nowhere near what my guess was for what that meant.
     
  3. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    I do! My sister was there a couple years ago and brought back amazing photos. The place is definitely on my list.. I guess I should go sooner rather than later, they're saying that by 2020 there might not be any glaciers left there at all.

    The place would probably still be worth visiting without any glaciers I guess, at least judging by the spectacular photos I have seen of the place - there's almost never glacier faces in them. Maybe I'm misremembering, but the highlights seem to be mountains rather than glaciers, but then again that might just be due to how much the glaciers have receded already.

    It's unfortunate and kinda crazy how much glaciers around the world are receding and how many of them are just gone.

    In New Zealand you don't hike trails, you tramp tracks. You also don't wear flip flops, you wear jandals, you don't go on vacation to a cottage, you go to a bach, you don't go to a corner store, you go to a dairy, things aren't excellent, they are choice, and if you want ketchup you have to look for tomato sauce.
     
  4. Formaldehyde

    Formaldehyde Both Fair And Balanced

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    Sorry. Too busy tramping from my bach to the dairy in my jandals to procure some choice tomato sauce.


    Link to video.
     
  5. Gangor

    Gangor Chieftain

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    Sadly it's not going to be rebuilt. But neither has it been completely demolished. The spire has gone though, so it doesn't look at all like it did. But neither does the rest of Christchurch. I visited earlier in the year, and it's completely unrecognisable. Sadly my hometown now lives only in my memories and on Google Streetview.
     
  6. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    That really sucks. Why aren't they rebuilding it? Financial reasons?

    I really liked downtown Christchurch. The town I live in is larger, but our downtown kinda sucks in comparison. It's larger, but Chch's is much more pedestrian friendly.
     
  7. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Day 14 - Franz Josef Glacier part 2

    Franz Josef glacier face





    This helpful cardboard cutout prevented me from exploring further.. I was happy enough to oblige - large chunks of ice can break off the glacier at any time. This has killed people in the past..



    A curious video I took while at the face. The helicopter you'll see right at the end lands people right on the glacier and drops them off for a bit for a hike.. that or it was a scenic flight, or both.


    Link to video.

    Just as I started leaving the clouds started clearing up a bit





    The clouds opened up even more a bit later, allowing me to take this photo of the top of the glacier



    A bit of a hike later and I was back at the Franz Josef Glacier car park. I ended up taking a shuttle bus back to the hostel from there, which reminds me of the real reason why I didn't do the same on the way there: I would have had to wait a couple hours for one. It wasn't because the shuttles had stopped running entirely.. Either way, it was nice to not have to walk that extra 4-5km back to the hostel.

    I ate a monsoon steak sandwich for supper and booked a bus ride to Greymouth for the next day. I went to bed hoping that the clouds would just go away so that I could sneak in a scenic flight of Mount Cook in the morning.
     
  8. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    That's some dirty ice there.

    I once took a helicopter flight over the Grand Canyon. That was nice, (with a surreal twist which is a fairly long story). I was told they don't allow those flights over the Canyon anymore, so I don't know if you can do it or not.
     
  9. Mechanicalsalvation

    Mechanicalsalvation -

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    O.K. confirmed. 10.8. I am going to NZ for 6 weeks! As money minded person let me ask you Warpus how much did you spend for the whole trip?
     
  10. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    I was slightly disappointed with the glacier face for that reason. The last glacier before this I saw up close was Glaciar Grey in Chile.. and that one was just amazing. The Franz Josef glacier face was a tad disappointing in comparison.

    Around $6k. $1,800 or so was for the flight there and back though and I was not so frugal with some of my purchases (cliff jump - $300, scenic flight - $300, etc.).. not to mention the scenic train rides I went on and the half-day sea kayaking trip in Abel Tasman. I was also eating out at restaurants almost every day - fell in love with the food and service and did not bother to try to save money there. So it wasn't cheap.. Having said that I did stay in hostels every single night (except for on the hikes) and I might be counting some of the gear I had to get beforehand in the $6k.

    Where exactly are you headed? You could def. make your trip a lot cheaper, but it all depends on what exactly you want to see/do there.
     
  11. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Day 15 - Mt. Cook Scenic Flight

    I went to sleep hoping for better weather & visibility so that I could do the scenic flight before leaving town.. and.. I woke up to blue skies! Sort of!



    I made my way to the Air Safaris office, just a couple minutes walk away from my hostel. The scenic flight was on! The van on the right took me to the airport, 20 minutes away.



    This plane took me and a family of 3 (and a pilot and co-pilot) on an hour long scenic flight around Mount Cook, Mount Tasman, a bunch of other mountains, and a bunch of glaciers.



    And this was the planned route:



    Spoiler :

    1 - Waiho River - Drains the melting ice of the Franz Josef glacier
    2 - Okarito Forest & Lagoon - Home of the Okarito brown kiwi
    3 - West Coast Rainforest
    4 - Lake Matheson & Cook River Flats
    5&6 - Fox Glacier & Fitz Range
    7 - Mt. Tasman - New Zealand's second highest mountain
    8 - Mt. La Perouse - A mountain with a giant rock face
    9 - Mt. Sefton & Hooker Glacier - This glacier is 11km in length
    10 - Mt. Cook - New Zealand's highest mountain
    11 - Tasman Terminal Glacial Lake - The ice under this lake is over 200 metres thick
    12 - Mackenzie Basin
    13 - Tasman Glacier - New Zealand's longest glacier
    14 - Murchison Glacier - New Zealand's second longest glacier
    15 - The Godley Glaciers
    16 - Head of the Tasman Glacier
    17 - Geike Snowfield & Head of Franz Josef glacier
    18 - Franz Josef Glacier
    19 - Franz Josef Village


    So.. anyway.. takeoff!


    Link to video.

    It was a small and shaky plane, but I ended up lucking out and getting the whole of the back of it to myself! We were supposed to be strapped in, and for the most part I was, but it was easy to slide across to the other side to get a better look.

    The first thing that came into view was the Waiho river.



    We followed it all the way to the Tasman Sea



    Flying over the West Coast rainforest

     
  12. Mechanicalsalvation

    Mechanicalsalvation -

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    Thats what I thought. NZ from what I have heard is pretty expensive country. Something like over here in Australia.

    Well actually on most trips I try to make money or break even as I like to take jobs while I travel around. I have six weeks worth of work in Christchurch and I can see myself easily spending some extra time by traveling around after I am done with that.
    Or alternatively come back to Australia for higher wage and make enough money for my next trips in east Asia and central America.
     
  13. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    I have heard it compared to Australia in terms of what things cost, but I've never been there so I can't really verify. I found the food in NZ (in restaurants) to be pretty much equivalent to what I'm used to here in Canada, if maybe a bit cheaper because 1. there is no tipping culture.. and 2. the taxes are included in the price. So while prices on menus look more expensive than what I'm used to, I often found myself paying less than what I would pay over here.

    Of course, Canada is not a cheap country either, and restaurants here are usually more expensive than their American counterparts. Whenever I'm in the U.S. everything is just so.. cheap. New Zealand is definitely more expensive than that, but yeah.. perhaps a bit similar to what you'd expect in Canada.

    Of course that's all food. Things like consumer electronics and designer clothing are more expensive in New Zealand than what we pay over here. I didn't really do much other shopping though so I can't compare other items. Bus travel in NZ was cheap, and train travel was cheaper than what I pay here as well. In-country flights were much cheaper too.

    So overall it's an expensive country, but it depends on what you're used to. It is definitely no Norway or Switzerland
     
  14. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Day 15 - Mt. Cook Scenic Flight part 2

    The tiny single engine aircraft continued to take us higher and higher until we were high above the clouds, with Mt. Cook Tasman in sight (on the right, Fox glacier on the left)



    Approaching Fox Glacier



    By this point I was thoroughly convinced that the $280 I paid for the scenic flight was well worth it. Fox glacier:





    The plane started turning right above Fox glacier. This made it possible to take photos looking almost straight down.



    In the image above you can sort of see patterns formed by the fracture marks in the glacier caused by the slow "flow" of the it downstream and the stresses involved. In the image below you can see the same effect on a larger scale.



    My camera just wasn't liking the lighting conditions. The colours are just a bit messed up in some of these photos. More Fox Glacier.

     
  15. Mechanicalsalvation

    Mechanicalsalvation -

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    Amazing pictures! I lived in Oslo about six years ago. Australia seems about the same expensive or more...
     
  16. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Oh really.. Norway remains on my list of places to visit, but I have no idea when that's going to happen.
     
  17. Mechanicalsalvation

    Mechanicalsalvation -

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    I would recommend what Ive done last summer. Island. Rent a car and go around. Better rent a jeep and go anywhere.
     
  18. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Day 15 - Mt. Cook Scenic Flight part 3

    The landscape we were flying through was dominated by the tallest mountains in the country and the largest glaciers, but also several enormous icefields and snowfields.



    This is Mt. Tasman I think, although Mt. Cook looks so similar it might as well be it..



    The plane seemed puny compared to the surrounding landscape and every once in a while we'd unexpectedly lose a bit of altitude, making me feel a bit queasy.. but it was all worth it you see







    Pretty sure this is Mt. Tasman



    We kinda circled it a bit



     
  19. Goodfella

    Goodfella Showing results for

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    Maybe someone has already asked this, but what's your job and how did you secure 5 weeks off?
     
  20. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    Beautiful stuff.
     

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