(Feb 23, 2004) We have arrived in Christchurch on the south island of New Zealand. It is now Monday evening. We lost one day when we crossed the International date line on the four hour flight from the Cook Islands. We had a difficult time getting a booking for the night. We are staying at a motor lodge tonight. Tomorrow we move to a Bed and Breakfast in Christchurch. We are taking the TranzAlpine train to Greymouth on the west coast on Wednesday. We booked our first four nights along the west cost and will be staying one night just south of Greymouth and three nights near Fox Glacier.
((Feb 25, 2004) We are currently on the train to Greymouth. We enjoyed our stay with Lucy and Moses Tan at the Armagh Lodge Bed & Breakfast. They have a beautiful home and Moses was very knowledgeable about travel in New Zealand. I’ve placed a picture of their Bed & Breakfast below. We spent all most a day at the botanic gardens. The trees are amazing, huge and beautiful. The rose garden was spectacular. We had lunch at the garden's tea room. We have been eating and eating, everywhere we go the food is fantastic.
(Feb 26, 2004) Today we drove down the west coast to Hokitika and down to the glaciers. We are staying in a backpackers lodge, 4 beds in a room, shared kitchen and bath and we were incredibly lucky to get it. Tomorrow the glacier!
(Feb 27, 2004) We had beautiful weather today. We started the day with a short hike around Matheson lake to see the reflections of Mount Cook in the lake. In the afternoon, we took a hike with a guide up Fox Glacier. We had a great time. They provided all the equipment to walk on the ice. We were the oldest and slowest on the climb up the glacier.
(Feb 28, 2004) Today we got our first taste of New Zealand west coast weather. The rain came down in torrents & we, in our infinite wisdom, decided to attempt a supposed 2.5 hour hike to a seal colony on the coast. We hiked through mud that could occasionally come up to your knees & would very nicely fill your boots with water & mud. In an attempt to avoid one such incident, Janet decided to try to hang onto a tree & found herself gradually leaning back toward the mud. Fortunately she managed to hold on & swing herself back to dry ground. Fifteen minutes from the beach we were told their was hail at the beach and the seals were no where to be found. I guess that they are smarter than we are. So, after 4 hours all our “rainproof” clothes were soaked.
(Feb 29, 2004) We traveled over Haast Pass from Fox Glacier to our next Bed & Breakfast near Arrowtown and Queenstown. The pass was beautiful with waterfalls all along the canyon walls. The Golden Hills B&B had comfortable rooms and beautiful gardens. The owner offered to do a load of laundry which was very nice. Our B&B owner booked us at an excellent restaurant in Arrowtown called Stables.
(Mar 1, 2004) We started the day with a drive to a ski area for a view of the Queenstown area. We spent the day visiting Queenstown including a 60 minute Jet Boat ride and instant face lift for Bob and Janet and a walk around the botanic gardens for Louise. We finished the day with a great meal at a Thai Restaurant in Arrowtown.
Armagh Lodge Bed & Breakfast in Christchurch
Main rose garden at Botanic gardens - Christchurch
Bob in the Begonia room at Botanic Gardens
On the train to Greymouth
Pancake rocks on the west coast
River walk on west coast
Meeting Bruce Knight's Parents in Greymouth
Town of Fox Glacier
Janet and Louise at Matheson Lake
Reflection of Mount Cook
Janet and Louise on Fox Glacier
Bob in Fox Glacier ice cave
View from Haast Pass
Thunder Creek Falls on Haast Pass
Golden Hills B&B. She had beautiful gardens.
View above Queenstown and Arrowtown
Jet Boat ride in Queenstown. They can navigate rivers only 4 inches deep.