South Island Journals

A Journey through New Zealand II - South Island

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A July 2000 trip to South Island by Becs

Franz-Josef Glacier Photo, South Island, New Zealand More Photos
Quote: Inner strength... physical endurance... facing fears... growth within... and all New Zealand's beauty! (Plus a kiwi experience bus trip!)

A Journey through New Zealand II - South Island

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Overview

New Zealand South Island Photo, South Island, New Zealand
Quote:
To move from one island to the next, you get the ferry or a plane from Wellington (North) to Picton (South). My trip went on from Nelson after watching a rugby match in the local pub...The south island is not geothermal like the north one. Instead, it becomes very cold and you see low clouds, high mountain ranges with snowed peaks, fog... here, I experienced rafting, glacier hiking (Franz Josef is an incredible town with an awesome glacier, a must!), gold panning, seal watching (at Westport, Cape Foulwind), went to a party dressed in a garbage bag (at Mahinapua), and posed for a group photo topless (kiwi experience thing). I learned to throw knives, shoot a gotcha gun, throw an axe, archery, pet a pos...Read More
Quote:
New Zealand has heaps of hostels and most are in great shape. The best options are YHA and VIP. You can buy a card which will give you discounts that add up with every night you spend with them. Get a backpacker's accomodation guide, it's all you need. Most were quite clean and cozy, very affordable, and all provided either linen, or at least, duvets.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 5, 2000

Maze World

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Attraction

Maze World Photo, South Island, New Zealand
Quote:
I think this is supposed to be for kids, but all of us had a great time. Maze World has several galleries. First, you walk through a holograms exhibition that is amazing, you really need to follow the more complex ones' instructions and you won't be able to believe your eyes! After these, you face several mind game riddles and enter a final hologram gallery where famous faces turn to see you as you walk by... eerie! Then you move on to the gravity-defying zone, where their uneven floor makes you loose all sense of horizon and helps play mind tricks on you. The exhibit displays a series of games and visual illusions that make you believe the world is upside down, like going through Alice...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 7, 2000

Maze World
Somewhere between Makarora and Queenstown
South Island, New Zealand

Encounter Kaikoura/Dolphin Encounter

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Attraction | "Dolphin Encounter"

Encounter Kaikoura/Dolphin Encounter Photo, Kaikoura, New Zealand
Quote:
There are no words to describe the magic you experience when swimming with hundreds of dolphins... The tour includes the rental of the wet suit (water's really cold), a briefing on what the do's and don'ts are, the bus ride to the boat, the boat ride to the dolphin patches... and the experience of a lifetime! As you go into the water, you are supposed to sing or dance or do anything a dolphin might find amusing, so he'll feel you're worth staying around to take a look. But the day I went swimming we didn't get the hundreds of dolphins we were promised... there were thousands! The water looked as if it were boiling! You needn't even move, tens of dolphins would come swimming past you, near...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 7, 2000

Encounter Kaikoura/Dolphin Encounter
96 Esplanade
Kaikoura, New Zealand 8080
+1 033196777

Gold Panning

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Attraction

Gold Panning Photo, South Island, New Zealand
Quote:
It all begins with a light bushwalk, some sightseeing of the old shack where the first gold panner lived, the story of his life, and then a break to have some god-awful tea that some of the group actually managed to down. After that, they take you out to the turquoise-blue river (you need to see the colors here!) where you get the gold panning know-how. Receive all sorts of explanations and instructions, they show you how to do it, and you get your own pan filled with rocks, which you will spend a good time washing by the river. The water is so cold, your fingers actually ache, but believe me you forget all about it when you start seeing garnates, jades, and some traces of gold. By the end of the orde...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 7, 2000

Gold Panning
Somewhere between Mahinapua and Franz Josef
South Island, New Zealand

Franz-Josef Glacier

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Attraction | "Franz Josef Glacier"

Franz-Josef Glacier Photo, South Island, New Zealand
Quote:
There are several options to choose from: whole day hike, half-day hike, and heli-hike. You choose the one according to your fitness (beginners, ask for half-day, trust me), and your pocket (heli-hike sounded great till i heard the price!). The hikes start on the river bed and you climb up to the ice (how far depends on time and fitness level of the group). Heli-hike is different, they fly you up there, you hike a while, then they fly you back down.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 5, 2000

Franz-Josef Glacier
Franz Josef, West Coast
South Island, New Zealand

Kiwi Experience

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Attraction

Kiwi Experience Photo, Auckland, New Zealand
Quote:
This tour was a continuation from the north island one. But besides everything I said about it in that journal, they also organize private parties in some of the hostels we spend the night at. This entry is made exclusively to justify the uploaded photo. There was a party planned for the night spent in Mahinapua. As our driver cooked dinner for the whole lot of us, we had to come up with our designated costumes: girls' attire was rubbish bags and boys had to attend in drag. The whole pub was ours for the night, and we had loads of fun. If you are an adventurer and young at heart, come join the experience... you will always smile thinking back on it...

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 10, 2000

Kiwi Experience
195/197A Parnell Rd
Auckland, New Zealand 1052
(+64) 9 369 9410