Saturday, February 27, 2010

New Zealand Honeymoon: Part III

This is the final installment in my three-part, New Zealand honeymoon posts. So far, we'd been to Christchurch, Kaikoura, Marlborough, Marahau, Nelson, and had started our drive down the west coast to the high-mountain town of Franz Josef.

Once in Franz Josef, we checked into our hotel, Te Waonui. Our room had a wall-size window that looked into a full-on rainforest. It was gorgeous. Moss, intermingling tree branches, ferns, and dampness were framed by this window. I could've sat there and stared at it all day. But instead, we woke up the next morning to hike the Franz Josef glacier.

That's the glacier behind us. From where we're standing in this picture, it was about a 40-minute walk to get to the base of the glacier. And it was raining, no less.

Here's a shot of the glacier once we arrived at the base:

Here I am hiking up the glacier. We had to wear those silly fanny packs to carry our crampons during the hike across the valley. It was incredible to experience this because all of the glaciers are receding rapidly. Plus, there so so may cool ice formations and endless holes to stare into.

After the glacier, we continued our drive south towards Queenstown. There were so many places to pull over that were so scenic. Here's one of the random beaches we stopped at. It had an awesome lookout tower.

We then drove through Mount Aspiring National Park where there was a new waterfall every five feet. The tops of the mountains were misty and it was just gorgeous.

As we came into Queenstown, everything got so pastoral, mountainous, and stunning.

After a rainy day in Queenstown (with plans of rafting lingering in our future), the sun came out. And what did we decide to do? This:

The one place we were told not to miss was Milford Sound. But, the long, long drive was doing a good job of staving off our decision to get in the car again. So, instead, we booked a scenic flight so instead of an 8-hour drive in one day, we took an hour flight there and back.

Mr. CB sat up front while sat diagonally behind him.

And here's what we saw out the window:

And here's where we landed:

We hopped on a boat to cruise around the Sound.

Some little penguins came out to greet our boat. And tons and tons of waterfalls of course.

As the cruise came to an end, the rain enveloped the Sound and we had to fly out very quickly (or suffer a 4-hour bus ride back to Queenstown). We were able to get out though which afforded us pictures like this:

I don't have any pictures from us rafting except for hard copies. So, that's it, my friends. The end of our New Zealand honeymoon.

While we traveled far too much (hours and hours every day in the car), it was amazing to see so much of another country. And, a place that we could see ourselves moving one day. But for now, we'll stay here in Santa Fe, from where I'll continue to blog here on Weddingbee. At least for a few more posts.

Where are you headed on your honeymoon? Anyone up for an adventure?

1 comment:

  1. In which month did you travel to NZ? How long did you stay?