20 year old Kiwi Jed Mildon pulled of the worlds first triple back-flip on a bmx over the weekend in Taupo. Looks like kiwi’s can fly and from what Jed has said, this is only the begining. Who knows how big this kiwi will go in the future.
Archive for May, 2011
It was about this time last year that I visited Wellington for the first time. There was talk that a 30m long 8m tall ‘Wellywood’ sign would be erected on one of the hills of the city, so as you flew in you would see it. Yes, BRUTAL idea! It’s un-original, desperate, too try hard, cheapens the city’s image, and pretty lame. But the Wellington Airport has said it will be going ahead with the sign, even though it seems the majority of the city opposes it. There is a facebook page against the sign with a 140,000 members. There was a slow moving blockade at the airport last week to protest against the sign. It’s been bad press, for the airport so why continue with it??? Wellington is a original city that is creative, how can copying a US city be a good idea.
No doubt if the sign goes ahead it will be a target for vandal’s. In fact there is a Blenheim based brewery, Moa, who has offered 15 cases of beer to “anyone who knocks it down”. Ahaha How awesome it that! The CEO of the airport has said the sign will go ahead, though the Wellington city council opposes it. Hopefully they go back to the drawing table and come up with another idea or just leave the hill a hill. Yes, the film industry is huge in Wellington, but do you really need to copy the US with a huge sign. Lame as!
People have even started to come up with their own signs… see below. What would you suggest? Check out this Wellywood Sign Generator and create your own –
UPDATE: The airport has now agreed to review the sign and is not planning to go ahead with it. THANK GOD!
So what is going on here? The Christchurch airport was trialing a new luggage handling system and had locals donate old luggage they could use. Here they are simply getting rid of the luggage as the trial is now complete. The video has gone viral and some people are up in arms as they think the airport is tossing out people luggage.
It would have been funny to see all this luggage being binned while you are waiting for you flight. You would be wondering what the hell is going on.
For the final day in the Southern Lakes district we would take a bit of a tour to Wanaka. Up early as usual we hit up Bob’s Weigh for breakie. It’s a great little place downtown Queenstown that great food and coffee. After a good feed we loaded into the car and headed through Crown range, which I believe is the highest range in New Zealand. Once again, stunning scenery everywhere. This is the kind of road that buses aren’t allowed on as it is windy, narrow and steep!
The first stop of the day was for a beer at the Cardrona Hotel, located in the Cardrona Valley. It is one of New Zealand’s first hotels as it was established in 1863 because of the gold rush. Now a popular tourist stop, it’s a great place to have a drink and take a break while driving through the crown ranges.
After a beer it was back into the car and 45 mins to Wanaka. Wanaka is a small town that started because of the gold rush. Now it is your typical tourist town, with a huge number of people moving their over the winter months because of its close proximity to the ski hills. It’s located on the southern end of the Lake Wanaka, so it is busy in the summer with many locals visiting during their holidays. We didn’t spend too much time in Wanaka, as there isn’t much to do. Pubs, cafes, tourists shops pretty much own the town center.
From Wanaka we headed to puzzle world. Here you can find your way through a maze, (which completely frustrated me) visit the optical illusion rooms and try to figure you more puzzles from all over the world. We spent about two hours here and that was enough. I’m not one for puzzles, so not really my kind of stop, but when you are in the area.. why not!
Done with all of the games it was into Queenstown to head up the Gondola to watch the sunset. We managed to time this perfectly. Some photos on the viewing deck and beers in the pub. From here we had dinner at the speight’s ale house, where you can always count on a hardy meal. That pretty much sums up the last day of our southern trip. I love it down south and hope try life in the south sometime in the future.
For the third day of the trip we planned to visit Glenorchy. Early morning we packed our bags as we stayed another night in Mossburn and headed back towards Queenstown to check into our hotel room. We were back in Queenstown by mid day so we visited the most famous burger joint in New Zealand. Ferg Burger! I know Ive written about about how awesome the burgers are, so I wont go there again. Ill just say.. visit Fergberger and don’t bother with the chips as the burger is big enough to fill your belly! After a mean feed of prime NZ beef, we headed to our hotel to drop our bags.
Once we unloaded all of our stuff it was back on the to road towards Glenorchy. The drive is stunning. There is this one corner you come around and all you see is blue skies, a lake and the all of the surrounding mountain ranges. It was pretty amazing.
Glenorchy is a small town on the northern end of Lake Wakatipu and is a pretty popular tourist stop. A lot of tramping tracks start here as it lies on the boarder of Mount Aspiring National Park and Fiorland National Park. You will find cafes, pub, fur trading post, hotel/motel, petrol station, jet boat and kayaking companies, and horse trekking too. There isnt a lot happening in Glenorchy, it is a very small quiet community, but it is still worth the trip out. If you visit Glenorchy make sure to take a drive out to Paradise. Many people will recongize the scenery from the Lord of the Rings.. so if you are a Lord of the Rings geek… this is a place you would want to go. We chilled out here for a while just taking in being surrounded by the mountains!
After a while it was time to head back to Queenstown where we would spend the night drinking beers and watching the finals of the ABL (australian Basketball League) where New Zealand’s only team would loose a hard fought game 2 in a double overtime thriller. Then it was off to bed, as we would be up early to get out and see Wanaka and Cromwell.
Today we are off to Milford Sound! This meant for a really early start since we had our boat cruise booked for 10am. Since we stayed in Mossburn we only had a 2.5 hour drive into Milford Sound. We had to get up at 6:30 am to be on the road for 7am. It was a bit of a groggy start since we stayed up too late watching rugby and drinking beers, but we did have enough time to have a stop in Te Anau for breakfast and a coffee! Te Anau is a small community outside of Fiordland National Park, that survives on Milford Sound tours that travel year round. Here we had a great breakie and coffee that fuled the drive to Milford Sound!
If you don’t know, Milford Sound is acclaimed as New Zealand’s, number 1 tourist destination and has been called the eighth wonder of the world. Milford Sound runs 15 kilometres inland from the Tasman Sea and is surrounded by sheer rock faces that raise 1,200 metres or more on either side. Among the peaks are The Elephant at 1,517 metres said to resemble an elephant’s head, and The Lion, 1,302 metres in the shape of a crouching lion. Lush green rain forests hang from the cliff walls. Some wildlife that can be seen is seals, penguins, and dolphins frequent the waters and sometimes if you are lucky you may see some whales. Milford Sound sports two permanent waterfalls all year round, Lady Bowen Falls and Stirling Falls. After heavy rain however, many hundreds of temporary waterfalls can be seen running down the steep sided rock faces that line the fiord.
It is said you should see Milford Sound two ways, in the rain and on a clear stunning day. It was pissing down from the moment we woke up, so waterfalls, fog, cloud were on the menu. The drive into Milford Sound was stunning. Thick lush green rainforest, rushing rivers, water falls, steep rock faces, fog, mountains – the most stunning scenery Ive seen so far in New Zealand. The road through the park winds through the vallies and along side the river, tunnels through mountains and it absolutely breathtaking.
I was surprised upon arrival to Milford Sound to its small size. It had two hotels/lodges, but no grocery stores or dairy and main building was a visitors center – it is pretty much a port where tour boats take tourist through the fiords. It is no surprise that most tourists only stay for one day. We parked and headed inside the visitors center to wait to board our cruise.
We booked our cruise with Real Journey’s. Once onboard we found a booth seat beside a window and then it was off. The sheer size of the cliffs are amazing. After seeing it you can understand why it is the most visited spot in New Zealand. You are on a large boat, yet you feel dwarfed by the fiords that surround you. The rain and wind just added to the experience. Waterfalls were everywhere you looked. Because of the cloud cover you couldn’t see the top of the fiords. It had such a mystical and magical feel to it. The boat cruised a long one side of the inlet, taking time to put the nose of the boat into the waterfalls for those who wanted to get soaked. I spent the majority of the trip out of the inlet on the front deck taking photos and just trying to take it all in. Once we emerged from the inlet the captin took the boat out into the Tasman where it got a bit rocky. The boat heaved side to side, to the enjoyment of some and the agony of others. Once we headed back into the inlet it was down the otherside of the fiord where we managed to see some seals. The trip out and in was amazing. I highly recommend it. You cannot come to New Zealand and miss Milford Sound – that wouldn’t be a complete trip to New Zealand.
After my bunge and canyon swing I met up with a mate from Auckland and we checked into the the Queenstown Nomads for the night. We grabbed a case of beer from the grocery store and sat on the balcony drinking and talking about the plans for the long weekend. For dinner we hit up Sombrero’s, a shitty mexican restaurant in the heart of the town. The service was shit, the food was average and the prices were outrageous. Never go to Sombrero’s! We had a couple more beers out on the town and then headed back to the hostel.
The alarm sounded at 7:30am and it was going to be a busy day. Michelle was flying in from Auckland at 8:30am so that gave us a enough time to pack up our bags and drive to the airport. A coffee at the airport later and Michelle had arrived. We loaded our packs into the trunk and headed back into Queenstown. We wondered around town and the lake front for a couple hours and then headed off to Arrowtown.
Arrowtown is an old gold mining town founded in the mid 1800’s. When the gold ran out it became a farm service town. Although the population declined after the gold rush it soon became a popular holiday destination. Now Arrowowtown is a popular tourist destination and one of the fastest growing communities if all of New Zealand.
This town is as pretty as they come. All of the buildings have kept the original style, so it really takes you back in time. The town is situated a long a river and is renowned for its Oaks, Sycamores, Cork Elms and Ashes trees. These trees are not native to the area, but were planted by the early English and Irish settlers who missed the landscape of home and planted trees in 1867. What is great about Arrowtown is that it experiences seasons! Fall here is amazing. All of the trees turn yellow and orange and the the hill sides look stunning. It is a beautiful town and definitely worth a stop on your travels in New Zealand.
We wandered through town and chilled out by the river. It has to be one of my favourite little towns in New Zealand. You have to hit up the bakery for some great bake goods and pastry. They had really tasty pies and deserts which we snacked on for lunch before we hit the road to our next stop, Mossburn.
On our way to Mossburn we hit up some backroads and went to one of my mates favourite secret spots a long the shotover river. It was super picturesque and another great place to stop, take some photos, chillout and have a beer! Nothing beats travelling with a local! You get away from the tourists and see hidden gems like this.
Mossburn is a sleep country village with a pub, hotel, dairy and that is pretty much it. If you were to blink you would miss it. It is here where we would spend the night with my mates brother who works in the area. The reason for staying in Mossburn is that we had a cruise booked in Milford Sound the next morning and it is half way in between Queenstown and Milford, saving us 2 hour drive in the morning and of course the cost of a nights accommodation. The evening was filled with beers, rugby and and endless ribbing of being Jafa’s (just another fucking aucklander). It’s kind of like home where the rest of Canada hates on Toronto. NZ doesn’t like Auckland unless you live in Auckland.. something’s are universal I guess – hatred towards the ‘big city’. It was a fun and entertaining night with a bunch of kiwi’s taking the piss out of each other while watching rugby. There is nothing more of an authentic kiwi evening than that – it was a great!