The morning didn't start too good, I missed my flight!! I know, you're probably saying to yourselves that you wouldn't expect anything less - right? Well although I arrived 20 mins before the flight left, the very officous lady at the check in counter told me that I was TOO LATE! Grrrrr! Although I was actually 10 mins late, I'm sure she took an instant dislike to me, and I'm sure she could have put me on the flight if she wanted to.
Never mind, she wouldn't budge, so I had to re-book flights down and the rental car. Instead of flying into Wanaka picking up a car and driving to Haast, I had to fly to Wellington, wait 2 hours, catch another flight to Queenstown and arrange to pick up a car there instead. Oh well....
Everywhere I go I carry my little "snapper" camera. A little point and shoot Olympus. It's nothing fantastic, but now and again you can manage to get a good pic. When I went down to Haast on the west coast of the South Island I took my larger Canon dslr as well, which I used with a tripod for making the best images.
All of the following pics have been taken with the olympus. So as not to put you all to sleep, I will post more photos later, I hope you all enjoy these, and that enjoy the start of the trip.
Above: As we leave Palmerston North, we circle round the city. The shopping centre is to the left of the wing tip. Taken thru the window!
Above: We even flew over work! The pencil shape in the middle of the pic is the riffle range, and the mud coloured area at middle bottom is the Manawatu River. The 2 white lines in the middle right of pic are the LAV hangers, (light armoured vehicles).
Above: We flew thru some cloud, and it got a bit bumpy...but then came glimpes of Wellington coastline as we circled around for landing at the airport. (below)
Above: I had to catch another plane bound for Queenstown. We flew over the Southern Alps, fantastic views when the cloud cleared. I got to the rental car booth and they said the car was only booked for 1 day??? I needed it for 5!
Although we have some beautiful scenery in the North Island, everything is more dramatic in the South Island. Everywhere you look there is snow on the peaks, the ranges and hills are bigger, the rivers are bigger, more interesting, the water is a cleaner brighter colour, and there is hardly ever any rubbish to be seen on the sides of the roads. In short it is beautiful!
See what I mean!
Above: This pic, (slap my hands!) was taken thru the front windscreen of the car, yes while I was driving! It was taken while driving thru the Haast Pass. Some parts of the road are steep and they have made these 'run-off' areas, where if you are having trouble with your brakes you can run off the main road and up this run off, which is designed to slow you down, if not stop you completely. Great idea.
I arrived at Haast, in time for tea, the hotel had made 2 bookings for me under 2 different spellings of my name! Do you find things always go in 3's?
Haast was great, I've never been there before. There was the hotel and a petrol station. There was no cell phone reception, and when I enquired, they had no internet connection either and their IT man was away for 3 months! However, I discovered the pub, which was joined to the hotel had very nice food!!!! (and sky tv). All was not lost!
Above: This is the beach at Haast. This was our first morning out shooting, it was right on sun rise, (6.30am) we piled out of the 2 vehicles and went for it!
There were lots of walks to do, and we did them rain or no rain, sandflies or no sandflies! (and they are monsters!!) Board walks over swamp areas of bush, bush walks thru native trees and ferns, really beautiful. This is New Zealand!
And flax walks round coastal areas with lots of bird life (and more sandflies). I don't know what they live on when I'm not there to eat! LOL
Hope you enjoyed this first instalment of pics, I'll put some more on soon!