donderdag 12 november 2009

Our camping in Marapouri (Fiordland NZ)

As I wrote somewhere before, we are today (13th. November) in Marapouri, near Te Anau.
These places are well known because they're near the Milford Sound and Doubtfull Sound, two large inlets from the arctic sea.
Every tourist visits these inlets (or at least one of them) because they are very beautiful.
The area is called Fiordland, because it looks like the Fjords in Norway.
You can go only by boat or plane and we are going to go by boat tomorrow, from a place called Pearl Harbour??
We hope the weather will be OK because it rains here more than 220 days a year. Today the weather was fine (we even had sun the whole afternoon) so, with a little luck, we have good weather tomorrow too.

We are on a small camping near Marapouri with lakeview and we were fucked again because the lake is very near view. For the rest the camping is nice and it has all the utillities we need.

In New Zealand they have other swans than we have in Holland.
Here they are black and they have a bright red beak.

Two seals near Nugget Bay.
This is a video of our second penguin on Oamaru beach. The video is somewhat dark but it was made in the evening just before sunset.

This is the last picture of the coast of the most southern part of New Zealand.

It 's calles Cozy Nook. It is something totally different.

In the honour of Carel we have chickenlegs today, french fries (we ate them earlier this afternoon), white wine (Riverstone Riesling from Auckland for the wijnkenners) and green salad.

On our way from Slope Point to Manapouri (where we are tonight - Friday 13th-) we saw a sign "Monkey Island".

As you can see this is certainly worthwhile visiting this island.

We didn't see any monkeys though.

I wrote yesterday or the day before that here in New Zealand you can see all sorts of cows we used to have in Holland too.

Here you see some scottish highlanders. Look at the huge horns the cow in the back has.

Ankie by the lighthouse in Nugget Bay.
A little video I made from the avalanche we saw when we climbed Mount Cook. If you look carefully, you can see the snowclouds in the middle/top. It's not spectacular but who cares.
Today is Thursday 12th. November 2009.
We drove from Portobello (Otago Peninsula)
to the most southern point of the south Island
of New Zealand.
It’s called Slope Point.

The weather is not to good (rain now and
than) and it is cold. According to the
weather report on the radio it would rain and
it did and the temperature would be like 16
degrees Celsius. This last part was not right.
Although we don’t have a thermometer it is
Probably something like 10 degrees and the
fierce wind (from the Arctic) makes it a lot
But since we have a holiday and a heater in
the van we shouldn’t complain.
Lots of people wear ski-jacks, woolen caps,
etc. like it is winter (and it seems like that).
We only brought summer-clothes.

During our trip today we stopped at a place,
called Nugget Point near a village called
At Nugget Point there is a lighthouse.
We took a hike to the lighthouse and on the
rocks, below the lighthouse we saw (and
photographed) some seals or sea-lions.
From the top of the cliff to the sea is more
than hundred meters or even more, but still
it was nice to see.
Big waves on the rocks make always nice

So that I don’t forget I have to tell you that we
saw yesterday a Maori woman in the Albatros
Observation Centre, with facial tattoos.
It just looked like she was wearing a beard.

On our way we visited the New Zealand Niagara
Falls. The falls were only very, very small.
Here in New Zealand they do everywhere
everything to attract tourists.

All villages have a museum, old buildings
(even older than 1900) and everything is advertised
on colourfull signs. You can’t miss them.
Today we saw again thousands and thousands
of sheep (for people who love sheep, it must be
heaven overhere).
They have lots of cows here too (Blaarkoppen
and Lakenvelders); I don’t know the English
names. These cows we used to have in
Holland too (50 years ago or so) before the
nowadays cows who just give milk and that’s it.
For people who love cows (and especially older
races or versions or whatever) it must be heaven

We are camping now at Slope Point, a few miles
from the ocean.
It is a campground (farm-camping) for some tents
(no tents today because it is to cold) and two
We are the only people camping here tonight.

Buys Ballot’s law doesn’t seem to apply here,
because there are (the last so many days) only
westerly winds and I thought that in the southern
hemisphere the winds come from the east??
The trees think so too, because they all have
grown with their branches and treetops to the

We enjoy our trip here very much because every
time the landscape differs from meadows to
rainforests and from flat country to high, snow-
topped mountains.
The coast does resemble Scotland and Nova
Scotia very much and is, for that, beautiful and
sometimes even awesome.

This is it for today.
Hope to “post” this tomorrow.

Aheap of (three) sealions.

You can see other lions lying on the beach, somewhat further away.

There was an icecold, fierce wind blowing from the sea (sometimes so hard we couldn't look at the beach) and we both had sand in our hair, clothes, shoes and other places (for instance later also in bed).

The water was almost freezing cold.

Another big sealion

Here two pictures of one and the same sealion. I was only a few meters away. Imagine!!

This is the first sealion we saw on the beach.

Sometime later it appeared to be two sealions, one big one and a small one.

We were very excited to see thes animals, not even knowing that around both corners (left and right) there were more and bigger lions to see.

Today, Tuesday, we woke up at 8 in the morning.
It was cold tonight (must have been around zero
or so) and there were a few tents on the camping,so they must have been cold in the night.
At 9 we drove to the big town of Twizel, well
known in Twizel itself and surroundings.

In Twizel we bought groceries and after this main
event we set for Oumarua, a town on the seaside.
Here we will see (we hope) penguins.
And………………..yes, we saw two penguins.
We visited a special place on the beach where
Penguins come from the sea, where they were
fishing, for their partners who stay on the beach
to hatch or to look after little penguins or
Lots of people were looking from a special
shed (they paid $ 20,- for a busride to the beach
and back and we just drove down there) at the
beach where one penguin was standing, looking
at the sea.
He (or she) stood there almost for one and a half
hour and almost didn’t move.
Because no other penguin showed itself all the
people left again and Ankie and I waited a little
longer and “YES” there came another penguin
out of the sea and I have the beast on video.
Of course this is very spectacular.

This morning we set for Dunedin (a sort of copy
of Edinburg) also on the east coast of New Zealand,
Southern Island.
We found ourselves a nice campingplace on the
Otago peninsula, in a very little village, called
We àrrived early (we were the first today) and
after doing the administration we went to a
beach, called Sandfly beach.
We should see there:
- Sealions (Pakaka in Maori)
- Penguins.

As I wrote there was a strong wind (I think at
least 9 or 10 beaufort) because you could lean into
the wind and the sand bit in our eyes.

We started on the high cliffs and walked down to
the beach via a “long and winding road”, through
the sanddunes beneath the cliffs.
We were halfway and we thought to see a sealion
on the beach and soon it turned out there were at
least 15 big sealions (and a small dead one too) on
the beach, sleeping.
You could walk up to them, as close as a few
It was amazing to be so near to these big animals
who didn’t give a shit about us, being close by.
We photographed them all.
They just lay around on the beach and although
now and than one looked at us, they didn’t pay us
any further attention, flipped a little with their
flippers and went on sleeping.

The way back, up the cliffs was tiresome.
And……….…we didn’t see any penguins today.
Maybe tomorrow, who knows.
All the villages and towns have their own penguins
and we’ll be able to see some more, I think in the
coming days.

We also went to an albatross observation centre.
Prince Charles of England was there before us, in
2005. Maybe he chased the birds away.
It was cold outside, because of the strong cold
wind, so we decided to drink something and looked,
in vain, for an albatross (a bird with a wingspan of
3,5 or 4 meters when mature) from the observatory.
Probably the birds were doing something else than
having us have a look at them.
After this event we went home.

No pictures today (no wifi although we paid for it).
Shit happens.
Till the next time.