Sunday, April 28, 2013

Part 3: Holiday to South Island of New Zealand (28 Nov-13 Dec 2012) - 3-5 December 2012

 After corporate morning revival to refresh our spirit and thank the Lord for all His leading, we prepared and enjoyed our breakfast while enjoying the scenery around us..
Breakfast @ outdoor

Mt. Cook and Lake Pukaki

Lake Pukaki is located under the Alps of Mt. Cook as seen at some pictures here.

Lake Pukaki and Mt. Cook
About 10AM, we were checked-out to continue our journey to Arrowtown. We did try to find the salmon farm, which is just about 20-30 min drive from the place we stayed, unfortunately we could not find it. We stopped by at Twitzel for a break and having lunch here. We had fast foods and ice cream..
*we bought the foods from a nearby fast food restaurant and had it at the nearby park. Because the price for dine-in is more expensive compare with take-away. Something different from Singapore*
On our way to Arrowtown, we found High Country Salmon Farm and stopped to buy fresh salmon for our dinner tonight.
We arrived at Arrowtown about 5.35PM and checked in @ Poplar Lodge. After some marketing for our dinner, we prepared dinner with main menu: SALMON ..

Main Road, Buckingham St. @ Arrowtown
Scenery on the way to Arrowtown

Dinner with Salmon and wine @ Poplar Lodge, Arrowtown
After dinner, we went out for a walk around the lodge. The main road, Buckingham St, was 2 min away from the place we stayed. We stopped and bought kiwi wine *but the taste of kiwi wine not suite my taste*.
Tonight didnt see much stars on the sky .. so we decided to sleep early after some wine tasting and nothing much could be done outside..

Background is the Kawarau bridge for bungy jumping
This morning about 9AM we departed to Cromwell. On the way, we stopped at Kawarau Bungy Centre, the world's first commercial bungy jump. None of us went for the jump, but we went in and could see all the activities of the jumper clearly from the nearby viewing deck. If u an adult and want to try, just prepare NZD180.00 for 1 jump.. Book online at their website to get some discount. Or, you want to be tied up & thrown off with a friend, then this is the site for you, as it offers Queenstown’s only tandem Bungy Jump. Their advise, "sharing the thrill doesn’t mean halving the fear!". Once you ready and stood on the edge of 47 metres above the stunning Kawarau River, your final choice is clear – how wet do you want to get ................

Then we continued to Mrs. Jones' Fruit Orchard. Actually we already booked via internet for orchard's tour. But due to some miscommunication at their side, we only entered into their nearby farm, Cherry Farm. Then we did some shopping for fresh fruits and vegetables, ice cream and some dried foods. They have a nice garden and free for us to enter and it is the time for photo taking .............. :D

Cherries on the tree..
Rose Garden @ Mrs. Jones Orchard

Next destination after this ... the famous Queenstown, Surrounded by majestic mountains and nestled on the shores of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu. It is built around an inlet called Queenstown Bay on Lake Wakatipu,  New Zealand's longest lake, 80 km,  and, at 291 km2 (112 sq mi), its third largest lake in NZ.
This town is very unique and interesting. Many beautiful houses facing the lake.. The main road is not that long but very crowded with many shops and restaurants/eating place. If you walked behind the main street, you will enjoy the close lake view.
We tried gondola and luge. If you travel in a group of 5 (family), 8 or 10 people, the prices will be much cheaper. Think first before buy the tickets, as the price for just sit on gondola compare with combo's price (gondola and luge ride) can be different a lots . . If you a Mountain Bike's rider, then this is the place. We saw many mountain bikers here...Bring your own bike..
Lake Wakatipu as background
With Mrs. Jones

 Another jumping in Queenstown that can let your andrenalin run faster, called Ledge Swing will cost you NZD150.00..
Gondola ride. Lake Wakatipu and Queenstown at the back
Get ready for LUGE ...

We went back to Arrowtown (20 min drive from Queenstown) and visited Arrowtown Chinese Settlement. 

Swing jumping @ Queenstown

The so-called TOILET
Bank of Arrowtown river, maybe there is gold for us??

Group Pix before say bye-bye Poplar Lodge

Arrowtown Bakery
Before we drove to Te Anau, we stopped by at "a must try Pie shops", the famous Arrowtown Bakery .. I love the chicken pie.. very delicious.

@Lake Hayes
We stopped a while at Lake Hayes to enjoy its blue color water. We didnt stop too often except for petrol and toilet break, as we had a tour booking @ Te Anau at 2PM.
After drove about 3 hrs, we arrived at the holiday homes that we booked: Family Retreat. The house quite big and all for 12 of us.
Family retreat
After put in the luggage, we went to the tour agency to joint Te Anau Glowworm Caves Tour from Real Journeys.
Ready for the boat ride @ Te Anau Lake
Floating to see the gliterring worm *Photo from Real Journeys's website*

The 30 min ride across the lake of Te Anau to the caves was really beautiful. We had excellent clear weather so the view were amazing with cool weather.

After some explanations @ Cavern House, we started the walk to the caves. At the caves you take a walk through the caves. You have to do some bending and crouching to keep your head clear of rocks. You walk past a waterfall and then arrive at some boats. Once you loaded up they turn off the lights and you drift on an underground lake and watch the worms. They ask everyone to remain silent which is good as it adds to the experience. The worms are worth it. NZD75.00 for 2hrs15Min tour. (note: photography and video filming are not permitted inside the cave).

When we arrived at Te Anau, we heard that the road to Milford Sound was closed due to heavy rain that caused rocks falling. We already booked for the next day to drive to joint Milford Sound tour. Since no assurance that the road would be opened the next day, we decided to change our itinerary by joining Doubtful Sound tour, operated by the same company.
We did some marketing at the nearby supermarket for our dinner and tomorrow lunch ..
We had beef and lamb steak for dinner .................... and wine, of course .. *white or red, anyone??*

After dinner, we went out for a walk .. Since this is summer time, the sky was still bright until 10PM ..


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