Saturday, February 25, 2012

Summer Holiday 2012: Kaikoura

As we were as far south as we could possibly get in the Catlins we started the long drive up the east coast of the South Island stopping at a couple of places along the way. First stop the Moeraki Boulders. These are pretty amazing spherical concretions that are slowly being weathered out of the sandstone and just sitting on the beach.
Moeraki Boulders 
We spent the last couple of days of our holiday in Kaikoura, another place we have not been to before. This is where people go whale watching and swim with dolphins, but given I have seen many whales out at sea and swum with dolphins a few days earlier in Curio Bay, we just explored the town on our bikes, hung out and ate some great seafood.
More lazy fur seals

Town with the mountains in the background

A storm dumped snow on the mountains overnight
Who would have thought it was summer...... it has been a pretty pathetic one here in New Zealand. 

Summer Holiday 2012: The Catlins

The weather also turned in Queenstown and again we tried to escape it by heading as far south as we could to the Catlins. You can even see Stewart Island in the background..... So we spent a couple of days in the Catlins checking out the local wildlife and scenery. 

Waipapa Point - Stewart Island in the background.

The Locals - fur seals

The southern most point of the South Island

Yellow-eyed penguins

Petrified trees 

Curio Bay at sunset - earlier Helen had swum with the Hectors Dolphins in the bay

Cathedral Caves

Cathedral Caves from the outside

McLean Falls

Summer Holiday 2012: Queenstown

Unfortunately the weather was forecast to change in the Mt Cook region, so we headed down to Queenstown to check out some of the mountain biking. We were down there in winter last year and did some tramping, but had heard about some great biking that Aaron wanted to check out. We started out exploring the Mtn biking area at Seven Mile.

Exploring the trails at Seven Mile

The next day we rode the Moke Lake loop. It started off pretty cruisy on the gravel roads through some private land, but then we reached the Moonlight track, which was rather unrideable, overgrown with thistles, with lots and lots of cows standing in the way and cow dung to negotiate as well.  There was some good riding coming down into the Shotover. 

Moke Lake

Helen fording the ford at speed

Near the top of the Moonlight Track

Dropping down towards the Shotover River

Helen cooling off after the ride with a dip in Lake Wakatipu

Summer Holiday 2012: Mount Cook

Helen had spent the week in the Tekapo for a workshop/conference and Aaron came down with the car and bikes to spend a week in the South Island having some adventures. The weather was perfect for the first day so we took advantage of it and headed up to Mt Cook village and did a nice day walk up to Sefton Biv.

Aoraki / Mount Cook with Lake Pukaki in the foreground 

Sefton Bivouac with Tewaewae Glacier behind

Helen and I with Mt Sefton (3151m) in the background 

Looking down the ridge at the terminus of the Mueller Glacier 

Aoraki / Mount Cook and the Hooker River

The Tasman Glacier

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Refurbished chair and more work on the garden

Posts on the blog have been a bit sparse lately. We have both been very busy. Helen has had heaps going on at work as well as Girl Guide Jamborees and weekend tramps. I have been busy with work, biking and playing in the garden.

This chair was given to me by my woodwork instructor in a pretty rough state. I glued it back together, sanded it down and re-coated it with some Danish Oil. We managed to get the leftover fabric from our couch ages ago and had the cushions recovered with it so it matches the couch perfectly.

I have been building a block retaining wall on the north side of the house to stop the hill from crumbling into the rocks.

I also did a bit more work on the steps on the south side of the house - nearly finished!