Friday, January 30, 2009

Glacier Time!!

we headed back on the road to Franz Joseph Glacier and Fox Glacier.
we spent the night in the township of Franz Joseph. a little cooler now that we are in the mountains! Reminds us of home with Mount Cook and the Souther Alps all around!

this is the Fox Glacier. and here is where 2 aussies got killed just last month for going beyond the yellow rope. the glacier front collapsed .
closeup of the glacier. we couldn't get close enough to touch! this glacier moves up to a meter a day~ so need a guide. we decided to wait until we get back to BC to touch a glacier
Family Tremblay with Franz Joseph Glacier in background!
Franz Joseph township and the view from the sidewalk outside the grociery store!
Steve and Kyle forged the icy cold river to get us some ice from Fox Glacier for our cooler!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hokitika - Greenstone time!

We continued on down the road (for about 2.5 hrs) into Greymouth, bought a tarp because it was starting to rain, but of course stopped. we camped just outside of Greymouth for the night. Then the next morning we headed into Hokitika - great gem place!! lots and lots of greenstone.
Trivia what is New Zealand Greenstone? same as BC Jade. in fact they import it from us and make rings!! have to read the labels to get the NZ stuff. the name for the greenstone is Pounamu.
it is a treasured spiritual significance for most NZ ers. the stone has been and still is used to denote authority, for adornment and for making peace. Very neat that BC has this stone in common with NZ!
after our gem lessons we went to the glass blowing shop. We sat there for a long time just mesmorized by the men as they made their creations. It was a wonderfully full day!!

so funny to see all the seagulls facing the same way - into the wind! just like the boats
Kyle playing with the waves on the beack in Hokitika
this was at the beach , they were teaching the kids how to make a blue pengin home to help save them. this was the garbage can there
this is the NZ ruby! very dense stone- the lady in the shop was so lovely she gave me my own
Ruby rock is only found here in Hokitika NZ, also know as Goodletite. crystallizations consisting of corundum (ruby and sapphires) tourmalines, muscovite, chromite, and margarite. this is a rock formation unlike anything else on earth! these minerals form a conglomerate rock which contains crystallizations large enough to be viewed as individual formation within the rock

this lovely owl is carved from greenstone. look at the different colours!
the town clock! we loved this little town. lots of learning here

here the kids are polishing the greenstone. those are diamond sanding sponge!
Emma amiring the painted stones. She and Maya went to the beach and collected a bunch and plan on painting and selling their own! be prepared for when we get back!

Pancake Rocks West Coast

this was very cool to see again for me! I remember being here. the kids and Steve really enjoyed the scenery. very dramatic!

Down the West Coast of south Island

back on the ocean again! or at least close to it. this was our first stop on the rugged west coast! had a blast playing with the waves and got lots of cool stones!

look at those waves!
Steve trying to beat them!
o sexy woman!

rugged west coast!there is a reason we came by car!!

South Island adventure! to Murchison

the kids by the fire
had a campfire with our neighbors in the campsite, nice people! had a girl Kyle's age and she took the kids down the river swimming earlier that day. Emilie also joined us. great time!
Steve panning for gold. I got a few flakes, but no we didn't strike it rich!
the Buller River by our campsite. there is gold flakes everywhere! the kids swam down with the currents in here. had a blast!
and finally Steve!
then came Kyle and Maya!
Emma and me coming down the swing over the Buller Gorge
this little bird got this close to us! almost had him on my finger.
more of the Buller River- quite the hike! pretty
back on the river again. lots of little waterfalls all around
the barbeque boys!! we had 2 great nights of barbequeing together. Our last ones unil.............?
the happy kids - glad to be back together again!
Kyle teaching Emilie about the traps that were everywhere on our hike.
mom and daughter! what crazy girls !
the 3 girls re-united! Nathalie, Dionne, Marg
On the longest swing bridge in NZ - over the Buller river. very narrow bridge, but the Capilano Suspension bridge is higher and longer ( and a litter wider too!)
the Buller River! took the swing bridge over - went for a 2.5 hr hike! so beautiful!
We met up with O'Vive in Murchison on the South Island! Emilie and Kyle re-united!! they were so happy. This is the river we hiked to. very beautiful and felt good on our feet!
Steve and I on the ferry to the south island - we met up with Malachi on the same ferry, couldn't have planned it if we tried. Ferry is expensive!! $405 one way for us with the caravan, ( it only cost us an extra $120)
Cool town call "Bulls" - lover their humour with their name - sending postcards of this!
Mt ? on North Island. will have to look it up and tell you later- but its a volcano for sure!
Steve fixing our overheating problem! turns out is was just the rad cap, but they didn't have one in Rotorua so Steve managed to get some extra gaskets from other rad caps and that seems to be working!
our home on the road! ain't it cute!

Here are some of the photos - We are having a good time , lots of pictures and doing lots of things- mostly hikes and walks.

Monday, January 26, 2009

touring the South Island

hello everyone, we are having a blast touring the south island. we are currently in Franz Joseph Glacier. Have been in Nelson, then spent 2 nights in Murchison with O'Vive and Malachi. lots of hikes. We have all parted and the Orca troup are on their own. just wanted to update and will expend and post pictures soon!

Monday, January 19, 2009

back in Auckland again.........................

We headed back to Auckland for Paige's 11th Birthday! we took a spot right on the Viaduct downtown Auckland beside the Maritime Museum! very cool to be in the heart of the city. We had Micheal and Tash come for dinner and what a great time we had , they are great people!!! this is Neall's youngest brother. We are sure getting to know the MacLeod clan! good bunch!Tash, Micheal,Emma, Kyle, Paige, and Maya - having a jolly good time!

Orca III at the Hobson Marina on the Viaduct Auckland City Center!

It was great getting together with New Paige again. the kids had a blast ice skating! yep, you heard it all that talk of snow made us home sick so off they went. The kids were so happy they remembered how to skate. "the skating bunch!!"

Before the skating we went off to the Victoria Market.... that was cool, the kids and Paige had lots of fun in the park.see the skytower in the background! this was a cool park!
popcorn machine at the skate rink, never seen this before, just put your money in , it pops the corn a voila - you have hot popcorn! oh so fun!

We are now getting ready for our road trip to the South Island!! this will be a good time. we hope to meet up with O'Vive for one last goodbye! and also ..more MacLeod's - this time mom and dad . they are down in Timoru. off we go landing (?) tee hee





'Lil' putt putt

'Lil' putt putt
Christmas at Snug Cove