Cooke’s New Zealand Adventure A photographic story…..
Arrival at Christchurch in middle of snowstorm. Decided to drive taking gamble on whether roads were open – 4 hour drive to Lake Tekapo ahead. Ice roads, snow falling, very slow. All a bit scared, but excited – kids were beside themselves driving in snow!
Lake Tekapo. Arrival at 6pm. Lots of snow, -1 degrees. Kids not once complained of the cold.
Walking to find some breakfast at Lake Tekapo – long nervy drive ahead to Queenstown.
Diversion from breakfast…made mates with guy on top floor of where we were staying who lent the kids a sled………the fun has only just begun…
The hunger took a back seat while the kids mucked around…
Still in Lake Tekapo – the thrill of snow is so cool!!!! And the snow ball fights….the start of many more to come over the next week
Trev takes a lesson on chains before we head off to Queenstown. We are told ice on roads and the pass may be shut – chains were a definite!! Could be in for a 5 to 6 hour drive, what would normally be only about 3 ½.
Chain fitting area before heading up towards Lindess Pass. THIS was fun. So many people and kids on the side of the road throwing snowballs and making snowmen – a really friendly and helpful trek. Everyone is everyone’s mate and people walk from car to car chatting and offering help while the kids throw snow at the cars and anyone who happens to be passing….A bit scary not knowing what it’s like up ahead.
Still at the chain fitting area – any opportunity to throw snow at each other…
Lindess Pass. The start of the climb into the mountains. So far so good. The pass is open.
Scenic shot on the way to Queenstown – weather starts to clear up
Arrived at Queenstown around 4pm. Went straight on to the Gondola – the steepest in the Southern Hemisphere…..not good. View was unreal.
Photo taken from the café on the mountain after the gondola ride. Kids watched traditional Haka dance by Maori natives – Ginger didn’t think much of this!!
A J Hackett Bungy & Swing. This looks terrifying. You pass it on your way up on the gondola. I’m not joking this is my version of hell. I was dared to take the plunge…..I PROMISED upon our return next year I would do the swing….not the bungy….and I would do the night time one…at least that way you can’t see where you are going.
“ The Luge” ride. Ginger’s favourite. They are like toboggans on wheels that fly down this really steep and winding track down the mountain. The 2 nd skylift to get to the start of the race track is unbelievable – no chains, no safety rope, just a T-Bar to hang on to….Ginger went on and on again – frightened the life out of me, and I think I nearly strangled her I was holding her so tight!!
The sunset every night over “The Remarkables” was a sight to see. I think one of my most memorable moments, the photo doesn’t capture its beauty – and there are no words to explain the feeling you have watching it.
The drive on the way to Coronet Peak ski field. A bit hairy – but manageable. This was actually taken on the way down…but it gives you an idea of what it’s like. Steep, snowy and NO RAILS!!!
Time to hit the slopes. At Coronet Peak off loading ready to go.
Ginger was so proud of her snowball – after I took the photo she threw it at me. Like you can’t tell in her eyes that was her plan.
A stop on the way up to Coronet Peak for some snow play….again the three of them threw snowballs at the photographer after the shot…in fact I was wrestled to the ground and had snow put down my pants. So juvenile.
Another beautiful photo the mountains, taken from the top of the peak.
On board TSS Earnslaw on the way to Walter’s Peak. Photo taken by Holly.
On TSS Earnslaw still…..as you can see Ginger didn’t sway much from her diet of Tiny Teddies. Photo taken by Holly.
I love animals. But this one was hard. Whatever it was on “The Farm” at Walter’s Peak. The kids loved it here. We watched Meg the sheep dog round up sheep, patted and fed the goats, deers, sheep & this thing as well as watched a sheep getting shawn…or as Ginger says “making the sheep look pretty like Belle…”
Holly and I at Walter’s Peak. Trev and I have decided to retire here. It was so wonderful and delicate, so pretty and untouchable that there are simply no photos that do it justice.
At the wharf at Walter’s Peak. “The Farm” has over 20,000 Marino’s . They are farmed in the “high country” which consists of a mountain covered in snow about 1400 metres high. The farmers hike up and around once a year with their sheep dogs to gather them to shear. It takes them 10 days and they almost always end up losing a few over the edges of the steep cliff as the terrain is so rugged and harsh.
Now, depending on who you talk to this was apparently the highlight. Ginger wanted to do it, she did it, she laughed and at times wished she was still in nappies – Holly couldn’t get enough and Trev thought it was awesome. The Shotover jet was absolutely terrifying. It is sick how close they drive to the canyons, let alone the 360 degree spins in 10cms of water. It was below freezing when we did this and no one could talk after getting off – our faces were frozen solid.
ADVICE: Anyone going to the Antarctic Centre at Queenstown….DON’T. The biggest rip off. Of all the fantastic things we did, none of them let us down but this was the dumbest. The dud penguin says it all…nonetheless Ginger thought he was brilliant.
After a four hour drive from Lake Tekapo back to Christchurch airport, four hour wait in the lounge we finally reach Christchurch ready to come home……the kids have had their best holiday yet. They were unbelievably well behaved and you can see by Holly they were also thoroughly exhausted!!!