Monday, January 12, 2009

Te Anau

On the 18th day of our honeymoon, we went to Te Anau. Since we got there in the afternoon, we missed the Milford Sound cruises for the day. Instead, we booked the Milford Sound cruise for the next day, a glow worm cave tour for that day, and an overnight Doubtful Sound tour (we were happy it was off season).

Since the glow worm tour didn't leave for a few hours, we decided to go hiking around the area a bit. There was the beginning track to a multi-day hike so off we went, but only for about an hour in and then turned around. As with the other hikes, it was quite picturesque.

At 7:00 PM, we headed off in a boat across Lake Te Anau to the cave. It even had an underground waterfall! Unfortunately, pictures weren't allowed because supposedly they disturb the glow worms. Even though we couldn't take pictures, it was an impressive tour and I'd highly recommend it. We got into a small boat with about 10 people in the dark and then our tour guide and as our eyes adjusted to the dark, we could almost see the sides of the caves. More often, I felt the presence of cave walls. It was kind of eery but really cool.

The tour got done about 9:00 PM and we hadn't had dinner yet. We saw a "roach coach" selling burgers and such but thought that we could do better. Wrong. Everything was closed! So, we headed back to the mobile burger mobile and happened to get pretty darn tasty burgers, even though they had beets. Yep, beets on burgers. Oh, I ate grilled chicken, not a burger.

Sunday, January 04, 2009


On the 17th day of our honeymoon, we wandered around Queenstown. We had brunch at Vudu cafe which has free internet access. It was a great cafe and very tasty food. I highly recommend it.

After a hearty breakfast/brunch, we did a bit of shopping (and more yarn) and went to a bird sanctuary to see kiwis. They are an extremely rare flightless bird of New Zealand. They are nocturnal so the houses are dark. We got there close to feeding time so we stayed to watch them get fed and eat a bit. The kiwis are raised in the houses until breeding age and are then released to "safe" areas in the country where the predators have been eliminated. I managed to get a slightly blurry picture of the kiwi.

From Glaciers to Queenstown

Yep, I am still blogging about day 16 of our honeymoon (with a bit of the drive from day 15, too). When looking through the pictures of the waterfalls, I realized that the whole drive was just stunning, so here are pictures of the drive (minus the waterfalls) along State Highway 6, through Haast Pass and Wanaka to the suburbs of Queenstown.

Puzzle world

On our drive from the glaciers to the fjords, we made a few stops along the way. One of those stops was Puzzle World in Wanaka. The Lonely Planet guidebook and a friend of mine recommended it so we thought we'd check it out. All I can say is that it is strange. If you have any balance issues or get dizzy easily, it is NOT a place for you to go!! There are some warnings on one of the rooms.

Puzzle World has rooms of different "puzzles." Some are optical allusions, well most are actually. There is a room of faces and if you walk a certain way, the eyes look like they are following you. There is also a room that explains how some of the optical allusions were done in the Lord of the Rings movies. There is also a room that seriously messes with your balance. There are funky steps and a slide that you ride up instead of down. The floor is also angled. Outside, there is a maze to solve. We did pretty well on the maze but had to quit early because I felt a bit ill from the "funky" room.

All in all, it is an interesting place. I think it is one of those places that you have a pretty strong reaction to. We met some other American travelers the night before we went who absolutely raved about it. While we were there, we met some Irish tourists that had been on our glacier hike. They were leaving the place and said that it wasn't worth the money.