(September 4th 2006)
After much prevarication (huge word for this time of the morning), we sorted the route for the stage between Picton (the ferry terminal) and Franz Josef (pic shown above).
We decided to stay for two nights in Blenheim, one night in Hanmer Springs and one night in Greymouth. A small problem occurred this morning when I recevied an email from the motel we wanted in Blenheim saying they were fully booked for the first night we wanted…fully booked….5 months in advance. We’ll have to check out our second choice motel or re-jig the route. I’m happy with the route so I think a different motel is required.
The other two places have vacancies so we’ll book those today probably.
The other thing we did this weekend was book some trips.
★ A ‘Day in the Bay’ cruise in the Bay of Islands. This looked the best cruise. We get to see all the sights that the other cruises offer and the opportunity of swimming with dolphins, mind you six and a half hours on a boat doesn’t fill me with excitement, but I’m sure it’ll be great. Hope they have lots of lifeboats…I’ve seen Titanic.
★ A helicopter ride to see the Franz Josef and Fox glaciers. On the pic above, it’s the Twin Glacier trip. Not sure if you land on both or just one, but I’m really looking forward to that after doing the flight over Niagara Falls. This one is 30 mins compared to 10 mins in Canada.
★ The famous Shotover Jet Boat. I have to admit, the great big chicken inside me is screaming at me to cancel this one right now. At the end of the day, I don’t go on rollercoasters and I don’t like small boats and I’ve booked us to go on a boat that hold 28 people and speeds up and down a river inches from the rock face doing 360 degree turns just for fun. Have to make sure I make a will before I go.
★ The one we’re both really looking forward to (well we’re looking forward to all of them), the Milford Sound cruise and underwater observatory. This place is so stunning in all the photos I’ve seen, I can see me taking quite a lot of my own photos here.
Next up, the journey from Franz Josef to Wanaka (yes it’s a real place and it has a ‘bra fence’ but I’ll tell you about that next time).
The hotel at Blenheim was fully booked so we are going to stay in Picton instead at the Yacht Club Hotel. Picton is the town that the ferry docks in, so we won’t have far to travel once we’re off the boat. The hotel seems to have nice views over the harbour and is a great location to explore the Marlborough Sound area. A bit further to drive to Hamner Springs when we leave but only about 25mins so we can handle that.