Day 1
We all flew into Christchurch real early & jumped onto our private coach with our driver Chrissy, who would be with us for the next few days.
Arthur’s Pass was blocked with snow & ice so we had to take the alternate route via Reefton through Lewis Pass.
Photo stops near the beautiful mountains, braided rivers as we travelled, our gorgeous West Coast on an unusually clear & bright day, Nikau palms & Punakaiki pancake rocks. Then down to Hokitika for the night @Stopforths Motel where Sonja prepared a masterful Kiwi dinner, Geoff introduced the group to some choice local wines, & Phil entertained us with an evening of great star gazing!
What a way to spend the first day of the tour!

Waiting to catch our flight from Auckland

On our private coach

Quick stop at Kilkenny Lookout to stretch legs and take some pics

The braided Maruia River along the way

Leg stretch Lewis Pass

Our gorgeous West Coast on a sunny day!!

Our gorgeous West Coast on a sunny day!!

Nikau palms at Punakaiki – the palm at right is about 60 yrs old!

Puankaiki lookout

Punakaiki – Pancake Rocks

Fei and Ben – gānbēi!!

Fab dinner cooked lovingly by Sonja @Stopforths Motel – Cheers!!

Annie “no red face” enjoying a glass of local Merlot

WOO!!!

Cheers!!

Stargazing with Phil Stopforth – cheers Phil, that was outstanding!!

 

Day 2
Short hop down to Franz Josef Glacier with a couple of stops on the way for pics & toilets. Onto the three waiting choppers for a twin glacier flight with snow landing – WOOOHOOO!!!!!
Super lunch @The Landing Bar & Cafe (best fries on the West Coast…). Live Kiwi birds & prehistoric Tuatara reptiles @West Coast Wildlife Centre. Fox Glacier valley walk, dinner @King Tiger & sleepover @58 on Cron Motel.

West Coast sights

WOOOHOOO!!!

All having fun

Helicopter safety briefing @Franz Josef Glacier

Ready to ROCK!!

Jump in, let’s GO!!

 

Glacier snow landing

Pristine beauty in the snow high above the World….

Great food @The Landing – best fries on the West Coast!!

West Coast Wildlife Centre briefing – real Kiwi birds and Tuataras!

The Fox glacier gorge. All this used to be filled with ice, many hundreds of feet thick

That’s our team down theeeere….

Fox gorge at sunset

WeChatting @King Tiger Restaurant, Franz Josef.

Stunning scenery behind our motel @58 on Cron

Day 3
Early start, long way to go. Coffee/toilet stop @Salmon Farm Cafe. Blue Pools walk & photo opp. Lunch @Makarora Country Cafe. Another photo opp at stunning Lake Hawea. Quick stop in Wanaka then on to Queenstown for the next few days staying @Garden Court Suites & Apartments.

The Salmon Farm Cafe

Blue Pools track

Blue Pools

Blue Pools rock beach

Blue Pools

The Makarora River @Blue Pools

Blue Pools

Lunch at Makarora Country Cafe. This place is absolutely unique!!

@Makarora Country Cafe for lunch and a stretch

Approaching The Neck between Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea

Lake Hawea

Lake Hawea – stunning!!

Happy snaps @Lake Hawea

Happy snaps @Lake Hawea

Driving into Queenstown

Queenstown in Winter

Chrissy… in her boots… (thanks Chrissy, you drove like a champ mate!!)

The three Geoffs – the handsome one on the left is me….

Day 4
Early start for the coach to Milford Sound. Cruising the Sound on a 3-level catamaran. Great buffet lunch, & back to QT late in the evening. A long day but totally worth the trip to Milford – another must do activity in the South Island.

Sunrise, waiting for our coach

Photo stop on the way

Three cool kids!!

Cheeky Kea, our endangered alpine parrot

Kea, our endangered alpine parrot

Photo stop along the way

Mirror Lake, on the way to Milford

Mirror Lake, on the way to Milford

Photo stop along the way

Waiting for the lights to change at the Homer Tunnel

Boarding our lux catemeran on Milford Sound

Milford Sound. Just spectacular!!

Milford Sound

Milford Sound

Milford Sound

One of the many beautiful waterfalls on Milford Sound

Mitre Peak, stunning…no other word for it…!!

Milford Sound

Sunset over Lake Te Anau on the way back to Queenstown

 

Day 5
Onto Lake Wakatipu with the historic steamship TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a sheep shearing demo & a fabulous gourmet BBQ lunch @Colonel’s Homestead Restaurant.
Free time in the afternoon before the team met up @Skyline Gondola for Luge fun in the sun & another fabulous buffet dinner at the Stratosfare Restaurant at the top of Bob’s Peak overlooking Queenstown. This gondola is the steepest cable car lift in the Southern Hemisphere and one of the must-do activities in Queenstown!

Strolling along the lakeside to get to the wharf

Queenstown waterfront – pretty as a picture!

The iconic steamship TSS Earnslaw

Steam powered winching gear at the stern of the TSS

One of the plush saloons on board

The Earnslaw engine room – the heart of this remarkable vessel

Happy snaps on board

The Colonel’s Homestead on Walter Peak High Country Farm

Sheep shearing and sheep dog demo at Walter Peak High Country Farm

Feeding the ducks after a fabulous buffet lunch

Yep, that’s us tucking into the fabulous buffet lunch….

The Earnslaw at its mooring

More steam powered winching gear on the fore deck

Yep, you guessed it – Titanic of course!!

Fore deck winching gear on the Earnslaw

WOOHOO…!!

The captain of the Earnslaw chilling on the way back to Queenstown

Happy mum and dad

Cruising back to Queenstown

Queenstown – the adventure capital of New Zealand

The Skyline Gondola above Queenstown

It’s the steepest cable car lift in the Southern Hemisphere

Gearing up for the Luge on Bob’s Peak

Ready to ROCK that luge…!!

WE LOVE YOU QUEENSTOWN…..!!!

View over Lake Wakatipu from the Stratosfare Restaurant

The team WOOHOOING!!

View from the Stratosfare Restaurant overlooking Queenstown

Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu at dusk

The Skyline Gondola at night with Queenstown twinkling below

 

 

 

 

Day 6
Back on our private coach with new driver Ed. Over the Crown Range to the historic Cardrona Hotel for coffee and a swing. Fun at the World famous bra fence. More fun for the kids @Puzzling World. The 70 year old Wanaka tree (sometimes called the ‘Lonely Tree’) in Roy’s Bay. Choice lunch @Francesca’s Pizzeria, then back on the Crown Range up to Snow Farm for more fun in the snow with the kids – both big and small!

One of New Zealand’s oldest and most iconic hotels, it was established in 1863, which makes it 155 years old!!

One of the many outside fireplaces at The Cardrona

The Cardrona, inside

Old wooden wagon at The Cardrona Hotel

Fei and Ben, warming themselves at the fire

The famous Cardrona bra fence, believed to be the first of its kind in the World. Donate here for breast cancer

Three cute kids…again!

….what all men want to do….

Shopping for a new bra – this is how we do it in New Zealand……

The Cardrona Hotel back in the 1800s

Three cute kids having fun at Puzzling World near Wanaka

Mirror cieling at Puzzling World

Roy’s Bay, Lake Wanaka

The lonely Wanaka tree, it used to be a fence post 70 years ago, until it decided to grow!

Great Italian food at Francesca’s Pizzeria in Wanaka

Pizza….YUM….!!

Arriving at Snow Farm up on the Pisa Range near Cardrona

Snow Farm….even more fun!!

Slippy slope at Snow Farm

Up in the snow, Annie and her husband

Fun in the snow!!

Beautiful snow field on the Pisa Range

Setting up the tubes for the slope run

Crown Range view – stunning!!

Day 7
Our last morning in Queenstown – in New Zealand actually!! We split into three groups, the first taking the adventure plunge and opting for a morning of sky diving, the second for a more relaxed bush walk out to Bob’s Cove close to Queenstown, and the third for a totally relaxed late sleep in and 11am checkout of our accommodation.

We all met up for lunch and had Fergburgers (again…) then our private coach dropped us off at the airport for return flights.

We’ll be sorry to see you go & look forward to your next visit to our beautiful country.

Kia ora and ka kite anō! (Thank you and see you again!)

WhatamIdoing….I must be CRAZYYY….!!!!

WOOHOOOOOO…..!! Flying like a bird….or dropping like a STONE!!!

“That’s Earth down there…..”

Safely back on terra firma….whew….!!

Happy snaps at Bob’s Cove. Beautiful place!!

Deep, transparent waters

More beautiful water

Smile!!

At last….at the top….whew….!!

Views from Bob’s Cove

More views from Bob’s Cove

Even more views from Bob’s Cove

One more view from Bob’s Cove, just because….

Fergburger….WOOO!!!

“In Ferg We Trust”

Munch munch, yum yum…

Winging our way back to Auckland

Goodbye New Zealand….we love you….!!!

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Arataki Centre and Kauri Dieback Education Programme

We recently put together a community education presentation about kauri dieback at the Arataki Centre west of Auckland in the Waitakere Ranges. This 16000ha forest park is integral to our guided tours and a wonderful place of historic, cultural and ecological significance. Kauri dieback (Phytophthora agathidicida) is a killer pathogen with a 100% mortality rate amongst our beloved kauri tress, and stopping its spread in our favorite forest park is paramount to our ecological sustainability as a tour operator in this area.

Click the image below to play the video.

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The beauty of sharing & why we do what we do…

Our back yard is truly a beautiful place but we tend to forget that fact over time (understandably), because it’s what we see on a daily basis. This was brought back to me recently when guiding a single client (something we don’t often do) from America who was in a bit of a personal pickle & needed to get away from the city to clear her mind & settle her emotions from family pressures.

It was my luck too that I was about ready for a break from the office so perhaps this was just a match made in heaven for that day! Off the two of us went bright & early & I’m quite sure she had no idea at all of what to expect from her day tour – websites, including our own, just cannot adequately describe what kind of experience a customer will have when travelling around our gorgeous country!

Small tour groups always equal more time to stop & ‘smell the roses’ – larger groups are always slower so there’s less time to do stuff, so in light of that I made an unscheduled stop at Corwallis Wharf on our way out west. Midweek, sunny day, two people fishing on the end of the wharf, otherwise deserted, she couldn’t have asked for better!

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The charm of Blue Spring – light, shade and color
by WCT@WP | Feb 7, 2018 | Blog

With temperatures in Auckland yesterday close to 32oc, we popped down for a quick walk along Blue Spring. Baking heat, cool shadows, hot Summer sweating but we were happy! It’s been a long time!

The serene tranquility of this place is stunning – a constantly changing kaleidoscope of aquatic blues and greens in the cool spring waters flanked by the riverine forest undergrowth, cool, inviting, thirst quenching, ever changing light and shadow, punctuated by small rapids tumbling over black rocks in deep shadow.

Well worth the walk for both young and old!

 昨日,奥克兰的户外气温因该不低于32度!走在酷酷的阳光下,汗淋淋,却痛快着!炎热夏天汗流浃背的感觉,真的久违了!

 天空中恍恍的日光,丝丝的白云,与地面上缓缓而流的美轮美奂的蓝泉流水相呼应,令人仿佛行走在一个流动的画廊。。。。。心如明镜,兴意阑珊,不断地被变幻流动的色彩光影所打动!

 蓝泉蓝泉,今日应称绿泉可能更合适!但无论如何称呼,她带给人的都是自由与奔放,宁静与致远。美得让人想亲近,想释放,想自由地呼吸!

随着阳光的时隐时现,蓝泉溪流的色彩与光影也不断地变化着。

蓝泉溪水也不是永远平静如丝,也有汹涌起伏之时!轰鸣声也传到很远处!

蓝泉的美丽,引来不少上男少女的冲动,禁不住要跳进溪流里释放欢喜。虽然路口的标识牌上明确禁止在溪流里游泳。大概就像上帝明确规定不能食禁果,但是亚当与夏娃还是经不住诱惑一样!

整个蓝泉步道,很平缓,适合一家老少一起游。

投入大自然的怀抱,终是人类最好的归宿!

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Five reasons to choose us

We are passionate about sharing our fabulous ‘back yard’ with you

We offer unique visitor experiences

We keep groups small and intimate

We are committed to sustainable tourism in NZ

We are approved to operate in the Waitakere Ranges and in DoC conservation areas and have all the necessary concessions to legally operate there

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Contact

Geoff Dunne and Lily Sha
info@whitecloudtravel.com
+64 09 817 5973

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