Tag Archives: wine

Milford Sound from the air

Mom and Dad arrive in New Zealand

My parents flew in for a visit on Saturday, our first visitors to New Zealand! They flew in to Queenstown and we spent four nights there. We enjoyed a great view of Lake Wakatipu from our rental house. Sunday Jean and I went for a trail run and Mom and Dad walked by the lake. Monday was a dramatic stormy day, perfect for wine tasting so we went to Peregrine winery and had a wonderful tasting. I’ve never liked pinot gris before until trying theirs. Afterwards we ate at Amisfield, another winery with a very yummy restaurant.

Tuesday was our big day, getting on the bus in the morning for a trip to Milford Sound. Dad stayed in Queenstown and went for long walks and did his botanical drawings in the gardens. Mom, Jean and I took the very scenic bus ride to Milford Sound and then cruised out to the Tasman Sea on a boat. When we came back we decided to take the offer of a helicopter ride. It was amazing, our pilot flew us right next to the mountain walls to ride the thermals up and we landed on a glacier near the top of the Darran Mountains. We had a perfect day for it which doesn’t happen all the time. Getting out on the glacier was the highlight of the day for me. It would have been even sweeter if we climbed to it. Seeing what’s back there makes us eager to explore it more. Here is our landing.

Now Mom and Dad are back in Oamaru and getting the tour. Oamaru is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Antarctic Scott expedition’s ship, the Terra Nova, landing at Oamaru Harbor and delivering news of the polar party perishing on the ice to England via a telegraph. We saw some excellent photographic prints taken during the expedition at a museum in town today. Tonight we are hoping to see some yellow-eyed penguins.

 

Day tripping in Otago

This was our first weekend to explore the area and we took advantage of it, poking around the district near Oamaru. We went to Elephant Rocks, taking the back road through some farming country. This is an area we hope to come back to for bouldering. Unfortunately we can’t bring Sam there but we found lots of areas nearby for him. We met the owner at Elephant Rocks who was very welcoming. There was only one other couple there. The rocks have really cool pocketing and are just plopped in the field. Parts of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe were filmed here but I haven’t seen that yet. Nearby we got to hike with Sam by the river where he enjoyed terrorizing the local bunny population and playing in the river.

We made it out to Kurow and after a hike up a hill in town went to the winery cafe for an excellent tasting and meal. We really liked the Pasquale Waitaki Pinot Noir. And we got a recommendation on another hike we could take the dog on near Lake Aviemore. We headed home to recharge for the next day. This morning started more slowly but we took off south and checked out a beach really close by that was great for walking. Sam found a seal lounging by the river mouth. We drove on down the quiet coastal road and had lunch at Fleur’s Place, a pretty famous restaurant in Moeraki that specializes in cooking up fresh fare that the fishing boats in the harbor bring in each evening. We had a really delicious blue cod. Sated, we headed home, pretty excited about everything that is in our backyard.