Monday, 16 May 2016

Christchurch to Queensntown

We made our way to Christchurch from Hanmer Springs, as Ann was driving and I fell asleep for most of it there isn't too much photographic evidence of  the trip! Anyway once in Christchurch we made our way to the Antarctic center which is located near the airport, this was a great place to spend a few hours. The Hagglund vehicles are the stuff of legend of which I knew nothing about. They are steered from the rear compartment and can do a variety of tricks like literally drive up walls to motoring along in water for several hours before eventually taking on water. You are put through an assault course with a driver, great fun!

The Hagglund

Inside view, hot with head hazards.

Some husky dogs are always at the center with their trainers, these dogs are working dogs that pull sleds and compete in international competitions. They are trained like triathletes, super fit.

The don't like the heat so much but go manic in the cold, it reminds them of their purpose I suppose, to work in those harsh conditions. We know they get excited in the cold as the center has a Antarctic room where you can experience a snow storm!

One of the dogs in the Snowstorm room

A rescued blue penguin in their enclosure, they are one of the smallest if not the smallest penguins in the world.

We then moved to the city center to see the effects of the 2010 earthquake. This is the cardboard cathedral which was built to temporarily replace the badly damaged iconic Cathedral in the centre of Christchurch. It is actually built using mainly cardboard among other materials.

Some amazing urban art/graffiti around the city 

The badly damaged Anglican Cathedral

An unsafe building for demolition among hundreds of others. You can make out a crack between the second and third floor, this could be more pronounced from investigation after the earthquake but it was pretty awesome to see.

A wind powered sculpture in Christchurch

We then traveled through the Canterbury plains and made our way to Lake Tekapo, The iconic Church of the Good Shepard is used in many night time photos with long exposures capturing stars and galaxies. The sky in this region is one of the best areas in New Zealand to view the night sky.

The highest point in New Zealand, Mount Cook (named after Captain James Cook) and firstly called Aoraki by the Maori people which means cloud piercer. 

While here I visited the Mary Burn river which was uneventful as rainbows were already preparing to spawn. Spooked some browns here and there but the love drunk rainbow trout had them frustrated also. This is a crossing point over the river. Fun!

Prompted by the pairing Rainbows I thought it best to make a move further south and get into fishing Fiordland before it was too late! We stopped in the Ahuriri valley for a few casts which is a breath taking part of New Zealand.

Then onto the road and over to Queenstown to sample all its touristy offerings! It didn't disappoint but we were more than conscious of our financial situation while here. Far to easy to be parted from your hard earned, but loads to do.

The view from Queenstown skyline, the mountain range in the background is called "The Remarkables"

Next stop the Mataura river. Its a must do for any fly fisher in the country. Spectacular rising fish and plenty of them. Stopped in Stu's fly shop to pick up some bits and bobs, really cool place.

A chunky brown, this guy was in an isolated section of the river, coasting around sucking in surface flies. It was very satisfying to hook him as I could see the whole thing play out 3 meters in front of me.

Trout were crazy spooky though, lower profile needed.

This guy beached himself chasing his food, watched him for what seemed like ages as he flapped around then swam back into the water and continued feeding, and then took my imitation thankfully!

Token NZ mountain scene with sheep ;)

 Stay tuned, Fiordland is coming!