Monday, April 29, 2013

New Zealand Hunting at Glen Dene, Lake Hawea

Wow, what a stunningly beautiful place. Here are some of our hunting photos at Glen Dene station. If you're interested in a hunt at Glen Dene, talk to Robin first because we want to go back. Check out their website.

Our hosts Richard and Sarah Burdon were phenomenal and have a phenomenal station. They even had us for tea. What great people! She didn't even mind that Robin wanted to cook ... but who would? :-)

We camped at Lake Hawea Holiday Park. Boy, was that a beautiful, fun and friendly place to be. Well worth a stop if you ever go to the South Island.

Robin shot an arapawa ram at 225 yards. He is a cracker shot!

See our hunting photos. 

(More scenic photos to come later..we're still rooting the 1,400!)

Friday, April 26, 2013

New Zealand Oddities

Sometimes pictures speak louder than words.
  • Weird bathrooms. 
  • Weird roadkill. 
  • McLamb = McNot
  • Predicaments
  • And more....
These should all make you smile or scratch your head ... or both.

Enjoy these photos.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Lucky Camping in New Zealand

While in New Zealand, we rented a campervan, the Lucky Cruiza.

What an awesome and amazing way to see the country. We drove about 1,400 miles in that thing, averaging around 30 miles to the gallon. We freedom camped (pulling over wherever we wanted). Tip for all you New Zealand bound campers: rent the porta-potty. This gives you "self-contained" status. Well worth having it along and opening up all these scenic, secluded opportunities to camp.

We also stayed in established campgrounds from time to time. These were great, and not like KOAs in the U.S. They were complete with showers, grills and laundry facilities. Of course, all in scenic places.

The scenery was fantastic. The weather was perfect: 65-70 degrees, sunny, clear, dry -- very different than Kodiak weather.

We were able to cook our meals, which is a significant savings. Eating out in New Zealand is very, very expensive. Although, they did have a great deal of gluten free options wherever we went.

Most of our meals were stag burgers or wild pork, all shot by Robin when we were hunting. We found a butcher along the way in a little town, who ground the stag into burger for us. It was awesome!

See some camping photos.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

New Zealand wildlife

Wildlife in New Zealand was spectacular.
  • Penguins: We saw lots of penguins, little blue and yellow eyed, in several different areas. One was near Omaru, others near Dunedin, Curio Bay and places in between. Awesome viewing and we also have some awesome video.
  • Birds: Royal albatross, one of the only places in the world you can see them on land. Shags (cormorants) spoonbills, herons and swans, to name a few.
  • Four legged creatures: All imported, including a 140 year old taratoura lizard, sheep, red stag, fallow deer, rabbits and more. We even had to stop several times driving down the road because of sheep herding.
  • Marine animals: Seals, sea lions, including one wrestling match for sea lions going for the best napping space. We even saw some dolphins jumping in the ocean while we were driving down the road.
See a few -- and I do mean a few -- photos of wildlife.

(We took 1,400 photos!)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

New Zealand: Quote of the Day

"We don't give change."
What the ?!?@#? This was the response from the campervan rental agent . Exact change required, or they get to keep the change?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

New Zealand: Quote of the Day

"Would you like ice cream in your milk shake?"

Server in response to Karen ordering a milk shake, which is really just flavored milk. If you add ice cream, it's $1 more and still just like flavored milk.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Top 10 New Zealand Cultural Lessons

  1. Freedom camping is much more regulated than it was my first trip there 10 years ago, but still very doable and very awesome!
  2. Forget about using a 5 cent piece, even if you received it as change for something. This is "no longer in circulation" and merchants won't accept it. They also "round" all transactions.
  3. Kiwis like to drive fast. Robin determined this is Darwinism in action; it weeds out the stupid.
  4. "No, you can't do that" or "No, we don't do that" is a very common response.
  5. Eggs are not refrigerated. At all!
  6. McDonald's McLamb is a Mc-NOT! If you do eat lamb, lots of mint jelly is recommended.
  7. Hot and cold water faucets are sometimes reversed, but not consistently. And, sometimes the hot water is simply cold. So, you never are quite sure what will come out of the tap.
  8. Possums, giant hares and hedge hogs are common road kill sightings. The possums are weird, too, and have tails like a squirrel (photo to come).
  9. If you are invited for "tea", that could mean tea, a snack, or a 5-course meal.
  10. Robin is not allowed to cross the street alone, and you must maintain a firm hold on him when doing so.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

New Zealand: Quote of the Day

"You Americans. You're always asking for discounts."

Camp site representative in response to us asking about AAA or AARP discount.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Top 10 New Zealand Statistics

  1. Miles from Kodiak: 8,000
  2. Wallaby spottings: 1 (by Karen, but too quick to get a photo)
  3. Photos taken: 1,400 (working on sorting these out to upload for viewing enjoyment)
  4. Times Robin almost got hit by a car while crossing the street (in one day): 5
  5. Days we ate red stag burgers: 12
  6. Sand fly bites Karen received: 50+ (Robin received 0)
  7. Miles driven in the caravan on the South Island: 1,300
  8. Red stags sighted: 70+ (shot by Robin = 1)
  9. Roundabout driving incidents: Too numerous to count
  10. Times Robin tried to drive in the right lane and hit the windshield wipers to turn on the blinker: Too numerous to count