15. June 1998 10:33
by Rene Pallesen

New Zealand South Island 1998

15. June 1998 10:33 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

new zealand south island 1998
Map of New Zealand
New Zealand ( June 1998 ) . . .

My first trip to New Zealand took place in June 1998. I travelled with the Lenehans - friends I have known since my arrival in Australia. This was one of many trips I took with Lance and Anne. We rented a campervan and decided to explore the south island of NZ.

I have since been to New Zealand again - NZ has some of the most beautiful mountains and I had the chance to go there again in January 2001 to do a technical ice-climbing course.

I took so many photos and would have loved to place all of them on this webpage.

Instead, I have selected a few to show some of the places I managed to go to, such as Milford Sound, Nelson, Arthurs Pass and Mt Cook.

There were many glaciers in NZ and lots of seals to go with them!

NZ is a beautiful country with many unusual natural formations. It is a photographer's haven. We ended our trip with a farewell dinner in Christchurch.

Seals . . .

The Lenehans and I decided to spend 2 weeks in New Zealand in the winter of 1998. We flew to Christchurch from Sydney, and drove north to Nelson.

On the way to Nelson, on the east coast of the southern island, there are hundreds of seals. It was a spectacular sight and I managed to get quite close to them to take photos.

SealTired sealWet seal

They did not seem to mind me taking a few photos. Some of the seals look tired - I guess even seals, like humans become tired. Who wouldn't like to pet a seal? They look different when they are wet though.

Anne sitting on stone

This was taken near where the seals were. I like the blend of colours and the harmony of the picture.

A lot of friends have commented on this photo! Most of them really like the photo, and feel there is something calm about it.

Nelson . . .

Nelson is located at the northern most part of the southern island.

We explored the area around Lake Rotoiti.

On the ridgeOn the ridge

These were taken from the ridge itself.

There is a lake at the end of the mountain ridge. From here, it is all downhill. We camped just below the lake at 1,500 metres altitude.

It was snowing the next morning and all water was frozen. We estimated the temperature to be around -7 degrees celcius.

Side of ridgeLenehans  I

The side of the ridge was one big stonefall.

It was very cold and the wind was strong that day so it was necessary to wear gloves hat.

We managed to get a group shot from the top of the ridge. The mountains in the background are knows as the McAngus ridge at Lake Rotoiti. Mountains at Lake Rotoiti

Here are the mountains at Lake Rotoiti.

Morning MistMorning Frost

The mornings are incredibly beautiful at Lake Rotoiti. Here you can see the morning mist floating gently on the water.

It is also very cold here - that is why there is ice on the bridge in the foreground.
Lance  Anne crossing bridge

The photo on the right shows the Lenehans crossing one of the suspension bridges at Lake Rotoiti.

At this point we had walked 15 kilometres, with a 1,000 metre descent. We had yet another 7 to 8 kilometres to go that day!

The Renet

This is what happens when you do not use a tripod. The effect is quiet interesting and makes the photo look like a painting by Monet.

This photo has has been dubbed "The Renet" among my friends.

Ladder at Goat Pass trackArthurs Pass . . .

We drove to Arthurs Pass, on the way from Nelson to Queenstown further south.

There is a place called Goat Pass, and there is only one way in - on foot.

Here, you can see Anne climbing up ladders on the Goat Pass track.

Inside our 'hut'

It was raining so much that we were not able to get down through the canyon on the other side of the Pass. We therefore decided to go back the way we came.

Further down the track, we had passed a bivouak and decided to stay ther during the night. It was very dirty and Anne would rather sleep outside in the rain.

Everything was wet so she changed her mind and came back in. *laugh*

Anne trying to cross a river

She wore plastic bags on her feet, in her boots are so that she could wear her boots without getting cold feet! Aussies will never get used to the cold.

Here is Anne crossing one of the rivers.

Every time she crossed a river, she would sit and massage her feet for 10 minutes until they warm again.

I guess Aussies will never get used to the cold. Neither will Danes for that matter! An Australian winter is like a Danish summer - so you can imagine how cold Denmark is! Still, Danes cannot get used to it - just ask Kenneth or Soeren!

Who's this?

Sleeping ???

Aussies will never learn to live with the cold!

I must admit I hate the cold. I loved it when I lived in Kenya - so hot and humid!

Even living in Denmark for all those year did not make me like cold weather any more than I used to. That is why I love Australia - warm summers and mild winters. Sometimes winter in Australia is a bit too cold for me! But I do not usually wear more than a T-shirt or a thin jumper in winter. My girlfriend was complaining about me having the heater on full-blast in the car during spring!

Okay, so I love the heat!

Lance  Anne in the campervan

Inside the campervan.

Temperature was down to -10 degrees Celcius during the night and there was no heating in the van.

This explains why Anne was wearing a thick blanket. There was only enough water for a two minute shower. That is why Anne is wearing a hat indoors.

See the expression on her face? She knows I will write a stupid description for this photo.

Black  white photo of me

In the campervan I had the top bunk.

This is one of my girlfriend's favourite photos!

On the way to Milford Sound, we saw some unusual formations - The Pancake Rocks. The Pancake Rocks are located near Hokitika, between Kumara and Ross.

Pancake RockPancake Rock

They do not taste as good as real pancakes - you get sand in your teeth...

The Remarkables near QueenstownThe Remarkables at sunset

At Queenstown, we had the most glorious view of "The Remarkables". The Remarkables are the mountains in the background - don't ask me why they call The Remarkables, I don't know. But the photo on the left shows Queenstown with these mountains in the background.

The photo on the right shows the a sunset at The Remarkables (with snow on top!) Pretty 'remarkable', huh?

Putting chains on campervanMilford Sound . . .

Milford Sound is located near the southern-most tip of the south island of NZ. It is the series of 'islands' that you can see on the western tip of NZ on the map.

To get to Milford Sound, we had to take a huge detour from Queenstown. To come back from Milford Sound, we had to take the same detour before heading east from Queenstown.

Driving down to Milford Sound, we had to put chains on the tyres of the campervan.

In the pass, there was at least 10 centimetres of snow on the road, and it was illegal to continue on without chains. Chains help create friction on the roads and makes it easier for the vehicle to drive on in icy conditions.

We managed to rent a set of chains in Te Anau because we had heard rumours about chains being mandatory.

If you go to New Zealand during the winter, then make sure you have a set of chains for the car.


How many postcards have you seen from Milford Sound, where there was snow on top of the mountains?

It is beautiful, but nothing compared to the Mount Cook area.


The sun rising in the Milford Sound area.

Glaciers . . .

The Tasman Glacier

Most of the glaciers we went to were located on the main range.

We had to drive inland when we were heading south on the west coast because the Westland was too rough and wild to drive through.

Here on the right is the Tasman glacier near Mt Cook village. It is 35 km long - a hundred years ago it was 85km long. The ice is 600m thick and used to be 1,300m thick.

Where the glacier ends at the water on the photo, the ice is more than 200m thick.

The Fox Glacier

Both the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers are located on the west coast.

On the left is The Fox Glacier.

It is so huge that if you built a house at the end where the ice begins (or ends since it is a glacier), you would not be able to see it on this picture.

Me at the Franz Josef glacier

The pile of ice behind me are 3 to 4 times bigger than the size of a house.

I am standing about half a kilometre from the glacier.

Keas on the campervanA Kea

At the Franz Josef glacier, people have been feeding the keas. The kea is the only alpine parrot in the world.

This means the keas associate every man-made thing with something edible.

They are therefore making the attempt to eat the cars. You can see the keas on the roof of our campervan.

It is a very weird bird. They can survive in extreme conditions with freezing temperatures and snow.

Mt CookMount Cook . . .

On the way back to Christchurch, we went to Mt Cook.

Here is Mt Cook as seen from the west coast.

I achieved my goal to climb it in January 2001! You can see the photos from this trip.

View of Mt Cook from Linde PassAnother view of Mt Cook from Linde Pass

Take a look at the colours. The photos were taken at Lindes Pass, just north of Mount Cook.

There was no sound up there. You could not hear the wind or any birds. The only sound you could hear was yourself breathing.

Lance taking a photo

Lance praying towards Mecca???

No just Lance in a weird posture taking a video of Mt Cook.

My favourite photo of Mt Cook

One of my favorite photos.
"The man and his mountain". Kerenyaga.

Here is Mt Cook in the background (almost 4,000 meters). I am so glad that I had the opportunity to go back to NZ and actually climb on Mt Cook!

Sunrise on the East Coast of New Zealand!Farewell Dinner . . .

From Milford Sound, back to Queenstown, we then drove back to Christchurch via the east coast. We saw some pretty spectacular sunrises along the way.

During our last night in New Zealand, we went to a restaurant called "The Sign of the Takahe". We had our farewell dinner at Christchurch before returning to Sydney.

It is an old castle/house built in the same style as the old English castles. The atmosphere and food is excellent.

This is the place to bring a date.

Someone was playing quiet piano music in the hall.

The photo is taken with a long exposure because I wanted to capture the atmosphere with the woman playing the piano in these old surroundings.

Atmosphere in the restaurantGroup shot at the restaurant

Created: Jan 2000 Last Updated: 19 Sept 2001
Comments are closed