Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Our first wilderness campsite near Geraldine.

Our home for our time in New Zealand.

Not a bad view from the tent.

A few other campers and then these were our next nearest neighbors. 
Sheep actually are all over New Zealand and there are like twelve of them to each one person in New Zealand.

We were staying outside of Geraldine.  A town famous for having the world's largest sweater.  We didn't even know that before we came....Imagine!

On to Lake Tekapo, a tourist town on the way to Mount Cook.  This is a famous little church next to the lake.

Close to our new campsite.

One of our first views of Mount Cook.  We were told that we were lucky if we would be able to see the top of it because usually it is surrounded by clouds.  It ended up being a gorgeous day.

A hike towards Mount Cook.

One of the two swing bridges over raging glacial rivers that we had to cross on our hike.

Jake getting ready to cross one.  Don't look down!

The view from the end of the hike.  Notice the glacier on the righthand side of the photo.

Watchig the sunset on Mount Cook.

This was one of our favorite nights in all of our time in New Zealand.  It was so beautiful!

The next morning we stopped by an iceberg-filled lake on our way out from Mount Cook.

Friday, February 18, 2011

On to New Zealand!

Here is just a snapshot of our three weeks in New Zealand:

On Jan. 12th at midnight, we landed in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Christ Church Cathedral on the square in downtown Christchurch.

We went to the Canterbury Museum.  It was a free museum and one of the best that we had been to.  It had artifacts from the Moari people (native people here), an Antartic floor, info. about moas...a large extinct bird bigger than an emu, history on Christchurch, and many other amazing exhibits.

Kim learning all about the different species of kiwis.

 Earthquake damage was evident around the downtown area.

Jake found a friendly little hedgehog at our campground.  (Look close to Kim's feet.)

While in Christchurch, we found out that many countries use Christchurch, New Zealand as their base for traveling to and from Antartica....so we thought, "Why not venture to Antartica ourselves?"

Waiting for a snowstorm.

Jake making sure the sled is running like it should.

Ooh...the inside of that tent looks warm!

Kim braving the elements.

What is wrong with this photo?

Now if you are a good detective, you would have seen that Kim's footwear is totally inappropriate for the conditions.  Thus making the whole Antartica trip questionable......

So the International Antartic Center wasn't quite the same as going to Antartica....but it sure came close....

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sydney (cont.)

 One day we took the commuter ferry into town instead of the train.  The ferry was a great way to travel because it helped you to see how big the harbor is and gave you a different view of the city.

This is what the harbor looked like all the way to the city.  Houses everywhere!

Sydney skyline

Downtown Sydney with the ferry terminal straight ahead.

We switched to a larger ferry to head out to Manly Beach, a 45 min. ride to a beautiful beach.

We saw many sailboats along the way.  The waves actually were really rocking the ferry as we traveled past the inlet to the ocean so that was a little crazy.  Thankfully it was 5 minutes of serious rocking and then it stopped. 

Manly Beach.  It was a beautiful beach where you could take surfing lessons if you wanted to brave the waves.

Another view of the beach.

We took a walk down the beach and took in the beautiful views.

The view from the ferry as we were going away from Manly.

To commemorate our last night in Australia, we decided to go to a show at the Opera House.  Le Grand Cirque was an amazing show with very talented people.  The various acts were literally unbelievable.

Jake climbing the steps inside the Opera House to get to the correct theater.

The following are views from inside the Opera House:

A brief step outside at intermission.

The view outside once the show was over.

Thenext day...saying goodbye to Elyse at the train station.

Saying goodbye to Australia.  New Zealand here we come!!!

Sydney, famous for the Opera House and the Harbor

We stayed with our friends Elyse and Brad in one of the suburbs of Sydney and then we took the train into town to see the sights.

We went to one of the Hillsong churches in the area.  Hillsong has a well-known worship group that is known worldwide.  The worship time of the service was quite an experience.

The Opera House!!!  It was a amazing to see it for ourselves.  It is actually comprised of 6 different theaters.  Who knew?

The famous Harbor Bridge, right across from the Opera House.  You can actually pay to climb over the bridge and I hear the view from the top is great.  We stayed on the ground and were just thankful that Kim was in the area to keep the bridge from falling into the water.

Jake so excited to visit Luna Park, an amusement park on the Harbor.

 Luna Park

One of the many street performers in downtown Sydney.