Fiji to New Zealand & New Zealand Touring

 

 

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Return to Fiji and the trip to New Zealand via New Caledonia then to New Zealand for Xmas

Well its been a mad 3 months, new Grandson Logan is now about 12 weeks old and we have rebonded with the 2 year old Reuben. Seen friends family and fitted a lot of work in with all the boxes ticked. Weather in the UK is changing to cold and grey again so its time to head back to Fiji.

One box not ticked is planning but we will make that up as we go !  Our broad plan is New Zealand by late November sailing via the French island New Caledonia where Pam and Craig, friends who crewed with us across the Atlantic will re-join us back into their home country. Pat and I plan to spend 3 months sailing and land touring New Zealand before returning to the UK for a few months in March 15.

 

New Caledonia - 23/10/14

It was a fast crossing just 4 days for 720nm. Pam and Craig will join us from New Zealand.

Well we are going to have to come back here, beautiful French islands with unique pine trees we had not seen in the pacific. Noumea a bustle French port but the islands around it were absolutely charming and not busy.

 

New Zealand - 10/11/14

Pat and I are still finding it a little difficult to believe - we have made it to New Zealand - its beyond the goal we had originally set 5 years ago. We had a difficult passage from New Caledonia with lively winds and high seas on the nose the entire 977 miles we sailed. We passed through the Bay of Islands at night - a cold one and into Opua and th Q dock awaiting immigration the next day.

 

A mail between Pat and her cousin Linda, South in Napier meant we hired a car to meet them halfway in Auckland for a Rolling Stones concert and a fitting for Linda's forthcoming wedding in February which we are now invited to attend ! We started to get to grips with the stunning countryside and thats still in North Island.

 

During December 14

Sailing the Bay of islands outside Opua and up to Whangoroa and the Cavalli Islands (where Rainbow Warrior still lies) then South to TuTuKaKa and a few days in Whangarei then down to Barrier island off he coast of Auckland - much of this in cold cloudy weather.


Auckland - 12/12/14

Arrive Auckland to Bayswater marina opposite the city where a quarter of the 4million population live. We see the city lit up from the cockpit of BriZo and its  5 minute ferry into the city. We met up with Pam and Craig here and also visited Tom a chef we knew and his fab restaraunt in Ponsonby street.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christchurch - 6/1/15 (See South Island blog)
Following a fantastic Xmas in Napier with Pats family which included a trip to Linda and Stevens holiday bach on Lake Taupo we continued our drive via Graytown to Wellington the capital for New Year. On the 2nd we headed by ferry across the Cooke straits into Queen Charlotte sound to Picton North Island. By the 5th we were in Christchurch and the next day experienced our first 'severe' Earthquake tremor - 6.4.

 

Hanmer Springs to Dunedin  9/1/15 (see South of South Island blog)

From Christchurch we moved inland to Hanmer Springs then into Pinot Noir country of Wanaka visiting Mount Cook on the way. Skydive was the highlight at Wanaka and the Hillary center on the way. Next on to Queenstown for one night. From here we went West to Te Anau and the Sounds (Fiordland), Doubtful Sound overnight cruise and seaplane was the highlight.

Then South East for an overnight at Invercargill then to the Catlins along the coast to Dunedin and Lanarch Castle in the Otago peninsula.

 

Dunedin (SE) to Westport (NW) - 25/1/15 (see West of South Island blog)

From the 17th to 25th Jan we moved from the South East coast of South Island to the North West Coast at Westport. This meant traversing the Southern Alps to Franz Josef. So leaving the warm Pinot Noir countryside behind to the wetter west Tasman coast which was very quiet and beautiful with wonderful beaches and warmer climate as we headed ever North.

 

Westport (NW) to Marlborough (NE) - 6/1/15 (see North of South Blog)

On the 26th Jan we left Westport to Golden Bay and Abel Tasman in the North. Here we found spectalcular golden beaches and sunny climate. We took a few days to take in the delights of this area before moving acoss the hills to Nelson a cultural city. We did the WOW Wearable Arts  and Car Museum. From Nelson we headed inland and East towards the major wine growing district of Blenheim where we met up with Paul and Suzie from Firefly and cycled the 'Cellar Doors'  and then kayak on the Marlborough sounds.

 

 

 

Fiji to New Zealand  Pictures

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Logan 9 weeks
Logan 9 weeks

Logan with Pat during our return to the UK - I think she will struggle to leave him and Reuben on Sunday when we return to Fiji. Especially as she will only have me to put up with as we head halfway to Australia on the next leg !

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Fiji to New Zealand via NC
Fiji to New Zealand via NC

New Caledonia from Fiji was 720nm the pending trip is ti New Zealand 1100nm and across Tasman Sea.

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Osca the bio dog
Osca the bio dog

Well thats a first ! A dog in boots on BriZo checking for hidden bio products.But he had never seen a hot tub on a yacht before ! The trick was to hide anything well above his height as he was quite short.

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Logan 9 weeks
Logan 9 weeks

Logan with Pat during our return to the UK - I think she will struggle to leave him and Reuben on Sunday when we return to Fiji. Especially as she will only have me to put up with as we head halfway to Australia on the next leg !

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North Island
North Island

Arrived Opua then the route we took first North then South to Auckland.

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Maori Canoe
Maori Canoe

Warrior canoe at Waitangi treaty center, where the Maori signed with the British a settlement to coexist peacefully on the Islands.

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New Years Eve Wellington NI
New Years Eve Wellington NI

Spent two nights here including New Year - dinner at the Intercontinental. Another city sat over a major fault line.

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North Island
North Island

Arrived Opua then the route we took first North then South to Auckland.

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New Zealand - NORTH Island Photos

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Picton SI
Picton SI

We crossed from Wellington in North island to Picton in South Island by ferry. Three hours the last hour sailing up Queen Charlotte Sound into Picton - very pretty trip.

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Sperm Whale Kaikoura SI
Sperm Whale Kaikoura SI

Pat and I spent a few hours back at sea on a whale spotting trip - I learnt a lot about whales I had never understood before and these 20m, 50 ton beasts were spectacular when preparing to dive, which Pat managed to catch.

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Rippon Winery Wanaka
Rippon Winery Wanaka

Celebrating surviving the Sky-Dive - we took a long walk around the lake to the winery. Tasted their best Pinot Noir.

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Picton SI
Picton SI

We crossed from Wellington in North island to Picton in South Island by ferry. Three hours the last hour sailing up Queen Charlotte Sound into Picton - very pretty trip.

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New Zealand - SOUTH Island Photos one of three

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New Zealand - SOUTH Island Photos two of three

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Doubtful Sound
Doubtful Sound

Misty, Moody, Peaceful. Captain James Cook sighted the entrance to Doubtful Sound on his first voyage to New Zealand in 1770. He called the place Doubtful Harbour and did not enter because he doubted his ability to sail back out to sea once inside the sound.

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Doutful waterfalls
Doutful waterfalls

Just one of many that day. Doubtful Sound, nicknamed the sound of silence, is practically untouched by man. The physical grandeur of towering peaks descending into moody waters, outstanding waterfalls from ice-age valleys and ancient vegetation clad fiords create a powerful atmosphere of solitude and serenity.

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Swing Bridge Buller Gorge
Swing Bridge Buller Gorge

This was a fabulous drive from Westport up into the hills. Pat and I walked the bridge then did a very wet Jet boat that ruined pats Camera then we zip wired back across this route !

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Doubtful Sound
Doubtful Sound

Misty, Moody, Peaceful. Captain James Cook sighted the entrance to Doubtful Sound on his first voyage to New Zealand in 1770. He called the place Doubtful Harbour and did not enter because he doubted his ability to sail back out to sea once inside the sound.

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LATEST Pictures lower down this page

New Zealand - SOUTH Island Photos three of three

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Fishing Takaka
Fishing Takaka

Always wanted to learn to Fly fish so had a 1/2 day starter lesson. The main thing I learned was that I would need a whole lot more time and practice before I could ever seriously take it up ! but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Abel Tasman
Abel Tasman

Abel Tasman coast line runs for miles and miles and is full of huge sandy beaches and bays that can only be accessed by boat. Water taxi's run the area dropping you off for the day. There are great walks also back along coastline that go on for days.

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pats knee
pats knee

Day after knee clean-up. Not many people can say they fell down a Volcano – luckily this one was extinct – required a rare visit to BriZo’s First Aid box.

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Fishing Takaka
Fishing Takaka

Always wanted to learn to Fly fish so had a 1/2 day starter lesson. The main thing I learned was that I would need a whole lot more time and practice before I could ever seriously take it up ! but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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North Island 7th February to 7th March 2015 (see blog 7th Feb to 7th March)

North across the interislander saw us back in Napier for Cousin Linda's wedding to Steve.  then up to Auckland and 'home' again to BriZo. A week then sailing the Coramandels and Waiheke first with Pam and Craig then Paul and Susie on Firefly, great weeks and stunning cruising area, Mansion House on Kawai and two wineries in Kawau Bay including Susies birthday at Plume. We will enter Gulf Harbour on the 10th March and lifted 13th to return home for 5 weeks to UK. BriZo will be cleaned and antifouled before our return and the ICA rally to Tonga's Ha'api group, Fiji's Lau group, Vanuatu and on to Australia.