Holy smokes, I Live in New Zealand.

Tranzalpine Train Ride.
July 15, 2008, 1:36 pm
Filed under: Actual Travelling | Tags: , , ,

I’m finally going to get caught up with my South Island trip here on the blog.  I was gone from May 29 to June 7, and I basically did a big circle from Christchurch through Wanaka, Queenstown, Te Anau, Invercargill and Dunedin before heading to Christchurch Airport.

My first South Island adventure, however, was a daytrip on a train through the mountains from Christchurch to Greymouth through Arthur’s Pass.

South Island 012

Full album here.

A friend and I grabbed some newspapers and rolled through one of New Zealand’s more historic rail corridors. The area we travelled through was made famous by its coal deposits. The elevation changes used to require changing engines twice to pass through the tunnel and has left a legacy of ghost train towns in its wake. Diesel engines are capable of doing what people can’t. Arthur’s Pass was one of two passes a family of surveyors was investigating for a train route through the Southern Alps. This route was chosen as “the best of a bad lot.” And the son who was surveying this particular option? His name was Arthur. Lunch in Greymouth consisted of pasta and seafood at a Speight’s Ale House. It was wonderful.

Alternate link.


The Talk of the Nation.
February 8, 2008, 5:47 pm
Filed under: In the News | Tags: , , ,

I have yet to find a single Canadian link to this story, but a woman rushed a cockpit on a small, domestic flight from Blenheim (top end of the South Island) to Christchurch today. She allegedly knifed both pilots and hurt another passenger as well.

NZ Herald coverage.

It’s a surreal story, but it is entirely possible in New Zealand to bring knives aboard one of these small planes. There is no security screening on these smaller flights, which I thought was awesome (I was carrying the usual terrorist implements of toothpaste and Old Spice and wanted to travel carry on).  And these are typically tiny little commuter planes. When I flew on a similar plane to Rotorua two weeks ago, On the way down, the pilots shut the cockpit doors while on the way home they did not.

No idea what’ll happen next but the radio stations continue to play Nickleback and I still plan on going for a run in the park. But boy howdy, was I ever glad to be on the ground tonight.