New Zealand 2007 
                                    Day Fifteen Franz Joseph March 28
                                            A day of long travel - since we decided to change our reservation from Queenstown
                                            back to Te Ananu.  The additional 2 hours of travel was added to today's auto trek.
                                            New Zealand roads do not allow for a quick drive across the country.  In fact, it
                                            is understandable now why almost all credit and charge card companies do not
                                            provide customary supplemental car insurance.  There are no major motorways,
                                            interstate systems, or many times, two lane bridges.
                                            Bridges seem to be a budget cut item - most long bridges (and many short ones) 
                                            are just one lane.  At first, it appears to be a form of "playing chicken".  However,
                                            there is a bridge etiquette or signage that locals know when to wait or go.  For
                                            those that wait, the car driving exiting the bridge always provides a customary
                                            wave.  Finding a lead car is always a fun approach - just follow the vehicle across
                                            and let them be the first to wave.
                                            Time and mileage is not a set formula. National speed limit on the South Island
                                            is 100 kilometers per hour (60 mph).  Calculations would naturally provide the 
                                            result of dividing the speed limited into the travel mileage to determine the travel
                                            time.  Well, the real formula is to do the normal calculation and double it.
                                            All the roads in the Southwest navigate around mountains, lakes, and rivers.  If
                                            you like serpentine roads, then New Zealand is your place.   The road quality is
                                            great and well maintained.  
                                            After a lunch and some short term shopping at Queenstown (Very much like
                                            a nice Colorado or Lake Tahoe resort set on a forever long lake), the travel
                                            to the west coast town of Franz Joseph was about 5 hours.  Just outside of 
                                            the city was the original site for bungy jumping.  The classic old bridge is now
                                            in contrast to the new bungy center - complete with video theatre and gift
                                            Weather was clear with vistas in every direction.  If you enjoy a grand 
                                            scaled lake set at a base of mountains, this route is for you because after
                                            the next major curve would be another dramatic vista.   Within the valleys
                                            were the usual sheep farms.  And yes, there would have an actual
                                            black sheep among the hundreds of white sheep. 
                                            The lower West coast was free from any density or populace.  During a
                                            2 hour segment, we encountered only a few cars.  Reserves and just natural
                                            surroundings ruled this area.
                                            Arrival into the glacier country town of Franz Joseph was late dusk.  After
                                            settling into the villa - with carport and two story loft , it was a selection
                                            of 3 restaurants and thankfully we made the last seating before the "sidewalks
                                            were rolled up" (except for the main bar). 
                                            Looking forward to the heli-hike on the Franz Joseph glacier tomorrow.

                                                    Queenstown Scenes   Queenstown Scenes   Queenstown Scenes   Queenstown Scenes

                                                   Queenstown Scenes - Original Bungy Bridge   Queenstown Scenes - Original Bungy River   Queenstown Scenes - Original Bungy Bridge   Queenstown Scenes - Original Bungy Facility Womens Restroom

                                                                             West Coast New Zealand Scenes     New Zealand South Island: Sheep (30 to 1 People Ratio)  

                                                       West Coast New Zealand Scenes    Another 1 Lane Bridge    Another 1 Lane Bridge

                                                                                            Last Updated 2007 March