March 13th, we are in Queenstown and it is cloudy. We are planning to do part of the Routeburn Track tomorrow. This is one of the 8 Great Walks in NZ, is 32KM long and takes about 3-4 days. We will only do one day and see if we can make it to the first hut and then return, because these walks are not a loop.
In the meantime some pictures of our walks in Abel Tasman National Park, the smallest but very pretty National park of NZ. Abel Tasman (a Dutchman) set foot here in 1642. The park was opened in 1942. We walked two parts of the Abel Tasman Coast Track, which is 60KM long and also one of the Great Walks of NZ.
From Abel Tasman we continued north to Cape Farewell. It is the most notherly point on the South Island and named by Captain James Cook in 1770 because this was the last land seen by his crew as they departed to their homeland.
From Nelson we went to St.Arnaud and stayed two nights at the Nelson Lakes.
As much as I love the nature and being surrounded by it, the sandflies make it sometimes very difficult to endure being outside. James Cook was one of the first europeans to record his encounter with the sandfly as follows: “The most mischievous animal here is the small black sandfly, which are exceedingly numerous, wherever they light they cause a swelling and such intolerable itching that it is not possible to refrain from scratching and at last ends in ulcers like the small pox”. It is only the females that bite and suck blood which helps them to produce eggs. The males are vegetarian. After some time you become used to it…a little..:-)
In the next blog I will report about our trip from Westport to Franz Josef Glacier.