NZ Update 8.5

NZ-Navigation Page

NZ-Original announcement (Sept. 2003)

NZ Update #1 - Preparation (Oct. 15, 2003)

NZ Update #2 - Shipping the cars (Oct. 24, 2003)

NZ Update #3 - The second container (Late November)

NZ Update #4 - A Small Glitch (December 8th)

NZ Update #5 - Cars in NZ and OK (January 9, 2004)

NZ Update #6 - Arrival in NZ (Jan. 24)

NZ Update #7 - After first race weekend (February 2)

NZ Update #8 - Levels Raceway-Timaru

NZ Update #8.5 - Touring Queenstown Area

NZ Update #9 - Teretonga Raceway in Invercargill

NZ Update #10 - Dunedin Street Race

NZ Epilogue - The Last Update (March 6, 2004)

It's Thursday evening and we just arrived at the locale of our third race weekend in Invercargill at the Teretonga Raceway. For the past several days Diane, Elaine, and I acted like typical NZ tourists making our way to the Queenstown area for a couple of days and seeing sights on the way.

On the way we had a great side trip to see the Mt. Cook area well as Lake Tekapo and the Wanaka area. The weather has been perfect for touring (and pulling the race cars) with not a drop of rain while on the road. (P.S. the minute we hit town today for a race weekend it rained on us! But, we've been assured it will be a nice weekend. Sure hope so.)

Oh yes, there has been significant shopping by all of us.

Queenstown is the where bungy jumping as a commercial enterprise for tourist got it start about 25 years ago. The Queenstown area is beautiful, sort of an Estes Park on steroids (see second attached picture). Set in dramatic mountain vistas (e.g. where Lord of the Rings was filmed), the lake is huge, beautiful, with all sorts of nice homes and resorts around it. It has somehow become the world capital of extreme tourist sports attractions with jetboat trips up the river (which we took), bungy jumping (which we watched), heli-bike rides (which we marvel that anyone would even consider), bungy jumping from parasails (Good grief!). And on and on.

Today we drove from the Queenstown area to Invercargill. This is at the southern most part of NZ, next stop Antarctica. Just hope for westerly winds, not from the south! Apparently the damn wind always blows so western wind is the best you can hope for. Otherwise it going to be cold and wet, straight from Antarctica. They've assured us, however, the weekend weather is supposed to be great. Right. I'll believe it when I feel it. Of course to them, down this far south, anything above 70 degrees is a heat wave.

Elaine will be with us until Saturday AM when she will go to Auckland for a couple of days and then back to Houston. We'll miss our Pit Pixie. She will miss being a Pit Pixie, but seeing another race track probably isn't high on the priority list.

mtcookclouds.jpg (11518 bytes)
Maybe one of my best pictures of the trip, Mt. Cook with the winds starting to form clouds at its peak. In the mere hour or so we were there, the clouds went away completely, then also starting reforming again to the point that by the time we left the peak was completely obscured.

mtcook13glacier.jpg (19198 bytes)

We stopped at the base of Mt. Cook at the Hermitage Hotel, a spectacular viewing point for Mt. Cook and this nearby mountain with a formidable glacier on it.

queen2bikes.jpg (32857 bytes)
On our way to Queenstown we spent about two hours passing a HUGE bicycle race. There were literally thousands of riders, continuously on the road. Looked sort of like a Ride The Rockies deal. The Kiwis are a VERY fit bunch of people. The course for this ride was over some very steep roads.
queenstown06lakemtn.jpg (15079 bytes)
This is the Lake (Don't remember its name) which is right in the town of Queenstown. Quit beautiful, as you can see.


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