Posts Tagged Travel blog
Lets talk about Mueller Motel here. I booked our accommodation for Franz Josef through an online site and I forgot about me booking this place until about 2 weeks before the trip. I mistakenly remember that we are going to stay at YHA Franz Josef but I couldnt find any booking details to convince myself I am staying in YHA.
Then I found out we are staying in Mueller Motel instead YHA. Okay I booked a motel and not a backpacker. Sounds good anyway. I think the reason why I choose Mueller Motel over YHA is because each room offers an ensuite bathroom which will be more convenient given the competitive room rates that Mueller Motel was offering. I tried looking for maps and website for this motel but failed. Its not in the web at all except various internet booking sites also has listed this motel in their bargain corner/ hotel list. So I wonder… and concluded with ‘Fuck it I am just going to sleep there attitude’ and that’s how we ended up staying in this motel.
After a whole day long long distance drive we reached Mueller Motel without any trouble its just located Off Highway 6 before Franz Josef small kuci town. Its still raining and its very very cold as we are at some remote higher altitude location I suppose. What is describe about Mueller Motel on the booking sites is true. The motel offers a background spectacular view of the snow capped mountain but its too late and too chilly outside to be appreciate that.
Driving around the parking lot there’s no Lobby on the site, and we only notice a small sign indicating motel residents to collect keys at the pub. That’s strange I thought.
I got down from the car and get into the pub and was greeted by an Indian Pub Manager who I later found out to be someone from rich Indian Family from India. The Pub Manager or the Restaurant Manager also happened to be the Motel Manager. Talk about multi managerial post, he’s the man! Anyway, he handed our keys to the rooms and off we went to check -in and rest.
First thing we got to the rooms, Yeobo’s siren activated. Nature calls -_-’
Aiyo.. the toilet’s faulty. Cannot flush properly. So we went to the pub and told the manager the toilet is not in good condition so we asked to change another room. The manager said he will send a technician to check the toilet and will let us know if they can repair it. So while waiting for that we had our dinner at the pub/restaurant and have some drinks.
See? I am drinking
Frankly the room that we got was facing some bushes, and I really felt uneasy as it was quite dark and I dont like dark places. Who does? But the real issue is still the toilet. After we finish our dinner and the manager came back given us another key to the room next door. We went back and check on our new room. Still the toilet is not functioning well, and the toilet bowl has quite an obvious hairline crack. I am not going to risk cutting my ass while dumping or peeing while on holiday?! No way! So we walk back to the pub and ask for another room.
This time the room is further from the rest of the rooms and the corridor was not lit. We basically walking in pitch blackness not very far away, but its really dark there.
Quekkkkkk… open the door.
Okay no lah, there’s no creaking sound. Its all my imagination. But I do felt uneasy.
This time the room’s toilet roof is leaking and the room has those old musty mushy smell. I quickly ask Yeobo to quickly leave and worst come to worst just go back to the first room we got.
We then went back to the pub again and tell the manager of our findings. At that time I felt like I am a room inspector. This time, the manager gave us several sets of room keys informing us he is not sure which room already cleaned and which is not, but those rooms are located in front. To my delight, front rooms are brighter. The manager then appologize to us for all the trouble.
We went another round to inspect other rooms before settling with one of the last rooms which has functioning toilet but still with slightly old musty smell which I can bear with and I am so so so tired already.
Still at the end of this trip, this motel was by far the worst accommodation I ever stayed in NZ and while sleeping I snug under Yeobo’s armpit and cling to him whole night cause I scare got Hantu.
I was so happy when the sun has risen cause no Hantu kacau.
We were well informed that on Day 6 is a rainy day but didn’t expect it to rain the whole day unlike during our Spring visit to Melbourne, Australia.
New Zealand weather report says: Showers means real Shower, its like a rainy day in Malaysia, whole day raining non stop without thunders but the weather’s chilly.
We drove 4 hrs from Nelson to Punakaiki, 274Kms away. Previous stop was at Buller Gorge, Buller River and we reached Punakaiki at around 12-1pm.
Its raining so what?
Since we are here, we made a stop at the i-centre and take a 30 minutes walk to look at the beautiful Pancake Rocks formation.
Wah I look so slim in this photo? Right? Right? Right? (Self denial) I still carry my small Furla backpack eventhough its raining, its waterproof!!
Closer look at the rocks formation. Looks like pancake huh? Who says Pancake rock not worth a visit? Who? Who?
My photo again.
There is a long board way walk, or sometimes have to climb a few stairs of rocks to view the scenery, its not dangerous at all, you can even bring stroller along if its not too troublesome for parents.
This place reminds me of my visit to Melbourne, Australia the 12 Apostles / Great Ocean Road.
We woke up early on day 6 to prepare breakfast before we start the longest drive ever the whole trip in NZ.
Excuse my messy hair coz I dont comb my hair even after wash hahahha
Our plan for Day 6 was to drive close to 500 Kms that takes a minumum of 8 hours at least to reach our destination, Franz Josef.
|20 Nov||274kms||4 hr||Nelson||Punakaiki|
|136kms||2 hr||Hokitika||Franz Josef|
Sound pretty scary huh.
I asked for advise on tripadvisor some time back.
Some says its do-able.
Some says its dangerous as the driver would be too tired and suggest to stop at Westport or Greymouth for the night before continue to Franz Josef.
In our case, due to we have 2 primary designated driver we went ahead with the long journey. All you need to prepare are:
- Feed the drivers with snack, sweets of many kinds
- Feed the drivers with Caffeine; Strong C O F F E E
- Have a Reliable Co-Driver who can keep the driver entertained, talk non stop, read signs, read GPS and full of energy
If you still want an answer If its safe to drive so far in one day?
The answer is YES YES YES and dont forget to stop at several tourist spot along the journey!! Its is do-able YES YES YES and I never regret this plan at all. We reached Franz Josef at night and there’s nothing much to do there anyway.. as it is located in a quite remote place which is near to National Park.
First stop of the day, at Buller Gorge alongside State Highway 6, gorge that flows from the Buller River between Murchison and Westport. We decided to stop and play at the New Zealand’s longest swingbridge at the Upper Buller Gorge.
First we cross the hanging bridge and admire the beautiful blue-green colour of the Buller River.
Then we stop somewhere and took a picture. (P/S: Jynn is that where Laksa touch your leg?)
After that we masuk hutan.
Go for Bushwalk, so beautiful
Love the colours and the sight of so much flowers, must take photo.
After the bushwalk, its time to play!!
Can see the Swingbridge Tower?
Hubby was the first one to play coz he have to get to the opposite site and take our photos. So here I am without his knowledge took a photo with this cute boy. (can see his tahi hidung but I didn’t tell him)
I am the last one to play too as I need to snap photos of the others.
Okay the Swingbridge was fun but not scary at all.Tweet
From Havelock after we filled our tummy with good food, we drove straight to Nelson and planned to make it for some Wine Trail Experience. We reached one Wine & Cafe Restaurant but they were too busy to entertain us, so we head to another one not far away from Nelson on State Highway 6.
We reach the Vineyard (opens daily) like 3pm but nobody is there so we left the place without a drop of wine and head to the place we stay.
We stayed at thebug backpackers and love it there because
- Its Clean
- The room’s cozy and chic
- Double Room Ensuite is available
- Triple Room is available
- Free Coffee and Tea
- Free Wifi
- Conveniently located within walking distance to town *30 minutes walk
Here’s how our room looks like
Spacious Triple Room
After settling down, we walk to the town saw this dog inside a truck, I thought he is going to jump out. Its so cute btw.
We have quite alot of time today and not rushing anywhere. Too bad shops closes at 5pm. The Nelson Provincial Museum.. Missed!! Its close.
Walk to Selwyn Place looking at the Clock Tower accross the street.
Quite a number of bar and restaurant here though.
Indecisive whether we should dine out or cook, we ended up grocery shopping again. In NZ they have self check-out counter. Amazing!
Here’s the food we bought. Saw that Fantastic Instant Noodle or not. Damn nice!
We had our dinner at the wooden deck outside, I prefer to sit at the Garden but the weather’s too cold to even venture a few more steps out there.
This Yakuza Handsome guy sit behind me inside the living room, so I sneakily snap a photo of him but forgot to turn off the flash!! So malu.. Aiyo he too handsome!! I like his eyebrows, his nose so cute, his sideburn so cute, he eat also look so cute.
Next day a loooooooooong trip ahead.Tweet
Malaysians will always be Malaysians and Malaysian Chinese do loves chilli sauce. So we brought one to NZ our beloved Kampung Koh Chilli sauce with garlic for satisfy our appetites.
Made sandwich for brunch while sailing & yes, you can bring food on board.
Oh.. I didn’t mentioned in previous post, I experienced a slight feeling of seasick for a while, and I got a cup of coffee to reduce the need of vomiting.
I dont usually have problem with sailing, but I guess the sea was rough and I can feel it when I am sitting inside the cabin. Later on, I went to the outdoor deck and sit under the sun and had a cat nap. I did not care to cover myself from the mighty sun as I was so happy that the sunlight shining bright on me and keeps me warm from the cool breeze outside.
No wonder Angmo loves sunlight so much.Tweet
On Day 5, we travelled from North Island to South Island by Bluebridge Ferry and will be staying over at Nelson.
We woke up at 5.30AM that day to shower, pack our clothes, wear our clothes, went downstair for breakfast and to prepare for our lunch onboard the ferry. At 6.30AM we left Moana Lodge at Plimmerton and drove to Wellington, 30 minutes away.
On the way towards Wellington, this stretch of road have the highest Speeding Ticket generated due to the downward slope of the highway. So make sure you abide to the traffic rules and do not ignore your GPS warning.
From Plimmerton to Wellington Ferry Terminal, the GPS will guide you to the city road, however if you would like to skip the the more complicated city road drive, look out for the road sign to Aotea Quay Waterfront. You will see about 3 or more tall building of silos and that is when you should keep left and turn to the waterfront road which leads you direct to the Terminal or Wellington Harbour Front.
Information you may want to Know
- There are 2 Passenger Ferry Companies to choose from to travel accross Wellington to Picton or vice versa, either on Interislander or Bluebridge.
- If travelling with vehicle, make sure you arrive at the Terminal 1 hour before the departure time.
- You will travel 3 to 3.5hrs by Ferry from Wellington to Picton or vice versa
- Picton to Nelson is about 143Kms with 2 hours drive
Here’s our passes! 5 blue plastic tags for passenger and 1 black plastic tag for the vehicle. Its good that Kiwis use the plastic tag, its environmental friendly as they dont have to print on paper and turn to waste while cut more trees
Here, we wait in the car following the lanes the operator instruct us to queue.
We have to drive our car safely onboard the ferry. Dont worry, there’s plenty of space to turn and park and the ferry assistants are friendly.
After we have parked our car, we went inside the Ferry and you basically can choose wherever you want to seat. You can watch a movie at the indoor passenger cabin or come out and enjoy the freezing cold breeze on the observation deck outside.
Yeobo posing for me here.
The Cook Strait crossing is fun considering you get to see so many beautiful sceneries and this is one of the highly recommended activities if you travel to New Zealand too.
You shouldn’t miss this alright?
Because I am onboard Bluebridge so I can take this beautiful pic of Interislander. Wahahahahha
Bluebridge vs Interislander
- Bluebridge cater mostly for Kiwis who travel for work, not touristy
- Bluebridge price is slightly cheaper
- Bluebridge sailing time slightly earlier
- Bluebridge ferry is smaller
- Touristy Ferry
- More features with many cabins to choose
- More comfortable and nicer, bigger, pretty
- Why you want to continue? I never tried Interislander right..
Q: Why I chose Bluebridge?
A: Its because my car rental company provide Free Vehicle Transfer by Bluebridge.
Q: Why do I want to travel with vehicle onboard ferry?
A: So that I dont have to lug my backpacks, luggages, plastic bags, pillows, food, drinks, plastic bags, books, travel brochures, rubbish all over the ferry and the risk of Slip, Trip and Fall. TQVM
We reached Picton Terminal at 11.30AM and will head straight to Havelock.Tweet
We decided to drive to go to Wellington a 30 minutes drive away from Plimmerton.
How can you missed Wellington for this?
We parked our car near to the Te Papa Tongarewa Museum (Free Admission) and take a walk at the harbour front.
Its Freezing Cold!!!
I actually enjoy the walk along this quaint harbour front with the backdrop view of hillside houses.
Some of the photos of the city… The YHA New Zealand in the heart of Wellington City Centre overlooking the harbour front with the New World Supermarket strategically just next to it.
We went to the family restaurant in Wellington for dinner at Fishermans Table which offers, Good View, Good Food, Reasonable Price. The restaurant is very busy, so reservation is recommended.
Hubby had ‘Waihau’ -Fish of the day.
I had Steak with Garlic Butter. Yummy!!
After dinner, we drove up hill to Mount Victoria for a panoramic view of the Wellington at night.
This beautiful real panoramic view : Source from wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Victoria,_Wellington. I sucks at taking night view photos.
Lord of the Rings Connection
Mount Victoria was used twice as a location in Peter Jackson‘s The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. The very first footage on the project was shot off Alexandra Road on 11th October 1999 Called the “Get off the road” scene. Followed by the “Escape from the Nazgûl” scenes a few hundred metres to the North. Later an old quarry at the top end of Ellice Street was used as the Rohirrim camp at Dunharrow. 
After Lake Taupo, we drove to Turangi about 49KMs, a 40 minutes drive. We suppose to refill the petrol tank but missed the petrol station and all of us wanted to use the toilet. Finding no signs whether we can make a U-turn, we went ahead with the initial plan… which only known by myself and Hubby.
We were heading to Tongariro Alpine Crossing with no intention to hike.
We saw this beautiful scenery, mountains meeting each other with lake below, made a stop, I quickly got down and pose for pic. I am not quite ready for the pose, but the photo turn out beautiful (just look at the background la)
The drive from Turangi which was once surrounded by green mountains quickly turn to different brown coloured bush the deeper and higher altitude we get.
The mountains were coloured golden from the sunlight reflections. It was a very beautiful sights especially with the low clouds that day. It could be a perfect painting but its not… because its was R E A L!!
Almost 35KMs of unpaved road..over hilly rocky rough roads…. for quite a while we did not see other vehicle until we reached the starting point of the hike site.
See!! No car
I prayed to God, dont let our car to break down.
Thank you God!!!
Here we are, we came this far to use the toilet!!
The toilets cleanliness was not compromised even in this remote area. Its equipt with stainless steel toilet bowl, No flush mechanism, with a very very deep hole to the ground.
Yeah.. I peek and its Gross!! (not really)
At least I satisfied my curiosity and came back to tell you it is still cleaner than Malaysian toilet that you have to pay 50cents to use.
This is the shelter, in case of bad weather with Information board for hikers on which trail they should follow with duration of hike.
The start of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, 19.4KM..
Let me calculate first ah.. I can complete 10KM Marathon in 1.5hrs.. so 1.5hrs x 2 = 3 hrs hike for 19.4KM then with slopes etc, add another 1 hr, then have to take pictures, posing and more pictures until I am satisfied my photo can show to public with slim angle.. it takes another 1 hour, so in total 5 hours sure can complete.
In conclusion if you are a person like me, make sure you have 5 hours to spare for the 19.4KM hike ya.
I stand at the edge of the shelter, play photography with my Canon G11. I love my camera even more.
This lady wants to kick me .. I guess she jealous I am Beauchy.
At the same time, I cover my face..
Do you know how cold it is?!!
The wind was so strong!!
I cold until frozen.
Dont know what is Beauchy leh.. ? Beautifulbitch
After an hour of just loitering at the shelter and probably glance by the Angmo passerby who finished their hike they might wonder ‘what this stupid asian doing here?’
Probably they already knew la.. Asians like to take photos with 2 fingers depicting V ’Peace’ sign and not so keen on outdoor. Especially for those who have reached middle age of 27 years old like me. I dont blame them. ..Eh crazy ah? What hiking in this weather ? It looks like going to rain and what if the risk of hypothermia, brain freeze and redundant body movement?
I was just joking. (I know not funny)
The weather changes so quickly and we left the place ..must reach Wellington coz next day going to the South by FerryTweet