Up an hour before dawn, kept my first run on South Island close to our Christchurch lodging – early tour start this morning.  Quick 3 miles ‘round Burnside Park.  Run highlights: rugby field, lawn bowling, morning sunrise.  G’day New Zealand!

Full day planned – 4WD tour, Jet Boat…no TranzAlpine Train.  Rated one of the world’s top six train journeys, but unfortunately all train travel on South Island down (‘til March 22nd) due to extensive forest fire (it’s Southern Hemisphere summer).

Off-roaded across a rural cattle farm [Torlesse Station], driving UP UP UP steep switchbacks, ultimately climbing 3000ft+.  Stopped & took in the landscape – clouds poured in, keeping temps cool…beautiful Canterbury Plains loomed below.  No cattle this high; altitude however doesn’t slow the island sheep.  Sighted a herd lunching on moisture-rich shrub grass.  HUGE topography change from yesterday, more reminiscent of Colorado than New Zealand’s tropical North.

45 minutes from Torlesse Station, jet-boated up one of New Zealand’s major snow-fed rivers, the Waimakariri.  Spray jacket, hat, gloves, life vest – check check check, boarded my first [Hamilton] jet boat.  Weaving in & out of rock faces, over white water rapids, thru high rock canyons…at times, gliding over water less than 3 feet deep.  WOW, WOW, WOW!

Amazing shot of the Southern Alps on the return ride near Lake Pearson.  Mirror image of Colorado’s San Juan Range.  Stunning.

Rental car pickup tomorrow.  5 hour drive, west over Arthur’s Pass to Franz Josef Glacier.  Super excited!  Is it morning yet? 🙂



meanwhile, far far away in Colorado — pup’s enjoying an adventure of his own 🙂


Jetboating the Waimakariri



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