Quick Update.

Had a great 3rd guided trip. They just get better, at some point I will have to get a crumby group. But not so far.

Have 5 days off and Katharine, my daughter, has joined me for a quick trip. We have so far taken a boat to Glade House and she has meet some of the staff I work with. Had a great time.

We were going to go camping, but just too wet, so staying in Te Anau roughing it in a hotel. Got an upgraded room, 2nd in a row, not sure why, but hey, who is counting. Me actually, I love it.

Tomorrow out Milford Sound.

Some pics below, from first couple of weeks, will do some more soon now I know how too.

From next Tuesday I am out on a back to back, so that’s two guided trips over nine days.

Will post to instagram while I have 40 mins between trips. Instagram is “brendon_goes_south”

Finally Some Photos

These should be better quality. Hard to tell until I publish.

Will set up another option if needed.

Ben Lomond, peak above Queenstown.
Ben Lomond and Bowen Peak from Queenstown Hill.
The company helicopter. Used for resupply and other tasks.
Lake Hauroko, a hike on my 3 days off when I went to have a look around Southland.
From lookout about Lake Hauroko.
The flower of the Horopito tree, or pepper tree. Straight off the branch, currently lots of little berries.
The flower of Mountain Beech. Was intense this year. Clouds of pollen every year.
The very boring Sutherland Falls. 580 metre over 3 drops.
End of training. Very happy to be heading to Mitre Peak Lodge.
Cruise ships in Milford Sound. Which is a fjord.
Weka with baby.
Creek in flood and impassible.
The chopper ride.
From pass below Mt Eilliot.
At one of the lodges. Was following me around. Very cute.


Some images from track.

November 16

It is late Friday night. Quick recap.

Enjoyed a few days at home. Caught up with a guide who is off track this year. Mowed lawn, got hair cut.

Flew back to Queenstown, such a lovely place to work.

My second trip had 23 Koreans on it, fortunately enough spoke English, as none of the guides spoke Korean. The rest were from Australia, US, and Scandinavia with a two from NZ.  A great group all round who got a great trip, almost no rain over the 5 days. A drought feared.

I took my first group out on the Milford Sound boat tour. Very cool.

We have a pretty cool English bus driver, so far I have had him for every trip. The walkers enjoy his commentary which is both informative and entertaining, As guides we sit up front, so we tend to chat with each other and the driver, which has made the long drives enjoyable.

Today I brought a new roof rack for the wing road, and accompanied by my Guy Williams look a like guide friend, I drove to Clyde to recover Kayak.  So hopefully some kayaking soon.

Dinner at the restaurant and bar 1876 with about 9 other guides, very pleasant.

First trip of season

It November 6th, and I am home, in Auckland that is. Taking a week off to catch up with family and rest.

While I managed to blog on my cell phone while on the training trip. Did not happen on my first actual, with clients walking trip.

So with the benefit of a natural keyboard, my super quick pc, I will go back to Nov 1st as much as I can remember it.

So, what I failed to mention in below post is we were late leaving Queenstown due to road closures. We got to our boat at Te Anau Downs a little late, and headed to Glade House wharf.

This is my first group, and from the start they were a great bunch. Pretty safe to say a incredibly varied group, from multiple countries.

After a group photo we settled into the evening routine, myself and the other guides changed showered, ate our dinner, and got ready for the evening meal service. Part of the role as guides is to serve the guests their meals. Many reasons for this, which I won’t go into, but to say the least, the walkers love it.

The food is top notch for both the walkers and staff. We are feed well. Dinner done, an evening briefing and bed.

The walk the next day to the second lodge was straight forward. I was back guide for this, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

That afternoon, after arriving at Pompolona House, a chopper flew in for doc and removed bridges form a nearby stream. This was not a good omen, and the promised rain fell most of the night, heard a rock-slide/avalanche some time around 5.20 am.

Because of the risk factors involved, the operators of the hike had some hard decisions to make. We four guides get to enjoy the walk and meet interesting people, but behind the scenes a slick operation is in place making all the tough calls.

Evening dinner service went well, again we ate very well. An evening briefing for walkers and bed. They were in for a treat next day.

Because of the danger presented with the rain, we could not proceed without a little help.  The walkers were briefed at breakfast, and about 2 hours later we where ferrying our 50 hikers and 4 guides the approximately 3 kms from Pompolona Lodge to the Mintaro Hut (Doc) in a helicopter, so much fun, loved by almost all.

The climb over the pass was great but very cold. I arrived at Pass Hut shaking with cold, but that is part of the job, and very quickly I changed into warm gear, was feed, rested and ready to go. The conditions for the afternoon where strong winds and rain, and on several occasions I found my self standing in flooded streams assisting walkers.

I absolutely loved it, for some reason the words to “No Rain” by Blind Melon came to mind and I am singing (loose description) this song at the top of my voice while I waited next to the stream for walkers. It was so cool to be out there, pushed to perform professionally in a challenging environment, I have not often been happier.

As is a case of rinse and repeat, dinner, briefing and bed at Quinton lodge. Next day was wet, but no where near as much rain.

Final day sees us walking under the watchful eye of Mt Ada, covered in snow, and looking awesome.

Dinner at Mitre peak lodge in Milford Sound, a visit to the glow worms, and bed.

Then it is a pleasant drive back to Te Anau and then Queenstown.

Final Comments: I had the greatest 5 days ever in terms of a job. I am happy to be out and home, but can’t wait to go back. I think this is going to be the best 6 months of my life for the longest while.

Thanks for reading. New update soon. And I promise photos, I need to get software on my phone sorted, the only image software I have either reduces the photos to 3 mb, which is beyond the 2 mg limit of blog, or too small to be much use (see earlier post). So hopefully I will get this sorted in the next few days. But I have some great photos to share.