Shanty Town - Akaroa | New Zealand

Shantytown - Akaroa | New Zealand

Days 17-21


We stopped at Shantytown on our way from Punakaiki to Franz Joseph to pan for gold.  It's a replica of a South Island West Coast gold mining town set in the 1860s complete with a steam engine train and a playground that had a zip line, of course that was the kids favorite part!

Each pan had a tiny amount of gold. It is heavier than the rock so when you put water in it washes the rocks away but leaves the gold.


After this adventure we hopped in the car again and kept driving, the girls were napping but as we crossed a bridge we saw a sign for "white baitfish sandwiches." We had no idea what they were so we went to investigate.  Poppy woke up to the smell of minnows fried in eggs on white toast and she was delighted, the girls gobbled it up!  The owner said they don't have "guts" and the backbone is soft you don't notice it when you bite them, so you don't have to clean the fish. It is a kiwi delicacy.


Once we arrived in Franz Joseph we hiked to the bottom of the glacier which was a magnificent view!  There were waterfalls everywhere!  The rivers were a milky turquoise from glacial meltwater which comes from glaciers that have receded over time. These rivers get their color from "rock flour", sediment that has been transported through the rivers to the lakes. This sediment comes from rocks grinding together underneath the glacier. The fine powder is then suspended in the water and absorbs and scatters varying colors of sunlight giving it the milky color. (thanks for the great definition Wikipedia!)


The girls loved the hike, it was full of scrubby brush, water and big rocks and finally the glacier!  As it continues to melt, they move the barrier of where you can further and further back so we were able to get to about a half of a mile away from it.


John had a photo last year on our car in Chile that popped up in our "memories" on Facebook, so.....


We continued our drive to Queenstown and had to sop to photograph this gorgeous mountain with the rain droplets on the fence.


After each turn is a new attraction, here is a row of bras to support breast cancer awareness close to Queenstown.


After that we pulled over to watch people bungy jump, they looked like they were having a blast but it terrifies me!


Once we got to our hotel we looked out the window and this was our amazing view of the Shotover River!! Here it is at dusk....


And as the sun first came over the mountains the next morning...


After leaving Queenstown we were driving up to Akaroa and passed the tallest mountain in New Zealand, Mount Cook. The boa cloud above it looked like an alligator mouth which was much more entertaining to Poppy than the mountain itself!


Once we got to Akaroa, many many many hours later, we hit the hay and woke up the next morning to go to "unicorn beach."  There were millions of the little ice cream shells which Poppy made up a long story about how unicorns once lived there and they shedded their horns when they grew larger ones and these were the ones they shedded.

While Pops was busy collecting shells, Peaches "snacked" on an "apple."  2 words she loves but I don't think they mean snack or apple...0015_shanty_akaroa_0227160016_shanty_akaroa_022716

Akaroa is surrounded by the remnants of a miocene volcano and the beautiful bays are where the craters of the volcanoes used to be which last erupted 6 million years ago.