New Zealand Scrolling Panoramas

I recently put put together 10 panoramas from around New Zealand with Photoshop’s photomerge automation. This is a great tool for putting these shots together if your camera doesn’t have an in built panorama mode. I have a basic digital camera too (FUJIFILM FinePIx Z20fd) so I’m happy to get some impressive amateur panoramic photos from it. Continue reading “New Zealand Scrolling Panoramas”

White Water Rafting in Rotorua, New Zealand

I put together a little video slideshow from the photos we got when we went rafting in Rotorua, New Zealand. I saved it in HD so you should check out the full quality version!

The whole thing lasted about 30 minutes and it was so much fun! The guys who ran it were great craic too…. utter lunatics!


Web work in New Zealand

Since living in New Zealand for the guts of 7 months I have managed to get a little bit of web development work here and there. Back in Queenstown I did some freelance work for local web development company, Kelpdesign. They took me on for a few weeks and I managed to get a few site’s done for them. Nice bunch of people and I’ll never forget William’s two dogs lounging around the office in front of the gas heater.

The first bit of work was a simple WordPress website for a local tradesman. They were looking for something quick and it was basically a free theme, some plugins and some content put together.

The second website on the other hand was a custom design by Kelpdesign and it was for a local construction project management company. I had to convert it to xHTML and CSS and set it up as a WordPress template. This was the first time I have created a template for WordPress and it really opened me up to what WordPress could do. I have created so many templates for Joomla in the past and developing one for another CMS was pretty interesting. This WordPress template had everything from custom fields and separate layouts that could be assigned to specific pages and categories. As well as clever bits of PHP and nice usage of WordPress’s API.

Milford Sound

As I have said in my earlier post today, I’m going to start filling you in on my New Zealand trip. So here it goes!

Milford Sound is a lovely fjord on the south west coast of the south island of New Zealand. Trish and I decided to go on a little bus trip down there to check it out the beauty. Plus the photos we’ve seen pretty much forced us go! The drive took about 3 hours from Queenstown. On the way there we stopped off at a few photo opportunities. We also had a coffee in Te Anau, a nice little town on the way and home to the largest lake in the south island, Lake Te Anau.

Amazing views at Milford Sound
Amazing views at Milford Sound

We were very lucky with the weather too. It was raining on the journey down but then it turned nice and sunny by the time we got  there. Plus the roads were clear, if we decided to go a few months earlier we would have been disappointed due to road  closures. Some fiends of ours previously couldn’t go due to avalanches and snow covering the roads.

When we arrived we waited to board our boat for the cruise, had a packed lunch and tried to dodge the sandflies. We were greeted with a voucher for a free muffin upon boarding and were given some welcoming words from the Captain slash cruise narrator. He pointed out all the geographic features along the way up the fjord. Our cruise brought us right to the waters of the open Tasman Sea and back again.

Me posing with my favourite fjord
Me posing with my favourite fjord

The landscape is stunning and you certainly get overwhelmed by the beauty of it. On the way back we spotted a few seals taking a rest in the sun and got very close to one of the waterfalls! So close that we needed to zip up fully and put out hoods up as we were right under it!

Fun fact: One of the waterfalls here was the one Wolverine jumped off wearing his birthday suit in his X-Men Origins flick. Also some of the explosives used in the film were stored in Queenstown’s ice rink! CrAzY!

Me at the bottom of the waterfall at the front of the boat! SOAKED!
Me at the bottom of the waterfall at the front of the boat! SOAKED!

Have a look at some of our snaps

New Zealand Update

Well well… it’s been an awful long time since I have managed to get back to updating my website. I’ve been able to update Twitter easily enough as I can update it from my phone via text. But I just didn’t have the time and net connection to update this blog!

A lot of stuff has happened since my last entry. It’s going to take me many more to fill you in on what I’ve been doing and how awesome our New Zealand road trip has been.

Here’s a quick overview on what we’re been up to:

  • Went to Milford Sound
  • Snowboarded at Treble Cone
  • Left Queenstown and started our road trip
  • Hiked Franz Joseph Glacier
  • Kayaked in Abel Tasman National Park
  • Wine tasted in Cloudy Bay vineyard
  • Saw a lot of seals chilling by a car park.
  • Got the Ferry from the South Island to the North.
  • Met up with my good friend James in Wellington
  • Went white water rafting
  • Saw a geyser and smelt some eggy geothermal activity in Rotorua
  • Went Caving, abseiling, tubing and saw some glow worms.
  • Ate some sushi
  • Got to the northern tip of New Zealand at Cape Reigna
  • Tried sandboarding!
  • Saw some wild dolphins
  • Sold the van in Auckland and made a fantastic profit!

At the moment I’m compiling a google map with the route we took, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to share it easily but I will go in more depth at some stage.

Here’s a few pics!

Will update again soon!

NZ DIY Camper Van Conversion

Over the past few days my girlfriend Trish and I did some camper conversion work on our Toyota Hiace we bought last month.

We took out the bed that came with it and decided to make a new one down the back, nearer the boot. We also made up a tall storage unit for our stuff and there is also plenty of storage under the bed too!

Today we did some work on the floor; we got a thin piece of MDF, cut it to shape and stuck on some simple lino tiles so it can be cleaned easily! Looks great!

Hopefully we will make a bit of a profit on it when we sell it on and hopefully it will make a great New Zealand road trip vehicle for more backpackers.

We have a few little bits and bobs left to do now but that’s mainly it! Can’t wait to hit the road and explore this amazing country!

Check out the photos!