Archive for November, 2008

Day 3: Otago Rail Trail

Prearranged the Bike and Transfers with Trail Journey. Catch-a-bus picked us up from Yeen’s Home at Cargill Street at 8am. (Mike and Goh dropped our car the night before) Catch-a-bus is run by a husband and wife –  Brian and Jane, and is actually a Van Service which serves between Dunedin and Clyde.

It took 42 yrs to complete Otago Rail Trail, it was operating from 1921 and train services stopped operating since 1980s… it is 150km Long, The sceneries are beautiful from wat we saw from the website, it was so hard for us to decide where should we start and where should we end. Normally people will take few days to ride, and there are few accommodations available in the route. We decided to pick parts of the whole trail and ride for a day only.

From Dunedin to Oturehua, The view is beautiful, we slept in the van as i was sleepy + car sick. I woke up occasionally, and was amazed by the beautiful sceneries, i couldn’t help it but take some photos and videos then dozed off.. Catch-a-bus stopped at several locations to pick up other passengers.. halfway thruthe trip, i woke up and saw a wide area with full of rocks and this place is called “Rock and Pillar”, I saw some rocks which look like a huge lions.. other than that, i saw cows, sheeps and snow alps..

Journey to Oturehua, Rock and Pillar, Cows, Sheeps

Journey to Oturehua, Rock and Pillar, Cows, Sheeps


At first i planned to ride from Oturehua to Clyde which is 63km, but everyone advice me to think twice, so We picked Oturehua to Lauder (23km) and Alexandra to Clyde (8km). Our package is NZD 155 per person which includes Catch-a-bus from Dunedin to Lauder, Bike Rental, Bike and us transfer from Lauder to Alexandra by Van 36km, Luggage Transfer from Dunedin to Queenstown, Wanaka Connexion Bus Service from Clyde to Queenstown (1hr 10mins). We arrived at Oturehua at 10:30am, they dropped us right in front of T.Gilchrist & Sons Grocery. This grocery is established since 1902, and is a very old and traditional museum like grocery shop which we often see in those late 50s movies. They displaying some old receipts and invoices of 1900s. We bought coffee for $3 each and had Yeen’s Sandwiches. Our bicycles are waiting for us in a small little hut behind the store. The bikes are adjusted according to our height.  

the 1902 Store, 1906 invoices and inside the store

the 1902 Store, 1906 invoices and inside the store

We started our ride at about 11:15am and arrived at Lauder at 2:30pm. During the journey, we only saw 2 families doing the trail, and we didn’t see anyone else except cows, sheeps and one huge rabbit… No Emergency Phone, no farmers..We went thru 1 Viaduct, 1 bridge (Manuherikia 110m), 2 tunnels (Poolburn 1-201m and Poolburn2 -230m), lakes.Poolburn Viaduct (at the Left) took 3 yrs to build 1901-1904, is the highest viaduct on the whole trail 37metre high and 4th longest (108m).   
Snail at the beginning of the Ride, Poolburn Tunnel 1

Snail at the beginning of the Ride, Poolburn Tunnel 1 (201metre long)

1. a family stopped halfway and went for a swim, 2. "SuperHero"

1. a family stopped halfway and went for a swim

The Short Break in Alexandria – We arrived at Lauder at 2:30. Only saw a few small buildings in Lauder. The Couch driver told us that it was snowing at this area the day before. We arrived at Alexandria at 3pm, it was dizzling and we decided to have KFC. Maybe we were very hungry, we spotted the KFC from far far away. KFC is pretty cheap, less than NZD30 for 5 of us.

). KFC

23km. Strong Uncle. Welcome Notes :). KFC

We continued our Journey at 3pm from Alexandra to Clyde. This route is not as beautiful as the previous one, and is just one straight road, no left or right turn. There are vineyards, however all grape trees were dried up, and are closed. We get to see more sheeps, horses and bridges. Chian’s Tyres got punctured, luckily we got one Sifu who can fix it.

fixing the bike, horse, vineyard

fixing the bike, horse, vineyard

By the time we arrived in Clyde, it was 4:30pm, we were late by 30mins, there are quite a lot of pplwaiting for us in the bus already. The Coach Driver is very nice, he fed us with commentary thru’out the 1hr journey.

First we saw many houses in Clyde, the houses are divided by age of the houses. Some areas houses were built in the 19th century, some 1930s, some 1950s and etc. after all the houses, we saw the Clyde Hydro Electric dam. This is the first Dam i ever seen in my life. This place is well developed because it acted as hub between the towns of Wanaka, Queenstown and Alexandra. We arrived at Queenstown at 5:30pm and we were dropped right in front of our hostel.

Clyde's Dam, Connexions Bus

Clyde Dam and the Brilliant Connexions' Driver


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Videos in NZ

Milk Advertsement
Snowman MTV
VOTE FOR MIKE a short video of Mike dancing around while backpacking through New Zealand. This video is entered in the Brunei RTB Aksi Video contest so hope you will like it and vote for it!! Will post up the Voting Details…

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在马来西亚的一个小镇,住着一家人。老公走进房间,对着正在做月子的老婆说:“Boy Boy 3 个星期大咯。。。 该计划要怎样庆祝满月酒了。。。”

老婆说:“他又不是我们的第一个Boy, 低调就好了。。 ”看着在床上的Boy Boy,又说:“你看他肥肥的,比他哥哥姐姐都还胖,以后一定会吃很多,还是省点钱来喂他吧!”

在900英尺的天边,有位妇女正在满头大汗的用力生孩子。Baby的头没有往下,反而是往上的。。。 妇女痛苦的呐喊着。。 妇女突然感到不痛了,却没听到Baby哭声,张开眼睛望着医生和护士,他们都站着不动,妇女吓到了。 原来Baby 全身已出来了,但头却还没出来。。。 医生遥遥妇女的肚子,妇女又有震痛了。。 黑黑的Baby Girl 就出来了!!

二十多年后,肥肥的Baby Boy 和黑黑的Baby Girl相遇了。 

“Hey, 今年我的生日是星期天哦, 可以休息休息!”,Baby Boy道。 BabyGirl说:“Duh..我的也是星期天啊。。 ”


“去年我的生日去朋友结婚,那天是星期六叻!” “呃, 我去年生日也是去朋友的结婚也! 那天也是星期六, 真巧哦!”

“巧你的栏焦, 你老我足足二十一天。。 每年生日的星期天都是一样的啦"



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NZ Day 1 & 2: Dunedin

We arrived at Auckland International Airport at about 2am, shopped for a while at the duty free shop, however we couldn’t shop for too long as the custom officer was waiting for few of us to check out. Slept at the coachs til 5:30am, was woke up by huge crowd of people.. duno why out of sudden so many ppl were there…. As the interairport bus wasn’t operating yet, We walked to the Domestic Airport, the walk was nice and Me, Suan, Goh Left to Dunedin at 6:50am. Mike and Chian took the 7:30am Flight, but they arrived 30 mins before us.

9:30am 27th September 2008 – Arrived in Dunedin Airport (6 Degree Celcius)

Dunedin – Pronounced as “De” (The) – “Nei” – “Den”

At the Dunedin Airport

I was surprised to see Yeen waiting for us at the Luggage Belt area.. didn’t know public can walk into tat area. after the driving instructions from Yeen, we left the airport for early lunch. along the way, we were amazed to see green green grass and lots of sheeps…

Renting a car from the airport is pretty expensive, is NZD 120 per day which includes Airport Tax and Insurance from Thrifty Car Rental. 

For our Second Day Rental, it was NZD 90. The Thrifty Office is at Crawford Street which is about 5 minutes drive from the Octagon.  this is where we dropped our car after rental.

Our first lunch was at Esplanade Restaurant , we had a glimpse of the beach. However we can’t stay long as we had to rush for the 12pm tour at the Speight Brewery Museum. We ordered 2 large pizzas, Seafood and Hawaiian. Its about $30 Each, i think it worth the money – Huge mussels, Scallops and prawns.. Yummy. we couldn’t finish and Tapao home!

See the Scallop, Prawns??

Speight Brewery Museum Speight Brewery was founded in 1876 by J Speight. There are several tours available throughout the day, and we booked the 12pm tour together with another 15 people who joined the same group with us. It cost $17 Per Adult. Topics covered: History of Beer (first recorded in Egypt), History of Speight, the process of Speight Beer (the ingredients, tools, machines used). the Last Part: Free Flow of 6 types of Beer!!!

Beer was recorded during the Pharoah Time.

Us listening to the Tour Guide, J Speight and Goh testing 6 types of Beer

Baldwin Street 350 metres length, is well known as it’s the world’s steepest street. At the steepest part of the street, its about 45 degree steep. Only me and Mike climbed all the way up and down, we could had get a certificate by paying $2.

In 2001 a 19-year-old University of Otago student was killed when she and another student attempted to travel down the street inside a wheelie bin. The bin collided with a parked trailer, killing one of the occupants instantly, and causing serious head injuries for the second.

Other events in baldwin Street:

The street is the venue for an annual event in Dunedin, the “Baldwin Street Gutbuster”. Every summer since the mid-1990s (usually in February), this exercise in fitness and balance involves athletes running from the base of the street to the top and back down again. The event attracts up to 1,000 competitors annually.

Since 2002, a further charity event has been held annually in July, which involves the rolling of over 30,000 Jaffas (spherical chocolate candies). Each jaffa is sponsored by one person, with prizes to the winner and funds raised going to charity.

Wait for me!!

Wait for me!!

Otago University is the Largest University in New Zealand with campus all over Dunedin and have facilities in Wellington and Auckaland. Thanks god Yeen is studying there and we get to pay a visit to this University. It was founded since 1869.

Part of the Library, the Clock and part of the huge campus

Part of the Library, the Clock and part of the huge campus

Aw.. not listening.. simply sitting there doing nothing... Mike and Chian are bad Students!!

Aw.. not listening.. simply sitting there doing nothing... Mike and Chian are bad Students!!

The Octagon There are a huge Catheral church, cafes, restaurants and some shops at this Octagon Shaped Area. Nothing much to write about this place. We were there for a Tea break.

Otago Peninsula It is 30KM long and 12Km at its longest width somehow formed by and extinct volcano. Short drive from the Octagon. We went there twice, the first time we went after 5pm, most of the places were closed. We enjoyed the Harbour view and the great sunset! – where we did our very first dance. the Road is very windy and i would say is kind of dangerous to drive there as other drivers drove real fast.

We went there again the next day to visit the Larnarch Castle and to hunt for Penguins. 

Sunset @ Otago Peninsula

Sunset @ Otago Peninsula

Korean BBQ at Yeen’s Place Yeen bought a new bbq set and we had a great dinner at her place. She prepared a lot of Meat and vegetables to keep us healthy. the Korean bbq sauce is great, and forgot to ask her for receipe! We BYO Alize Rose Liquor.
pros: great yeen’s sauce, great atmosphere
cons: Due to the cold weather, we have to sit on the portable gas-can for a long time to keep the gas warm so that we are able to light up the stove with it.


Chef: Yeen

About the Mistakes

We suppose to check in to Kiwi Nest, however Yeen managed to organise her room so that all of us can fit into it.. We didn’t chat much as we had to wake up at 6:30am to catch the Catch-a-Bus. It was the Day Light Saving Day, I didn’t set my alarm, I relied on Mike to wake us all up on time.. zzzzz.. 

A Calm voice woke me up: “Guys, I don’t want to shock all of you, but its is already 7:40am.” I wished it wasn’t true… Catch-a-bus will pick us up at 8am, it takes about 10 mins to drive there… but god!! we were not dreaming!! Everyone just rush in and out toilet, packed and left Yeen’s place within 20mins..  we arrived at the Thifty Car Rental, but couldn’t see Catch-a-bus. Called Brian of Catch-a-bus, he didn’t know what i was talking about. We waited for another few more minutes and Brian came.. he told us that our booking was for the next day… oooppsss… 😀 called yeen and told yeen to pick us up again. haha..

We laughed about the mistake mike made, how fast we could be and the mistake i made. Took a few hours nap then went to the food court at the  Meridian shopping mall in front of Yeen’s place. It cost us about $8 – $11 for a plate of Asian Mix Rice.

Larnarch Castle The Road to Larnarch Castle is amazing… we saw super green grass with thousands of Sheeps along it. We stopped by several times along the drive to take pictures of the beautiful harbour, mountains, bay, sheeps and more sheeps.

The Entrance Fee to Larnarch Castle is NZD 25 Adult and NZD 10 child, however if you just wanna check out the gardens without entering the castle, its NZD 10 and NZD 3 for child. You may wanna stay there for a night at Single/Twin/Double $250.

This is the first european style castle i ever seen. It was built by William Larnarch and he was once a banker then earn his fortune via tradings. His story is quite tragic, His first wife passed away then he married his second wife, then his second wife passed away, then he married his third wife. he later found out the affair between his eldest son and his 3rd wife, and he commited suicide by a shot on his head.

There is a room which we have to pass thru the black curtains to get in. There was this Angmo lady trying to be funny jumped out from the room and freaked me out til i fell to the floor. That room is creepy, it displayed his 3rd wife wedding dress and some victorian ladies possessions.

We enjoyed the view very much from the top of the Castle, and later the garden.

1908 Cafe & Bar is a 90 yrs old nicely decorated Cafe along the Otago Peninsula. We went in for 2 reasons: it look nice and we were hungry. We ordered coffee and 2 plates of Breads and 1 plate of dunno wat. the toppings we had are quite special, the pink one were made of Reddish. I think this place is not over priced.

1908 cafe

Pilot Beach, used to known as ‘Hobart Town Beach’ is a place where we can see Penguins for FREE along Otago Peninsula, Thanks to the lady in 1908 for telling us about this place 🙂 The Blue Penguins, smallest penguins on earth, will come home from the sea everyday at 7pm.. It was Day light saving Day, and they were back at 8pm. We arrived slightly before 7pm and waited for an hour. It was very windy but it still couldn’t stop us from waiting. there were other observants there too.. a kid showed us a sick penguin.. we could see and hear the penguin. We could see holes around the grass area, homes of the Penguins. There was a walkway for the penguins to walk up from the beach to their homes. We danced, yoga and kungfu.. while waiting. at 8pm, it was getting dark and we finally saw a group of penguins walking across the beach. We ran quickly there to observe.. too bad we couldn’t flash our cameras. They walked pretty slow.. we waited quite a while til they reached the top. Other observants told us to leave as its unfair that we disturb their (Penguins’) Privacy..

Pilot Beach, Dunedin

Went back to Yeen’s place to meet up with her, dropped Car at THrifty and went to Lonestar.

Lonestar is an American country music group, but here we are talking about Lone Star.  Lonestar is all over in NZ and with the theme of cowboys. The place is cool and waiter is handsome.. (still drooling) We ordered 3 main courses only but the portion is sufficient for 6 of us for dinner. The maincourse cost about NZD 25 and above.

Pros: Cheerful and Handsome Waiter

lonestar, Dunedin

Pros: “Beautiful Sceneries, Beautiful Buildings”
Cons: “too quiet at nites..”
In A Nutshell: “Quiet and Not busy City”

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See the World Thru Your Eyes

Zing Zing– my Inspiration to backpack, is leaving her Manageress Position in one of the Top 4 Audit Firm in Singapore for her New Journey. How long will she be away? the answer is unknown..

As far as I know, she will be flying to Nairobi, Kenya tomorrow, follow by a 3 weeks Africa Safari Camping, then probably some volunteer Jobs around Africa..

Between us – My classmate since Primary 4. We danced and basketballs together. So Happened that she was sitting next to me for the whole year in the Final Year of Secondar School. at tha time, she talked and smiled a lot, but she never show the adventurous side of her…

She went to a college which was just next to my college in KL, met occassionaly.. and the next thing i knew about her was she was travelling all by herself in South America for 3 months.

Wanna know what she has done?? just check out her blog

Unless you are ready, please do not chat with her.. else you will be thinking to leave all your stuff here and go with her..

Go Zing Go…. You have all my blessings.. and i will be right here waiting for you to inspire me. 😀

Zing in Galapagos Island, Ecuador - My favorite Pic

Zing in Galapagos Island, Ecuador - My favorite Pic

My Favorite Post: http://zing-zing.blogspot.com/2007/03/galapagos-islands-ecuador-dec-2005.html

for more: http://zing-zing.blogspot.com/2007_03_01_archive.html

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