New Zealand Travel – See the South Island

Most people start their South Island holiday In Christchurch. I’d like to suggest an alternative. How about flying into Wellington. That may sound crazy, but it allows you to catch the Interislander ferry across to Picton, which is a great way to start your holiday. As you approach Picton you travel through the Marlborough Sounds, and you will get a much better look at them from the ferry than you would by road. You then collect your hire car from Picton and commence your journey at the top of the South Island, which means you won’t need to backtrack over the same ground.

My suggestion for a 15 day trip is:

Day 1 fly to Wellington. Stay in the city or the Oriental Bay area so that you have a short trip to the ferry the next morning.

2. Wellington to Picton on a morning ferry (about 4 hours). Then collect your hire car at Picton and drive to Kaikoura (about 2 hours). You travel along the coast for most of the journey. The Kaikoura Range comes down to the sea and depending on the time of year there may be plenty of snow still.

3. Go whale watching in the morning in Kaikoura before the winds start, then drive to Hanmer Springs (about 2 hours). Visit the thermal pools in Hanmer. A lovely clean, alpine resort.

4. Hanmer to Christchurch (about 2 hours)

5. Christchurch

6. Drive from Christchurch to Lake Tekapo (about 3 hours) and stay the night (try for a lake view room. The scenery is amazing).

7. Drive from Tekapo to Queenstown (3.5 hours). Spend four nights in Queenstown. There is plenty to do and see, and four days is my recommended minimum time here. Try and book a lake view room if you can.

8 to 10 Stay in Queenstown. This will give you a chance to relax for a few days, although you should plan a bus trip to Milford Sound on one of these days (and a bungy if you are game). The trip to Milford Sound is a big day, but at least someone else is doing the driving. A trip on the old steamship TSS Earnslaw is also recommended as is a trip up to Bob’s Peak on the gondola.

11. Drive from Queenstown to Wanaka. Make sure you travel over the Crown Range rather than through Cromwell, as it’s shorter and has better scenery (about 1 hour). About 20 kilometres before Wanaka stop of at the old Cardrona Hotel for morning tea or lunch. Stay the night in Wanaka. The scenery is similar to Queenstown, but the town is less hurried. A beautiful spot on the shores of Lake Wanaka. Visit Puzzling World while in Wanaka.

12. Drive from Wanaka to Franz Josef Glacier (about 4 hours). Spectacular scenery past endless lakes and then to the West Coast which is wild and rugged. Better to stay at Franz Josef rather than Fox Glacier as FJ has more variety in accommodation and places to eat. And you can see the glacier from the centre of the village. New Zealand weather can change quickly, but if the weather and funds allow, take a helicopter flight on to the glacier. Unbelievable!

13. Drive from Franz Josef to Punakaiki to visit Pancake Rocks and the blowhole. Not much else there other than a small village, but there is a motel called the Rocks Resort which is beachfront. We have stayed there a few times. The rooms look over the ocean and the restaurant has floor to ceiling windows so you can watch the sun setting over the ocean. Beautiful.

14. Drive from Punakaiki to Greymouth (about 30 minutes). Drop your car off then catch the Tranz Alpine train to Christchurch. Along with Milford Sound, this is one of the “must do” things in NZ. The train takes about 4 hours to go from Greymouth on the West Coast to Christchurch on the East Coast, and travels through the alps. Have your camera ready, sit back and enjoy a wine, and watch the world go by. A taste of New Zealand rail travel is a wonderful way to finish your holiday.

 

Model Ships – Model Ship Building From Ancient Past to Present

Model Ships are a scaled down replications of a full-sized historical ship from ancient times to the present. Model ships played a vital part in the building of real ships. Model ship builders would pass the completed model to the workers for them to build their ships to proper scales. In a sense the old model builders built their models for the opposite reason as model ship builders of today; they built them to create an upscale model instead. These older hand carved models that provided the model ship to their workers, were actually provided the workers blueprints for the ship they were building.

Today, model ships and computer programs are used to help ship designers select the final form of the ship’s hull before they draw out the actual plans. These model ships are then tested in tanks to provide precise information on how the hull of the full sized ship will perform at sea and how it will perform at various speeds and various ocean behaviors. All of your major ship builders use this “model ship” method before they decide on the final design. To this day, ship designers continue to build models for their desired ship structure.

The History of model ship building goes way back to ancient Egypt around 3200 B.C., where they invented the earliest form of plank and frame as well as sails for their ships. The Greek Ships models followed approximately 500 years later with a two masts sail boat.

Scandinavians developed Viking ships; one of the best ships built in Europe between 700 AD to the late 1000’s and in 1300 A.D. introduced the stern rudder.

The Mediterranean shipbuilders developed full-rigged sailing ship models in 1450 A.D. From there to the early 1800’s ships used were constructed mostly using the plank on frame method, rudder control, and full-rigged sails. Galleons model ships launched to sea in the 1500’s and used to the 1800’s. The most famous ship models were the packet and clipper ships. Packet ships appeared in the Atlantic Ocean in the early 1800’s followed by the Clipper ships during the 1840s. Both of these models were used as import ships.

In the 1700’s engineers started to develop and experiment with steam powered boats. By the 1800’s the model paddle wheel steam boats were invented. By 1853, the propeller powered steam boat model was invented proving to be more efficient then the paddle wheel model. This dawned a new era of ship building; steel ships that replaced the traditional wooden model.

Some of the most fascinating ships that are still in operation today were when the passenger cruise ships came on the seen. This RMS Titanic cruise ship was built in March 1909. In May 1911, this new steel model ship was launched, which was a heavily publicized spectacle. Unfortunately, at 11:40 pm on the 14th April 1912, the greatest maritime disaster in history began. Other models include the Normandie, Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain.

 

International Freight Forwarding and Shipping

International freight shipping is a complex procedure that requires the services of an international freight forwarder.

A freight forwarder is essentially a company or a person whose duties are to organize shipments of corporations or individuals, and to get large orders from manufacturers to the market or to the final point of distribution.

Freight forwarders contract carriers to facilitate the shipment of goods. The forwarder himself is not a carrier per se, but is skilled in supply chain management. Basically, these forwarders can be thought of as a travel agency for the cargo industry or as a third party logistics provider.

Freight can be booked for a whole host of carrier types, which include ships, trucks, planes and railroads. Some shipments can use multiple carrier types on route before it reaches its designated destination.

Freight shipping calls for very specific documentation as it has to go through multiple custom checks before being allowed to pass through. The forwarder would organize the carriage of your international shipment, along with helping the handling and processing of all the necessary paperwork. International forwarders also make sure that your shipment is arriving at the correct place at the specified time.

An international freight forwarder should traditionally guide you through the complicated process of international shipping, as they are the experts on the international freight shipping process. This way you can understand and aid your shipment and your freight forwarding company can benefit from this information.

A day in the life of a freight forwarder would consist of the following tasks:

The primary task of a forwarder at work would be conversations and negotiations with clients and warehouses that they deal with worldwide. This is because they need to gather information for the purpose of passing it on to the concerned parties that they are doing business with or need to report to as authorities. These would include an SSL – Steam Ship Line, the United States Customs or they might even be the customer themselves.

Other tasks include ensuring that the freight being imported or exported by the client always gains entry into the country it is being forwarded to. The forwarder must always arrange for the freight in question to be picked up and delivered to the consignee’s final place of business.

This would mean being in constant contact with trucking companies and rail lines to ensure that everything is operational and will reach the assigned designation in time.

With the advent of modern communication technology these tasks are relatively easier for the modern freight forwarder, which means that today, a typical forwarder would like most professionals, spend his day in front of a computer, where he controls and tracks the freights processing and progress.