I’ve already covered the major things I did on the south island, but here’s a few shots of the minor things I did too (with one fairly major thing towards the end).
where I got to do my first headstand picture since Hobbiton;
assisted as always by my able photographer girlfriend. 😀
You get some great views from up there.
Nelson is in a lovely location. No wonder so many hippies choose to live there.
You’re always planning when you’re traveling, trying to arrange things so that you can do everything you want to do for as little as possible. That takes time and effort; and a little nest to work in.
From Nelson we had a long drive down to Franz Josef. Along the way the coach stopped off at the pancake rocks, so we went to see what they were up to?
Not much, as you can see, but at least I got another headstand out of it,
so can’t complain. Then, at the next stop, we got some real pancakes! 🙂
Or rather ‘hotcakes’ as they call them over there. Weird. But thankfully a toasted sandwich is still a toasted sandwich.
We’d planned on doing a hike up to the glacier in Franz Josef, but it rained so much we couldn’t get near it. We amused ourselves for a day or two with a bit of ‘research’ about the local countryside,
but eventually, with time running out, we just had to bite the bullet and venture out whatever the weather. So this was our trip up the valley to the Franz Josef Glacier.
Next stop was Queenstown, where we did our Lord Of The Rings Tour. It was a long coach ride down there, so time to do a bit more research before the tour.
Along the way our coach pulled in to Wanaka, just as the sun was setting, and so we got to enjoy this spectacular sight!
Honest to God, I think that was where I fell in love with New Zealand, and the course of my life changed. But more on that little revelation in a few posts time. 😉
In Queenstown we spent our first day just looking around. We had a veganised tofu burger at Fergburger.
Then we had a little stroll through the park.
We visited the Kiwi Birdlife Park,
where we saw the bird show,
starring at least one unruly bird, lol.
Plus we got to see our first actual kiwi
(and I got to do this!).
Afterwards we took a cable car ride up to the peak,
where we got some spectacular views across the lake to the Remarkables Range.
And we had an excellent vantage point to watch the sun go down too.
As well as doing the tour, on which I got to do these,
we also hired a car and did some general monkeying around and gawping (not necessarily in that order).
With time running out we had to get to Christchurch to catch our flight back to Oz.
After our experience in Cairns, in the hideous hostel we dubbed the Global Open Prison, we decided to see what it would be like to stay in a real jailhouse. 🙂
It wasn’t much better, lol.
We had a look round Christchurch, which is still in the process of rebuilding after the earthquake, even though it was years ago.
To be honest with you, I found it a little bit grim. But two unexpected bonuses of being there were I got to do this superb headstand,
with the help of my giant girlfriend;
And! We got to see the Dalai Lama give a talk on the four pillars of Buddhism, which I certainly wasn’t expecting on this trip!
Such an unexpected pleasure. And such a warm and generous man (and funny too!). I’m so glad I got to see him just once, and to hear him talk specifically on Buddhism itself. Such a wonderful treat for both Lena and I.
And that’s the lot. That was the last leg of our New Zealand adventure. The next day we flew to Sydney, and the day after that Lena flew back to Germany.
That’s ten weeks of monkeying around we did, five in Oz and five in New Zealand. Man we did a lot of stuff though, eh? ..lol..
I’m still continuing for now. Just did a three day tour around the red centre of Australia which I’ll be reporting on next, but the funds are running low and I’ve still got to go ride an elephant somewhere, so that’s next on the agenda.
Plans are being made, not just for now, but for the future also. And you can bet your bottom dollar they include New Zealand! Just you wait and see. Things are afoot, and all will be revealed over the coming weeks.
To be continued… 😉