Impressions Of New Zealand, pt 2

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).

After Kaikoura we headed off back up to Nelson for a few days. As well as doing some yoga we also climbed to the geographical centre of New Zealand,

on the centre of new zealand

where I got to do my first headstand picture since Hobbiton;

headstand prep

51. centre of new zealand headstand

assisted as always by my able photographer girlfriend. πŸ˜€

gimme my camera

You get some great views from up there.

a beautiful day

Nelson is in a lovely location. No wonder so many hippies choose to live there.

the green grocer

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.

planning nest

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?

pancake rocks

Not much, as you can see, but at least I got another headstand out of it,

52. pancake rocks headstand

so can’t complain. Then, at the next stop, we got some real pancakes! πŸ™‚

pancake stack

Or rather ‘hotcakes’ as they call them over there. Weird. But thankfully a toasted sandwich is still a toasted sandwich.

rest stop toastie

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,

on a rainy night in franz josef

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.

lovely weather

swollen river

gotcha!

valley wall waterfalls

the glacier path

warning!

we made it

53. franz josef glacier headstand

glacial!

contemplating the walk back

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.

tour research

Along the way our coach pulled in to Wanaka, just as the sun was setting, and so we got to enjoy this spectacular sight!

too beautiful for words

sunset over lake wanaka

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. πŸ˜‰

In Queenstown we spent our first day just looking around. We had a veganised tofu burger at Fergburger.

vegan tofu burger at fergburger, queenstown

Then we had a little stroll through the park.

capturing autumn

autumn scene

bridge bridge

giraffe camera attack!

We visited the Kiwi Birdlife Park,

how do I get out?

where we saw the bird show,

kiwi park bird show

starring at least one unruly bird, lol.

fly away

come here

Plus we got to see our first actual kiwi

kiwi enclosure

a kiwi

(and I got to do this!).

54. kiwi birdlife park headstand

Afterwards we took a cable car ride up to the peak,

queenstown from the cable car

where we got some spectacular views across the lake to the Remarkables Range.

a picture postcard view

the old deer park

mountain happy

I'm gonn live there

55. skyline lookout headstand

And we had an excellent vantage point to watch the sun go down too.

a remarkables sunset

sunrise hits the peaks

look at those colours!

As well as doing the tour, on which I got to do these,

56. arwen's ford headstand

57. isildur's death headstand

we also hired a car and did some general monkeying around and gawping (not necessarily in that order).

watch out for the giraffes!

sunny lakeside

dinoslide

distant peaks and isles

new hat!

picture postcard

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. πŸ™‚

a night in jail

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.

still rebuilding

waiting to fall

shipping container shopping centre

christchurch shops

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,

58. christchurch headstand

with the help of my giant girlfriend;

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!

dalai lama takes the stage

his holiness the dalai lama

rapt attention

isn't it?

what's the word?

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… πŸ˜‰

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