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Visiting New Zealand
New Zealand - A Great Place To VIsit
My partner and I love New Zealand, and on our return to Australia after our second trip over to Kiwiland, thought we'd like to share a few of our photos with you.
We've visited both the North Island and the South Island, and it would be difficult to pick our favourite places. It's all worth a visit,or two, or maybe even more!
The wildlife is fascinating too, and I'll try to find some good images among my photos for you.
All images are my own, unless otherwise indicated, and all rights are reserved, thanks.
The exception is the graphic in this intro, which I made from 2 public domain images.
At Te Puia, on the North Island, we visited an indigenous display village. This is some of the dancing, which usually tells a story. I think this particular dance was a love story. There was also some Haka performed, but unfortunately, my photos didn't turn out very well.
This area has many tourist attractions, but we ran out of time to visit all of them.
White Island - One Day, We'll be back.......
An Active Volcano
There are so many beautiful places in New Zealand, it's hard to decide which to visit first. Although we managed to see quite a lot of the country on our two trips there, many places remain to be seen.
One of the spots we were unable to visit, due to rough seas stopping the boat from attempting the trip, was White Island. White Island is an uninhabited volcano, out to sea off Whakatane, on the East Coast of the North Island.
It used to be a sulphur mine, but when the volcano had a major eruption in 1914, all ten miners were killed. The only survivor of this disaster was a pet cat, which was rescued, and named Peter the Great.
The island is now visited by tourists, taken there by a few licensed operators. There are usually a couple of fumaroles belching sulphur smelling steam, and the volcano has remained active for over 100 years.
This is a beautiful little stream near the small town of Kawerau, on the North Island. Hopefully it will remain as unspoiled as this. I think the colour of the water is magical, and I think it is ice or snow melt, as it was Spring.
The photo is mine, and is copyright.
Mt Tarawera - A Volcano on the North Island
Shown is a view of the rift valley on Mt Tarawera, formed during the volcano's last eruption, in 1886. This eruption completely destroyed the beautiful Pink and White Terraces, which were a huge tourist attraction at the time.
We took a helicopter trip to the top, landed and walked around for a while. It's stunning. There was even some unseasonable snow at the top - this was in September, which is Spring.
This was one of the highlights of our trip. The helicopter was a tiny 4 seater, and the cockpit didn't feel like much more than a glass bubble. It was a windy day, and you could feel the wind catching the tiny aircraft. We loved it!
I took this photo as we were coming in to land.
I've inset a shot of the helicopter coming in to land at a clearing at Tarawara. It doesn't show the trees blowing in the wind, nor how small the landing area was. It was a little hairy, but we had a good pilot, seen here in the picture with us. It was a cold day, so we're all rugged up.
The scenery in this area is really great, and I wish the flight could have been longer. We did get the treat of landing on the top of the volcano and walking around. The pilot, Tim, acted as the guide.
The Kiwi, A New Zealand Icon.
These birds are quite strange, as they can't fly, are a peculiar shape, and a long beak, but they are beautiful just the same.
We didn't manage to see any in the wild on our trip to NZ, as they are nocturnal, and there are a lot less of them than there used to be, due to habitat loss, and predators. Five species of Kiwi are known, and three of these are endangered.
At least one offshore island has been cleared of feral animals so that kiwis can be re-introduced, and hopefully breed well. Research and conservation is ongoing.
One of the pools at Hell's Gate Thermal Pools near Rotorua. We had a great mud bath here, followed by a dip in a naturally warmed swimming pool.
Walking around the geothermal springs area was a little hard on the nose - the smell of sulphur was very strong. Lots of steam and bubbling water everywhere also. Well worth a visit if you're ever in Rotorua. The only problem was that some of our silver jewellery went dull - we think it was the sulphur!
Have You Visited New Zealand?
Have you visited New Zealand?
Kawerau - A Beautiful Spot On The North Island
We spent some time in Kawerau, as it was well worth it, and even went horseriding through the bush. Of course, as we're not as young as our minds think we are, we suffered from that afterwards.....
We also found that we weren't as game as we used to be, and I for one, didn't want to go fast at all. Although I'd ridden a lot when I was a little younger, it seems I had lost my nerve. Riding in a creek was a whole new experience too, but we wouldn't have missed it.
The track down to the creek was narrow and slippery, - just as well the horses were used to it.
On The Road To Whakatane
Couldn't resist taking a shot of these contented and healthy looking cows. New Zealand has great dairy products. The grass looks so green here, compared to Australia.......
Fairy Springs Wildlife
We visited Fairy Springs because they had a wildlife section, but unfortunately none of my kiwi images came out well at all, due to the lighting. This pair of keas were very active. We've now seen them in the wild on the South Island, where they are well known for damaging car windscreen wipers. They like to play with things.
Franz Jozef Glacier
We visited two glaciers in one day - the closer you got to them, the colder it became. There's a lot of ice in there! Unfortunately, the glaciers are retreating gradually, probably due to global warming.
This is one of my favourite shots of the glaciers, a distance shot of Fox.
Walking up to the glacier faces was a bit rough, because sometimes the river from the melt changes course, and the path gets destroyed. It certainly made getting to Fox Glacier quite interesting! On this occasion, I was glad I had a walking stick with me - it certainly helped on the rough rocky spots.
Milford Sound, South Island
The day we visited Milford Sound, it was raining all the time. This turned out to be great for viewing the waterfalls down the cliffs, although it wasn't so great for seeing wildlife.
This is one of my favourite shots from the boat.
The red tussock grass went on for miles as we drove through Otago, on the South Island. I really liked it, and have no idea why. Would love to have some in my garden, as a feature plant.
I would have brought some back with me, but our customs and quarantine people wouldn't have liked it at all.