Friday, June 10, 2011

NZ This Time and Next Time--Barry

Writing this from the airport lounge in Christchurch where I am feeling some melancholy about leaving New Zealand.   It is, after all, a place that Marilyn and I have talked about visiting "some day" for 30+ years and now--a little sadly--we will shortly need to speak of this visit in the past tense.   But we are already talking about a return visit "some day" in the future.

Scotland?  No.   Taken on the Otago Peninsula near Dunedin.    Another beautiful day.

This visit did turn out to be the "Grand Tour" of the North and South Islands as we had expected.   Over the 22 days we traveled over 3800km (mainly on the South Island), stayed at 10 B&Bs and several motels (all fine or excellent), and took that great ferry ride from Wellington to Picton on a gorgeous day with calm waters in the Cook Strait, thankfully.

Along Main St. in Owaka in the Catlins across from our B&B.     Coldest morning of the trip at -2C.

Three weeks allowed us to venture out beyond the standard first-visit itinerary of Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington, Queenstown, Milford Sound, etc. to visit places like the Coromandel peninsula on the North Island and the Catlins at the far south of the South Island.   In the Coromandel we stretched out and napped on a fantastic deserted beach on a sunny day at Opito Bay.   In the Catlins we crept up on a formidable sea lion also on an empty beach at Cannibal Bay.  I think these less-visited places were the highlights of a journey here that had few low points.

From the coach ride to Milford Sound

Whether at a well-known spot or not, we met very friendly people who made us feel right at home.

Two happy NZ tourists.

We can begin dreaming about Next Time in New Zealand when we will probably pick two or three spots and then settle in each for a longer period.   This Time was well worth the 30 year wait.   Farewell.

The Southern Alps seen from Fox Glacier.   That's Mt Cook on the right.

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