Monday, February 27, 2012

New Zealand Beach Fun

Early morning walk on Tapakuna Beach

Just hanging around!

Huia overlook

Whatipu Reserve

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Tyler & Emily
Dalin & Emily

Two of our sons and their brides came today to visit us.  And no, I didn't make a mistake, they both married beautiful young women named Emily!  We are so excited to have them here and show them some of the beautiful places, local culture, and wonderful people here in New Zealand.  
(Photos are VERY posed engagement shots)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Baldwin Street - The Steepest Street in the World

Baldwin Street - Dunedin, New Zealand

According to Guinness World Records, this is the steepest street in the world, at least that's what the sign says at the bottom. 

Making a photo look like what one actually sees is sometimes a real challenge.  It is often hard, for example, to capture the grandeur and vastness of a mountain scene.  If you use a wide angle lens, you will get a wide shot, but the mountains look small.  If you use a telephoto, the mountains look big, but you can't get much of the scene in the frame.  (Of course one solution would be to do a pano in this situation.) Anyway, this was one of those times when I couldn't capture what I was seeing.  I took photos from the bottom looking up, and I took photos from the top looking down (after I stopped panting and gasping for air after the climb).  I tried different lens, and shot from standing up to laying on the road.  But the photos just don't do this street justice.  We parked our car at the bottom and walked to the top, taking several stops to rest.  It was steep!  Every year as part of a local festival they have races up and down.  It's called the 'Baldwin Street Gutbuster'.
Here are some side views:

Friday, February 17, 2012

Colorful Sand of New Zealand

New Zealand has........

white sand beaches..... (Omapere)

black sand beaches......(Whatapu)

.......and orange sand beaches (Little Kaiteriteri)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Punakaiki - Pancake Rocks

Another stop along the west coast of the south island is Pancake Rocks, an area of beautiful and unusually layered rock formations. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Gannets of New Zealand - Part 2

The gannets of New Zealand live on the edge between land and sea where these cliffs provide a strong updraft for easy take off.

The home for this colony is Muriwai on the north island. 

About 15 weeks after birth, the chicks make a journey to Australia more than 2000km away.  There is no trial and error and no parents to show them the way.  They migrate on their own.  Those that survive the journey across the Tasmin will remain for several years.

Finally, instinct draws them back across the 'ditch' to New Zealand, never to return to Australia again.   Amazingly, those who make the return journey successfully, will come to the same nest they left behind years ago, to have chicks of their own.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Gannets of New Zealand

Love Birds

Tomorrow I'll post more about the gannets of New Zealand.  In the meantime, hope you all have a Happy Valentine's Day and if you are able to spend it with those you love, you are lucky indeed.
(I couldn't decide which 'pose' I liked best so you get all three.)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Messages by the Tasman

The drive up the west coast is one rugged vista after another, each one seeming more beautiful than the rest.  Then we came upon an entirely different coast:

 A long, flat beach that was strewn with white stones.  Hundreds of tourists had written messages on these rocks and left them for those that follow to read.

There were all kinds of messages - love notes, funny sayings, names and dates, sage advice.  It was fun to spend a few minutes browsing through this seaside message board.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Franz Josef Glacier - New Zealand

Yes, we are still in New Zealand.  This is Franz Josef Glacier.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Brazen Parrots

New Zealand Parrot

These brazen guys can do serious damage to the tops and hoods of cars.  We saw several of them in a parking lot on our way to Milford Sound.  They are totally unafraid of humans.  One tourist was feeding them out of her hand (bad tourist!).
Update:  My BBs Diane and Robin (Blogging Buddies), commented that these destroyers of cars are called KEA, and they particularly enjoy ripping off rubber, like around windows, doors windshield wipers, etc. (bad kea!)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Appreciating the beauty of the landscape is just not enough for some people.......

.......the original AJ Hackett Bungy Jump.  Hackett is the original inventor of the 'bungy jump'.

While others prefer a very fast ride on a jet boat coming within inches of the cliffs and doing 365 degree spins.  With almost every adrenalin producing adventure invented by man available, Queenstown, New Zealand claims to be the adventure capital of the world!
P.S.  For those who are wondering, no color saturation of the water.  It was this color even on a cloudy day!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Shotover River - Post #1

Shotover River
A short drive from Queenstown is the beautiful Shotover River.  However, there is more to see than just the beauty of this river.  Check in tomorrow for another view.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Near Queenstown

Beautiful sky, beautiful lake!  
And the answer is 'no', I didn't enhance the color.  It really was this color.