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Cobden Bridge, Grey River, Greymouth, Westland, South Island

While in New Zealand, I …

Above/featured: Cobden Bridge over Grey River: Greymouth, Westland, South Island – 18 Jul 2012.

While in New Zealand, I …

  • woke up every morning glad I was on RTW (`round-the-world) travel for 2012.
  • was happy to return to the country a second time, this time for almost four weeks.
  • was skeptical of the stories about how the North Island could be any “uglier” compared to the South Island.
  • couldn’t believe how they were all true.
  • was glad to have taken the ferry and Coastal Pacific train from Wellington to Christchurch.
  • loved the spirit and perseverance of the people in Christchurch.
  • won’t forget the sense of optimism in the city.
  • was happy to stay in Christchurch an extra night, so I could spend the following day on a road trip to Akaroa.
  • was happy to have taken the TranzAlpine train route from Christchurch over the southern Alps to Greymouth on the West Coast
  • enjoyed sticking around in Greymouth for just one night; the town is small and compact, and just enough for a short layover.
  • had a 45-minute conversation with the nice lady who runs the Left Bank Art Gallery in Greymouth.
  • had frequent chats at various motels with proprietors about traffic in low- and high-seasons.
  • didn’t mind coach service down the West Coast, especially because there were few people around and the drivers provided ongoing commentary about the scenery.
Franz Josef Glacier, Westland National Park, South Island, New Zealand, Aotearoa,

Stick-people in danger! Franz Josef Glacier, Westland – 20 Jul 2012.

  • saw the sheer physical scale of the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers, both of which are accessible by foot from their respective towns.
  • forked over the cash to fly over at least four glaciers (Fox, Tasman, Murchison, Franz Josef), as well as buzzing around Mount Tasman and Aoraki (Mount Cook).
  • forked over more cash to take a coach-boat-plane trip to, through, and over Milford Sound, respectively.
  • discovered three types of people in Queenstown: young men and women dressed in plaid- or skiwear, armed with skis or boards; groups of Asians pouring out from tour coaches; and retired couples. I fit into none of these groups.
  • crossed the Southern Alps four times: on the TranzAlpine train from Christchurch west to Greymouth, on the Newmans coach from Fox Glacier east to Queenstown, on a tour coach from Queenstown west to Milford Sound, and on a Cessna plane from Milford Sound east back to Queenstown.
  • have seen how the vast numbers of small and cheap eateries, coffee houses, and pubs show just how much of a college town Dunedin really is.
  • was followed by sunshine (or did I follow the sun?) for the entire time spent on the South Island.
  • saw a lot of similarity and familarity with my home province of British Columbia, Canada: the Westland with BC’s Coastal Range and Rockies, the rainshadow in Central Otago with the central Okanagan
  • was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Dunedin: the great Otago Museum, home of the first university in the country, and good coffee-café culture

Alhambra-Union Rugby Football Club, North Ground, Dunedin, Otago, South Island

Rugby-union match at North Ground : Dunedin, Otago – 28 Jul 2012
  • wanted to learn some Maori. And why not – Maori is one of three official languages in New Zealand, including English and sign language. I found myself enraptured by Maori Television and their courses in Maori.
  • found it difficult flying out to Auckland and leaving the South Island behind.
  • found leaving Auckland for Sydney doubly difficult, as I was saying “goodbye, see you soon” to the country.
  • am learning that “soon” is not soon enough.
  • am now able finally to profess the truth: dear Aotearoa, I love you.

SKYCITY Hotel, Auckland, New Zealand

Illuminous bokeh on a wet winter night : SKYCITY Hotel, Auckland – 29 Jul 2012

I made the four photos shown above; this post is published on Fotoeins Fotopress at

12 Responses to “While in New Zealand, I …”

  1. Mary

    We loved it to! So much so that when we got home, my husband was trying to figure out how we could move there….


    • fotoeins

      Hi, Mary. Moving to New Zealand sounds like all sorts of fun, doesn’t it? I’m trying to figure out ways to go back, too! Thanks for reading and for your comment!


  2. Xandré Verkes

    Great post!!! Sums every detail up beautifully – one day when you look back you are going to appreciate this post a whole lot more!!!! Enjoying your travels with you Henry – thanks for sharing!!! 🙂 **


    • fotoeins

      Hi, Xandré! I’m a few weeks removed from New Zealand, and I’m already looking back at my time there very fondly. 😉 Thanks for your kind words!


  3. Anita Mac

    Sounds wonderful! I always regretted missing Dunedin…but loved NZ so much, I know I will go back! Such a remarkable place to visit!


    • fotoeins

      Hi, Anita! I want to go back to New Zealand; maybe I should just move there! 😉 While staying at an apartment in Queenstown, I asked the managers: should I go to Invercargill (they cringed) or to Dunedin (they smiled)? The managers were from Dunedin, but I do think I chose wisely, too! 🙂 Thanks for your comment!


    • fotoeins

      Hi, Bethaney. To understate things even further, New Zealand has certainly left its mark on me. 🙂 In what part of Christchurch do you live? How have the houses and/or buildings in your neighbourhood fared? Have fun on your road trip through the South Island – what locations will you be visiting?

      Thanks for reading and for your comment!


  4. Erik Smith

    I couldn’t agree with you more about New Zealand- I expect everywhere I visit after this trip to be a slight letdown.

    While I do love the South Island immeasurably more than the North Island, I did find many places on the North Island I loved, but also the one place in NZ I truly didn’t like (Rotorua).

    So jealous of you flying as much as you did. I did a short flight in Queenstown into the mountains there, and then took another one in Franz Josef Glacier that went over the glaciers and landed in front of Mount Tasman. We didn’t get to see Mount Cook (or the Tasman Glacier). I was honestly lucky the plane got off the ground at all- it was the only flight that made it up that day (or the two surrounding it. I wish I had flown over the sounds, but wasn’t able to find a flight that was affordable for one person, or a flight I could have latched on to. I hopefully can do it next time.


    • fotoeins

      Hi, Erik. I would’ve liked to have done some more of the North Island, but I had to leave some “new” locations to visit the next time around. What was it about Rotorua that annoyed you? The weather must have been a little dodgy at the time, if you hadn’t been able to see Mount Cook or the Tasman Glacier! As for flying over the glaciers and for flying back to Queenstown from Milford Sound, I found it difficult to justify the expenses, but naturally, I was very happy to have forked over the cash both times, once we were in the air. I hope you’ve got clear calm conditions the next time you’re back in the Westland! Thanks for reading and for your comment! 🙂


    • fotoeins

      Hey, Leah! Thanks for reading, and can I get a hallelujah …

      I hope you also caught sight of my follow-up post on Akaroa and the short afternoon trip into the harbour.

      As I’m writing this reply to you from Canberra, New Zealand still calls to me, for that short return hop over the Tasman Sea. However, I’m not going to disappoint my friends in Perth and Sydney, as I’ve had a very rewarding time thus far, staying and catching up with friends here in Australia. 🙂


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