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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, fotoeins.com

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 fotoeins.com.

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