With the Rugby World Cup currently underway and images of New Zealand being shown all over the world I thought I’d share some of my favorite photos taken over the last couple of years. Most of these images are from popular locations on the South Island, however I have spent much more time on the North Island because of family ties and while the scenery may not be considered as spectacular as that of the South there is much to love and the Maori culture is more evident further North.
Backcountry Saddle Expeditions offers horse riding in the Cardrona Valley, only 20 minutes from Lake Wanaka, I signed up for the short trek because it had been a while since I rode a horse and a full day in the saddle would have left me quite sore.
Milford Sound (technically a Fjord) is a popular spot for tourists and travellers from around the world and although you can drive there or catch a bus I took the scenic flight option in a little 6 seater plane. It was an amazing experience, even though I occasionally looked down at the jagged mountain edges poking through the snow wondering whether there would be any chance of surviving should the plane crash. Once at Milford Sound I took a cruise and the weather was perfect for spotting fur seals lazing on rocks and getting a little wet by spray from a waterfall.
Larnach Castle in Dunedin is the only castle in NZ, the only way to get there is via a long and winding road but the beautiful garden and view from the tower is well worth the drive.
Lake Wanaka is a ski resort in Winter but during Summer watersports are all the rage. I was there early Autumn, hoping to see the seasonal change of colours and as a bonus experienced waking up one morning to see snow on the mountains that border the lake.
This is one of those jagged mountains that I hoped we wouldn’t crash into on the way to Milford Sound, we flew over the Southern Alps, Mt Aspiring National Park and Matukituki Valley – it was an unforgettable experience and so much better than spending hours travelling on a bus.
Maori carving at the Kauri Museum in the village of Matakohe on the North Island. The day spent at the museum was one of the last days I got to spend with my Nanna and although looking at timber and Kauri gum (amber) doesn’t excite most people it was a special day for me.
The native Kea is a destructive bird with dull looking feathers until they spread their wings and take flight. These cheeky parrots are inquisitive, they will happily take food from your hand and just love pulling apart rubber bits on your car or motorbike.
Ruakaka Beach, not far from Whangarei on the North island.
Glendhu Bay, South Island. The glass-like surface of the lake was just begging to be photographed. Later in the day it was windy and the surface choppy, I was thrilled that I’d taken the time to stop. There is a motorhome camp on the edge of the bay, it must be one of the best places to stay in this region, such a spectacular sight to wake up to each day and lots of activities close by.