As mentioned, we like to be chronologically correct when taking holiday, so to celebrate our plunge into the realms of wedded bliss we took a month’s holiday and visited the beautiful country of New Zealand. Due to work commitments, making sure that we had enough money to celebrate in style and to wait until the Southern Hemisphere winter was over we waited until the end of October to begin our trip returning at the beginning of December 2007.
Flying Air Canada we had to take a circuitous route, flying first to Vancouver (Canada) and a break before the marathon, Vancouver to Honolulu, Honolulu to Sydney and Sydney to Christchurch back to back flights without so much as trip outside the terminals.
We crashed out on arrival but the next day begun our journey around New Zealand with Christchurch and fell in love immediately. There were so many highlights of the trip that a short write up like this would not do it justice. I think you can appreciate this from the fact that between us we took well over 2000 photos, the beauty of digital photography, and would consider moving there.
Highlights would include
- Our trip to Hapuku Lodge in Kaikoura. Five star tree houses, expensive but fantastic. We paid for a honeymoon package that incorporated a number of trips with the accommodation including a whale watching trip where we spied sperm whales and dusky dolphins.
- Heli-hiking on Fox Glacier was a truly awesome experience plus the nearby Matheson Lake with its mirrored surface was a worth the five minute drive and early morning rise as it was a photographer’s dream.
- Lake Wanaka, a place that we both felt that we could live.
- Milford Sound, amazing scenery, the first time that I had travelled on a Fjord and seen penguins in the wild.
- Queenstown, beautiful as well as the adventure capital of New Zealand.
- Visiting many of the locations used in the Lord of the Rings trilogy of films.
- Akaroa, where we saw the indigenous Hector’s Dolphins one of the rarest marine dolphins in the world.
- TiriTiri Matangi island off the coast at Aukland where among the many native species we saw one of the rarest birds in the world, the Takahe, which was believed extinct until Dr Geoffrey Orbell rediscovered them on 20th November 1948.
- The Glowworm caves at Waitomo.
- And finally the smells and geo-thermal wonders of Rotorua, and nearby Lady Knox Geyser and the Champagne pool at Wai-Tapu.
The journey back took us to Lucinda’s relatives in Sydney and a three day stop in Honolulu before heading back to Blighty. One point of interest was that because we crossed the international dateline we took off from Sydney on the 2nd December 2007 and 12 hours later arrived in Honolulu on the 1st December 2007. Time travel is possible!
Please enjoy a small selection of the photos below and if you are interested there are even more on the Flickr pages (link on the right).