New Zealand has...


New Zealand has two main parts, appropriately called North Island and South Island (tho some wags refer to Australia as the West Island).

On the North Island near Whangarai we cruised the Bay of Islands to Motokokaku through the Hole in the Rock and back to Otehei Bay for some spectacular vistas.  Volcanic activity along tectonic plates has given New Zealand impressive mountains lakes, and bays. 

Glaciation gave the South Island's fjord at Milford Sound  sheer cliffs rising hundreds of feet above the water.  And in between these sites in the far north and the far south lie rivers, peaks, plains, and gorges that inspire film makers to set their most spectacular scenes in New Zealand.  At Mount Cook a glacier is calving into a moraine lake creating fantasticallly-shaped icebergs.

Rural Life

The South Island has about the land mass of California with about the same population as San Jose and the countryside is dominated by small cattle and sheep farms.  The rural life is reminiscent of the U.S. in an earlier, simpler time.

There are a few four-lane roads near the largest cities, but most roads have two lanes and bridges frequently have one lane.  One of those two-lane roads is optimistically named the Presidential Highway because it connects the small towns of Clinton and Gore.  Even Romney was represented.

The lead story of the local newspaper reflected a simpler life.  It described how a raft had floated down a river and lodged in Mrs. Winter's back yard, where her grandchildren enjoyed it mightily.  The raft's rightful owner was encouraged to call Mrs. Winter to claim it.  Meanwhile dairy farmers were encouraged to lower their effluent pond levels to ensure sufficient storage in winter months.


Farm animals are everywhere--especially sheep, cows, and deer (!) but wild animals are abundant too.  Fur seals and cormorants hang out on the coastal rocks while nesting albatross and penguins are more elusive.


Ziplines, luges, and jet boats.  We had a ball.

Alan & Gloria

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New Zealand
Mount Cook

Our itinerary

Alan's presentation on NZ

Alan's slide show

A thank-you song for Manuela

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