Monday, May 30, 2005


Some pix from our recent trip to New Zealand — two weeks touring the South Island by campervan. Click on the photos to enlarge them.

Campervan#1: Phil & Sandy; Collin & Sharina
Campervan#2: Yeoh & Shannon; Henry; Yang
Campervan#3: Ling, Eric & Jolin; Andrew, Tsegumi & Misaki

First night in New Zealand and supper of Beamish and cheese in freezing temperatures.

Our home for two weeks.

We headed down the east coast, stopping for more cheese in Timaru ...

... and penguins in Oamaru. The blue penguins spend the day at sea and return to their burrows at night.

We didn't really like Dunedin but enjoyed it from a distance, above the town on the Pineapple Flagstaff Walk. This was our first experience of thermal underwear!

Back row (from left): Phil, Yang, Ling, Sandy
Middle row (from left): Henry, Sharina, Eric, Jolin, Misaki, Tsegumi
Front row (from left): Shannon, Collin, Andrew

Henry and Jolin ... and Ling in the background ...

Collin takin' it easy ...

The lighthouse at Nugget Point was spectacular. Small islands just off the promontory were covered in seals and sea lions. We saw gannets, shags and terns but didn't stay long enough to see the albatrosses and penguins that can be seen there. Next time!

Not far from Nugget Point was Cannibal Bay, a beautiful beach empty apart from half a dozen wild sea lions! Pictured here is Misaki with her new pet (not approved for HDB) ...

... and another one

John & Yoko ...

Jolin ...

Curio Bay, last stop before Antarctica, and it felt like it. COLD. I have my heart set on hiding away in cottage here, swimming with dolphins, whale watching, having sea lions roll into my back garden, roasting penguins on the BBQ ...

The drive into Milford Sound was incredible: the views stunning and the roads steep and winding. The boat ride on the 22-km fiord afforded beautiful views of snow-capped mountains and waterfalls.

Everybody loves Queenstown!

Sandy did the famous AJ Hackett bungee jump ...

... I opted for a wine tour!

"Chups", the national dish of New Zealand ...

Heading up the west coast ...

... we stopped at Franz Joseph glacier for a spot of ice trekking.

Having heard but not seen the Kea, the world's only alpine parrot, on the glacier, we finally spotted the bird high up on Arthurs Pass. The Kea is famous for attacking sick sheep and eating their bottoms! We kept our distance ...

... but, while watching the Kea, a huge albatross swooped down and carried off Phil's head for dinner.

After two weeks, we were proud to acknowledge that Campervan #1 was the dirtiest in the whole of New Zealand!

Modelling the latest in hiking ware at the top of Auckland's Skytower ...

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Birds spotted in New Zealand

Brown Kiwi (in the nature reserves)
Blue Penguin
Black Shag
King Shag
Little Shag
White-faced Heron
White Heron
Reef Heron
Little Egret
Cattle Egret
Mute Swan
Black Swan
Canada Goose
Paradise Shelduck
Australasian Harrier
Australian Coot
South Island Pied Oystercatcher
Variable Oystercatcher
Pied Stilt
Spur-winged Plover
Black-backed Gull
Red-billed Gull
Black-billed Gull
White-fronted Tern
New Zealand Pigeon
Rock Pigeon
Hedge Sparrow
House Sparrow
Australian Magpie