Saturday, March 5, 2011


I have made a map to show how much of the country we covered in our 21  days away...... in all close to 3,000 miles starting at our home in Stratford (1) we traveled to Wellington (2) before crossing the next day on the ferry to the South Island, where our first stop was at Lake Rotoiti, St Arnaud. Nelson Lakes.(2)  We had been to this lovely spot some years ago ,we enjoyed it just as much this time, specially the walks in the forrests and the bird life.



Top-Lake Rotoroa, Top. R. and bottom L. The Silver beech Forrest walks at the edge of the Lake Rotoiki and one of the colourful toadstools seen on our walks.
We had three days and good weather during our stay at Lake Rotoiti and then moved on to the West Coast (4) last time we were there 15 years ago Paul was not able to walk so we planned so we could visit some of the places he had missed

He specially wanted to see the Punakaiki Rocks these limestone rock formations anre also known as the Pancake rocks  seen here in bottom L. photo........The two other photos were taken a short distance south of Punakaiki and are two views of the same rocks, one taken from the beach and the other from on the cliff above. Again blessed with good weather we were able to enjoy several walks on the beaches.

We then drove across from West coast to Canterbury on the East side of the Island, going via Arthurs Pass(5) a route we had not taken before. I was keen to see the Keas that could be found at high up on the pass, these large parrots are extremely cheeky and inquisitive and will examine anything that comes into their territory to the point of pulling anything they can off cars, including windscreen wipers, rubber seal on windows.... of the photos above I took the one top R, the others son, Barryn had taken and really are good views of the Keas. while I took my photos Paul was kept busy chasing the other Kea away from our car and the other one in the parking area.
Two night in South Canterbury at Geraldine (6) allowed me to visit places of my childhood holidays and to do some generalogy research, from there we moved south to The Catlins (7)

We had several days here, exploring both the coast line,  enjoying both forrests and bird life and the walks to the different waterfalls.
Paul is very pleased he made it to all the points of interest we visited, I have to admit I did not manage any of the steeper walks. We were rewarded with veiws of Sea lions sunbaking on a beach, the call of the rare fern bird right be side us when we did the estuary board walk, one friendly little South Island Tom Tit accompanied us along one forrest walk
He did not stay still long enough to have his photo taken..... but looked justlike this one I stitched some years ago. 

Some of the waterfalls we walked to in the Catlins, left is the Matai Falls where I stopped at this point and Paul went on up a very steep track to the upper section of the falls known as the horseshoe falls .. bottom R
 the Top R photo is the Purakaunui Falls  are really enjoyable walk through the forest.

view looking south from Nugget Point in the Catlins 
From The Catlins we headed north stopping at Christchurch, with a day at Akaroa Peninsula ( 8) we left Christchurch the day before the earthquake and were on the ferry crossing to Wellington when it struck.
From Wellington were travelled north to Napier (10) to spend a few days with my sister and her husband.

We finished our holiday with a Safari trip to the gannet colony out on Cape Kidnappers. When we lived in Coromandel driving up the coast road we would often see these birds fishing  but had never seen them close up.The Safari took us overland  through private property to quite high on the cliffs,  to the cliff top where one colony was and we were able to get up quite close to the birds.
How the parent birds find their own when returning from fishing is quite amazing
The late chicks are just balls of fluff and sadly some of them will not mature in time to leave, the young birds the grey ones will fly straight off the cliff with no practise flights heading to Austalia and return to their home colony in 5/6 years.
 At The Cape their are 3 colonys we visited the top one in the group of photos below centre L. is the Saddle colony and there is a lower one known as the Beach colony.

Home again now, I have to rackle the garden the weeds have grown well in our absence, and hopefully the painters will arrive later this week to work on the house. Off now to catch up on some stitching.


Carol said...

What an amazing trip you had, Lee! I had no idea you were going to be visiting so many different places. Your bird photos are lovely--we just don't have any of those sorts of birds here in the U.S. Funny that the Keas are so bold!

Thank you for sharing your lovely photos with us--that me be the closest I ever come to "visiting" New Zealand, but I certainly hope I'll make it there some day...

Annie said...

What an incredible trip! So much beautiful scenery and your photos are fantastic. NZ is really a beautiful place.

Evelyne said...

What a beautiful photos and what a fantastic country it is!! I love that country so much.
Thank for sharing Lee!

Mary Joan said...

I am surprised I have not left a comment on this post. I just loved looking at all your beautiful photographs of your holiday. And I love the way you are now using your photo's as a collage. What a lovely trip you had. I was really looking forward to reading all about it when you got back. And I was not disappointed. Thank you so much for sharing.

Mary Joan

StitchCat said...

Awesome photos Lee. Sounds like it was a great trip