12 April 2013

A New Zealand Journey, Part 1

Welcome back. It’s been a year since Ellen Haack guest blogged with her travelogue on Vietnam’s Mekong Delta (Part 1 and Part 2). Ellen and her husband, Barry, recently toured New Zealand. Succumbing to my pleas, she sorted through their photos to compile another incredibly scenic travelogue. Instead of my usual Friday post and Tuesday photo addendum, I’ll split her material over the two days.

Join my husband and me on a visit to New Zealand.

New Zealand road sign.
Located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean at about the same south latitude as Connecticut’s north latitude, New Zealand is comprised of two major and many smaller islands. We traveled around the South Island, arriving at Christchurch, the island’s largest city with a population of just under 365,000.

Map of New Zealand with principal locations.
New Zealand is nearly as large as Colorado, with a population of 4.4 million. About 15 percent of the population is the indigenous Maori, who settled the country between 1000 and 1200 A.D.

The country is a former British colony. A Dutch ship landed there in 1642, a British ship in 1769 and the Europeans settled in the mid-19th century. Tourism and agriculture are major contributors to the economy.

Let's get started. 
Our luxury RV accommodations--the “Kiwi” way to travel.
First stop, Akaroa Harbor on the East Coast’s
Banks Peninsula just southeast of Christchurch.
The Moeraki Reserve is a little farther south of Christchurch.
The Moeraki Reserve is home to sea lions.
The Moeraki Reserve is also home to penguins, such as this
yellow-eyed penguin, one of six species found in New Zealand.
Surat Bay is on the south coast of South Island.
Surat Bay also has its share of sea lions.
Curio Bay, not far from Surat Bay, has a
petrified forest embedded in the coastal rock.
We wished we had camped at the Curio Bay
Campground, in the flax and right on the ocean.
Like its neighbor, Australia, New Zealand has
lots of sheep, farmed for both meat and wool.
(Seven sheep per person but who’s counting?)
The South Island’s interior offers views as
spectacular as those along the coast.
We were happy that the snow was only in the mountains.

We’ll stop here for the day and continue next Tuesday. Thanks for stopping by.

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