Things I Have Learned In Queenstown And Milford Sound

Things I Have Learned In Queenstown And Milford Sound

“Rover did not know in the least where the moon’s path led to, and at present he was much too frightened and excited to ask, and anyway he was beginning to get used to extraordinary things happening to him.” J.R.R. Tolkien

Queenstown was originally named the ‘Camp’ by William Rees in 1860. The name Queenstown has two theories, the most common being that it was gold prospectors, captivated by the beauty of the surrounding mountains and rivers, who hit upon its name when they pronounced it a “town fit for a Queen”.  The other is that it was named Queenstown after Queenstown in Ireland (now called Cobh). or basically no one knows.Queenstown’  Some of Rees’ descendants still live here. (photo by Cordula Reins)

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The Remarkables mountain range was so named in 1857 by a surveyor Alexander Garvie who called it that after seeing the dramatic razorback mountain range in all its glory at sunset.  The view across the lake to the Remarkables has now become one of the most photographed in the Southern Lakes region.

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The Remarkables mountain range is one of only two mountain ranges in the world to run directly north to south (the other is the Rockies).

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Every other store  in Queenstown seems to sell either souvenirs of wool and wood or adventures in nylon and neoprene. (photo by Cordula Reins)

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Renowned as Queenstown’s ‘Lady of the Lake’, the TSS Earnslaw steamship was first launched in 1912 – the same year as the Titanic.  It was built by J.McGregor and Co in Dunedin, cost £20,850 to complete. (photo by  Cordula Reins)

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The TSS Earnslaw was a working ship for many years transporting sheep, cargo and passengers to surrounding high country stations.  In 1969 she was retired and purchased by Fiordland Travel (now Real Journeys).  She is now one of the oldest tourist attractions in Central Otago and the only remaining passenger-carrying coal-fired steamship in the Southern Hemisphere. (photo by Cordula Reins)

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Despite being almost 100 years old, the TSS Earnslaw still works 14 hour days in the summer months and cruises for 11 months of the year.  She even made a brief cameo appearance as an Amazon River boat in the 2008 movie Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

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 In 1885 all Queenstown hotels were run by women who all happened to be widows.

The Shotover River is known to be the richest gold-bearing river of its size in the world.

Sir Henry Wigley founded commercial skiing in Queenstown in 1947.

Set up in 1958, Queenstown’s Kawarau Jet was the world’s first commercial jet boat business.

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New Zealand’s Kawarau Bridge bungy site (established 1988) was the first commercial bungy operation in the world.

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The highest bungy jump in the Southern Hemisphere is Queenstown’s Nevis Highwire at 134 metres or 45 stories high.

People over 75 years old can bungy jump for free in Queenstown. The oldest person to bungy jump is a 94-year-old man from Southland, New Zealand.

The most people who have bungy jumped together in New Zealand is 8.  The record was set in 1999 at the Kawarau Bungy Bridge.

In September 1999, President Clinton was the first US president ever to visit Queenstown.

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The Frisbee Golf course in the Queenstown Gardens was the first of its kind established in New Zealand and continues to be a popular activity for visitors and locals.

Queenstown’s Skyline Gondola moves 35 cabins up and down Bob’s Peak 365 days a year and at its fastest rate it can move 1,100 people per hour. (photo Cordula Reins)

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When passengers arrive at the top of the gondola they are at 790 meters above sea level. 

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Queenstown’s stunning scenery and world-class expertise makes it an ideal destination for shooting feature films, commercials and promotional videos.  Queenstown and the Southern Lakes region have featured in movies like The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Vertical Limit and Prince Caspian.

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At the height of filming the Lord of the Rings, over 500 people a day queued outside the casting rooms in Queenstown.

New Zealand Fighter Pilots Museum curator Ian Brodie is the author of the much acclaimed The Lord of the Rings Location Guidebook published by HarperCollins.

There are 82 registered wineries in Central Otago. The majority of grapes are Pinot Noir.

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Every Saturday, the Creative Queenstown Arts And Crafts Market enjoys the waterfront setting of Earnslaw Park. (photo by Cordula Reins)

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It’s an opportunity to meet local artists displaying their wares accompanied by live music and memorable views.

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Fergburger is a Queenstown institution. It is not going to be the best burger of your life but  it is a compulsory burger loving thing to do in Queenstown.  Instead of the burger the size of my head I went for the Sweet Bambi and was not disappointed.

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You can order online and get it to go to bypass the lines but I went for the whole Disneyland experience. I hate to say it but I will now be one of those people who says to those of you going to Queenstown- make sure you go to Fergburger.

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The Queenstown area has captured hearts and imaginations since the first Maori came in search of pounamu (greenstone) and the giant Moa bird.

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More recently, gold miners, adventurers, filmmakers, wine enthusiasts, and Hollywood stars have been drawn to this magical region and its intense alpine energy.

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Milford Sound is located in Fjordland National Park in the south-west corner of South Island. Visitors come from all over the world and it is one of the world’s top travel destinations. It is awe-inspiring and Rudyard Kipling called it the eighth Wonder Of The World.

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Milford Sound is the wettest inhabited place in New Zealand. The perfect day in Milford Sound is  one with rain.

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The enormous granite peaks don’t absorb a drop of water and they have no beaches. The result is thousands of stunning waterfalls flowing straight into the fiord.

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The Milford Track is one of New Zealand’s Great Walks, and a very different experience to visiting Milford Sound. The hike is absolutely stunning. It is an economically sensitive area so  the local government allows 90 people on the track each day (50 guided, 40 unguided).  You can only hike it for 6 months of the year, whereas Milford Sound itself is accessible year-round. The track was initially developed by Donald Sutherland so people could get to his newly discovered Falls. (photo by Cordula Reins)

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i would like to thank  our guide and extraordinarily patient driver Nick McGregor, Tanya  and everyone at Moatrek and my fellow travelers on this journey for making it a fun and memorable trip.

Fly safe,

JAZ

Foods I Ate In A Day On A Road Trip Through New Zealand

Foods I Ate In A Day On A Road Trip Through New Zealand

“On the road again. Goin’ places that I’ve never been. Seein’ things that I may never see again. And I can’t wait to get on the road again” Willie Nelson

When it comes to eating healthy on a road trip through New Zealand, the struggle is real. Most people look for food that’s quick and convenient when traveling. There is typically neither time or patience on your side. You have to make do with the options available in the time and space you’re given. Unfortunately, New Zealand doesn’t cater to healthy fast food though gluten-free has come to even the smallest town. 

Breakfast. Breakfast is usually included in many hotels outside of the United States and often served buffet style. Ours ranged from light to full breakfast. I tried to fill up at breakfast eating scrambled eggs (often greasy and not that warm), yogurt (some flavor in a container), fruit, coffee, tomatoes and avocado if available. I  would take apples or bananas if I saw them for the road.

Morning Stop New Zealand makes great coffee so there was always an interesting coffee shop wherever we stopped. Sometimes the coffee was more interesting than other times.

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If I was already car sick, I would have a donut or scone. New Zealand food is very influenced by the UK. Carbs, diet coke and sweet hard candy help me with carsickness.

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I drink a lot of water and I am happy to say that I saved money because New Zealand has the best tap water. I just refilled my bottle where ever we stopped.

Snacks  There is something about being on a road trip that makes you want to eat the kinds of foods that you would never eat at home. Orange cheese chips (called Twisties), Burger Rings (chips that taste like a burger?) and unidentified dried meat in a package look appealing – especially when you are in another country with different snacks.

I bought almonds, walnuts and kiwi fruit. I  bring vitamin C bars, gum, hard candy and Jelly Bellys from home.

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Lunch   We always stopped somewhere that had shopping or photo ops so I wanted to eat fast and not spend the time sitting. Every roadside restaurant serves quiche and mince and cheese pies. Pies are a staple of the New Zealand diet and everyone is eating them.

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Pre made sandwiches seemed to be the healthiest quick option most of the time.  Ham and cheese on white bread with lots of butter – sometimes toasted was my usual lunch. One day somewhere on South Island, I went to a bakery that had sandwiches. I saw a loaf of wheat bread. I asked for ham and cheese on wheat bread without butter. They said that they only made the ham and cheese on white bread.  It was my Jack Nicholson Five Easy Pieces moment.

“You have wheat bread. You have ham and you have cheese.”

“Yes, but we only make the sandwiches on white”, said the girl behind the counter.

“Well, I’d like a loaf of wheat bread – throw it away except for two pieces and I will have the ham and cheese on wheat, hold the butter.”

She said that she would speak to her manager.  She did not look happy but returned with my request and only charged me for the sandwich – best sandwich of the road.

Afternoon stop.  I was usually sleeping after my sandwich and needed a good New Zealand  coffee and something sweet. Hopefully, it would be a banana. Sometimes it was chocolate covered kiwi fruit, Pineapple Lumps( chocolate covered pineapple marshmallowy thing), chocolate covered marshmallow fish, Jaffa (chocolate covered in red hard candy), ice cream or yogurt blended with fruit, pie or Anzac biscuits (oatmeal biscuits from WWll).

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Dinner On long driving days, dinner was tricky. I wasn’t always hungry. Sometimes I would have a proper New Zealand dinner. I loved those green lipped mussels and fresh salmon -or a Maori Hangi – (could be chicken fish, pork, lamb potato, cabbage  and root vegetable such as kumara) cooked in the steam in the ground.

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 Other times dinners were Egg McMuffin, wine and cheese, protein bars, fruit and yogurt,  Fergburger or pizza.

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The thing about a road trip is that the same exact eating starts all over the next day.

Fly safe

,JAZ

Things I Have Learned In Auckland, New Zealand

Things I Have Learned In Auckland, New Zealand

“For those who are lost, there will always be cities that feel like home.”  Simon Van Booy 

Auckland  is called Tamaki Makaurau in Maori. This area is known as the Tamaki plains. It means “Tamaki of a hundred lovers,” referring  to the many battles of tribes for the possession of this desirable region.

It is also known as “the city of sails”. It has more boats per capita than anywhere else in the world.  One in three Aucklanders have a boat.

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Kiwis are among the best sailors in the world. New Zealand won the last  America’s Cup .

The MPI ( Ministry For Prima industries) have serious recreational fishing rules. They want to keep fish available for everyone. There are rules around the number of fish and shellfish you can catch, the sizes of fish you are allowed to keep and where and how you can fish.

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Auckland  has largest Polynesian population of any city in the world. It was originally inhabited by Maori people.

The Sky Tower In Auckland  is the tallest structure in the Southern Hemisphere at 328 metres. You can hurl yourself off and plummet 192 meters if you are looking for something to do in Auckland. Its called the Sky Jump and it has a certificate of excellence from Trip Advisor which I guess makes it completely safe.

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Parnell and Ponsonby are trendy areas in Auckland full of bars, restaurants and cute stores.

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It is fun to walk around the lively marina and have green lipped mussels. I normally am not a fan of mussels but these are giant and delicious. They are supposed to be really healthy and help with joint inflammation.

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Waiheke Island is a beautiful island 40 minutes away by ferry from Auckland.

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It has become quite expensive in the last few years but still has a relaxed island feel.

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It is known as New Zealand’s island of wine.

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Mudbrick and Te Whau wineries stand out, with their stunning views, great food and superb wine.  

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There are  wine tasting tours or do it on your own.

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You can do it as a day trip as i did or stay a few days as my daughter and son-in-law do. It is one of their favorite places. I  can see why.

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The island is small but not walkable. We toured some art galleries and met local artists.(Gabriella Lewenz Studio Gallery)

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(Waiheke Community Art Gallery)

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We stopped in the little town of Oneroa with plenty of  restaurant options and on to the beach. I would have been happy to stay there with a book for the rest of the day.

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I spent a beautiful day on Waiheke Island with Niki Walker of Ananda Tours.www.ananda.co.nz/ She is fun, knowledgeable and clearly loves this island. Thanks for a lovely day.

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New Zealand’s most famous soap opera, Shortland Street, is filmed on the North Shore of Auckland.

Auckland is the largest as well as the most populous urban area of New Zealand.

One in three adults in New Zealand are obese. Though it is bad for their health, it makes it a great place to go to the beach as opposed to Los Angeles.

Sir Edmund Hillary, the first person to climb Mt. Everest lived in Auckland. His number was in the phone book. When school children, did a report on him, some called him up to get the information directly from him. He was happy to help. Eighteen thousand people showed up for his funeral.

Australians love to tell sheep jokes to New Zealanders. New Zealanders laugh it off because they know Australians come from criminal stock. (Ha) They have a good-natured rivalry.

The Auckland Domain is Auckland’s oldest park, and one of the largest in the city.  The park is home to one of Auckland’s main tourist attractions, the Auckland War Memorial Museum, which sits prominently on the crater rim of Pukekawa.

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Pukekawa, is one of the oldest volcanoes  in the Auckland Volcanic Field.

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Rangitoto is a baby volcano in Auckland and is only about 600-700 years old when compared to the other giant volcanoes.

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Auckland is built on a volcanic field. There are about 50 volcanoes in Auckland, all of which were active in the last 600 years or so and 96 per cent extinct. 

The city of Auckland  uses their volcanic craters as sports fields.

Auckland has two harbors on two separate major bodies of water, namely Manukau Harbor on the Tasman Sea and the Waitemata Harbor on the Pacific Ocean.

The Harbor Bridge in Auckland has 8 lanes and the central barrier in the bridge is moveable.

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Kauri trees in New Zealand are among the oldest trees in the world. By the time Auckland became the capital of New Zealand Kauri was being used  for building. It was a prestigious timber to have and nine out ten houses were being built from it inside and out. The supply of Kauri is dwindling so boats and houses made from kauri are worth a lot of money in Auckland. People try to keep them in the family.

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Auckland has a perfect, 100 km of coastline and is home to some of the most stunning beaches in the world.

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You can get a government no interest loan for college if you stop the brain drain and stay in New Zealand. if you leave, the Kiwis say it raises the IQ of both countries.

If you have an engineering degree from the University of Auckland you are guaranteed a job around the world.

Auckland is the breeding ground for the New Zealand Sea Lion, which is the most endangered of the five species of sea-lion in the world.

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A very weird fact is that ‘pigeon post’ is still considered an official posting service in Auckland and the rest of New Zealand. Pigeon post refers to using pigeons to carry the mail. Pigeons were used to post letters between the North and South island before 1908. The stamps are very valuable now.

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In regard to the quality of life, Auckland currently ranks 5th among 218 major cities of the world.

I usually don’t write  about a half day tour of a city but I learned and retained more information with Wayne Thomas of Bush and Beach Tours http://www.bushandbeach.co.nz/, then any day tour I have ever been on. He has a way of passing on knowledge that is sometimes funny and sometimes personal  that makes you remember it.  This is a wonderful welcome tour of New Zealand. I highly recommend him.

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Fly safe,

JAZ

“Everything We Need Is Free.” The Maori In New Zealand

“Everything We Need Is Free.” The Māori in New Zealand

I’ve always been fascinated by the Māori. They have cool tattoos and a great war dance and as indigenous people go, though their lives are harder, they have never been beaten by a European culture.

In Rotorua there are a variety of cultural shows and educational tours to learn about Māori life. Some are smaller and some have better food. They are touristy but you can still learn a lot. Te Po in Te Puia, Rotorua was one of the more touristy yet really enjoyable things I have ever done. We start in the gift shop (of course, I always start there anyway) where there is a nice choice of Māori everything.

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Greenstone is the Nephrite jade found in New Zealand and prized by the Maoris. It is sold all over New Zealand.  Māori tradition is never to keep the first piece of greenstone that you find and to give it to someone else. The objects made from pounami (greenstone) are passed down in Māori families not only linking them to their ancestors but to the maker and nature of the stone itself. In the Māori world, objects speak to their origins: whalebone to the whale, wood to the tree, pounamu to its source river and mountain.It is an acknowledgment of human impermanence, a truth expressed in a Māori proverb: People come and go, but the land endures.

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We walk to the marae (meeting hall).

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   The Māori guide picks his new best friend John (an American from Texas) to lead the cultural interaction. (photo by Cordula Reins)

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 John would have the honor to greet the warriors coming out of the marae and ask for permission to enter by putting down a branch. He  did a great job with his branch and we were promptly invited to proceed through the grounds and enter the marae. (photo by Cordula Reins)

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Once seated, the cultural and musical entertainment program began. The Maori group performed some wonderful dances, rituals and songs. (photo by Cordula Reins)

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The haka is a Maori war dance. It is fierce and involves much chanting, stamping of hands and feet and some pretty scary looking faces doing the pukana (that wild eye thing they do). (photo by Cordula Reins)

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But while most people equate the haka with the start of a New Zealand rugby All Blacks match to try to scare the opposition, the haka is also done on occasions to honor great people. One of the most moving things you’ll see is a haka done at a wedding, funeral or when someone has achieved something great.

The only other place to see the haka (unless you know a Māori family) is at one of these shows.  It is the only time to have a chance to learn it. I’m obsessed with the haka, so I thought it was great that so many men ran to do it.  Seriously, how could you not?  (photo by Cordula Reins)

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At the beginning of the evening, everyone had  walked over to just outside the dining hall to take a look as the evening’s meal was being lifted out of the earth oven where it was being cooked in the steam. After the show, we went to the dining tables and learned about our table mates from all over the world while eating kumara and rewana bread. We walked to the geysers in this geothermal wonderland as the sun was setting.

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After a few minutes of drinking hot chocolate and taking photos in front of the bubbling pools and geysers, it was getting colder and we were happy to catch the little “train” back.

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Māori call themselves tangata whenua, people of the land.  Members of the various tribes distinguish themselves from other Māori by referring to the canoe that brought their ancestors to Aotearoa (New Zealand) and to special landmarks such as a river or a mountain.  In other words, they tie their collective and individual identities to ancestors and places. When they are formally introduced, they often will give not only their name, but also the names of their mountain, river and ancestors. (Lake Tarawera)

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Māori philosophy is that  all creatures are kin. All beings have life force (mauri), and all are sacred (tapu). People, birds, fish, trees and weather are all interconnected.

There is power in continually acknowledging ancestors. There is no alternative – to make sure there is success in fishing, long journeys, or handling life’s challenges, you have to trust your ancestors, who include the entire natural world.  Egotism is very difficult to keep up in an atmosphere of constant reminders of all who brought us here, those who make our lives possible today, and those who will follow after us. (photo by Cordula Reins)

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Haere humarie,

JAZ

Driving To Rotorua, New Zealand

Driving To Rotorua, New Zealand

“There came a time, he realized, when the strangeness of everything made it increasingly difficult to realize the strangeness of anything. “James Hilton, Lost Horizon

In theory, a road trip sounds very appealing. A road trip through New Zealand sounds really cool. Since I get carsick, I don’t have much road trip experience.  I was willing to give it a go to see New Zealand.

An hour and a half out of Auckland is the Karangahake Gorge. It is a great place to go walking and I wish I had spent more time there. There are hard walks, bush walks, easy walks, abandoned mines, railroad tunnels (bring a torch because they are dark and long), river walks and waterfalls. It is a hike (or tramp as they say in New Zealand) through history and nature at its best.

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You start by crossing a big swing bridge. It is always fun crossing a big swing bridge.

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In 1885 it was a prosperous goldmine. By 1920, the gold had run out and there are remnants of the machinery and buildings of a century ago.

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There are mining tunnels that you can explore built into the mountain but you should bring better light than just the torch on your iPhone. We found the train tunnel.

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It was dark, wet and the ground is uneven. I found it mildly frightening because you can’t see a way out.

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At first, it was adventurous using my iPhone torch to hike but it went on for a little too long for me.  I decided to retrace my steps and go walk by the river and find the waterfalls instead.

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We continue on to Rotorua. When early missionaries to the shores of Rotorua stumbled upon the great sprays of water that shoot into the air and the pools of bubbling, boiling mud, they must have thought they were getting a glimpse at the fires of hell itself – a view undoubtedly reinforced by what seems like the stench of rotten eggs that fills the region.

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Rotorua is a geothermal wonderland. There is a strong Maori presence in Rotorua. They saw themselves as the guardians of these lands.

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We go directly to the Hot Spring Pools which are located in Manupirua Bay on Lake Rotoiti. It is only accessible by boat.

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The boat is beautiful and completely refurbished  with an expert crew of women. The captain was pregnant. http://www.purecruise.co.nz

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There are different mineral-rich outdoor pools to soak in. These are fed by a natural spring and vary in heat temperature. They are just meters from the very cold lake edge. It is good to jump in a cold lake to get the sulfur off and close your pores.

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The next morning I opted for a mud bath and massage. How could you not go to a spa called Hell’s Gate? Hell’s Gate is the only Maori owned geothermal park in New Zealand. The English name came from the playwright George Bernard Shaw who visited in the early nineteen hundreds. He said that he was sure this must be the gateway to hell that his colleagues said he would pass through as long as he remained an atheist. The Maori kept the name. http://www.hellsgate.co.nz/

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It is owned by the Ngati Rangiteaorere tribe of Maori who have lived on this special site for over 700 years. It is on a volcanic plateau.

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You start with a walk through the mud pools, erupting geysers and hot springs.

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The signs tell the Maori myths and stories of those pools.

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It takes about forty-five minutes to do the walk.

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I was kind of in awe of the special landscape.

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I went on to the mud bath where I was given a container of mud to cover myself with. (sorry no photos)

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After twenty minutes, you rinse off in cold water and go into the sulfur pools, followed by a massage. Yes, your pores will exude sulfur for the next twenty-four hours from the mud but your skin will be very smooth and the area smells of rotten eggs anyway so no one will notice. It was the best mud bath experience I have ever had and highly recommend it.

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Volcanic activity over thousands of years created large craters that filled with water to form the  lakes throughout the Rotorua region. They are steeped in Maori history.  (Lake Tikitapu- Blue Lake)

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The geothermal theme park of Wai-O-Tapu is about 20 minutes’ drive south of Rotorua,. It is a Maori word and means sacred waters.

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Walking routes around the park take you past bubbling mud, sulphur waterfalls, exploding geysers, giant fern trees, steaming vents and lakes in neon oranges, yellows and greens.

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They are given their color by mineral deposits.

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The  lagoons fizz with steam and orange ,gold and green fluorescent bubbles.

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The park takes on a surreal, dream like quality. I shoot too many photos to remember the strange beauty of it all.

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Fly safe,
JAZ

Kiwi, Kiwi and Kiwi

Kiwi, Kiwi and Kiwi

“If it would not look too much like showing off, I would tell the reader where New Zealand is.”  Mark Twain

The definition of Kiwi in an English dictionary  (yes, I still look it up in a book)  is 1-a flightless bird;  2 – fruit originally known as Chinese gooseberry and 3-a New Zealander.

Female kiwi birds lay one of the largest eggs in relation to their body size of any bird in the world. A kiwi egg takes up about 20% of the female bird’s body, and weighs about 16 oz. As the result of such a sizable egg, there is a higher percentage of yolk in kiwi eggs, which enables the kiwi babies to hatch fully feathered, healthy, and well on their way to independence. We got to see one after it was hatched in an incubator but no photos.

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Kiwi birds are among the few species that tend to live as monogamous couples, and often mate for life. Kiwi relationships have been known to last over 20 years – more than most Hollywood marriages. They are nocturnal, territorial, have great memories and razor-sharp claws that can do some damage.

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A good sense of smell is a rare attribute for a bird, but kiwis have highly developed olfactory senses. They are the only birds with nostrils at the end of their beaks,

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It’s common knowledge that kiwis are flightless, but their lack of wingspan isn’t without cause. Before humans arrived in New Zealand thousands of years ago, there were really no terrestrial predators endangering the kiwi population, so most flightless birds were relatively safe foraging and nesting on the ground.

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A fruit seed  from China was planted in New Zealand. Since then, the Bay Of Plenty has become the kiwifruit capital of the world, exporting gold and green kiwifruit to over 70 countries, creating a billion-dollar business for New Zealand. We had a tour of  a Kiwi country farm.

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The most popular species of kiwifruit is appropriately called fuzzy kiwifruit, but there is also golden kiwi with a smoother bronze skin. The golden kiwi is actually sweeter and more aromatic in flavor.

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Although kiwis have been native to China for centuries, practically no one in North America knew what they were until 60 years ago. They were first introduced to the U.S. in 1962 and called kiwi fruit by an American importer.  They caught  on quickly.  Most of the world’s kiwis are grown in Italy, New Zealand and Chile. You can eat the fuzz if you want.

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If a kiwi does not yield a bit to finger pressure, allow it to ripe by storing it at room temperature away from the sun.Kiwi ripening can be hastened by putting it in a paper bag with a banana, apple or pear. (Here I am once again eating kiwi fruit- clearly that is all I did.)

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Kiwi also refers to a New Zealander. 

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It has something to do with the first World War. The Royal New Zealand Air Force had a kiwi bird symbol and New Zealander is a lot to say.  They take pride in referring to themselves as an odd-looking bird most have never seen in the wild. It is a link to their past when they began to be something separate from the British. 

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Kiwis have a relationship with their land that is physical and spiritual.

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The Maoris have always had it and the  whites (pakehas) have developed it.

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Kiwis are easy-going and find humor in most situations.

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It’s a dry humor similar to Brits and Australians and often used to diffuse conflict and serious situations.

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They love to tell a really good lie when asked stupid questions. (who doesn’t?)

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When people take themselves too seriously they like to “take the mickey out of them” but they are also are the first to make fun of themselves.

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These tourist  questions and New Zealand answers were posted on the New Zealand tourism website.

Q: Will I be able to see kiwi birds in the street? A: Depends how much you’ve been drinking.

Q: I want to walk from Auckland to Wellington can I follow the railroad tracks? A: Sure, it’s only 660 kms, take lots of water.

Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in NZ? Can you send me a list of them in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown? A: What did your last slave die of?

Q: Can you give me some information about hippo racing in NZ?A: Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in Auckland. Come naked.

Q: Can I wear high heels in NZ? A: You are a British politician, right?

Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in NZ ? A: Only at Christmas.

Fly safe,

JAZ

 

Ten Reasons To Visit New Zealand

Ten Reasons To Visit New Zealand

“Seek the treasure you value most dearly: if you bow your head, let it be to a lofty mountain” Maori Proverb

Waiheke Island  is one of my daughter’s favorite places. I have heard about it for a while and can’t believe I will be there. The island has art galleries, boutiques, coffee places and some excellent vineyards for wine tasting.

Take at least part of one of the great walks in New Zealand. They are  a group of popular walks through areas of some of the best scenery in the country, ranging from coastlines with beaches to dense rain forests and alpine terrain. The tracks are maintained to a high standard, making it easier for visitors to explore some of the most scenic parts of New Zealand’s backcountry. The walks range from 32 kilometres (20 mi) length to 82 kilometres (51 mi) in length and take between 3 and 6 days to complete..

See the Maori  in Rotoroa. I loved the movie “Whalerider” (I will probably see it again before I go) and I am so interested in their culture.

Take a helicopter ride to a glacier. So with all my traveling I have never been on a helicopter or a glacier. A lot of firsts here. Franz Josef or Mount Cook?

Whale watching in Kaikoura. We do have whales in California but Kai means food  and Koura means crayfish ( which i love) so i am there. Whales, seals and dolphins are among my favorite sea creatures.

If you are a Hobbit fan, visit the Lord of the Rings movie set.

New Zealand is an adrenalin junkie’s paradise and well-known for zany adventures.. There is bungee jumping, zip lining, sky diving, rock climbing, mountain biking, scuba diving and  jet speed boats. I may not seem like an adrenalin junkie but you never know. 

Hiking in Milford Sound. There is epic movie worthy scenery and nothing that can hurt you (ie. no snakes, bears, mountain lions, scorpions, disease carrying insects, etc).

Take an outdoor geothermal bath in one of the many natural hot springs on the North Island.

Have a Fergburger in Queenstown. it is another best burger in the world with everything hand-made and fresh produce every day. There are twenty different kinds  from the regular (beef,bacon and avocado)  to the Codfather (cod), Sweet Bambi  (venison)and Bun Laden(falafel). It is a true hole in the wall, crowded for the twenty-one hours a day they are open.

Fly safe,

JAZ