Sunday, March 11, 2012

New Zealand Rocks

For the past month, I have had the extreme good fortune to travel around the North and South Islands of New Zealand. The stress of working at the South Pole has faded away and though I miss the friends I made there and still get extremely excited to see animals, I have mostly transitioned and adapted back to life in the real world.

While in New Zealand, friends and family alike have come to visit and together we've driven over 3400 kilometers, hiked 55+ miles, tooled around cities, bungy jumped, kayaked, soaked in thermal hot pools, ventured behind waterfalls, cooked delicious meals, taken lots of pictures and just simply enjoyed each others company. Yesterday I flew to Australia, my 6th continent, to see what sort of shenanigans I can get into here.

New Zealand wouldn't be New Zealand without lots and lots of sheep

Golden Bay with Portland friends who flew over for a couple of weeks

My favorite beach in New Zealand, Wharariki Beach

Adorable seal pups frolicking in the tide pools
I can't remember smiling so much!

Kayaking Abel Tasman in the South Island of New Zealand

As the tide goes out, boats become land-locked...

...and so do islands

Hiking the Copland Track to some thermal pools started out with the removal of our shoes for a rushing river crossing

Many long and high bridge crossings awaited us on the Copland Track

My favorite lunch spot in all of New Zealand I think

Hiking the Milford Sound track

Tramping through the valley

Three Portland friends on an amazing adventure

Luckily, we saw a couple of blue ducks! Sadly they are an endangered species

Mackinnon Pass on the Milford Sound Track

Lovely reflective pool

Milford Sound and the end of the track

The Familia, the best of rental cars

Auckland on the North Island (as seen from Devonport)

Girls night out to a fancy dinner in Auckland
My grandmother and aunt are traveling with me for 3 weeks!

Idyllic setting on the Coromandel Peninsula on the North Island

View from our bach (kiwi for guest house) on the Coromandel Peninsula

Cooking with the ladies since we had a kitchen

A walk to the waters edge turned into a muddy adventure

New Zealand noise makers, bugs that can be heard all over the North and South Islands

Some photos courtesy of Bob and Josh. Thanks you guys!