New ZealandMy wife Chrissie and I traveled to New Zealand in November 2016. We had a wonderful time enjoying the laid-back-but-adventurous Kiwi culture.
View from our hotel room in Dunedin.
Hiking with the sheep on the Otago Peninsulsa.
View from Nugget Point lighthouse in the Catlins.
180-million-year-old petrified forest in Curio Bay.
The tuatara, a living fossil with a "third eye" on the back of its head that it uses to regulate circadian rhythms. (on exhibit in the Southland Museum in Invercargill)
So, so tempting...
Hiking near a gold mine from the 1860's. The purple puffs are batches of wild thyme.
World's first commercial bungee jumping bridge (which we later jumped from!). Near Queenstown.
Pretty hard to beat Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world.
While in Queenstown I must have eaten at Taco Medic five or six times. They make the best fish tacos I've ever had. If you ever make it to Queenstown, go here before you go to Fergburger.
Looking way more calm than we actually feel right before taking the plunge.
The Plunge....probably the greatest adrenaline rush I've ever experienced! Definitely need to do it again some time.
Day 1 of the Milford Track, purportedly the "finest walk in the world." It is certainly the most spectacular "tramp" (as the Kiwis say) that I have ever been on. Here we saw the river for the first time, which was an etheral shade of green, yet at the same time crystal clear.
The mountain in the background I dubbed "Mount E-X-P," after the function which it resembles.
We were incredibly lucky on our hike. It typically rains 2 out of 3 days on the Milford Track, and it did not rain ANY of the four days we were on it. Even better, it had just snowed before we started, so there were literally hundreds of beautiful mountain streams cascading down the surrounding slopes as we walked along.
My favorite animal of the entire trip: the kea. It is the only parrot that can live above treeline. It is also incredibly intelligent and curious. They have been known to work in pairs, with one parrot distracting you while the other steals your lunch. I like to think their unique mix of curiosity and rebelliousness makes them the scientists of the animal kingdom.
Sutherland Falls, 1904 feet high, and positively violent at the bottom.
On day 3 of the Milford Track, we were disappointed that it was quite foggy, which would deprive us of the best views from the mountain pass...
...but then the fog slowly waxed and waned, teasing us with beautiful views for a few seconds, only to swallow them back up. Eventually the sun burned all the fog off completely, leaving us with perfectly clear views of the surrounding beauty.
Mount E-X-P emerging from the fog.
Sunrise casting shadows on the final day of the Milford Track.
One of the most unique aspects of the Milford Track is that you are walking through a temperate rainforest, so when you look up you will often see ferns and vines framing snow-capped mountain peaks.
The very end of the Milford Track.
Kayaking in Milford Sound, the eighth wonder of the world (according to Rudyard Kipling).