Shot at Barrys Bay Cheese, on the Banks Peninsula (Akaroa) outside of Christchurch, New Zealand. Mmmmm..... cheese...
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Fourth: These helicopter pilots are nuts. I like how this guy opened his door to keep the trees in view. This is routine, and you should see the speed at which they maneuver through the trees. I have seen some drop in 20 meter clearings to land (surrounded by tall trees).
Finally, they have some wicked waterfalls. Check out Sutherland Falls, the tallest in the country, dropping a full stream of water even in dry times a staggering 1,904 feet!
(I know, I've got to get my head out of the way for more of these shots...)
The Abel Tasman Coast Track is a totally awesome hike that you should see at least part of on your next trip to New Zealand. I was able to hike part of it in January and the rest of it in February (about 5 days on it, total), and take 3 water taxis around the area to really see the remote spots (that you can't even get to by hiking).
In addition to all the cool seals, fish, and birds that were alive, we (unfortunately) saw a number of dead ones, including some really cute, really make-tough-guys-shed-a-tear kind of dead penguins. I figured I shouldn't post a picture of that here, though.
ps. It was really green in the rainforest...
(They also have weather for a few other places in the world: http://metvuw.com/forecast/ )
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Sunday we went mountain biking at a great spot somewhat like a ski resort, but for mountain bikes. Called Woodhill Mountain Bike Park, it probably had a few hundred kilometers of bike tracks/routes through the forest, from beginner to advanced. Good trailer / advertisement, click here. Check out two of the many structures they've put up for the advanced riders:
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
You can click the image to see it larger, and read on the paper placemat in my (regulation size and color) McDonalds tray that they are doing some really positive things down here in NZ that make me less afraid of visiting their restaurants.
Makes me feel like there's hope for all this international, regulation-free, capitalism, after all!
Outside the museum there was an old Vauxhall in excellent condition, that, apparently, someone had driven that day. Amazing that this would be their commuter car! Email me if you want more pictures of the dashboard or steering mechanisms.
I really should have done a second take with this movie, "Places Not to Fall Down, Episode 4," but I figured enough talking in a museum. Sorry for the bad audio. Transcription below.
"Hi, It's Holden and we're in Te Papa, the Wellington National Museum, and this is another episode of 'Where not to fall down' (sic) and that's on these huge massive bronze spikes that are like (unintelligible) 6 meters high, and you don't want to fall on them. Bye."
Sunday, February 3, 2008
Spent the day walking around downtown Wellington yesterday.
I was able to take a look around the Te Papa - New Zealand's national museum. Saw some exhibits on the native Maori peoples (not unlike those at the Auckland museum -- which were more complete, I thought), the environment in NZ (complete with magnitude 5 earthquake simulation and volcanoe demonstrations), and some local artwork. It was way too big a museum for 1 day, and the feet were aching.
Also had a chance to look at the botanical gardens and ride the historic Wellington Cable Car (and watch the nearby cricket match happening in the park).
Oh, and I like this huge billboard ad for Adidas that shows the traditonal Haka dance. Possibly the best two videos on youtube, very worth watching:
Video 2 (Not sure where that second link went...)
So here's my first picture from the north island of New Zealand. It's the hills and skyline of Wellington, as you come into port. (Okay, there are some other nice buildings, for sure.) I was just amazed at how much "forestry" was going on in the background, to have such a noticeable impact on the hills. Picture to right pops to full resolution.
On the south island, you can really see how "efficiently" they work.