Photos - 2006 - Vacation


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Photos - 2006

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These photos are from July 2006 when we had a driving holiday in the north part of NZ's South Island.

Click on an image to see a larger picture. 

  First up was the Inter Island ferry from Wellington to Picton

The ferry goes up Queen Charlotte's Sound to Picton

This is our route map for the trip - a clockwise circle of the north part of the South Island; Picton-Kaikoura-Christchurch-Greymouth-Westport-Nelson-Picton

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Picton, straight off the Inter Island ferry

It was cold -- for us, anyway

Water view from the park

Hill view from the park

Roger & Rex on a different kind of see saw

In an aquarium there is a preserved giant squid


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Driving from Picton to Kaikoura

green meadows with snow capped peaks


We'd never seen ocean water with snowy mountains in the background until now

Seal colony near Kaikoura    

Just lying on the rocks at the side of the road

basking in the last rays of the day's sun

there was nothing stopping us getting really close

Kaikoura - nice scenery and the home of whale watching in NZ

Sunrise at the motel

Morning view outside our motel

a pretty town

the car park at the whale watch centre

which has a walkway at the side of the beach

the beach featured quite a sharp drop & dark sand

Roger & Rex on the beach

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One of the highlights of the holiday was a 3 hour whale watch cruise; the photos don't look like much because not much of the whale can be seen in the water, but these are 16 meter sperm whales and only about 1/3 of their body can be seen at the surface

first sight of a sperm whale spouting

spouting - again

and starting the deep dive for more food

We also saw an albatross ...

... a black albatross ...

and dusky dolphins

the family enjoyed the trip

and so did Neil

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After that it was off to Christchurch

NZ is famous for sheep

maybe for this sheep?

... and deer for venison

Christchurch has the Antarctic Centre; these are not real penguins

this is Rex on a slide made of ice

Roger on the same

it was really cold; -17oC

didn't seem to worry Rex, though

this is from Christchurch aquarium; must have been Neil in a past life

On the way from Christchurch to the west coast Roger -- a fan of the Simpsons -- got a surprise

He was thrilled to find their home town

and we found that they patronise ...

... this restaurant

We stopped to experience the snow because we don't get that chance too often ...

a Gamble Family snow fight

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These folk had no choice about the snow

On the way from Christchurch to the west coast via Arthur's Pass which featured great scenery all the way

taken through the front windscreen

we drove until it was dark

with scenery all the way

When it was dark we stopped at Hotel Bealey, just short of Arthur's Pass, which was a pleasant surprise

the view from our room

ready to check out (we had just de-iced the car)

view from the main hotel [looking in the other direction]

Rex loves NZ birds & was thrilled ...

... with these wire statues of the extinct Moa

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We kept on driving towards the west coast with more scenery & surprises on the way

the first was an ice waterfall; maybe no big deal to folk from the US, but a novelty for us

this viaduct took 3 years & many millions to build

but the big surprise were these Kea birds; there were two at the hotel, but we didn't get a photo; here is one near the viaduct

there were several but we only got a photo of one

Shanty Town, near Greymouth, shows what it was like in the old days

OK, this is not a good photo, but it is a Weka that was at Shanty Town & Rex was very excited to see it

We stayed that night at Barrytown, a small place just north of Greymouth on the west coast

we stayed in a B&B that looked out to this view

and this time the sheep decided to show us their butts

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North of Barrytown & south of Westport is an area called Pancake Rocks.  There is soft rock between layers of limestone; the soft rock erodes faster than limestone giving a pancake effect

Rex is sitting on a sample of the pancake rocks

the rocks extend through this part of the coastline

and give some interesting effects

Self titled photo

Neil & Usa

there is also a "swell pool" leading to a blow hole; but the tide was too low when we were there for the blow hole to operate

Rex - an angel?

Or something else?

From Barrytown to Nelson we didn't see much - or maybe we had enough photos?  At least we saw this.

The last place we stayed was Nelson where we visited a small zoo

... where we saw otters ...

... llamas ...

... miniature horses ...

... odd chickens (Usa thought they looked like they were wearing pants) ...

... peahens & ducks ...

... fed sheep ...

.... and met a galah that talked to Neil ...

.. it kept on saying "asshole" to him ...

our last photo, driving from Nelson back to Picton