Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Miles flown so far: 18,020

We awoke to more bright sunshine in Mangonui, but drove south to Whangarei (pronounced fun-ga-ray) to the airport, where the clouds were gathering.  Luckily we were flying out to Nelson, our entry point to the South Island of New Zealand.

The bustling Whangarei Airport.

I was not happy to see the approaching storm, especially since this little thing was our plane to Auckland, where we connected to an only slightly larger prop jet to Nelson.

All fear melted away, however, as we approached Nelson.  Despite the fact that the South Island is generally colder and stormier than the North Island, the Marlborough Sounds region enjoys New Zealand's sunniest micro climate.

We drove from Nelson to the funky port town of Picton, on Queen Charlotte Sound.  The next day we took an all day kayak and hiking trip on part of the Queen Charlotte Track, one of New Zealand's many wilderness hikes.  Some of these hikes last for days and you can camp or stay in pre-booked lodges along the way.  If we had more time, I would have loved to have done one of these treks, but we were not disappointed by the day trip we took.

The color of the water and the plant life were surreal.

A Shag, which is a sea bird we saw a lot of on the kayak portion of the journey.

The hike back.

An interesting little museum in Picton contains the remains of the sailing ship Edwin Fox.  Built in India in the 1850's, it carried cargo and passengers around the world and especially to New Zealand and Australia until the advent of steamers made it obsolete in the 1880's.  It served a few more functions (freezer for lamb meat, floating coal storage) before being beached in the 1920's, re-floated in the 1980's and finally incorporated into the museum in 1999.

The exterior hull.

The interior of the ship's hold.  Really creepy.  

ship image via Marlborough Online

1 comment:

  1. Sounds kind of like the "fiiiiiiiinest school in Loos Annnnngeles!"