Addition to the last post: This is an impression of one type of landscape you see a lot when driving through New Zealand (taken out of a car, sry for quality :P ), in this case between Dunedin and Invercargill.
Those grass areas are all man-made, mainly for sheep and dairy-farming. Of course there are other types as well, like introduced forest (for example from Europe) and native New Zealand bush (pics later).
Sparky’s was the only place on the South Island we stayed at for two nights. On our second day we did a day trip along the scenic Catlins Coast.
Sea Lions :)
We were strolling along the coast for a bit when we suddenly heard Alison shouting “Come over here, quick!”. At first we thought something happened to here so we rushed over there… but it turned out she just wanted us to see this:
At that very moment we couldn’t decide if that was a tiny adult fur seal or a baby sea-lion. We were a little afraid the two big sea lions on the pictures before could be the parents :P But when you look at the sign at first picture you can easily see it must be a fur seal, probably a fur seal teen.
Slope Point (sort of)
Next big stop: the most southern point of the South Island (not of New Zealand though, because of Steward Island).
This is me standing at standing somewhere near the southernmost point (the actual point is called Slope Point):
Who can spot the seals in this one?
the lighthouse and the “nuggets”
The next day we got up early to reach Queenstown in time for Alison’s and Elysia’s canyon swing (basically a big-ass swing in a canyon ^^). Queenstown is a really nice and also pretty expensive city at lake Wakatipu. Someone compared it to St. Moritz in Switzerland, because it is expensive, a lot of rich people live there and also a lot of young people party there. Here are a few impressions of the road along the lake up to Queenstown:
After we checked in at the YHA Lakefront, Elysia and Alison went for their swing, while Susi and me explored the town and the surroundings by car.
Gondola and view on Queenstown:
We also tried to visit various spots around Queenstown where scenes for Lord of the Rings where filmed. We couldn’t reach all of them (due to private land (various scenes/Rohan) or multiple hour walk with no signs where exactly the spot is (Furt des Bruinen)), but here is the river Anduin:
And here is the spot where Frodo and Sam watched the Oliphants:
Just imagine this would be Frodo ^^ (and there are Oliphants down in the valley)
The next morning we had to get up reeeeally early to catch the pickup bus for the Milford Sound cruise. The drive to Milford Sound was quite long and we stopped several times for photos:
During one stop some Keas joined us and one immediately tried to eat parts of the bus door.
And now the sound (which is actually a Fjord, not a sound) itself:
Oh yeah, we saw dolphins, seals and penguins during the cruise :)
So much for today ;)
PS: Later that day in a bar I discovered that tonic water emits a blue-ish glow when exposed to UV-light :D How cool is that, a glowing drink :)
I forgot to mention before: this Monday it snowed in Auckland! You may ask, why is that worth mentioning, it’s damn winter in New Zealand! Well… apparently this was the first time in over 70 years that it snowed here :P I didn’t see it myself though… I was in class doing a test -.- But I heard the kiwis totally freaked out ^^ I also heard from a couple of Europeans that it was hardly snowing at all… more like hail or sleet. Nevertheless I can imagine that it has been exciting for the people of Auckland ;)