New Zealand Photos

October 12 - november 22, 2001

Auckland     Pahia     Waitomo     Rotorua     Turangi     Wellington     Picton     Nelson

Greymouth     Franz Joseph     Queenstown     Dunedin     Christchurch     Kaikoura

Wellington     Napier     Taupo     Rotorua     Mt. Manganui     Auckland

 

 

 

Click on the Photo to See it at Full Size

 

 

Kia Ora - Welcome

Mauri Culture War Dance

 

Auckland Harbor & Skyline

 

Frustration, Aggravation, Agitation

Just another way of saying the same thing.

 

Mauri War Canoe on Moturua Island

The famous Hole in the Rock. We cruised right through it on the well known "Cream Trip" in Paihia- Bay of Islands.

 

Meerkats - A Type of Mongoose

Mauri Women showing their costumes & facial tattoos before a Hangi or feast where the food is cooked in the ground. This is at Tamaki Village near Rotorua.

 

Volcanic Rift. June 10, 1886 Mt. Tarawera erupted and 5 hours later over 935 miles had been buried in ash, lava and mud. Villagers from Te Wairoa, Te Ariki and Moura were obliterated. It was slices open as if hit by a cleaver.

 

Mt. Tarawera is a 4 1/2 mile long crater. I took these photos from a helicopter which was a great ride. 

 

Rotorua's Waiotapu (Sacred Waters) These are the famous blue and green lakes. I return to Rotorua later in my trip to see this on foot.

 

 

Lady Knox Geyser spouts for about an hour each morning

 

This is by far one of the craziest things I've done. Rock N Ropes will challenge your limits and test your fears with a variety of stunts. The 4th was the hardest trying to stand up with nothing to hold onto. I shook so hard, they could see me shaking on the ground. They were like rapid convulsions. I was petrified. 3...2...1...JUMP!

 Keep climbing and don't look down. This was the giant swing that came next. AAHHH  Here I go yelling below  Take the _ _ _ _ ing picture! 

 

 

Lake Matheson is one of the most famous panoramas in New Zealand. You can see Mt. Cook (Aoraki) and Mt. Tasman in the mirror-like calm reflection of the morning.

 

 

Huka Falls - Hukanui in Maori or "Great Body of Spray"

 

Flat Hills Jet Sprint near Mangaweka village

Small Boat, Big Motor, Crazy Driver

Life Size Jenga at a huge Toga party in Wellington and my last night on the North Island. New Zealand adventures were just about to begin for me.

 

South Island Nelson. Let's jump out of a plane. I love skydiving.

 

Nelson had a great public toiliet with map and directions. What I remember Nelson about the most was my favorite pie shop ever - The Tasty Tucker. They had the best meat pies. I wish we had them in the states.

 

Tauang Bay - Cape of Foul Winds

In 1641 Abel Tasman called it Rocky Point

Where Should I Go Next?

 

Paparoa: New Zealand's 12th National Park sits on the West Coast. Punakaiki Rocks or Pancake Rocks. These are Limstone rocks at Dolomite Point formed by a weathering process called stylobedding.

 

Ross Goldtown where I was thrown in an 1890's jail. But I did get to pan for gold first and I did find a few pieces which I brought home.

 

Climbing and hiking Franz Joseph Glacier

 

This was right before drinking from an ice-hole and then falling into it. No major damage but my spikes (boots) nicked me a bit and it was cold and very hard to get out of the hole.

 

The Kawarau Bridge before arriving in Queenstown. Let's stop for a quick bungy! I'm ready! Then I was terrified. 

This is a suspension bridge 141 ft to the river below.

 

I'm Off...

 

Look at me go!

 

This one is called the ledge. It is 1300 ft above Queenstown with a 155 ft bungy cord. This one you can run off the platform. It is the most picturesque bungy in the world. You ask soooo? You can see me still running in the air. Down I go... Aaahhhhh!

 

This was just insane. The start of my last bungy ever. (So I say) Nevis: 1300 feet above a canyon with a 440 ft bungy cord. This is the gondola jump pod that was accessed by cable car spanning 1300 ft mountain to mountain.

 

I stood there forever. I had tears in my eyes. He kept saying, stop looking down, look into the mountains. No turning back... I CAN DO THIS!

 

There I go... I am flying again.

You fall at 75 miles per hour and freefall for about 8 seconds. That is a really long time.

 

This is the best shot ever!

Look how long that cord is.

 

I can't believe that is me all the way down there.

 

No funny remarks about my face. This was real emotion in the truest sense. I survived. I feel I deserve a lot of credit for putting this photo here for everyone to see. But it was true fear and relief all at once. Talk about an adrenaline rush. Lasted all day and night.

 

In one day, Nevis, Shotover Jet, Shotover River Rafting and a helicopter ride. That was a memorable day. I'm a bit of a nut.

 

Just look at that view.

 

Let's jump out of a plane in Queenstown. We did a somersault when we left the plane. It was a kick. It was my first aerobatic trick leaving an aircraft.

 

I packed a camera in my jumpsuit and captured this picture while peacefully floating back to the ground.

 

This was something I had never seen before. It is called the Fly By Wire.  It is a high speed tether plane with a 344-ft suspended cable and you travel up to 106 mph. It was pretty intense. Look one hand...

 

Look at me fly. The hardest part was starting. They pull you up backwards so the nose of the plane faces the ground. I had to pull my own release. Would I do it? Of course.

 

I love aerobatic flying. This was a Pitts Special S2A. We did loops, hammerheads, barrel rolls, 4-point turns, cubans and more. We hit +4 g's and -2 g's. It was a great flight.

 

 

This was my first successful hang glide. I tried once before years ago, but passed out just as we were running off the mountain. Air pockets made me nervous but I loved it. 2400 ft from Coronet Peak in the Remarkable's Mountain Range

 

Look at that breathtaking view. This is what New Zealand is all about. 

 

I don't drink much but I loved these in Australia and New Zealand. I wish we had them here. They come in 14 great fruit flavors.

 

Wanaka's puzzling world. This place was a blast. There was a life-size wooden maze that I got lost in, puzzles and games to play with, funny rooms with optical illusions...

 

and the coolest...

 

Toilet seats ever.

People would go stall to stall to take pictures. The bugs and tarantulas on top was too creepy to sit on.

 

Hollyford Valley in Fjordland from Te Anau to Milford. This is the great divide. It was great drinking this clean water.

 

Milford Sound - A 14 mile fjord dominated by the 5,560 foot Mitre Peak. This is a must see!

 

Basking in the sun at Milford.

 

I took these in a Cessna 185. This is Otago Harbor, a lake filled crater.

 

Here is the crater with Sutherland Waterfall which is part of the Milford Track. This was a lucky shot to get. The weather was ideal.

 

This is Miss Piggy, the resident massive elephant seal who is a bit confused about her playmates. She likes the male sea lions and they don't normally mix like that. This is near Taiaroa (headcliff) where we hiked Red Hill. 

 

Moeraki Boulders formed 60 million years ago on Hampden Beach. Perfect marble like balls half in the sand. They were awesome. 

 

The Tranzalpine - One of the 6 highest rated train journeys in the world. This is the Springfield stop. We traveled 4 hours between Christchurch and Greymouth starting near the Pacific and ending at the Tasman Sea. We went through a 5 1/2 mile tunnel at Arthur's Pass. 

 

The famous Christchurch tram and beautiful church

 

The Kaikoura Dusky Dolphin Swim. It was WOW! I swam and played with a pod of over 400 dolphins. We learned how to swim and play with them underwater. They were all around swimming so fast right by you. It was intense.

 

What a cool McDonalds

 

Taupo's Rock N Ropes. I would have liked to have done all the activities, but there was not time.

 

Napier's Sheep Skin Factory

I shipped a few home including a gorgeous 5*+,  4-pelt rug home and I had hand-tipped dyed pillows made to match. What a set.

 

This was a hilarious. This is a crazy car. The steering wheel is on the right side of the car. Steering left veers the car right and vice-versa. No one but me would drive it. I did great twice around and then lost control and we ended up on a grass mound in the middle of the track. It was great.

 

This was a 3,000 ft Luge track overlooking Rotorua. It was so fast, I was scared out of my mind. I don't know if I would do that again. Once was good enough for me. Famous last words.

 

This is Zorbing. I could never get enough of this. Probably my favorite stunt of all. They place you in a ball. If it is a dry zorb you are buckled down. Wet Zorb, they just throw you in with warm water, plug up the hole and tell you to try to run the ball down the hill. OK, not happening.

 

They call it the wash cycle and it rolls about 660 ft. It is so slippery, you just fall down and roll up, drop down, roll up, drop down. I laughed every time I did it. You just keep wiping your eyes dry while you are going down and you can't tell when you are going to stop. Where can I start this in California?

 

Waiotapu's Bubbling Mud Pools

 

Hell's Gate Mud Pools outside of Rotorua. Pampering myself in some good, clean mud. How's that for an oxymoron?

 

Now I'm relaxing in a mud pool before cleaning in the shower. It was great relaxing in those enviorns.

 

Waiotapu's Crystal Wall

The great colors come from the heat emitted from below the ground

 

Created on 10 June 1886, Waimangu is the only hydrothermal system in the World wholly formed within historic times as the result of a volcanic eruption. This is the Inferno Crater - a huge hot spring.

 

This is Waimangu's Clamshell Spring. The walk through the geothermal activity has terrific colors on the ground.

 

Kaituna - The Largest Comercially Rafted Waterfall in the World in the Bay of Plenty Region

 

Kaituna was previously considered unrunnable! It is a grade 5 

and goes Pool - Drop - Pool.

 

This is a whitewater enthusiast's dream come true. The drop is 44 feet.

 

Looks like we made it...

 

It was a harsh flip over. that is my head showing.

Where'd we go?

 

Karangahake Gorge in the Coromandel Penninsula. They mined gold here from the 1870's to the 1950's. This was the last of New Zealand. I was then off to Fiji. I'll miss this exciting and beautiful country. Thanks for the awesome memories. Kia Ora.

 

 

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