This post covers three days (day 2, 3, and 4) of our holiday in New Zealand. It involved driving from Rotorua (see previous post here) to Wellington then departing on the ferry at 2:30 am to Picton, arriving around dawn, then driving to Kaikoura.
Day 2-4 – Heading to the South Island.
Unfortunately, as with all holidays, there is not enough time to see everything. There is a lot to see on the North Island but even though we had a loose schedule, there were some hard times/dates we needed to be at certain places – one such deadline was a ferry connection to take us to the South Island.
Leaving Rotorua we headed to Wellington via Lake Taupo and a few other smallish diversions. Whilst in the Rotorua area we visited Hamurana Springs for a peaceful and scenic break and saw this Waka (Māori watercraft).
Because I like birds…
A Paradise Shelduck on the shore of Lake Taupo.
South of the beautiful Lake Taupo area are some volcanic features many of you may recognise from the The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. The “Desert Road” through Rangipo Desert is a spectacular drive, and we paused for lunch with this view of Mount Ruapehu (left) and Mount Ngauruhoe (right) – the fictional Mount Doom. iPhone 5C panorama.
Further south, a fence that caught my eye. iPhone 5C photo.
Onto the South Island.
Kaikoura and surrounds – abundant marine mammals, beautiful scenes.
I reckon these folks have a fantastic campsite!
The seemingly ubiquitous New Zealand fur seal, basking, resting, and nursing the young at Ohau Point, Half Moon Bay (just north of Kaikoura).
Kaikoura awaking with the dawn.
Dusk settles over the Kaikoura Peninsula.
Assorted images from the wondrous Kaikoura Peninsula:
In case any so-called birders or twitchers are wondering, this isn’t a new plumage for this species. Rather, it is pollen from the prolific pollen-producing plant, the New Zealand flax (Phormium).
Rhyolitic flows (I think so, at least) at Kaikoura.
To wrap up this post, here are some more images of New Zealand fur seals 🙂
This time from the Kaikoura Peninsula.
I hope you enjoyed these.