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BAAAAAack in New Zealand

Actually, I’m not. I’m in Alice Springs, Northern Territories, Australia. But I’m trying to keep these entries in some sort of order despite being a few weeks behind with my updating. And I’m lying a bit about the order too because I took the above photos in Fox Glacier on the 24th of October and this entry is about my time in Christchurch and Dunedin, which was from Oct. 4th to Oct. 20th. Likely, you are wondering why I’m bouncing around the South Pacific like an out of control international ping-pong ball, instead of doing one country and then another like a normal person would. Well, simply put, visa reasons. With the visa I have for Australia I can only stay for 3 months at a time and I wanted to be in Sydney for New Years’. Imagine the photos I posted of Sydney but with lots of fireworks in the background and you’ll soon begin to understand why I’d like to be there to ring in the New Year.

But I’m getting off track.

Spring is a gorgeous time to be in the South Island. I loved seeing all the new life with a backdrop of snow-covered peaks. First stop was Christchurch to spend some more time with Tans…

and do a few things that I missed the first time through. Like taking a ride up the gondola for these fantastic views.

After a few days I headed to Dunedin, the Edinburgh of New Zealand (Dunedin is actually the Gaelic word for Edinburgh). My guidebooks claim that Nelson is the artistic capital of New Zealand, but in my mind Dunedin in much closer to winning that title. Even the graffiti here is fascinating.

Dunedin has some great architecture and a couple of amazing cemeteries, but I think my favourite bit was the beaches especially Sandfly Bay.

Sandfly Bay is the perfect place to visit sea lions,

and seals

You can also find the Yellow-Eyed Penguin here, but we (Isaac and myself) didn't want to hang out for 3 hours waiting for dusk when the penguins come in for the night. I made friends with Isaac on a bus trip to Wellington. He was gracious enough to put me up for the time I was in Dunedin and crazy enough to convince his Mom to let me borrow her car for the 40 minute drive to Sandfly Bay. My first time driving on the left side of the road! It felt really strange at first and I had to keep telling myself to stick to the left, but after not too long I got the hang of it. I'm glad I waited to try driving though. I knew I was ready when I stopped feeling that split-second of panic every time I saw someone coming at me in what I instinctively think of being "my" lane. No photos of the drive sadly.

Another beautiful beach to visit is St. Kilda.

Despite one of the fiercest winds I've ever felt while on a beach, we decide to take the walk down to the rock pools on the far side of the beach. The wind was so strong it felt like it was using the sand from the beach as a weapon to beat us. If you click on some of these photos to expand them you'll be able to see the amount of spray that was coming off the ocean.

If that doesn't convince you, check out how bent these trees are from the wind.


Back on the theme of art... I was lucky enought to arrive in Dunedin in time to catch the end of Isaac's latest show. Here are a couple of photos he took of his work:

This is his self-portrait.

Phew. This has been a long entry. I leave you with a few photos I took a the Botanical Gardens.


wowwy zowwy.. sea lions and oceans and art and leftside driving.. the adventures never stop when your name is heather goodwin.

Thanks for explaining why you're all over the map! (At least the map of Oz and NZ.) Isaac's photos were very good, yours,too!
I've heard of Alice Springs, maybe from "The Thornbirds"? Your entries are never too long!!