Archive for September, 2013

Our Excellent Active New Zealand Adventure

Sunday, September 29th, 2013

To celebrate our 30th anniversary, Dan and I decided it would be cool to take a summer ski vacation, so we scheduled a visit to New Zealand from August 13 through September 5, 2013. Per Dan’s well-planned but flexible itinerary, we followed the ski trip with sight seeing, hiking and wine tasting on the South Island, and a brief stay in Auckland.

As you’ll see from the albums (a combination of our best photos), New Zealand is a gorgeous country, especially for outdoorsy, adventurous types.

  • The montage link shows the whole album on a scrollable page in Google+.
  • Click any photo on the page to see it enlarged with a caption.
  • Click Slideshow below, then the enlarged photo’s Slideshow link  to follow our journey hands-free.
 Dan skiing at Treble Cone   NZ Skiing Album – Montage or Slideshow

Our Ski Safari was in the New Zealand Southern Alps. The snow and skiing conditions were marginal, but guide Burto and our group of 11 kept things interesting (new love, disgruntled room mates, hangovers, and a noisy tryst in a hostel with paper-thin walls).
 Milford Sound  

NZ Milford Sound – Montage or Slideshow

On our ski rest day, some of us joined a day trip from Queenstown to the famous Milford Sound, starting off with a bus tour, and then taking a ferry west to where the sound meets the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand.

 NZ Kaikoura   NZ Kaikoura Hike and Fur Seals – Montage or Slideshow

After skiing, we rented a car and drove up the coast to Kaikoura, a gem on the Pacific where hikers are rewarded with stupendous views of nature, sea wildlife, and peacefully grazing livestock.
 NZ wine country  
NZ Wine Region – Montage or Slideshow

Further up the east coast we stopped for a couple days to visit the wineries of the Marlborough region, famous for its Sauvignon Blanc. I loved our bike ride through the vineyards and was glad to survive our day-long tasting tour.

 NZ Queen Charlotte   NZ Queen Charlotte Sound – Montage or Slideshow
Next stop was Picton, our launching point for a 3-day hike on the ridges overlooking Queen Charlotte Sound, made famous by Captain Cook as an R&R stop. The hiking and accommodations were great, though we had to take a water taxi and miss out on kayaking due to winter weather.
 NZ Driving tour   NZ Drive/Hike Northern Mountains – Montage or Slideshow

We took the scenic route (aka “Divorce Drive”) to Nelson for an overnight stay, bought the best kiwis ever, then made a loop through the beautiful mountains, enjoying scenic hikes along the way.
 NZ Auckland   NZ Auckland – Montage or Slideshow

We spent three days in Auckland, just enough time to explore downtown, hike on an island formed by a volcano 600 years ago, explore a museum, and dine elegantly to celebrate the end of a great trip.
 NZCool   NZ Cool – Montage or Slideshow

Just a few final shots of things that impressed me about New Zealand.