I landed in the big, big city of Auckland on the North Island, stayed overnight and flew to Queenstown on the fantastic, out-of-this-world South Island. Everything is MORE on the South Island. More of everything and bigger and much more interesting. You go to the beach and it’s not just beach and ocean waves—there’s rocks out there and those rocks are all individually shaped, popping out of the sea forming incredible visions. The same with the mountains–they jut out of the sea, or they brighten the countryside and no two sets of mountains are alike.
Stayed in Queenstown, the hub of activity, a few days. I was traveling in a camper van and that’s way most locals travel and it’s the best way to enjoy the incomparable gorgeous sights. There are so many beautiful views to look at that they compete for attention: “Hey look at me. No over here.”You will not be bored. Just one beautiful moutain, river, bird, plant, beach, rock, after the other. Definitely visual overload but an extremely pleasant sensation.
I visited Wanaka where I stayed one night with Jo and her loving but terminally ill dog, Badge, at her b&b called “Falling Leaves”. Although Jo was born on the south island, she has lived all over the world and worked as a nanny to famous movie stars. I was mostly staying in very nice motor courts and the occasional room with or without a loo at Te Anau, the classic Globe Hotel at Riverton, Omaru, Geraldine, the big city called Christchurch where I had a lovely room at the Devon B&B and enjoyed a fantastic dinner at Annie’s Wine Bar & Restaurant located in the nearby Art Centre, later we moved on to see the black sandy beaches of Kaikoura, the wineries (including Cloudy Bay) at Blenheim and my traveling companion’s home, Picton, facing the Marlborough Sound. Here’s the link to the google map of New Zealand http://maps.google.com/maps?client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&hl=en&tab=wl
I will post more pix with this story. You must visit New Zealand: this was a healing ADVENTURE for me, a trip not to be missed in a lifetime–but you gotta go in a camper van, or go backpacking. I was transformed into “Nature Girl,” certain that I would not be allowed to leave! And I was ready to run away; I didn’t want to leave this magical country.