One of the strangest things about North Island is suddenly coming across a patch of ground that’s smoking – or hearing a glooping and plopping noise coming from a muddy puddle, which is bubbling away happily all by itself. The volcanic hot springs are wonderful. You can either pay to go to the pools –… Continue reading Getting into hot water
Hobbiton was at the top of my list for NZ North Island. Having seen lots of countryside locations where Lord of the Rings had been filmed, I was now keen to see something that had been built especially for the film. Hobbiton is big business, with 3,000 people a day visiting in peak season. Although,… Continue reading Hobbits
Touring the vineyards in Marlborough made me feel like a film fan doing the Hollywood celebrities’ tour, ‘Ooh, look – it’s … Villa Maria/Wither Hills/Brancott!’ as famous name after famous name rolled by, and I leapt out of the car to snap a pic. With my liver’s best interests at heart, we didn’t stop at… Continue reading Starstruck in Marlborough Country
I have to say that some of the strangest museums I’ve been to are here in New Zealand. They have the world’s only steampunk museum on South Island, with some very unusual displays … sort of Dr Who meets Narnia in Steptoe’s yard – But the descriptions were the highlight for me. This – if… Continue reading Mad museums on South Island
Apparently, there’s an entry on many a bucket list which reads, ‘heli hike on a glacier’. It’s not on my bucket list because I’d never even heard of heli hiking before I got to New Zealand, and once I found out about it, I wasn’t really sure how hiking on a glacier differs from slithering… Continue reading In which I discover that Fox Glacier isn’t a mint, after all
Fiordland, in the south-west of South Island, is full of Sounds. To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure what a Sound (with a capital ‘S’) actually is, so I had to look it up. It turns out that a Sound is a large sea/ocean inlet, formed when the sea fills a valley, so it’s surrounded… Continue reading What sound does a Sound make?
We landed in New Zealand at Christchurch, and the temperature was 32 degrees. We just accepted it, having become used to Malaysian and Australian weather – but it turned out to be a fluke, and as we drove south to Dunedin the temperature dropped by more than 20 degrees, until it was just ten above… Continue reading Albatrosses and Orcs