2008 NZ


F51T2088 fern.JPG
Jet lag be buggered. Bro Paul takes me on a visit through the Waitakeries to Piha, almost convincing me that there is a reason people live in the Auckland region
F51T2106 piha.JPG
Piha beach - if this was America every inch of this beach and the hillsides would be swarming with hotels, apartments, malls and Elvis impersonators
F51T2112 desert rd.JPG
A few days later, I'm back up in the middle of the evil North Island buying a 38 year old Mini off a guy in Rotorua. Stranger things have happened. Apparently.
F51T2113 taihape.JPG
Beep Beep
F51T2115 mangaweka.JPG
I have purchased a photogenic example
F51T2116 Mangaweka DCs.JPG
Ah, trains finally. A few minutes later, this thing got moving and I scuttled off to get a pic of it in the South Rangatiki viaduct. Suddenly the heavens opened. 
F51T2125 rough crossing 2am sailing.JPG
Defying logic, I take the 2am ferry sailing to the South Island which is rougher than a witch's carbuncles. Sick bags optional 
F51T2128 spontaneously combustible computer history at picton 5am.JPG
5am: fuelling up car with gas and me with caffeine at Picton, where I stumble upon an imperial Landrover's worth of nerds carrying old computer gear down to a display at the Uni of Canterbury. As a closet nerd myself, we chew the fat a while. Remember the ZX81, Vic 20, Pet and PDP11? Nerd.
F51T2161 morris cousins.JPG
Morris meets some cousins - Morrie Minors in a field near Kaikoura
F51T2165 morris coast.JPG
Sunning herself on the Kaikoura coast
F51T2175 nice quad near pines.JPG
Yes its a train, but isn't it nice?
F51T2184 in tunnel.JPG
A few days later and I'm a guest in a track inspection hirailer to Arthur's Pass - what an awesome way to travel on an awesome piece of railway...
F51T2186 hirailer out of t3.JPG
Out of tunnel three
F51T2228 thermit arp.JPG
Thermit welding rails together at Arthur's Pass
IMG_2263 yelloweyed.JPG
Yay! Cat is over for a few weeks and we... see the Yellow Eyed Penguins at Oamaru
IMG_2278 nature walk hanmer springs.JPG
...walk in the woods at Hanmer Springs...
IMG_2311 kaikoura.JPG
...watch the mountains from the sea at Kaikoura...
IMG_2324 shag.JPG
...watch the Shags...
IMG_2324 shag.JPG
...are we still allowed to say "shags" in this PC world? ...
IMG_2339 seals ohau pt.JPG
Watching seals at Ohau Point near Kaikoura (north east coast of the South Island).
IMG_2342 ohau pt.JPG
Lazing on a Sunday afternoon
IMG_2347 baby seals ohau pt.JPG
Baby seals
IMG_2402 abel tas dawn wide.JPG
Abel Tasman dawn

IMG_2403 abel tas dawn view.JPG

IMG_2409 two ducks swimming.JPG

IMG_2431 abel tasman kayaking.JPG
Sea Kayaking in Abel Tasman National Park near the top of the South Island
IMG_2461 abel tasman cave.JPG
Quick, to the Batcave. Da dadada dadadada dum
IMG_2467 abel tasman kayaking.JPG
From the other end
IMG_2472 split apple.JPG
Split Apple Rock. Damn clouds
IMG_2492 kaiteriteri kayaks.JPG
2008 NZ/Irish/German/US Olympic Sea Kayaking Team
IMG_2530 heron.JPG
IMG_2535 quaracycle.JPG
The Goodiessssss. Goodie, goodieyumyum.  Note the chains up to the kiddie cranks and the third drink bottle, which looks suspiciously like a bottle of wine... 
IMG_2538 rabbit island.JPG
Pumpkin Patch
IMG_2591 granity sunset.JPG
Then, inexplicably, we're in the tiny town of Granity (pop. 50) which is wedged between the mountains and the sea on the West Coast. 
IMG_2601 granity beach.JPG
The Big Fish pub is right on the beach...
IMG_2602 three dolphins granity.JPG
...so you can watch the dolphins in the morning
IMG_2644 charming creek waterfall.JPG
Walkway on the former Charming Creek bush railway. We inadvertently walked the whole length of this and were walking back to the car via the road, which we didn't realize was three times the distance. Luckily we were picked up by firstly a surfer dude, and then by a busload of elderly ladies
IMG_2649 swingbridge charming creek.JPG
Swingbridge on CC walk
IMG_2658 drips.JPG
On the West Coast, you have to expect a little dampness...
IMG_2678 nikaus.JPG
A stand of Nikau palms south of Ngakawau
IMG_2678 nikaus.JPG
Gotta love the Coast...
IMG_2689 granity.JPG
Granity cottages. If you go, pop in and get the BEST cheeseburger in the world from the stoners at the Blue Zephyr Takeaways
IMG_2725 west coast road near punakaiki.JPG
On the road again... the arrows are a great idea for those of us predisposed to driving on the wrong side of the road
IMG_2736 punakaiki pancake rocks.JPG
The Pancake rocks at Punakaiki
IMG_2740 punakaiki.JPG
Looking north from Punakaiki


Train pictures