Riding Dreams

April 16th, we are in the Holiday Inn near Auckland airport since we have to be there at 7 AM the next morning for our flight to Papeete ! We have 5 bags and 2 check-in pieces ! Hopefully it will go smoothly 🙂

Flashback to March 19th 2017: The next day was just perfect blue skies and we could admire Milford Sound (Piopiotahi) in all its beauty.We could not have planned any better.

Milford Sound is part of Fiordland National Park, the largest national park from NZ. Actually Milford Sound is a glacialy formed fiord and not a sound. It is 16km long and mostly less than 1km wide. The most prominent mountain is Mitre Peak (1692m) named for its resemblance to a bishop’s mitre.
We took a 2hr boat trip into the sound and although we were somewhat disappointed (we are spoiled) it was still beautiful.
Stirling Falls thundering down.
A sealer John Grono discovered Milford Sound in 1823 and named it after his home port in South Wales, Milford Haven.
Standing at the Homer Tunnel taking pictures of the road below. Really an impressive sight!
And finally we meet the Kea bird on our way back from Milford Sound ! It is the only alpine parrot and endemic to NZ. It is olive green on the outside but when he opens his wings…
I unfortunately could not take this picture but this is what the Kea looks like in flight. He is hiding all his colours under his wings.
They are not tame birds but they are very playful and inquisitive and love the interaction with tourists. Stefan finally found a good playmate 🙂
Along our way back we stopped to walk the last section of the Routeburn track. The Divide to Key Summit.
Gentiana Frigida, I thought they were always blue but apparently in NZ the white variation is common.
On our way to the southern tip of the South Island we made a stop at the historic Clifden suspension bridge, one of the longest in the South Island. It was built in 1899 but no longer in use.
The coast is wild and beautiful. Even with the clouds and rainy weather we enjoyed getting out and watching the waves.
Stirling Point at Bluff, almost the most southern tip of NZ. The anchor chain sculpture disappears in the sea to symbolically connect with a near identical sculpture in Lee Bay on Stewart Island. The sculpture is from Russell Beck.
We made 2 short walks at Bluff and finally I managed to take a nice picture from the TomTit! This bird is also endemic to the islands of NZ.
The Tui bird singing away, you hear them everywhere but they are not easy to spot. They are easy to recognise by the 2 white feathers in the front.
Windswept trees so typical for the Catlins Coast.
Curio Bay at the Catlins. The Catlins Coast is one of the least populated areas in NZ.
Not a lot of people but a lot of sheep. Although more farmers are now switching from sheep to cows because dairy is more profitable. In 1982 there were still 20 sheep to one NZ’er now it is only 6 sheep. We talked to one farmer who had 30.000 sheep and 1500 cows!
Stefan at the bottom of the McLean Falls.
The McLean Falls, 22m high. It was great to just sit back and admire…
A little further down the road were the Purakaunui Falls…
Right near the falls was this NZ woodpigeon or Kereru. Happy to have his picture taken. He chose a good spot right in the sunlight.
Stefan found his treehouse 🙂
Nugget point with its lighthouse from 1870 still working.
Nugget point at the Catlins.
Happy it was not raining and we could enjoy the scenery without rainjackets or umbrellas.

While we were in Dunedin we did the self guided street art tour and it was really a lot of fun with great artworks ! Maybe a good idea to have a similar project in Ghent!

Riding Dreams from Pixel Pancho (Italy)
Tuatara from ROA (Belgium).
Love is in the air from Natalia Rak (Poland)
This work is from Phlegm (UK) but I do not remember the title.
Even the electric distribution box was painted…

Next blog on our way to Christchurch and back to Auckland.

2 thoughts on “Riding Dreams

  1. Schitterende fotos van een prachtige natuur !! Ik denk dat jullie mooie herinneringen opslaan voor de komende 100 jaar. Leef het moment en hou het goed vast …liefs Ciska

    1. Nu we al terug in Tahiti zijn is het leuk om nog eens door de foto’s te gaan en nog eens verwonderd te zijn over de zooo mooie natuur!We voelen ons echt gepriviligeerd om dit allemaal te kunnen doen! Kus Ilse

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