Some Tiki-touring (New Zealand speak for sightseeing)

Following the wedding I took the opportunity to go tiki-touring and catch up on family & friends for a week. A trip of about a 1000km in a week.  It gave me the chance to see some of my own country and the weather was kind enough to give me some beautiful warm summer weather. From Wanaka I headed north on the inland scenic route along the Southern Alps and through the lakes district. First stop was Omarama and the clay cliffs where the scene from the Humbolt Road in the 3rd LoTR’s movies was filmed. Clay cliffs eroded by wind and rain to produce an eerie landscape of clay columns and hidden passages. From here spectacular views could be had looking out over the Omarama River and valley, world renowned in gliding circles for its fantastic thermals for gliding. From there it was on to Lake Pukaki to get a glimpse of NZ’s highest mountain Mount Cook/Aorangi (Maori for cloud piercer; 3742m). In 51 years this mountain had managed to shroud itself in cloud, never revealing itself to me whenever I passed. That day, she showed herself in all glory in the background of the turquoise blue lake of Pukaki. From the splendor of Aorangi I turned east down the Waitaki River Valley (NZ’s biggest hydro electric power scheme) drving along the canals heading for Oamaru (Home of the little Blue Penguins – about 30cm high) to catch up on my best friend Dave his lovely wife Lisa. After a night of catching up it was time to hit the road again & head north alone the East Coast of the South Island enjoying the spectacular seascape views to My Aunt and Uncle in Ashburton (my father’s last surviving sibling). After Ashburton it was on to Methven, a little farming town in the shadow of Mt Hutt, one of New Zealand’s great ski areas before turning south again to stop once again in Oamaru. From there I journeyed south along the east coast to Dunedin, my old stomping ground from my university days making stopoffs at the Moeraki boulders (a geological phenomenon where sliding geological layers generate perfectly round boulders). As kids we called these boulders affectionately Moa eggs after the world’s & NZ’s largest bird (now extinct). It also provided the opportunity to sample one of my favourite NZ delicacies – a Mutton Pie. Unfortunately, I arrived in Dunedin a day late, to celebrate my great friends Phil & Lou’s 24th wedding anniversary (I was the BEST man at their wedding all those moons ago). Anyway, more of Dunedin in my next update.

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage ImageIMG_0383 blue penguin

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