Published Oct 12, 2009

One of the few things more amazing than the beauty of New Zealand’s West Coast may be the slow, expensive Internet we’ve found there so far. Thus the lack of updates. Well, that and the million things we’ve been doing on that West Coast.

When we last left off, we’d traveled from Christchurch to Kaikoura to Hanmer Springs, back to Christchurch:

Since that time, we left Christchurch, went over Albert Pass to Punakiki, thence down the coast to the Franz Josef glacier, then Wanaka — possibly our favorite stop so far — then, via Manapouri, Doubtful Sound, finally ending at our current location, Queenstown:

Yes, in answer to your question, we’re a little sick of driving, but, then, I don’t think I’d’ve given up any destination. I’m a little bit behind in editing the photos, but there are so many incredible scenes that practically look like they were painted, so many vistas that just wouldn’t be possible anywhere else on earth, and so many great times. Fortunately, the weather has held and, apart from a little rain at Franz Josef and a bit of frost on the way to Manapouri, we’ve had no Kaikoura/Hanmer Springs-type problems.

Anyway, tomorrow’s another big day. So expect stories, photos, and maybe even regular updates in the near future.


Fiordland National Park appears to take up a noticable percentage of their entire country.

Also — dude, there’s an city called Dunedin on the southeast corner of NZ. I wonder if any of the folks who played DĂșnedain came from there? :-)

You are definitely making me jealous. My Australia trip in ‘02 (for the eclipse) was completely awesome; I clearly need to get back out to Oceania…

There’s also a brand of merino wool products that’s absolutely everywhere called Lothlorien… between that and LOTR-themed tours in pretty much every city we’ve been to so far, they seem to be quite accepting of their role in pop culture.

Not that I’m against you returning to Oceania, but let me say that the only place I’ve been that competes with here is SE Asia… and that’s a cheap destination.