Walkabout: Travel Life and Photographs

South Island Baby

I took off…..a while ago from Taupo and decided to head to Wellington, which ended up being my longest travel day thus far. Most the towns are nice and close and travel days have not been more than two hours in the car. It’s nice because it doesn’t take up a day, you can arrive somewhere and still have the afternoon to explore. The drive from Taupo to Wellington cut through some military training grounds where signs were posted saying to keep moving and that live ammo and explosions could occur at anytime. Made me kind of nervous, but at the time I was hoping I’d see a cadet lob a grenade into a vacant building and watch the thing torch down.

Wellington proved to be another big city to me, and I got to experience all those nice flavors that come with it. I got caught up in rush hour traffic, got lost, and even got a parking ticket. I tried to meet up with Ash’s Mom and Sis (a friend of mine that I worked with back at the YMCA from NZ), but when that didn’t work out I decided to get out as fast I could. This meant taking a ferry at 3:00 in the morning to the South Island, and only catching a couple hours sleep on a sofa half my size onboard.

Picton is the small gateway town the ferry drops you off at. It’s pretty with the Sounds being the main attraction. Apart from that though I felt the scenery was much the same of that in the North Island and only spent a couple days there anxious to see something new. So yesterday I headed further south and watched
the crowded hillsides become more populated by trees, less by thick bushes and shrubs, and at one point nothing at all until reaching a small town called Kaikoura. Kaikoura is where the ocean meets the mountains. Who knew you could have the best of both worlds in such close proximity to one another. Like I did a hike around a peninsula where I encountered a fur seal colony and at the same time was able to turn around and see and snowcapped mountains. Pretty incredible. I plan to summit one of the mountains before moving on assuming, as always, the weather clears since the rain decided to rear its ugly head once more today.