Long White Clouds

04Apr13

Aotearoa is the Maori name for New Zealand and is roughly translated as ‘Land of the Long White Cloud.’ While there were long white clouds on the North Island, they were definitely longer on the South Island. In fact, everything is longer, greater, bigger, and more dramatic on the South Island. The South Island was where we really experienced the landscapes of New Zealand. In our 18 days we managed two kayak trips, a walk on a glacier, hikes to towering waterfalls and plenty of WOW moments as we crisscrossed the island from north to south. Whenever possible we stayed at the Department of Conservation campsites, which are cheap, quiet and located in spectacular locations. But, we also stayed at a number of Top-10 Holiday Parks where we took warm showers, watched movies and enjoyed the camaraderie of other travellers.

We also found the South Island’s fine hospitality to our liking, including Valentine’s Day at the Hanmer Springs Spa Resort, a Saturday at the Marlborough Food and Wine Festival, and enjoying great food and beer in Nelson, Christchurch and Queenstown.

Leaving the country on Air New Zealand, we were treated to the world premier of the latest safety video, a real crowd pleaser, that aligned nicely with our month of adventure.

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