New Zealand

March 27 to April 24, 2010

We left home March 24th, spent the night in LA near the airport and flew out on Air New Zealand at 9:30pm the 25th.  We landed in NZ at 5:30am the 27th, having crossed the International Dateline one time zone before entering NZ's time zone, twelve hours ahead of GMT.  NZ is in a time zone adjacent to the Date Line (180 degrees East and West Longiture) and the British designed longiture lines to go through Greenwich, England.  That means NZ is on the opposite side of the world from England.  Also, NZ is about the same latitude South as the UK is North.  That means NZ is on the exact opposite side of the world from the UK.

It is a thirteen hour flight from LAX to Auckland, plus over three from TX.  But by the time we landed in Auckland, it was already 11:30am to our bodies and we really didn't feel that bad.  We were expecting a truly painful flight, but I have to say, it wasn't that bad, particularly on the way back where we were able to get a little sleep.  And again, thanks to an inspired scheduling job we landed at LAX at 2:30pm local which was 10:30am body time, so we felt fine.  So fine that we canceled our hotel reservation and flew straight home to TX.

I took a lot of pictures in NZ and wanted to label them each day before I forgot what things were, so I made a separate picture album for each day.  Most are uploaded, but not all.  Missing dates are not finished.  I've included some maps to orient you.

IMPORTANT: There are tons of panoramic pictures in these albums.  A panoramic picture is wider than your screen.  If you do not scroll to the right you will not see the whole picture.  Look for a vertical blue strip to the right of each picture.  IF YOU DO NOT SEE BLUE on the right side of a picture it means the picture extends beyond the edge of your screen.

Where the heck is New Zealand?

March 27 - Auckland then fly to Christchurch March 28.

March 29 - Drive to Kaikura

March 30 - Akaroa Harbor Cruise and drive to Timaru

March 31 - Timaru to Dunedin.  Moeraki Boulders, Royal Albatross Centre, Penguin Place

April 1 - Dunedin to Invercargill

April 2 - Invercargill to Stewart Island & return - Ulva Island guided nature hike

April 3 - Invercargill to Milford Sound - Milford Wanderer

April 4 - Morning on Milford Wanderer, drive to Te Anau, and Glowworm Caves

April 5 - Te Anau to our "Farm Stay" on a sheep farm

April 6 - Driving to Queenstown

April 7 - Queenstown - Boat Day!  Shotover Jet Boats, TSS Earnslaw    Movie of Shotover Jet Boat doing 360

April 8 - Queenstown to Wanaka and climbing Mount Iron

April - 10 - Franz Joseph to Punakaiki

April 11 - Punakaiki to Nelson

April 12 - "Tramp" in Abel Tasman National Park

April 13 - Nelson to Blenheim

April 14 - Blenheim to Wellington on the North Island via the Interislander ferry

April 15 - Wellington to Napier

April 16 - Tour of Gannet Colony on Cape Kidnappers, then drive to Taupo

April 17 - Taupo to Rotorua

April 18 - in Rotorua - Rainbow Springs, Sheep Show, Maori geysers, ceremonies, and dinner

April 19 & 20 - Drive to Auckland, drive to Paihia

April 21 - in Paihia - Bay of Islands dolphin cruise and Hole in the Rock, Waitangi Treaty House, Russell drive

April 22 - in Paihia - A little exploring

April 23 - Paihia to Auckland via Tane Mahuta and The Kauri Museum