Summer Holidays 2017: Lake Pukaki and Tekapo

Lake Pukaki at its very best turquois.

The glacial feed to the lakes gives them a distinctive blue colour,

created by glacial flour, the extremely finely ground rock particles from the glaciers.

Appreciative about the beauty, we thought about a swim. Way too cold.

Mirrorlake Pukaki.

The colour of the water seemed to fade into a dark blue

that reflected the light even better.

Lake Tekapo at Scott Pond.

The church of the good shepherd.

In the 19th century, Scottish shepherds came to work on the pastoral runs of the eastern South Island. The high country could not have been farmed successfully without the border collies they brought with them. To honour these ‘canine Scots’, a statue of a collie has been raised at Lake Tekapo.

Toilet stop in Fairlie.

Very pleasant spot for a break.

Over Burkes Pass to Geraldine.

The winding road becomes straight again and leads through an almost italian landscape

golden fields of wheat with trees that look just like tuscan cypresses…



Summer Holidays 2017: Mount Cook

With very good news from the weather front

we started off Oamaru early

because it’s a long journey to visit Mount Cook

and go back in one day.

Passing by Duntroon and Kurow,

we crossed the South Island once more.

In total a 4 hour drive,

with a stop at the Aviemore Hydro Station,

overlooking Lake Waitaki

and the Waitaki River in the distance.

The straight roads really tempt to speed.

And then there it is: Peter’s Lookout with the big parking, lots of tourists are already there :)

Sometimes you have to have priorities.

Mine is not to miss any foto-opportunity.

No side valley,

lonely bridge,

or waterfall escapes the lense!

Just another 20 km!

In the Tasman Valley, nothing looks like in Tasman.

The further we drive, the more it looks like Austria :P

The green “Blue Lakes” of the Tasman Glacier.

Marlborough rock daisy with a butterfly.

The Tasman Valley.

Tasman Glacier and Tasman Lake with two unwitting extras.

These little icecubes on the lake are not little at all.

Close up of Mount Cook.

Walking the Hooker Track. First suspension bridge coming up!

Mueller Lake and River.

Mount Cook from Kea Lookout.


Glacier on Mount Sefton.

Same glacier, more waterfalls.

Last look back over the shoulder.

On the way back.

Cool views.

Cool cars.

Can pls everybody paint their cars like that?

The most beautiful day sandwiched between two rainy episodes. Thank you for showing yourself today :)


Summer Holidays 2017: Bushy Beach and Oamaru

In the evening, you might be lucky to watch some penguins stumble onto the beach.

The southern part of the beach belongs to the seals though.

One every 5 metres.

No thinking about swimming or even sitting down here with all these seals around :)

Back in town.

Yeah, this is the only other foto we have of Oamaru’s famous Harbour Street because nowadays there are all these no-foto and no-drone signs *sigh*.

No such worries at the playground.

Or was it just for under 10 yr olds?

We didn’t care ;)


Summer Holidays 2017: Moeraki Boulders

A beautiful sunrise was greeting us in the morning, enough to make us jump into the car and go back South to have a closer look at the magic boulder we missed the day before.

But then, the winds got stronger.

We were lucky to be shaded from the wild weather by the steep coastline.

Another surprise: We were all alone at the beach.

The only ones crazy enough to go there in a storm at high tide.

Closer look at the insides of a boulder.

These boulders are grey-colored septarian concretions, which have been exhumed from the mudstone enclosing them and concentrated on the beach by coastal erosion.

On a calm day, these funny marbles would be stood on, sat on and danced on. What people do for fotos.

Like this.

Bye-bye! See you next time (suneshine pls)


Summer Holidays 2017: Oamaru Steampunk HQ

What is Steampunk?

Steampunk is a quirky and fun genre of science fiction

that features steam-powered technology.

It is often set in an alternate,

futuristic version of 19th century Victorian England.

The Steampunk future is driven by unusual steam powered devices –

the ‘world gone mad’ as Victorian people may have imagined it.

Examples are machines like those in the writing of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne,

and in tv shows such as Dr. Who.

Oamaru is an ideal setting for Steampunk art and activities,

given the wonderfully preserved and thriving Victorian buildings.

Chris Meder was at the forefront of the sculpture scene in NZ.

A lot of his work was withdrawn from public viewing after he died 2010

but some of it was loaned to this exhibition – steampunk power!

A must see if you are near Oamaru.


Summer Holidays 2017: Orokonui Ecosanctuary

Orokonui Ecosanctuary is the flagship biodiversity project for the South Island

where multiple species of plants and animals

are protected from predators.

A predator fence surrounds 307 hectares of Coastal Otago forest,

pests have been removed,

habitat enhanced with weed control and planting,

and many rare and endangered species re-introduced.

Walk through

a ferny wonderland

with paths leading deep into the bush.

The clearance: Lunch time!

Kaka also has lunch.

Nervously eyed by the blackbird.

This is how it should look everywhere, no traces of predators or foraging mammals.

The NZ bellbird

The Tui

Looking a bit grumpy about beeing watched while eating?

Mum or Dad Korimako.

And birds have tongues!

The best bird photo experience we’ve had so far.

Kaka in the trees.

It flipped over in an attempt to clean its wings.

And there’s always one more kaka that needs to be pictured.

View from the main building.


Summer Holidays 2017: Dunedin Baldwin Street and Speights Tour

The world’s steepest residential street!

35 % grade slope

This could be a scene from “The walking dead”

Because we walked so nicely, we were allowed to the Speights Brewery tour.

Where everything is explained in detail

until you can just stare.

Or lean.

And of course only the grown-ups get the reward for enduring :P

Waiting for the dinner at the Alehouse.

After-dinner-view from Signal Hill.


Summer Holidays 2017: Dunedin Chinese Gardens

The Garden is in the traditional yuanlin style, and was designed by Cao Yongkang of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Chen Ling of Tongji University, and Tan Yufeng of Shanghai Museum.

They used as their basis the traditional gardens of the Jiangnan area, specifically because these gardens represent the apogee of Chinese garden style while at the same time being suitable for small sites in urban settings.

The Garden’s design and construction was closely supervised and influenced by the architect from the Shanghai Construction and Decoration Company and the Shanghai Museum.

The Garden was pre-fabricated and assembled in Shanghai on a site identical in size and shape to that in Dunedin, then dismantled and transported here where it was reconstructed by artisans and supervisors from Shanghai.

And it houses a little fairy.

We thought it was a very cool experience, but the price/performance ratio was not so fantastic.

Maybe it would pay off to stay a whole day, including lunch in the tea house etc.

Quite an entrance for such a small garden.


Summer Holidays 2017: Dunedin Otago Museum

As most other cultural exhibitions, the Otago Museum can be enjoyed free.

It starts off with Maori history

and when the kids become bored, you move to the Discovery/Tropical Forest Zone

where hundreds of very big and exotic butterflies live.

Some even land on your pink tshirt because they think you’re a flower.

Others just sit

and wait for the time of their lives.


Summer Holidays 2017: Dunedin Settlers Museum

Visit to Toitu, the Dunedin Settlers Museum.

Ara-i-te-uru: welcomes visitors into the Museum with a Māori perspective on Otago’s history.

Life for southern Māori changed forever in the late eighteenth century

with the arrival of European explorers and subsequent sealers and whalers.

Great displays.

In every room a person on a screen that talks to you :)

At the beginning of 1861, Dunedin was a village of some 2000 people.

Civic leaders knew gold was to be found in Otago but they feared the opening up of goldfields would prompt hordes of unruly and immoral miners to descend upon them and destroy the ideal society they were trying so hard to create. However, by the middle of 1861, the Otago Witness newspaper proclaimed “Gold, Gold, Gold, is the universal subject of conversation”. The gold rushes had begun. Gold Gold Gold considers the effect on Dunedin as it was transformed into a rowdy boomtown, fueled by an influx of people and the extraction of bright fine gold.

The journey from Britain to Otago was the longest voyage you could make in a sailing ship. It took months, was potentially dangerous, and mostly very boring.This display is an accurate recreation of the steerage quarters of an immigrant sailing ship bound for Otago.

The golden haired maiden has just had a nap in her bunk bed and is waiting for her family to pick her up for dinner.

A pleasant tramway ride.

In the second half of the 20th century, Dunedin developed as a creative hub,

with many significant artists, musicians, authors and designers of national and international repute finding inspiration in the city and its surrounds.