Summer Holidays 2017: Otago Peninsula

Seegull mum and chick.

Albatross youngster trying to land.

Amazing that these birds have a wingspan of 3 metres.

The albatross colony on Taiaroa Head can be watched online –


Ship in the harbour.






6 little bus stop shelters.



Summer Holidays 2017: Dunedin Street Art Trail

#Phlegm’s fish.

Verena and her new star wars trooper friend.

Devon Smith’s finished wall in Vogel Street for the Dunedin Street Art Festival 2014. This gorgeous wall is in the car park near #phlegm ‘s fish.

Hyuro’s beautiful gift to Dunedin behind Vogel St Kitchen.

Painted during the Vogel Street Party Emma Francesca Illustrator / Designer has completed this beautiful piece in the alleyway behind Vogel St Kitchen.

Sean Duffel’s epic finished wall at 43 Jetty Street.

Maggie Covell – “The Witching Hour”

Sean Duffell

Sean Duffell

Sean Duffell

Knitted street art.

Bezt (Etam Cru) from Poland painted this dreaming girl.

The KHS Art Camp Crew’s Finished Mural ‘I AM ŌTEPOTI’

Stickum Co-op (Guy Howard-Smith & Aroha Novak’s) wall on the Crown Hotel on Rattray St.

The famous pop stars’ wall.

Jim M and consorts.

Mica Still ∇ Artist ‘s amazing wall at 8 Stafford St.

‘The Songbird Pipe Organ’ featuring native NZ birds by #phelgm for Dunedin Street Art Festival 2014.

#phlegm and #pixelpancho ‘s gift to Dunedin NZ

Dunedin wall colours.

#pixelpancho “Riding Dreams” Dunedin Street Art Festival 2014 – New Zealand.

Chasing the Thin White Cloud by Fintan Magee.

#DALeast’s Haast Eagle.

This is how they are made: Very loud music and equipment on long sticks! Go guys you rock!

One of the latest pieces, unfinished.

Stamp art.

Not sure about that.

Epic finished artwork by Melbourne based Be Free at 104 Bond St.

Garage door art.

Painted electrical terminal boxes.

Be Free

Be Free

Natalia Rak’s art on Bond St.

2500 – 2450 BC artwork by Faith47.

That’s my painted alter-ego.


Phlegm’s tuatara.


Very grumpy face.

That’s more my mood.

Or this?

Kid’s favourite – The gummibears.

Orange owl massacre.

Mural wonderland.

Dunedin on a wall.

Nothing short of wonderwoman.

How to live artful.


Summer Holidays 2017: Te Anau to Dunedin

Through the tussock area on our way to the East: This ecoregion is a large area of dry grassy plains between the east coast and the Southern Alps that form the spine of South Island, in the regions of Canterbury and Otago.

And the best part of it is the infamous “Presidential Highway” from Clinton to Gore. Yeah, the US flag looks a bit torn lately.

All blue skies.

The Tokata Lighthouse on Nugget Point, a 20 min walk along a steep, rugged coast with excellent views.

The local NZ fur seal colony.

Girl with wild hair.

Dunedin, at last.

Walking the streets.

Park in the middle of the city.


Summer Holidays 2017: Doubtful Sound

Waiting for sunshine in Fiordland is like hoping for a lottery win. Average precipitation is somewhere around 8000mm a year, about 8-9 times as much as in Motueka. So we spent the last couple of days circling the wettest region of the country, checking the weather forecast every couple of hours. But it’s always the same: Rain today, rain tomorrow, rain the day after tomorrow and rain predicted for the next 10 days too. We finally gave up and said: OK, let’s just go there and hope for the best.

Our motel host in Te Anau told us that the weather forecast isn’t worth much anyway, because Doubtful Sound has a totally different weather than Milford Sound or Te Anau. Yay… ;)

We booked the early morning tour with Real Journeys that consists of three parts:

  1. An one hour catamaran trip across Lake Manapouri to get to the Manapouri power station.
  2. A 3/4h bus trip over a mountain pass to get to Doubtful Sound, which is actuallly a fiord.
  3. A 3 hour catamaran trip through the steep mountains out to the Tasman Sea and back.

Drizzle on Lake Manapouri

In a super fast catamaran…

off we go across Lake Manapouri…

while the weather is all but inviting.

1h later: Arrived at the Manapouri power station.

Fog on Wilmot Pass

We could barely see the waterfalls around…

and had no view down to the sound at all.

It’s getting dry on Doubtful Sound!

Leaving the pier.

After some moments of rain…

and some hot chocolate…

and circling an island where some crazy guy…

used to live and look for gold…

also the other folks on the cruise got a bit disappointed by the weather.

Even the bridge was very quiet.

But then the rain stopped…

and revealed dramatic mountain after mountain,…

and clearer and clearer views.

It’s indeed a lot of pictures here…

but the truth is…

this cruise provided awesome views…

for everyone on board.

To waterfalls…

the sound…

and even more waterfalls.

Windy at the Tasman Sea and seals colony

Gales began to blow water up the sky.

Crushing waves as we hit the Tasman Sea.

Then there was this tiny rocky island…

with heaps of seals on.

Everyone on board lined up to get the best pictures.

This is what we got.

We were pretty close to them.

Yet at a safe distance.

Dramatic scenery

The steep mountains at Doubtful Sound..

with their U-shaped glacier valleys…

are truly magnificent…

and majestic.

The almost always available clouds do the rest.

Silence and a sneak peek of sunshine on the way back

On our way back…

we stopped at a side arm…

where we got VERY close to a verticall wall…

with a waterfall.

The next amazing experience…

besides a blown off waterfall…

was turning the ship engines off for a couple of minutes…

to enjoy pure silence…

respectively, listening to the sounds of nature only.

Then we made our way back…

to the pier where we started.

The fog has gone, but the rain stayed at the pass

Back over the mountain pass, rain had us again…

but the fog was gone, so we could have an amazing view to the sound.

Sunshine on the way back across Lake Manapouri

It’s unbelievable, …

but the weather on the other side of the mountain…

was totally different…

and several degrees warmer.

Sun on either side…

of the catamaran.

Our conclusion was…

that it probably has to be that way to make it a perfect trip. :)




Summer Holidays 2017: Te Waewae Bay to Te Anau

Only half a kilometre from Orepuki is Gemstone Beach where a tresure trove of undiscovered gems awaits. Originally known by Maori as Aropaki Beach, travellers are welcome to take a pebble or two to cherish forever. Among the treasured collection are hydro grossular garnets, orbicular jaspers, rodingite quartz, nephrites, elusive sapphires and garnet sands – some of which are over a million years old. 

Orepuki in sunlight, a sight to behold. 

Some of these might very well be garnets, clear to opaque, greenish and lightweight, quite hard with a shine to it, even if dry.

Not far from Orepuki, McCracken’s Lookout with views of Waewae Bay.

Blue Cliffs Beach. Beautiful, but not blue. Probably some insider knowledge involved.

Gravelroad into bushwalk-land. This remote area is starting point of several tracks.

Blue Cliffs Beach – pebble heaven! The fist sized stones lay in the sun like someone has draped them there.

Fossilized shell stones on the beach.

Waiau river mouth – this is where the garnets are washed out, originally they come out of the Fjordland region, all the way down to the sea where curious tourists kneel on the beach, turning every green stone to find one gem!

On the way North from Tuatapere to Manapouri.

Te Anau is near, can see the rain already ;)

Sheepish grins in the paddock.

Lake Te Anau.

Black billed gull.

Pizze bella and quattro stagioni.


Summer Holidays 2017: Invercargill, Orepuki, Riverton

Down Mullet Road.

High tide at Cosy Nook.


A view baches along the road.

Monkey Island Beach.

Orepuki, the gemstone beach. There’s only one way to go there: barefeet, at low tide – eyes on the ground.

The crowded streets of Orepuki.

Riverton at Howell’s Point.

Still love the slides.

Riverton Harbour.

An Irish Pub in Invercargill.

Fun at Queen’s Garden.

In the Hamsterrad.

Rainbow lorikeet in the aviaray.


Summer Holidays 2017: Wanaka to Invercargill

The old way to Queenstown: The Kawarau Valley.

With the river deep down in the gorge, a crystal turquois.

This time we let all the other people jump at Hackett’s and were content with watching :)

And after Queenstown, the road winds around the rocks again, along the lake.

Until the land stretches wide into the plains.

Nearing Invercargill.

Stewart Island in the distance.

Okarito Beach.

Welcome to Otatara Scenic Reserve.

Almost managed to get lost there.

Invercargill CBD.

Lovely old houses with character.

And some freshly painted.

Under my umbrella (Ella ella eh eh eh eh eh eh)

And a townwalk after dinner at the Indian restaurant.


Summer Holidays 2017: Easy in Wanaka

A day off driving around: Iron Hill walk to have a better view on Wanaka.

Other side ;)

North, the lakes.

Where we had to go right afterwards.

For a swim, a good read, a cuddle.

Dad and daughter.

Strolling the promenade.

Looking for a dining place.



Best holidaying spot ever!

Also the kids think so.

Even if they were a bit puzzled.

Home at the motel.

Other side ;)


Summer Holidays 2017: Haast to Wanaka

On the way to Haast Pass:

This street is full with short walks: Roaring Billy, Fantail Falls, Thunder Falls, Blue Pools, Boundary Creek and many more.

Clearest alpine water.

Almost empty streets (just hundreds of bikers)

Blue Pools

100.000.000 sandflies

Haast Pass

Lake Wanaka

The wild West Coast Weather dissolves into a foen storm.

Nice flowers along the street.

Drift wood.

Lake Wanaka.

At the pass between the lakes.

Lake Hawea.


Oh! Finally summer.

Pretty hair.

There will be swimming involved tomorrow, that’s for sure.

Eatery at the Alehouse.

Romantic sunset flair in western Wanaka.

Keep that sky blue pls.

Toy and car museum.

A sweet memory.

Plush car!!!!!!!

Audi before it was Audi.

And many other cars.

Even the very broad ones.

And some old ones.

And the Jaguars.

But it’s not just an indoor show.

The person from who this all derives must have been a very keen collector.


Summer Holidays 2017: Haast and Jackson’s Bay

A chilly summer’s day on the beach, throwing stones in the surf and shooing sandflys away.

Crushing waves o.O)

Picturesce abandonned structure at Haast Beach.

On the way South.

Whatever this is, everybody seems to have one.

There’s also a stoat on the road. Rhymes. Yeah.

Hapuka Estuary

Wonderful podocarp forest with different height layers, also from wet to dry land.

A smart boardwalk through the swamp.

Great colours.

Especially the pinks.


Wharekai-Te Kou Walk

The Okahu Ocean Beach is not at all sandy. Boulders of all sizes are all over the place.

And in between there are little sanctuaries of water who bear life also at low tide.

The beach.

Kina in a waterhole.

Kid, looking for coloured stones.

Blue starfish.

Pink starfish.

Funny people looking for starfish.

They even dump their cameras into the waterholes, lol.

But it seems to pay off, there are many lovely starfish fotos in the end.

But don’t forget the driftwood.

When the hunger starts again, we head back.

Raurenga (Kidney Fern).

It’s quite a climber, around kahikatea, rimu, .. and probably anything else it can find to hold on to.

Jackson Bay

Jackson Bay marina.

The Craypot, delicious seafood in a fancy bus.

Whitebait on grilled toast with salad.

Turquois waters of the bay.

Pioneer Cemetery

Some of the first people living in the area have been buried here.

Lake Ellery Track

Along a river.

Mermaid hair like algae drifts in the water.

After 30 minutes, the lake is reached.

Inspections about the water temperature are ongoing.

But it seems 8 degrees were to cool.

Not even a toe has been dipped in for a swim.

But noone will know, just the leaves on the trees saw we were there.