I tend to be a little long-winded so I’ll keep it short and let you get to the photos. There are so many wonderful photo ops in New Zealand. Here are a few of my favorites from the six weeks I enjoyed in this beautiful country.
I’ve been home for a couple of weeks now and have had time to go through many of the pics and videos I took while on my trip abroad (over 1,000… 15GB worth!). What follows are some of my favorite pics from my brief stay in Australia. Stay tuned for more from New Zealand!
All of these pics were taken with a Canon S100 in P mode, usually with Vivid mode on. I adjusted exposure on the fly based on the scene.
– The sunrise pic has special meaning for me because it was taken on the flight toward Sydney. It kind of signifies a new chapter.
– The obligatory Sydney Opera House shot. Being a novice photographer, I learned a lot on this trip about how lighting can make or break a photo.
– The pic of the Joker was taken at the corner of Hosier Ln and Flinders St in Melbourne. I honestly thought I had posted a bunch of pics from the incredible graffiti in the area but I can’t find a post in my archives. Hmm, maybe I’ll have to fix that.
Aside from meeting lots of wonderful people, the wildlife was my favorite part about Australia. I’ve told friends that I didn’t realize how infatuated I was with wildlife until I found myself in a place where everything was foreign. I was very ADD… I’d hear a sound, drop what I was doing, and run toward it with my camera.
The sleepy koala pic was taken at the Taronga Zoo. The turtle, fish, and jellyfish were taken at the Melbourne Aquarium. Those little turtles move fast! I must’ve taken 20 shots before I got a decent one.
One of the coolest critters I saw was this wolf spider. At first I thought it was covered in hair, but when the hair moved and I realized this was a mamma with babies clinging to her! I’d encourage you to click for the full-size image but I take no responsibility for any nightmares that may result.
My awesome Bellingen HelpX host, Kevin, offered to take me on a hike to a nearby rainforest. I had no idea that rainforests existed in Australia, let alone 60 minutes from the coast. The hike was one of the highlights of my trip, but if you go be aware of leaches!
Oftentimes the things we appreciate most in life are experiences that were difficult or took some effort to achieve. The following photo of a simple little flower is an example of this and is probably my favorite of the entire trip. Kevin and I were walking along the trail and I happened to spot this flower, about the size of my pinky fingernail, dangling from a single spider web thread about five feet off the ground. The web was attached to a branch which was swaying with the wind, causing the flower to spin in circles but I was determined to get the shot. Thank God for digital cameras. If you check out the full-size version you can faintly see the single strand.
While hanging out at the Bondi hostel on my last day in Sydney these two gorgeous Rainbow Lorikeets decided to pay a visit to our picnic table. I’d only seen these guys in a zoo back home and here there were 10 of them in the trees nearby. I remembered from the zoo that lorikeets love nectar so I mixed up a bit of sugar water, which they happily lapped up from a tablespoon I was holding. 🙂
Forgive me blog for I have sinned. It has been 11 days since my last submission.
A couple of posts ago I was in Wanaka, with plans to wrap up my NZ trip in Christchurch. The shuttle across the south island was fairly mundane, with the only real highlight being a view from afar of Mount Cook, the highest point in NZ at over 12,000 feet. When I planned my trip five weeks ago I was completely ignorant about a series of earthquakes that had rocked Christchurch in 2011, taking almost 200 lives. After learning about the earthquakes, and with an outbound flight already booked, I was curious to see how the rebuilding effort was going. I guess it takes a lot of money, manpower, and passion to rebuild from such a devastating event. I saw a large section of the city still fenced off but active work underway within its walls. I saw signs and banners that spoke to the passion of locals to reclaim their beloved city. I saw poignant memorials for those who were lost.
Milford Sound, like Queenstown, was described to me as a must-visit when touring the south island of New Zealand. One local couple I met on a city bus described the Sound as the most beautiful place in all of the country. With so many incredible mountain views and landscapes I’m not sure how one could pick just a winner for that title but it certainly did not disappoint, even with less than perfect weather.
This post was originally to be titled “Multi-media Extravaganza!” and consist of text, pictures, and cool videos I’ve been working on. Unfortunately a 7″ Android tablet does not make a very good digital editing platform. Buggy software wasted my time and nearly made my pull my hair out. I humbly concede that Apple does media better.
So I’m in Queenstown now, and have been for several days. I spent four days with a really great young family doing work exchange in a suburb about 12 miles from town. The house has a funky modern design with a view you wouldn’t believe and a really cozy en suite for my accommodation. I can’t tell you how nice it was to sleep in a queen-sized bed with no roommates! Mom, dad, and two cute little girls aged four and seven made my stay welcoming and fun.
The past few days have been hard. Not because I’ve been starving or homeless or lost, but because I haven’t had reliable internet access. Backpackers in small towns are like junkies when it comes to connectivity. “Hey man, you know where I can score some free wifi?” “Sorry bro, I’m all out. Let me know if you find any, OK?” Now that I’m back in a big city I have my fix. It’s a rough life, man.
Where did we leave off? Oh yeah, I was staying in Westport and looking at seals. Here are a few more pics of the bike trip I took around the cape.
While lying in bed last night I began to wonder just how many different beds I’ve slept in since beginning my trip. I came up with 15 beds in 12 cities so far, and a new bed each of the past eight nights. Luckily I’ve had no trouble sleeping unless the room was too hot. Earplugs are mandatory for hostel stays!
Today I’m in Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand, which is at the southern tip of the northern island. My Stray bus tour ended here so I had to say farewell to some new friends. It’s a strange feeling to befriend someone knowing from the start that goodbye is only a few days away. I’ve experienced it with Airbnb, HelpX, and now Stray. Most of the time it ends with a handshake and well-wishes but sometimes the person becomes a real friend and their absence is noticed and felt. Luckily Facebook lets everyone keep up with each other’s travels.