Come and tour with us through five trips to New Zealand South Island in the years 2004, 2005, April and May 2006, and 2007.

My father often took a church service entitled – “Above the worry line” based on a tour he did while in NZ, possibly around 1935 before I was born.  The only reference to this I could find on the internet is the walk on the Hump Ridge Track where travellers can purchase T-shirts with this logo.  Maybe this was the start of my fascination with New Zealand.

I first visited Christchurch with my work with Sanitarium on the NSW Central Coast.  The next time I had to go to New Zealand in November 2004 I took my wife and arranged a week’s leave to take over there so we would have some time to look around.  It was when flying out of Mascot Airport for this trip that I purchased my first DSLR camera, a Nikon D70. The following year I retired from Sanitarium so we could concentrate on travelling and ended up making six trips to the South Island of New Zealand and one trip to the North Island in 2009.

For each of the six trips we made to the South Island we would fly into Christchurch Airport and hire a car to tour the Island staying at Motels offering self-contained facilities so we could cook our own meals. From Christchurch we would often drive south towards Queenstown and visit gardens lakes and snowy mountains along the way.  We loved Lake Tekapo with its Church of the Good Shepherd, the observatory on top of Mt Johns with its resident manager and photographer who would take us touring around the district.  We toured further south finally coming to Wanaka and Queenstown, often in time for a fresh fall of snow.

In 2006 we did two separate trips a few weeks apart, and in the May 2006 trip we toured to the north of the South Island to stay at a motel at Nelson.  Here we found that the manager not only looked after the well-appointed motel but also was a virtual tour guide, sending us off exploring on something new and novel every day.

It was while staying here that we visited Blenheim and photographed the colourful Blenheim Fountain at night as you may see in the photographs below. After a week at Nelson during which the rest of the South Island endured severe weather conditions with lots of snow, we finally had some good weather right down the west coast with blue skies.  During our trip south we came across a horse on the side of the road, and upon stopping to investigate the horse we also found a helicopter ready to take off to Mt Cook.  We were invited on board, for a price of course, and flew over fresh snow on the mountains finally landing near the top.  Alighting from the helicopter our legs sank into deep fresh snow and we could hardly walk.  After a quick snowball or two and taking in the magnificent views around Mt Cook, we climbed back into the helicopter for the trip back to ground level.   Because we were high up the pilot took quite a while revving the engine before we were able to leave the ground, and after we arrived he conceded that it was a close call, it was quite difficult to take off from the mountain top.

We finally made it further south to enjoy the reflections at Peter's Pool and then a quick jog to Lake Matheson just before sunset.  One of these magnificent reflections of Lake Matheson (which won Judges Choice at a night at the Gosford Camera Club) is available for sale in our store.  This photo has also attracted a lot of attention on Pixabay.com. 

A selection of photos from both Islands of New Zealand is available for purchase in our store.   The photos in the selection may be viewed here.

2004-2007 New Zealand South Island Tours

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