New Zealand Photos, 2013 by Jeff Lindsay
New Zealand is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Photos cannot capture much of the charm that comes from sweeping landscapes with such fresh air, pure water, fragrant aromas, and serene sensations made especially unforgettable by the friendly, hardy souls scattered across its rugged islands. We had 10 blissful days while driving nearly 3,000 km in addition to a lengthy ferry ride and the alpine train over the South Island. Can't wait to go back and dig in deeper. Here are some selected photos from our trip. This is set #1. Also see New Zealand Photos, Set #2. For travel tips, see "Ten Tips for Travel in New Zealand" at the JeffLindsay.com blog.
A river by Leamington, New Zealand. There is a beautiful walking trail along this river. Thank you, people of Leamington!
Bridge over the river by Leamington.
Another view of the river.
A portion of Hamilton Gardens in Hamilton, New Zealand (North Island). This is part of an Italian garden.
Another view of Hamilton Gardens.
Part of the Chinese Garden at Hamilton Gardens.
View of Hamilton Gardens.
The Hamilton Temple for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
View from the parking lot at the Hamilton LDS Temple.
A drop of dew on the bottom of a seed pod displays what I think is an inverted image from the nearby Hamilton Temple.
A Maori sculpture at Government Gardens in Rotorua, New Zealand.
Its passengers now gone, a boat sits at the mysterious exit of the Waitomo Glow Worm Caves on the North Island. Inside is a world of darkness lit up by ceilings twinkling with the glow of thousands of glow worms, using their green bioluminescence to attract insects into their lairs lined with sticky hanging threads. Such a strange ecosystem.
Foliage just outside the Glow Worm Caves, showing the beauty and diversity of New Zealand's forests.
New Zealand's Thermal Wonderland near Rotorua has numerous hot spots and pools with heat and chemicals bubbling up from the earth. Highly polluted and stinky, but in a natural way. This is Champagne Pool, a very colorful and large part of the park.
Detail of some chemical discharges in a part of Champagne Pool
Another view of Champagne Pool.
Red bacterial line a section of Champagne Pool.
A beautiful mix of bacteria and minerals at the edge of Champagne Pool. Pollution and slime can still be pretty. Take note, factories of the world.
A view of the red section of Champagne Pool.
A sulfur-laden pool at the Thermal Wonderland. In addition to sulfur, some toxic chemicals such as arsenic or antimony may contribute to the color of this fowl water. If Dow Chemical had done this, executives would go to jail and humans would be kept miles away from the horror. But since this comes from Mother Nature's chemical factory, the polluted and toxic discharge is celebrated as a leading natural park and admission is charged. That's fine, but why does Mother Nature always get a pass? Hold nature accountable! Clean up or do your time behind bars. Well, it's a thought.
Another view of the shameless pollution Mother Nature has dumped in this part of New Zealand. Someone needs to pay! OK, OK, it's the tourists....
Bubbling hot mud hole.
The museum at Rotorua's Government Gardens.
At a large Countdown grocery store's parking lot in Rotorua, this is where people are supposed to put their "trundlers." I wanted to find out what a trundler was so I went up close to see. There was just an empty shopping cart--no trundlers in it. Would love to know what they are, but was too embarrassed to ask.
A Maori carving at Government Gardens. Is that a trundler on his chin?
Another Maori carving.
Forest with ferns near Rotorua, along the shores of Lake Rotorua
A red-headed bird at Lake Rotorua.
Another cute red head at Lake Rotorua.
Red-beaked swan at Lake Rotorua. The black swans there are really pretty.
A bird on a rock at Lake Rotorua. Do you know what kind of bird this is?
Bird at Lake Rotorua, with black swan in the background.
A group of birds on a rock in the midst of Lake Rotorua, North Island, New Zealand.
Bird in flight over Lake Rotorua.
Small bird on the shore of Lake Rotorua, apparently building a nest.
A black swan event: three swans form an interesting geometrical pattern, including sort of a heart shape.
Small bird at Lake Rotorua
That cute New Zealand red head still has her eyes on me. But she's a shy one.
A Maori carving at Lake Rotorua in the small Maori village there. I think this is the Maori god of baseball.
Oops. Was it something I said?
Church at the Maori village by Lake Rotorua.
Steam rises from the gutter due to thermal hot spots near the shore of Lake Rotorua.
Fern trees near the Redwood Forest of Rotorua.
One of my favorite places in New Zealand is the surprising Redwood Forest near Rotorua. These are actual California redwoods planted about 100 years ago as part of visionary experimental work to find out what trees grew best in New Zealand to support a future forest products industry. Redwoods grew well, but it was the radiata pine that won the contest.
A small swamp inside the Redwood Forest offers an interesting mix of foliage.
More foliage in a forest near Rotorua.
A trail in the Redwood Forest.
Coiled end of a fern near the Redwood Forest.
Related view of the coiled end of a fern.
Haku falls near Lake Taupo, North Island of New Zealand.
Why use the loo when you can use the Super Loo? This Super Loo is in Taupo, near the shores of Lake Taupo.
View of Taupo, the city, along the lake front.
Lake Taupo, New Zealand's largest lake.
Lake Taupo offers a lot of beauty, but some of it has since left.
Sheep in the south part of the North Island of New Zealand. There are more sheep than people in this pastoral place. It works well there. Hope that never happens to Shanghai.
There's more to New Zealand's mammals than just sheep and cows, fortunately. They've also got opossums. How many? Enough for a whole world, Opossum World. Or Possum World, as many folks in the States would prefer. We spotted this in Napier, New Zealand, along the Marine Parade.
A view of downtown Napier, an art-deco town on the coast.
In the Redwood Forest by Rotorua, a small swamp.
Black and white view of some undergrowth in the Redwood Forest park.
A church at the tiny but free Maori village in Rotorua on the shore of the lake.
A horrific chemical spill from Mother Nature, Thermal Wonderlands area on the North Island. If Dow Chemical had done this, jail time!
Two visitors from the UK on the streets of Napier.
The Arataki Honey Visitors Center near Napier. This was one of my favorite spots! Definitely worth seeing.
And worth tasting. They have 8 different kinds of New Zealand honey to sample inside. Free! New Zealand honey is the best I've ever tasted.
he famed manuka plant that is the source of pollen and nectar for New Zealand's most famous honey, manuka honey, a honey with especially strong antibacterial power.
Some fossilized sea shells in stone on a peak near Napier.
Welcome to the somewhat Danish town of Farvel.
A landscape on the North Island's dryer interior region.
Sheep, North Island
Landscape, interior, North Island.
Sheep shearing is taken very seriously in many parts of New Zealand. Masterton is one of those places. Giant shears!
A cemetery near Wellington, actually closer to Upper Hutt.
Wellington as viewed from the ferry.
The rocky coast at the north end of the South Island of New Zealand, as viewed from the Interisland Ferry.
The rocky eastern coast of the South Island.
A sleeping adult New Zealand Fur Seal, part of a colony of seals
Another seal at the colony on the South Island.
Young New Zealand fur seal climbing over some rocks.
Baby seal near some adults
Young seal in the seal colony.
Two baby seals push and tug while climbing.
Young seals in the seal colony.
Seals in a pool with large strands of kelp behind them in the waves.
Adult New Zealand fur seal, colony on the South Island's east coast, Feb. 2013.
Partial view of a large colony of NZ fur seals, South Island