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TSS: Australia/New Zealand vacation pictures, a month later

November 7, 2010

The Sunday Salon.comHappy Sunday, all!

Book news first… um… no, no real book news. I’ve been reading bits and pieces of My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me for the past few days. It’s good, but I’m kind of distractable, and it’s an anthology of short fairy tale retellings, so there are lots of good stopping points, and I usually wind up putting it down and wandering off to do something else way sooner than I would with a regular novel. This afternoon I think I’m going to curl up for a few hours and start re-reading The Gathering Storm by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, so that I can start Towers of Midnight soon. Yay Wheel of Time!

On to non-book things: I realize that it’s been roughly eleventy million years (read: a month) since I got back from my trip to Australia and New Zealand, and I haven’t posted any pictures yet, but the truth of the matter is: I have *just* gotten around to sorting through and cleaning up all of the photos I took. It was a pretty massive undertaking. I won’t subject you all to the thousands (no joke) of pictures, or even the 500 or so “keepers”, but here’s a representative sampling.

The first week of my trip was a conference in Perth. This was my first time to Australia, so I was a little bummed that all I got to see was a) the inside of the conference center and b) what parts of the city I could walk around during my limited free time, but I can’t really complain: Perth is an absolutely lovely little city, and I really enjoyed myself.

A view of downtown Perth at sunset.

Perth also has Kings Park, which is this HUGE park more or less right in the middle of the city. Part of it’s botanical garden, large parts of it are native bushland, and did I mention the whole thing’s huge? I walked around it for four hours one afternoon and covered maybe a quarter of it, if that. Even apart from Kings Park, Perth has a lot of greenspace, oodles of birds, and bike paths everywhere, which makes it very convenient for someone whose tourism plans typically consist of “I’m going to walk around and see what I can find.”

Rainbow lorikeets are nuisance birds in Perth - they're native to the other side of the continent, and are actually outcompeting some of the local species of lorikeets, and they're also pretty much everywhere. I still got giddily excited - Yay, parrots!! - every time I saw a flock of them.

After the conference ended, I flew to New Zealand for the vacation part of my vacation. We stayed on the South Island all week, in and around Queenstown and Fiordland National Park, and it was FANTASTIC. Caps lock does not even begin to cover how much I enjoyed it. I’m a mountains and forest type of girl anyways, so NZ was pretty much right up my alley.

Morning sun burning off the clouds in Milford Sound. I highly recommend staying in the Milford Lodge overnight so that you can get the first tour boat in the morning - waaay less touristy.

One thing we did that I don’t have pictures of was see the glowworm caves at Te Anau. If you’ve seen the Planet Earth: Caves, then you know what I’m talking about – if not, you can see the clip here. I thought it was going to be kind of hokey, but it wasn’t at all – it was gorgeous and bizarre and disorienting (you’re on a boat in complete blackness except for the worms for at least 20 minutes, with no way of knowing if the cave walls are a foot away or a hundred) and surreal and just generally neat. Highly recommended.

Kayaking amongst the fjords in Doubtful Sound.

In terms of activities, we went kayaking and hiking and I got to swim in the Tasman Sea (very briefly – it was cold!) and see a penguin and bunches of keas. I took oodles of pictures of mountains, and successfully drove on the left side of the road without killing myself or anyone else.

Oh, yeah, and there was this:

Wheeeeee!

That was fun, too. :)

This post and all images contained herein are © 2010 Fyrefly’s Book Blog. All Rights Reserved. If you’re reading this on a site other than Fyrefly’s Book Blog or its RSS feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is being used without permission.

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21 Comments leave one →
  1. November 7, 2010 2:41 pm

    OMG! You DID NOT bungee jump! That’s a crazy, scary picture. My heart is racing just looking at it!

    • Terri Sullivan permalink
      November 7, 2010 2:48 pm

      So want to go there

    • November 10, 2010 11:31 am

      Lenore – Heh, that’s the exact same reaction one of my co-workers had! I’ve never been scared of heights, but I can sympathize with those that are… and not to worry, I survived the jump just fine. :)

  2. November 7, 2010 3:27 pm

    Oh, my gosh, I love the NZ pictures. Next time you’re taking me :)

    • November 10, 2010 11:32 am

      Emily – Of course, I don’t know how mailing you your ticket slipped my mind this time! ;)

  3. November 7, 2010 4:33 pm

    Milford Sound looks wonderful. What an exciting trip!

    • November 10, 2010 11:33 am

      Gavin – Milford Sound was absolutely gorgeous; I took more pictures that day than in any other two days put together. It didn’t hurt that it was the first sunny day after several gray rainy ones, either.

  4. November 7, 2010 4:45 pm

    A travel agent I used to use raved over New Zealand, so I’ve always wanted to go! I cannot believe you went bungee jumping – there’s no way I could do that.

    • November 10, 2010 11:34 am

      Kathy – There was about a quarter-second of “Oh god, what did I just do??” right after I jumped, but the rest of it was totally fun. :)

  5. November 7, 2010 4:45 pm

    So freakin’ gorgeous! I would love to take my kayak out on that water.

    • November 10, 2010 11:36 am

      Christina – The kayaking was so neat! The pictures don’t really convey the height and the scale of things; the mountains are so tall, and they go pretty much straight down into the water, so you can get right up close to the shore and there’s a huge cliff towering above you… very neat.

  6. November 7, 2010 6:12 pm

    Your photos all look fabulous! The video of the glowworms gives me a whole new perspective on silk. It looks like you had an awesome time!

    • November 10, 2010 11:37 am

      Alyce – Yup, no one ever thinks about where that silk blouse ultimately came from… :)

  7. November 8, 2010 6:56 pm

    Great photos! Even though the rainbow lorikeets are considered a nuisance, they sure are beautiful! And thanks for sharing the link to the glowworm video. A mucus hammock looks like the ultimate in relaxation. But, even though I know it’s nature’s way, I can’t help but feel terrible about prey that gets eaten alive.

    • November 10, 2010 11:38 am

      charley – A mucus hammock looks like the ultimate in relaxation.

      This makes me giggle so hard. Somehow, I don’t think the SkyMall catalog will be featuring mucus hammocks any time soon. :)

  8. November 9, 2010 10:04 am

    Thank you for the vicarious trip :P I’d so love to make it to NZ some day.

    • November 10, 2010 11:39 am

      Nymeth – I already want to go back! I didn’t get to see a kiwi, or the kakapos (although I’d need to come up with a legitimate research project to see them; they don’t let a lot of people into the protected reserves), or anything on the North Island. Definitely calls for another trip!

  9. November 11, 2010 1:28 am

    Wow, it looks like you had an amazing trip! I can’t believe you went bungee jumping – the idea both terrifies and excites me!

    • November 12, 2010 10:00 am

      kay – I was pretty nervous before I jumped, slightly terrified for the first split second after I jumped, and excited the whole rest of the time! :)

  10. November 17, 2010 4:04 pm

    Horray for the South Island! I just got back from there myself, but I only spent a little while near Queenstown. And I wasn’t nearly brave enough to bunjee jump–I drew the line at the gondola up the hill. :)

    • November 19, 2010 11:05 am

      Memory – The gondola is something I didn’t actually do; we weren’t really in Queenstown proper for very long, and most of the time we were there, it was cloudy and rainy, and not so much with the pretty views.

      What else did you do on the South Island? I’ve got to stock up on ideas for the next time I get to go! :)

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