Wildlife and Wilderness Galore in the South Island

“As a chilly dusk fell on [the] tiny [Curio Bay] famous for wildlife and Jurassic-era fossilised trees, a white-coated figure waddled gingerly across tide-slicked rocks – me, trying to get out of sight to prevent scaring off yellow-eyed penguins I hoped would come ashore,” Giovanna D’Orto writes for an Associated Press travel piece.

“A 2-foot-tall penguin popped out of the ocean, gave me a puzzled stare from its lemon-hued eye, and marched to its nest in the cliffs.

“The southernmost part of the South Island is so pristine it’s a toss-up who feels most surprised in meeting, you or the wildlife.

“During an eight-day drive along the 610km, two-lane Southern Scenic Route, I watched some of the world’s rarest penguins commute home, rode horses across rivers where The Lord of the Rings was filmed, and sailed in fjords and hiked mountain trails among tree-sized ferns and moss-draped beech trees that looked like giant bonsais.

“Imagine mixing Hawaii with the Alps, then magnify it by a million: 900m-high ridges tumble into the still, dark waters of Milford and Doubtful sounds, where it rains about 7 metres a year and waterfalls sprout everywhere. The car-antenna chewing kea, the world’s only alpine parrot, lives here, as do dolphins and seals in large colonies where the fjords end in the Tasman Sea. Tourists flock to Milford with its picture-perfect Mitre Peak, but Doubtful Sound is three times as long and its remoteness far more mesmerising.

Original article by Giovanna Dell’Orto, Associated Press, GazetteXtra, September 2, 2016.

Tags: Curio Bay  GazetteXtra  Southern Scenic Route  

Friedensreich Hundertwasser’s New Zealand Legacy

Friedensreich Hundertwasser’s New Zealand Legacy

“ Hundertwasser designed buildings in many countries across Europe, in California’s Napa Valley, in Israel, in Japan. But I’m not in any of those places. I’m on the other side of…