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Beautiful New Zealand: Stacy's excellent adventure

a photo essay by Stacy Beard


That's me framed in a big Kiwi bird.


The Avon River canal runs through Christchurch for... kilometers.

Sheep grazing in the Canterbury Plains.

That is not me. I do not jump off of things.

But I have no problem with heights, and went hang-gliding from Coronet Peak in Queenstown. You don't jump, you just run and the wind picks you up. We had to wait for 20-30 minutes for the right winds.

This stretch of road b/w Mt. Cook and Wanaka has stacks of rocks like this for kilometers - it seems to never stop! I found out later that people do this just for fun. I would have built one myself when I drove back through if I didn't have to make good driving time on my final day. Next time!

I took an overnight cruise on Milford Sound. Milford Sound is termed incorrectly, it is actually a Fjord, a long narrow inlet of sea between high cliffs. (A Sound is a body of sea between an island and the mainland.) Average annual rainfall of more than 276 inches makes Milford the wettest spot in New Zealand. During my trip, there was a really big storm - we had 50 knot winds and 8 inches of rain fell overnight. Even the crew were taking photos!!

Wind was blowing some waterfalls into mist before they hit the sea. We anchored in a cove overnight and our tie line to shore broke twice - another first for the crew - and in the morning we experienced swells even back in the cove, another first, and there was a lot of debris floating around (trees, etc.) It was hard to take good photos in the wind, rain, and fog, and it was getting dark. It's impossible to express how awesome it was to be surrounded by falling water everywhere you look - it was simply amazing.

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