Originally contributed by jasper100 on September 24, 2012
For those interested in going to New Zealand, I have posted a lot of videos and still pictures of the trip here to give you a very good view of New Zealand. New Zealand has Spectacular Scenery, the people very friendly, and the food and accommodations outstanding. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone. The following are the highlights of my New Zealand Journey
We are currently in Queenstown, New Zealand on the one year anniversary of the major earthquake that occurred in Christchurch, New Zealand and providing some video of the beautiful scenery in Queenstown, New Zealand!!!
Another great view from Lake Wakatipu, about 20 miles from Queenstown, New Zealand!!!
I only booked the New Zealand part of the tour through Tauck. In Australia, we only went to Brisbane and Cairns (which included a 5 day 4 night cruise on the Great Barrier Reef). Since we lived in Sydney and Melbourne, we decided to focus on the Great Barrier Reef. I am top level with Priority Club (Crowne Plaza Included) but our Tauck does not take hotel elite data and by the time we got to the Crowne Plaza our room keys were already given out so my elite status did not help very much. I added on Christchurch, New Zealand (where I am right now) on my own, as Tauck no longer includes Christchurch in its Ititnerary. However, I would highly recommend coming to Christchurch. I am staying at the Best Western here and it is not the same standard as the Marriott but still very comfortable here. Today we had an incredible tour to Arthurs Pass (incredible beauty) that included Jet Boating and a visit to a Sheep Farm. We were luck to have great weather for this tour. Heading home to Orlando tommorrow after a month in Australia and New Zealand!!!
There were at least two good glass-bottom boat tours at each of the reefs.I actually went on all of the glass-bottom boat tours and did minimal amount of snorkeling, as I was a little under the weather during the cruise. My wife, however did a lot of snorkelling and diving and still got in one glass bottom boat trip on each of the reefs. The 5 day 4 night Great Barrier Reef Cruise was with Coral Princess.
One year Christchurch, New Zealand Earthquake Anniversary was 2/22/2011 - at 12:50PM.
The clock tower is locked at that time in rememberance.
Also, see the note at the Mall below where the Earthquake caused the most damage, where 185 people lost
their lives. 185 butterflies were released in memory of the lost lives on
2/23/2012. The devastation on that earthquake day was overwhelming. My wife and I
visited a lot of the destruction area near the mall (and took many pictures of the devastation) which will take many years
for Christchurch to recover.
On another note, we had an earthquake aftershock (4.3 on the richter scale) on Saturday night at around 11:00 pm.
The Scenery is stunning!!! This is Lord of the Rings country.
Sheep Dog herding Flock of Sheep - Near Christchurch, NZ - 27 February 2012!!!
Videos of some of the damage the 22 February 2011 Christchurch, New Zealand Earthquake caused.
Some Incredible Scenery Cruising Milford Sound, New Zealand!!
Puia Thermal Reserve and Maori Cultural Center #1 - Rotorua, New Zealand
A private traditional welcome and cultural performance of dancing and singing of the Poi Dance and the Haka! (Part 1)
As part of the Tauck Tour, we were transported from Skipper Canyon, New Zealand (after the Jet Boat ride) to the Queenstown, New Zealand Airport, where we were than transported by private plane for Queenstown to Auckland, New Zealand to end our Tauck New Zealand tour.
The three videos below were taken from the helicopter of the beautiful Skipper Canyon.
I just got an e-mail with a fabulous moon silhouette in Wellington, NZ
If you want an explanation of this phenomenon, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon_illusion.
But warning: you may come away more confused than when you went into this series of explanations.Subject: Full moon over Wellington , NZ...
Here is something a bit random, but none-the-less astounding. A work mate of mine who is also a photographer captured what is, to me, one of the most remarkable things I have ever seen filmed.
It is a 3 minute video clip of the full moon rising over Wellington . It was shot 2 nights ago, on a calm summer evening, as people gathered on the Mt. Victoria Lookout point to watch the moon rise.
This stunning video is one single real-time shot, with no manipulation whatsoever. The camera was placed on a hillside over 2 kilometres from the Lookout point, and was shot with the equivalent of a 1300mm lens.
The amount of planning, trial and error, and luck that went into this are mind blowing. He has been trying to capture this for over a year with many failed attempts. But 2 nights ago it seems everything was on his side, and it all came together in a way even he couldn't have hoped.
I honestly can't say enough good things about this video - from the magnitude of the visuals, to the intimate stories playing out with the people, to the sheer humbling nature of seeing the awe-inspiring reality of this giant rock in the sky that we so often don't stop to appreciate.
One thing I encourage you to do is watch this on the biggest screen you have - don't waste it on an iphone screen.
https://vimeo.com/58385453 (sound on...!)