We flew Gisbourne to Nelson on 16/11/18 and from there enjoyed 2 rainy days around the town.
Then from there to the Abel Tasman National Park area. This is a beautiful part best accessed by boat. Beautiful coastal scenery, bush tracks, deserted beaches and the ocean.
Like many areas of New Zealand there are ‘pests’ and ‘weeds’. There is a policy to cut down or kill the non indigineous trees and allow the area to revert to it’s original ‘bush’. Cutting down the evergreen trees was discovered not to work as the the trees just seeded themselves so it was discovered that drilling holes in them and injecting herbicide killled the trees. So there are large tracts with brown trees.
There is also a problem with what they call pests. These are non indigineose animals which have been brought in years ago and have now over run areas. These pests are stoats and there is also methods to reduce wasps. Traps are wide spread around the park and native birds and animals are being re introduced. Rabbits are also an issue in some parts of NZ and rabbit proof fences are used to at least keep them out of cleared areas. New Zealand is diligent in protecting its bio-diversity and warns people coming into the county not to bring in fruit etc. Even mud on boots is a no-no. There are large fines if you are caught bringing in something g they done want. Aircraft food can be a problem so don’t even try’s to bring in an apple. Dogs are used in the airports to sniff out these things. The honey and kiwi fruit industries are a big part of their income so protecting these is important.
After the Abel Tasman in the North of South Island we stayed near Takaka and from there I painted this view at Wainui Bay. It is on the edge of the National Park and just wanted to be painted. Ruth found this subject for me while our for a drive. I was pleased with the outcome of this one.
In some other areas lupins are now a weed. Initially we thought they were nice but then realised they had reached epidemic proportions along roads and river beds. They are native to North America and here they do well in gravel river beds and the sides of roads. They were brought in over 100 years ago and now there is mixed opinion as to what to do with them. In some parts there is a policy of spraying them.
We then flew on to Queensland on 10/12/18 and stayed in a very comfortable flat under the owners home. From there to Manapouri to take a tour on Doubtful Sound. Access to it is by boat across a lake and then a bus trip up over a gravel road. The name doubtful was given by James Cook who could not see it would be possible to access the inlet.
The rainfall in this area is very high - around 7M annually on the ocean side and 4M on the inland side. On the west of Ireland where we think it rains a lot we have 1M to 1.25M. In reality in this part of New Zealand it rather doesn’t rain a lot but when it does rain it is extremely heavy. The moisture is picked up from the ocean between Australia and New Zealand and when it reaches the mountains rises and condenses into rain and lots of it.
The other much visited sound is Milford Sound but we chose Doubtful and decided it was a good choice.
From there a few days in Wanaka and then Twizel near Mount Cook.
At Wanaka little tree had been quietly growing out of the lake for many years disregarded by all and sundry as just a tree. Then along came Instagram and now it has achieved the status of stardom with a steady stream of visitors taking photos even disregarding signs and swimming out to take a selfie photo.
The area around Twizel is quite beautiful. Mount Cook, wide plains, lakes etc. We stayed there just a few nights and would have loved to have been able to stay longer.
Will return now to Australia for. Christmas with the family and then go on to SE Asia on 22 January. We will visit Georgetown in Penang then to Hoi An, Hanoi in Vietnam. They itinerary isn’t worked out yet so these plans may just develop along the way.
Visit my Instagram page for more images. @harryfoy_art