After my albatross encounter in Kaikoura, I had to drive down to Christchurch stopping off for a night to stay with family on a sheep farm in North Canterbury. As I had plenty of time for the trip, I decided to take the Inland Kaikoura route. This very scenic drive starts at Mt Fyffe, takes you past the Mt Lyford ski area through Waiau and on to Culverden. Here is the start of the journey, looking back at Mt Fyffe:
But it got better!
I had to travel down to Burwood Hospital for my regular treatment last week. I decided to combine the trip with some serious photography, starting with bird watching.
I booked a tour with “Albatross Encounters“, who operate out of Kaikoura. It’s the same company that run “Dolphin Encounters”, but more on that at the end of this post.
I got some great images. This first one is a closeup of a female Wandering Albatross, with mating plumage accentuated by a diet of shrimps and krill:
Almost five years ago, My son Tim took us on a tramp into a very remote place in the Mt Aspiring National Park, the Siberia Valley. He was really looking after his aged parents: had a sat phone in case of emergencies, was continually telling us what the weather was about to do, and in general was completely in charge. (Actually, the reversal in roles felt very good indeed!)
The valley itself is a great place, accessible very quickly via helicopter (but a couple of days walking otherwise).
Radio New Zealand is currently running a series covering Simon Morton’s attempt to climb Mt Aspiring (Tititea). We are following it with interest as my son accompanied the team as a second guide. He works as a professional guide for the internationally respected guiding company Adventure Consultants. At the time he had a client cancel and this was a good chance to keep up his fitness (!). You can listen to the first episode here (do a search on the Radio NZ site for ‘Aspiring’ and you’ll find the remainder).
A strong northerly blew up on the weekend, coinciding with an outgoing tide. That’s usually a recipe for some reasonably large waves at the entrance to Nelson harbour. There were very few boats out, people had obviously heard the weather forecast. There was a bit of entertainment for watchers on the hill, however.
Graeme Robertson’s stories, not just about photography but also Nelson and New Zealand events, often with a science flavour. It’s a companion site to an online gallery of NZ pictures covering New Zealand landscapes, birds and marine life, as well as sports and events (including some great motorcycle speedway images).