Wednesday, 3 February 2010

New Zealand in the summer

When you're overseas, people are always telling you how beautiful New Zealand is (thanks, Lord of the Rings) and you can only agree - because you know it's true. But it's not until you come back from a long spell away from Aotearoa that you really appreciate it.

The Te Waiti Valley

The intensity of the blues and greens, the lack of people, the stunning clarity of the air - I spent most of the trip from Auckland Airport to Opotiki staring out the window and grinning.

Brothers on the beach

While the summer in Wellington has been cool and wildly inconsistent (never a day the same as the last), you can rely on the Bay of Plenty for sunshine. And that's what we got - two weeks of nearly continuous brilliant weather. We spent a lot of time in the sea or the river. Perhaps the highlight was our trip up into the hills behind Opotiki, deep into the native forest in the stunning lovely Te Waiti Valley. We skimmed stones, swam, picknicked, walked down the river and perfected our kung fu skills to the point where we could shatter rocks with our hands. True story.

But all good things must come to an end and we had to head back to Wellington for work. Back to the land of blasting Antarctic winds and strange fogs, but also good days when, as the saying goes, you can't beat the place.

The hills beyond Johnsonville

It's good to be home.

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