Thursday, March 4, 2010


My eyes were shut and I was asleep before the plane had even left the runway.  I woke to a view of a sea of white fluffy clouds.  I knew we couldn't be far from our destination since the plane had slowed.  I anxiously peered out the window looking for that first glimpse of New Zealand, but clouds dominated the view.  As I stared off into the horizon the fluffy shapes took on a more angular aspect.  On closer inspection I realized that I was no longer observing masses of water particles, and that the forms in the distance were snow covered peaks.  I could barely contain my excitement and I jabbed Mark in the ribs and pointed out the spectacular view that was coming closer.
I knew that we wouldn't be climbing to the tip of the jagged summits before us, but the thought of being near such an imposing landscape was exciting.  As we drew closer the clouds dissipated and we had an unobstructed view of the apexes and valleys below us.  The view reminded me of flying over the Alps in Europe.
As we traveled southwest the snow covered giants were replaced by a more barren landscape.  I was surprised by the lack of greenery.  I had imagined New Zealand to be lush and vegetated.  I did not expect the lifeless landforms that lay below us.  However, I was not disappointed;  instead I was in awe.  The treeless mountain range below us was rich with color: yellows, greens, whites, pale reds, and grays.  It was as though we were flying over massive multi-colored sand dunes. I couldn't wait to hit the trail and explore this unexpected landscape.


  1. Hi Maya, you paint a fascinating picture of New Zealand. It almost reminds me of Scotland in a way. Not very lush and almost moon surface like but very beautiful and intriguing.

    Thanks for the wonderful description.

  2. Hi Kathy, once on the ground we found that the South Island is a very diverse place. The center are had some very stark peaks, but the coast had rain forests. It was amazing to see such a diversity in such a small area.

  3. What a great image you painted in my head for NZ. I would love to visit it one day!

  4. Hi Candi, we only saw a small part of NZ and found it to be a very diverse and beautiful place. We loved the times when we were able to get off the beaten path and enjoy the land in its natural state. Unfortunately, we didn't always find this easy to do.

    YTSL, photos will be coming with my future posts on the country.