We left on our cruise on Sunday, November 20th out into the Tasman Sea. We were just cruising for the first two days and although there were some big waves at times we had our sea legs and just enjoyed being rocked to sleep.
(Cameron saw that I was posting this picture and couldn't believe I was posting a picture of his naked torso.)
On day number 3, November 23rd, we cruised through Milford, Doubtful, and Dusky Sounds. It was rainy most of the day but the Sounds were unbelievable! The rain only added to the number of waterfalls that spontaneously came falling from the rocks that jutted straight out of the water and up towards the heavens.
Our captain got us really close to this big waterfall. It was fun to watch the boat get a little closer and a little closer until those on the helipad at the front of the boat were just soaked.
Here's one point in the afternoon when we were getting ready to come out of Dusky sound and the sun started to come out.
It was a stunning day!
On day 4, November 24th, we were ported at Dunedin, New Zealand, which is at the very bottom of the lower island. We also went out onto the Otago Peninsula for part of our tour. Incidentally, it was also Thanksgiving (although it was still Wednesday in the America). The boat treated us great and had a little reception for all the Americans that we attended.
To start off our tour we went to a high vantage point and got a beautiful view of the city.
Then we went to Baldwin Street, the steepest street in the world. Cameron ran up the last portion and his calfs were sore for a few days.
After our adventure at Baldwin Street we went to the most photographed building in New Zealand (according to our tour guide). It's the railroad station in Dunedin. It had a great interior and I liked it even more when we went in and there was a girl playing guitar and singing a song I love.
Here's the exterior of the railroad station. If you look really close you can see Cameron standing in front of our limo (J/K we were riding around in a van all day).
We played around in the garden area and I did a few toe touches (complete with funny hair and facial expression). The Cadbury headquarters are in Dunedin right across from the train station. It's too bad we didn't have time to tour their factory and sample products.
The views and beaches were just beautiful, although you can't swim in the water on the beaches because of the way they handle the sewer it's contaminated the water.
The next few pictures are of Larnarch Castle. The only castle in New Zealand, we just toured the magnificent grounds.
Ah, going through these pictures makes me want to go back right now!
For lunch we ate at a local pub and when Cameron went outside to look around after lunch some news ladies stopped him and asked if he would answer questions about the election (they thought he was local).
We travelled on and stopped at a Maori Hut, we couldn't go in but we got a view from afar.
Our destination was Penguin Place, that was a nature preserve for penguins and seals.
They were all really cute and we were there at the right time of year to see the babies that had just been born.
They did a really good job of protecting the penguins and keeping things as natural as possible. We walked through these trenches so that we wouldn't scare the penguins.
You can see that there is a baby penguin in this little hut.
Our last stop for the day was the Royal Albatross Centre, there were birds everywhere on the cliffs and flying around.
We had a few minutes back in Dunedin before we had to go back to the boat so we looked around in some stores and got some fun pictures.
Once we were back on the boat we celebrated American Thanksgiving with this nice ice sculpture and some traditional fixins from the dinner menu.
On day 5, November 25th, we were in Christ Church. We went to a nature center and Maori presentation. I don't know if anyone recognized these pretty pigs, they were in Lord of the Rings :)
Here's Cameron learning the Haka.
We saw some of the buildings that were devastated by the earthquake in 2010 and are still working to be rebuilt or repaired.
When we got back to our port city of Akaroa we walked around the town and had fun until it was time to get back on the boat.
It was a cute little city that had French influences
This is a whaling pot that they used years ago to boil the whale fat
Day 6, November 26th, we were in Wellington. We saw the city on our own and really enjoyed it. If we had to choose one port from our cruise to have an extra day, it would be Wellington. Here was are waiting for the okay to get off the boat. We always like to be one of the first off the boat and last on the boat so we can see as much as possible.
This is the stadium that the All Blacks play at. This view is from our boat, we were docked right next to it!
This is their Parliament building, doesn't it look like a beehive?
They had this great area that was right by the water with fun things illustrating their culture. I'm right in the middle of the picture waving.
This cool ball is hanging over the square and is made of metal Silver Ferns.
The city has a San Francisco vibe and this is an old rail car that was used on one of their steep hills.
We stopped in to one of the museums and here I am inside a huge heart.
There were some beautiful gardens and I only wish I could have spent more time enjoying them.
We visited the Carter Observatory and watched a neat movie and looked through their exhibits.
Yes, I'm touching a piece of the moon!
The Twilight Zone
And just a few pictures next to some art before we ran back to the ship in the nick of time.
Day 7, November 27th, we were in Napier. I loved Napier because it is an Art Deco city that holds on to the influences of the 1920's-1930's.
We took our own little walking tour around to see the buildings and learn the history. The city was destroyed in an earthquake in 1931 and was rebuilt in all Art Deco.
We found these two pretty flowers on the beach and thought they were perfect for a picture.
We also took a self guided cemetery tour that had some neat stories.
When we got back to the boat there were some locals dressed up and with their vintage cars for pictures.
I had to include this next picture because it's so funny. We always have a hard time keeping my hair in control with the ocean breeze.
And that is another week of our trip...