As we drove down the North Island we stopped to visit some of Sara's cousin's, in various locations. We had a lovely time chatting and meeting everyone. We had planned to swim with the dolphins, but unfortunately the weather was not cooperative, the winds were 30-40 knots, so it had to be canceled. I'm hoping we have time to schedule the trip at a different location on the South Island.
Sara purchased a Lord of the Rings location book, so we drove to the top of Mount Doom. It was bleak and cloud covered, and very cold. We've been driving through many of the other areas used in the film, and they are very spectacular. If we stopped at every site our trip our would take as long as the film did to make!
A few days ago we also stopped at some Geo thermal areas similar to Yellowstone. We even stopped for a dip in some hot mineral baths.
Friday we crossed the Cooke Strait on the ferry to the South Island. Luckily they were not fully booked because Sara made the reservation for February not March!
We've spent the last two nights at Able Tasman National Park which is on the coast. We rented a sea kayak for the day, and kayaked up the coast line. The beaches here are beautiful, and we were lucky with the weather, the sun was out all day. The sea kayak was fun but fairly tiring, we had to stop on a beach to rest and have lunch!
Now we are headed to the west coast of the South Island where a lot of the mountains are located. We just stopped at an outdoor store to buy freeze dried food for our hike, and ended up spending a fortune on special Merino wool shirts. According to my cousin Celia, they keep you warm, cool, and even! better don't smell. Could be the best purchase yet!
Here's a link to the next set of photos: New Zealand Photos