Dizzy Swallows

Honeymoon: Able Tasman

May 7th, 2014

A few days and misadventures after Kaikoura, we found ourselves at the top of the South Island, in the beautifully lush Able Tasman. After several nights of camping and one horribly long drive we were ready for some luxury in the form of The Resurgence Eco Lodge. I have mixed feelings about this place. On the one hand, the setting was gorgeous, the cabin (“bush chalet”) was charming, and the food was delicious, but on the other…none of these things seemed quite on par with their price. And I’m really not sure what they meant by “Eco,” besides the fact that the lodge is located in the bush outside of the tiny town of Riwaka.

We were very excited to explore the Able Tasman National Park, however, and our hosts helped us book a trip which included a 12 mile hike into one of the park’s bays, from where … Continue reading

Honeymoon: Kaikoura

April 28th, 2014

Hey dear ones! Today finds our honeymoon travels moving on towards the East Coast town of Kaikoura.

Yet another series of twisting roads spat us out onto the coast, all azure seas and white rock. The town itself is small but bustling, attracting a fair set of tourists with its marine life and seafood. We, in fact, were there for both.

Our lodging was the gorgeous Blue Heron House B&B. Throughout the trip, I mentally ranked our abodes on a scale of expectations met. Blue Heron House was a standout that far exceeding expectations. It is one of those rare finds for which the promotion photos do not do justice, and the price tag is something of a disguise.

I loved the gardens, and the wrap around porch onto which the French doors of our bedroom opened.

It was a calming home-base from which to explore the town and … Continue reading

Honeymoon: Moeraki to Oamaru

April 9th, 2014

Hello lovelies! Another week already and forward with our continuing New Zealand travels…

From Queenstown, we once again set out across the South Island, with not much more of a plan than to reach the east coast. Consulting the GPS, I found we we could easily swing through the tiny town of Moeraki, famous in tourist guides for its eccentric boulders.

The Moeraki Boulders are best seen at low tide, and we serendipitously arrived just as the water was lapping about their bases. It is a remarkably odd sight: the boulders appear like so many ponderous beach balls, half buried in the sand. Even more bizarre are the cracked and partial boulders, with their great, honeycomb veins exposed in geometric pattern.

We dutifully posed for photos atop the domes.

Or in them, as the case may be.

These photos we taken with some haste as the tide was rapidly rising. … Continue reading

Honeymoon: Wanaka, Queenstown, Fiordlands

March 31st, 2014

Happy Monday lovelies! And on to the second installment of our honeymoon adventures! This section of photos proved difficult to edit down, and while I’ve hacked away whole sections with all the finesse of a chainsaw, I hope you will forgive if not enjoy the plethora of lakes/clouds/crags.

From cloudy Christchurch, we struck out across the South Island to Wanaka, stopping for a picnic beside Lake Pukaki’s glacial blue waters.

At this point I should introduce our traveling companion: our faithful Toyota (nicknamed Rana since it liked to eat bugs) which performed masterfully over our month plus New Zealand road-trip.

Beautiful views across the lake towards Aoraki (Mt. Cook).

Paradise!

The water was far too cold for swimming, but Jacob took a moment to skip stones across its icy surface.

After lunch we continued on towards Wanaka, passing interesting geology which I felt compelled to document if even through the … Continue reading

Honeymoon: Sydney to Christchurch

March 28th, 2014

Hello darlings! Here it is, the first installment of our epic, six week journey. This post features our arrival down-under in Sydney, a brief visit to Canberra, and finally Christchurch, our first flavor of New Zealand.

Side note: We touched down (small joke) in Sydney a mere two hours before one of the most satisfying Super Bowls of all time, which we were able to catch in a friendly, though embarrassingly quiet, local bar. Couldn’t be prouder to be a Seahawks fan. And just saying, I totally called the whole thing from the preseason. So there. Ahem.

We were hosted by our dear friend and former college housemate, Tyler. The Sydney household could not have been kinder, cooking us dinner and making us feel quite at home.

As a city, I quite enjoyed Sydney, particularly Glebe, the district in which we stayed. Exceptional thai food. Beautiful running tracks. Surprisingly, however, … Continue reading