Sunday, June 28, 2009

Tunnel Beach

Lauren left for doubtful sound to day, so I went over to tunnel beach on the suggestion of a flatmate. Tunnel Beach is about ten minuets from the house, and it is awesome.

A short walk through mud and sheep poo takes you down along the sea cliffs,




and out to the wildest point I have ever seen.

You can see where the place gets it's name. This is the biggest of the tunnels, but there are many more along the walls and small beach.



Looking back towards town.


Sculptured sea cliff walls.

The rock were weathered into some impossible shapes. Looked impossible to climb, but I can dream



To get to this beach you go down through a man-made tunnel, to dark for clear pictures



Inside one of the many tunnels on the beach

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Kniting up a storm

Thanks to some free time and a little help from the sweet ladies at KnitWorld, i finally finished Lauren's gloves. Thanks also to Lara and Gaye at In The Loop for the cabling lessons.

fashionable ninja

Lauren loves em'

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Purakani Beach

My roommate Jake took me down to a place called Purakanui Beach (not the place we stayed in the Catlins). The really cool series of coves on the other side of the peninsula is a great place to walk, boulder, and apparently dive for paua (NZ's version of abalone). While Jake and his friend snorkled in the coldest water possible, I walked around taking pictures and bouldering.

Jake and his friend heading out.


A little seaside bouldering


Paua hunting around the rocks. The water was so cold that they only lasted about 30min, with very thick wetsuits.



The beach is surrounded with bands of sandstone conglomerite. I tried to climb up, but holds were breaking every other move. So I was content to just traverse and show off Bludstone's excellent climbing rubber.

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This tree was really cool. The winds have erroded the ground beneth it, exposing the roots.



A kiwi tire swing


Leaving the beach as the sunset.


On the way out we got Jake's van totally stuck in some mud.


We tried to dig it out for an hour and eventually had to send Jake up the road to a house (no cell service) to call a tow.


Well after dark a friend in a beast truck came and pulled us out. Good fun with dirty adventures!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

VIDEO POST!

When we went to sleep last night it was cold as hell. When we woke up today…IT WAS SNOWING!
Here is some Cold Porn for all you hanging in the 90 degree south
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So we went for a little walk. below shows you what happens when you put a Tennessee yokel, in the snow.
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A couple of days ago Lauren took me to see the All Blacks (NZ's national rugby team) play France. Kiwi's take their rugby very seriously and the fact that we were losing did not go over very well in the terrace seats. The terrace, where we were seated, is where we sat is wild. Lots of beer and beer. Here are some random clips from the game. I missed the beer throwing unfortunately, there was a lot of that.

The All Blacks begin every game with the Haka (Maori war dance). It is the most intimidating thing I have ever seen. check out YouTube for a detailed look.
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random crowd shots
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These videos are from Purakaunui Bay in the Catlins region.
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Prancing back to the car
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Sunday, June 14, 2009

The South is The South where ever you are

The southern area of New Zealand's south island has many similarities with the southern US. There is a lot of agriculture, the people are very proud, and there are lots of mullets and rednecks. The stereotype of the self-sufficient manly-man is here as well. And they love to trash on people from Auckland (big northern city). This billboard is outside of the stadium where we saw the All Blacks play, and it reminded me of home. And I'm not joking about the mullets, it is huge here. Lots of rugby players sport them, so kids think it's cool to rock shaggy, bleached-out, nasty helmet mullets.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Catlins

Lauren and I just spent 2 days driving thru the Catlins. This is a region south of Dunedin that is a mixture of native forest, striking coastline, and rolling farmland (quite similar to the rest of the South Island). We were graced with perfect weather, it felt more like spring than the harsh winter I was expecting. Below is nugget point; A really beautiful spot with is cool little lighthouse.



Lauren lovin' the lighthouse.

We stopped on the road to make lunch. This is typical of much of the farmland here, green and beautiful.


We camped the first night at Curio Bay. It's claim to fame is the petrified forest. The fossilized trees date back to the Jurassic period, and are amazingly well preserved.

160 million year old tree stump

Curio bay at low tide


In the evenings yellow-eyed penguins come ashore to sleep. We could not get close to them, but I threw this shot in because they were really cool.

The next day we went to a couple really nice waterfalls.




I had no idea how much Lauren loves waterfalls.


I can't think of a more stereotypical farmscape than this


Lake Wilkie was a really pleasant find. We stopped there on a whim and were happy we did.





Yet another amazing beach with the potential for great surf.

Shell hunting: catching sand flys.


More waterfalls




We spent the last night at Purakaunui Bay. Possibly the most beautiful beach I have seen so far. the campsites had a little more sheep poo than i like in my campsites, but the view made up for the dirty shoes.







there was a small group of male sea lions on the beach in front of our campsite. They did not seem to care if we took pictures and it was very cool to get close to these animals. The big boys are really intimidating though, and you think it's a good idea to get near for a good shot till you do; and then realize they are f@%*'n giants!

I don't have any pictures that show scale, but this guy is enormous.

Two juveniles playing.



Big boy tired of all the ruckus.


Heading home.