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Published: February 17th 2017
After a spectacular day at the south end of New Zealand, I had dinner. With a totally clear sky, I went out by the lake to see the constellations visible in the southern hemisphere. Specifically, since I will be returning to the US in less than a week, I took a long look at the Southern Cross, one of the things I especially wanted to see during my trip. The sky was ablaze with stars and the Southern Cross was there in all it’s glory.
Today we traveled by bus all day on our way to Fox Glacier. We passed winery after winery growing grapes for the specialty of southern New Zealand, Sauvignon Blanc, smooth and inexpensive. We stopped in to the Aurum winery for a wine tasting. This winery specializes in organic wines and have won many NZ prizes for their Pinot Noir.
We then stopped in the small town of Wanaka for lunch. The town on another lake was very busy due to an iron man competition scheduled for the weekend. The problem for me was all of the people looked too healthy.
We continued our bus trip over the
Southern Alps, through the Haas Pass, from Queenstown on the east coast to the west cost of New Zealand, traveling north next to the Tasman Sea. The west coast is a very wild area with wind swept trees. We arrived on a very unusual sunny day for this coast. Also very unusual for the US, the beach is mostly smooth stones with a very course sand and no shells. Presumably the shells are pulverized by the stones before they can reach the shore.
Tomorrow we explore the Franz Joseph and Cook mountain glaciers by helicopter. Should be exciting.
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