New Zealand
New Zealand
Western Australia


Sam's Exotic Travels to Majestic New Zealand

New Zealand, located approximately 1,600 kilometers southeast of Australia, consists of two main islands. It is similar in size to Japan, Great Britain or the US state of Colorado.  Its landscape is predominately mountainous with large sections of flat plains.  

New Zealand's South Island is a majestic paradise – from the Marborough Sounds and Abel Tasman National Park in the north, the snow-capped Southern Alps stretching almost the entire length of the island, the remote Fiordland National Park in the southeast to the rocky coastline of the east coast – it is a remarkable kaleidoscope of colors, changing scenery and beauty.


    Lone Tree at Sunrise - Lake Wanaka, South Island New Zealand  Birds and Rocks at Sunrise - Kaikoura Peninsula, New Zealand South Island  Sunrise Colors - Punakaki Beach, New Zealand South Island

Doubtful Sound, New Zealand South Island  Tree and Waterfall - Wilmot Pass, New Zealand South Island  Early morning mist - Lake Dunstan, New Zealand South Island


My wife and I spent a week there over Easter in 2006. Here's where we visited by our rental car:

  •  1st day - Wellington-Picton to Punakaki via Lake Rotoiti, Carters Beach and Cape Foulwind - arriving well after dark

  •  2nd day - sunrise on beach at Punakaki (plus Truman Trek and Pancake Rocks), Fox Glacier and Hasst Pass (Mt. Cook hidden by clouds) to Wanaka, again well
    after dark. Took pictures of sunset on Lake Wanaka and moon over Lake Hawea - but I accidentally erased most of the pics of Fox Glacier, afternoon shots and the sunset pics.

  •  3rd day - Sunrise shots of Lake Wanaka from Wanaka - then on to Manapouri (bypassing Queenstown), where I booked a cruise on Doubtful Sound (instead of Milford Sound due to travel times) for the next day and then spent late afternoon in Te Anau.

  •  4th day - cruise on Doubtful Sound (day) and drove to Cromwell (past Queenstown) for the night.

  •  5th day - up early, bypassing Christchurch to Kaikoura. Stayed across the road from the beach, 20 km south of town.

  •  6th day - after sunrise, drove through Blenheim to Nelson (sunrise shots there)

  •  7th day - Nelson to Picton for 2pm ferry back to Wellington

  •  8th day - up at 3:30 for 6am flight home 

For a quick overview - here's the highlights photos from the trip. 

Photo albums from each locale are included below, posted to Flickr!   If you are a member of Flickr, I would appreciate any comments you might have and your vote for your favorites.

North Island

South Island

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Copyright notice
Please note that all photographs and text appearing on this site are the exclusive intellectual property of Sam Stearman. No images are within the Public Domain, and no image use is permitted without the written prior authorization of the copyright owner.  If you see any pictures you would like to buy, all the thousands of pictures on this site are available in high resolution digital format, suitable for framing, use in magazines or advertising.  Email me if you would like to know more.