Nine Days in New Zealand
World Traveller China
Feature article by Meng Cheng. World Traveller is one of China’s most renowned monthly travel magazines and has a monthly circulation of 456,000.
Not far... stands Anna Leary’s art studio. As a young-generation artist, Anna expresses her feelings through decorative art along with oil painting. A wall in Anna’s living room has many swinging pods with different blue colours. Anna tells us that the colours of the pods represent the changing colours of the sea over the course of a day.
New Zealand’s awesome landscapes, lush forests, amazing wildlife and pleasant climate make it a heaven for travellers.
Day 1: Fly to New Zealand
We take Air New Zealand flight NZ88 from Shanghai. The airplane takes off at 2:30pm from Pudong International Airport. The fancy booklet on the plane reads that there are 9,365 kilometres between Shanghai and Auckland, and the flight will take 11 hours and 45 minutes.
The air hostesses dressed in blue-green smile warmly when we board. Taking care of passengers’ privacy, ANZ has arranged just four seats in one row in the luxurious business class. The seats are uniquely designed: they can be turned into a flat bed, in case you want to take a nap.
After about five hours’ comfortable sleep, I turn on the light and begin to read poetry. Then, I see a movie, Whale Rider. The movie was filmed in New Zealand in 2002, and it allows me to find the right tone for shooting New Zealand: nature, epic and passion.
Day 2: Auckland
At 12:30pm, we visit the Auckland War Memorial Museum. The museum is home to 2,000 priceless Maori treasures. Some specialists said that the museum holds the best Maori cultural collection in the world.
Tourists can watch excellent Maori performances at 1:00pm everyday at the Auckland War Memorial Museum. Maori people’s passion and sturdiness is bound to impress every audience member.
Day 3: Auckland
We come to Viaduct Harbour in the morning and begin our two-hour sailing tour. The boat we take, NZL 40 was once the racing ship in the America’s Cup. The cheerful expressions on every passenger’s face are clear signs of everyone’s genuine excitement!
In the afternoon, we take part in an exciting activity: the Auckland Bridge climb. Everyone who climbs this bridge must wear a special suit and fasten themselves to a safety rope.
Finally, we reach the top of Auckland Bridge, which is the best place to get a 360 degree view of the Hauraki Gulf and Viaduct Harbour. From the bridge, I can see many different masts out on the sea. Now I realize why Auckland is internationally famed as the City of Sails.
Day 4: Auckland – Nelson
Nelson is located on the northernmost part of New Zealand’s South Island. It attracts a lot of artists with its amazing natural scenery, and is also the 8th greatest region for wine in New Zealand.
In the afternoon, we visit the World of Wearable Art and Classic Cars Museum. On the left side of the museum is the WOW Gallery (World of Wearable Art). We are all immediately attracted to the gallery when we enter the museum. Having originated from the village of Nelson, the World of Wearable Art is held in Wellington every year. This celebratory festival in the village has become a global fashion competition, in which artists use different kinds of materials to make dresses. On the right side of the museum, you can find hundreds of antique cars – which are a real feast for our eyes.
We have our lunch in The Sprig and Fern Tavern. This is an unvarnished bar where you can taste 20 kinds of beers brewed in New Zealand.
Day 5: Nelson – Abel Tasman National Park
At 8:00 in the morning, we leave our hotel for Kaiteriteri. Then, we take a Vista Cruise at 9:30am to visit Totaranui. It takes us half an hour on the way. Many tourists get off the boat at midway stops to go hiking and have a picnic.
We go ashore at Anchorage Bay at 12:30pm and have a wonderful lunch on the peaceful beach. Then the ship carries us to Seal Colony at 3:00pm.
People are banned from hunting seals in New Zealand, which has made the number of the seals grow rapidly. Now, the number of seals has added up to about 100,000. When our ship’s distance from the Seal Colony is less than 30 meters, the captain on the taxi boat tells me that the territory belongs to a seal named Jack. Jack has six wives and a group of children. Baby seals are very cute. When their mothers jump into the water, they are still enjoying themselves on the shore.
Day 6: Nelson – Picton
Today, we will experience some art travel.
In the morning, we visit a leading artist in New Zealand, Mr Brian C.Strong, who is famous for his landscape painting.
Brian’s paintings have a very different layout, with the painting divided into three even parts from the top down. The changing sea and sky in his work presents a unique visual language and rhythm. The background music played in Brian’s art studio is Italian artist Andrea Bocelli’s album, Sogno. The slow songs make me feel relaxed.
Not far from Brain’s art studio stands Anna Leary’s art studio. As a young-generation artist, Anna expresses her feelings through decorative art along with oil painting. A wall in Anna’s living room has many swinging pods with different blue colours. Anna tells us that the colours of the pods represent the changing colours of the sea over the course of a day.
After lunch, we go to the Hoglund Art Glass. It is a working studio where a lot of crystal and glass artworks are made. It is also a popular place where tourists go for souvenirs. There are many glass artworks exhibited in the hall, among which the most expensive one costs 13,000 New Zealand dollars. Tourists can watch the whole process, during which the glass artworks are made in the furnace room.
At 3:00 in the afternoon, we depart from Nelson and head for Picton. We drive through the Marlborough Sounds and arrive in Picton at about 6:00 pm.
Day 7: Picton – Kaikoura
At 7:45am, we leave our hotels for Cougar Line by foot. Tourists can walk along the Queen Charlotte Walking Track and enjoy the gentle breeze. We choose to have a boat tour along the Marlborough Sounds.
At 1:00pm, we go to Kaikoura by train. The train moves fast and the scenery from the windows is beautiful. We arrive in Kaikoura at 3:30 pm and check in the White Morph Motor Inn. In front of the Inn is a golden beach and blue ocean, Surfer’s Paradise. Kaikoura is located on a rocky peninsula, and it is the paradise for ocean animals and birds. Tourists can see sperm whales, kill whales, dolphins and seals all year round here.
We have dinner at the White Morph Restaurant inside the hotel. The restaurant is elegant and the dishes are delicious.
Day 8: Kaikoura
Kaikoura is a world-famous place for whale watching, and attracts many tourists to come all the way to this town. At 9:00am, we get on board the ship, Whale Watch Kaikoura. At first, all of the people are sitting in the cabin. After 25 minutes’ cruise, the captain informs the tourists to go to the deck and enjoy the beautiful scenery on the sea. We see a whale spouting water above the sea. We are told by the guide that we are lucky to meet the whale in such a short time.
After lunch, we start to tour around Kaikoura by foot. We begin hiking in South Bay. An introduction board explains an old Maori story. In ancient times, a giant was fishing from this land. The place where he stood to fish was Kaikoura. The two-hour tour leaves me with a beautiful memory.
Kaikoura Wine Company is the closest wine house to the sea in New Zealand. The wine house exhibits a lot of wines and produces a rose wine with beautiful colours. A Wine Tasting Event which only costs 4.5 New Zealand dollars is provided.
Day 9: Kaikoura – Christchurch – Auckland
In the afternoon, we visit the International Antarctic Centre, and I am overwhelmed with excitement when we get inside. Upon entering, you see furs of a penguin hanging on the wall with a tag which reads “Please Touch”. Besides that, there is a 30-square-centimeter Antarctic stone with the same tag. The newly-built Penguin Pavilion has 70,000 litres of water. From several observation spots, we can see some small penguins just hanging around.
Then we enter a simulation “Antarctic storm” room. The extreme cold makes me feel like I’m standing on the Antarctic ice field.
Outside the Centre, a Hagglund made in Sweden is waiting for us. The driver leads us on a very interesting tour.
You can tour around Christchurch on the Christchurch Tramway. The driver is dressed up like an old gentleman, and he will introduce the scenery along the tour. The tour lasts 20 minutes.