Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Quaintness of New Zealand

Today we venture to the other side of the earth from our earlier posts. New Zealand is a land of striking natural beauty. It has the strong imprint of the British Empire, yet also has Maori traditions of its indigenous peoples.

The first photo shows "punting on the Avon" in Christchurch. The Avon River meanders through Christchurch and its banks include beautiful gardens and parks.
Above is one of the floor tile arrangements in the cathedral in downtown Christchurch.
The cathedral is the most prominent building in Christchurch. Built from 1864 - 1904, it has classic Anglican architectural features that would make anyone from Britain feel right at home.
Perhaps the Anglican tile work in the cathedral was trying to imitate the more elaborate tiles of the Arab world, Spain, Portugal and Italy.
Queenstown is a resort area in the interior of the South Island. This photo from the top of the 450 meter (1,476 ft) tram above town shows its beautiful location on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. There is bungee jumping from this spot, as well as many other adventure opportunities for thrill-seeking tourists. The jet boat rides on the Shotover River near Queenstown are popular.
Wildflowers in a field near the Milford Sound. Our photos of the Milford Sound, unfortunately, do not show the classic mountain peaks reflected in still waters. Our photos show driving rain and lots of cascading waterfalls in the clouds, mist and rain.
The former caretakers cottage in the Botanic Gardens near the Canterbury Museum is now a restaurant.
The lily pond, lily pads and flowers provide a respite from the city.
At a food booth at a fair, a person buying food reveals the traditional Maori design of his tattoo.
Christchurch has a remarkable civic asset. Canterbury University, with classic Anglican Gothic revival architecture in the center of the city, moved its location to newer, modern buildings. The city made a great re-use of these buildings by turning the former college campus into an arts center. There are artists studios and workshops in most of the buildings, shops that sell the artists' creations, some restaurants and cafes, a performing arts center, a small movie theater, and more. On weekends there is an arts and crafts fair and musicians perform in the outdoor quadrangles.

New Zealanders are proud of their agricultural traditions, and cows and sheep are the mainstays of their agricultural economy.


brattcat said...

Sounds as if you ran into a bit of rain while you were there but these shots are filled with blue skies and sunlight.

Anonymous said...

I love this shot. So Dolly-esque

Frank said...

Fantastic place and photos. The caretakers cottage looks mighty nice as a small, quaint getaway. :)

Thank you for such a terrific overview. Really great post. Beautiful!!

James said...

Such a beautiful place. Your photos are wonderful. Thank you for sharing them.

glenda said...

Really enjoyed your great pictures from New Zealand. I have always wanted to visit here. The flowers and greenery are beautiful.

Lois said...

These are lovely pictures Julie! I have always wanted to visit New Zealand. A friend of mine went there one time and told me she had a wonderful time, but that she had seen enough sheep to last her for the rest of her life!

Comme un battement de cils said...

Bonjour et merci pour ce fabuleux voyage j'ai beaucoup apprécié .je repasse très vite.
Bonne journée.

JM said...

Fantastic post! The first photo is so unbelievable perfect that it seems to be a frame from one of Tim Burton's last movies! Amazing!

Memphis MOJO said...

Besides nice photos, this is an excellent sampling. I feel like I've just been there. Nice job!

Jacob said...

What gorgeous pictures; they really show off the beauty of this wonderful country.

Last night Letterman had the Prime Minister of New Zealand on his show...and the Prime Minister said it was a lot like England except they liked Americans...just kidding, of course.

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