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New Zealand native Kingfisher with crab

New Zealand native Tui feeding on flax flowers

New Zealand native Tui feeding on flax flowers

New Zealand native Tui feeding on flax flowers

New Zealand native Tui feeding on flax flowers

New Zealand native Tui feeding on flax flowers

Motu Kōkako, also known as Piercy Island or "The Hole In The Rock”, is located off the north coast of the North Island of New Zealand. The 18 m (60-foot) hole at sea level was created over centuries by wind and waves making it one of the most naturally beautiful sites in New Zealand.

 

On the day I visited the waters were calm and the tide right for our vessel to pass right through the hole. I took this shot from the stern looking back after we emerged from the hole.

New Zealand native Tui feeding on flax flowers

New Zealand native Tui feeding on flax flowers

The storm brought drama and atmosphere to an already awesome scene. Milford Sound on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island is an amazing place, and we were lucky with this weather!

Normal Stuff: NO USE in any media without my express permission. Usage without such permission amounts to theft.

 

Press F if you like it! Thanks for 4 million views, thousands of Faves and uncountable comments. I learn from looking at your photos!

A New Zealand Robin (North Island sub-species or Toutouwai) on the forest floor at the predator-free Zealandia Ecosanctuary, Wellington, New Zealand. New Zealand has three sub-species of the endemic Robin. The unique banding identifies each bird and periodically sightings are recorded to monitor the birds and the overall population.

Doubtful Sound / Patea is a fjord in Fiordland, in the far south west of New Zealand. It is located in the same region as the smaller but more famous and accessible Milford Sound. It took second place after Milford Sound as New Zealand's most famous tourism destination. At 40 kilometres long, Doubtful Sound is the second longest, and with a depth of up to 421 metres the deepest of the South Island's fiords. In comparison with Milford Sound, it is more widespread, with the cliffs not as dramatically tall and near vertical. However, the U-shaped profile of the fiord is obvious, in particular on the two innermost of the main fiord's arms and the hanging side valleys along the main fiord. Like most of Fiordland, Doubtful Sound receives a high amount of rainfall, ranging from an annual average of 3,000–6,000 millimetres. The vegetation on the mountainous landscape surrounding the fiord is dense native rainforest. Doubtful Sound lies deep within the Fiordland National Park, about 50 kilometres from the nearest inhabited place, the small town of Manapouri, and is surrounded by mountainous terrain with peaks typically reaching 1,300–1,600 metres. Along the coast, there are no settlements for about 200 kilometres in either direction. 13742

Milford Sound / Piopiotahi is a fiord in the south west of New Zealand's South Island within Fiordland National Park, Piopiotahi (Milford Sound) Marine Reserve, and the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site. It has been judged the world's top travel destination in an international survey (the 2008 Travelers' Choice Destinations Awards by TripAdvisor) and is acclaimed as New Zealand's most famous tourist destination. Milford Sound runs 15 kilometres inland from the Tasman Sea at Dale Point (also named after a location close to Milford Haven in Wales)—the mouth of the fiord—and is surrounded by sheer rock faces that rise 1,200 metres or more on either side. Among the peaks are The Elephant at 1,517 metres, said to resemble an elephant's head, and The Lion, 1,302 metres, in the shape of a crouching lion. Milford Sound sports two permanent waterfalls, Lady Bowen Falls and Stirling Falls. After heavy rain temporary waterfalls can be seen running down the steep sided rock faces that line the fiord. They are fed by rain water drenched moss and will last a few days at most once the rain stops. 13839

Whakarewarewa Forest, Rotorua, New Zealand. New Zealand has 10 native species of Tree Ferns. The tallest can reach 20 metres (66 feet) in height with fonds reaching out in an umbrella form up to 3 metres (10 feet).

New Zealand 2010/11

View of Milford Sound

New Zealand native Tui feeding on flax flowers

New Zealand 2010/11

Franz Joseph Glacier

Paradise, Glenorchy, New Zealand

The Moeraki Boulders are a group of large spherical “stones” on Koekohe Beach near Moeraki on New Zealand’s Otago coast. These boulders are actually concretions that have been exposed through shoreline erosion from coastal cliffs. Even today, there are still boulders remaining in the mudstone that will, eventually, fall on to the beach as they come lose due to erosion!

The boulders are one of the most fascinating and popular attractions on the South Island.

They originally started forming in ancient sea floor sediments around 60 million years ago, and the largest boulders are estimated to have taken about 4 million years1 to get to their current size.

Maori legend tells that the boulders are remains of calabashes, kumaras and eel baskets that washed ashore after the legendary canoe, the Araiteuru was wrecked at nearby Shag Point (Matakaea).

 

THIS IS NEW ZEALAND AT IT'S BEST. DRIVING THROUGH THIS PART OF THE COUNTRY IS SPECIAL. MT COOK = WOW !

Paihia is a town on New Zealand’s North Island. It’s known as a gateway to the dive sites and sandy beaches of the Bay of Islands. At the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, a carved meeting house, a museum and a giant Maori canoe mark the site of the founding of modern New Zealand. A trail leads to the horseshoe-shaped Haruru Falls. Southwest of town, there are panoramic views from the Opua Forest Paihia Lookout Track. 13372

Lake Rotorua is the second largest lake in the North Island of New Zealand by surface area, and covers 79.8 km2. With a mean depth of only 10 metres it is considerably smaller than nearby Lake Tarawera in terms of volume of water. It is located in the Bay of Plenty region. The city of Rotorua is sited on its southern shore, and the town of Ngongotahā is at the western edge of the lake. The lake was formed from the crater of a large volcano in the Taupo Volcanic Zone. Its last major eruption was about 240,000 years ago. After the eruption, the magma chamber underneath the volcano collapsed. The circular depression left behind is the Rotorua Caldera, which is the site of the lake. Several other lakes of volcanic origin are located nearby to the east, around the base of the active volcano Mount Tarawera. Lake Rotorua is fed with water from a number of rivers and streams; some such as the Utuhina flow water of a water temperature warmer than the lake due to the thermal activity in the Rotorua area. Conversely streams on the northern shore such as the Hamurana Spring and the Awahou stream flow crystal clear water that has a constant temperature of 10 degrees Celsius. Other notable tributaries include the Ngongotahā stream, famous for trout fishing. 13542

Milford Sound / Piopiotahi is a fiord in the south west of New Zealand's South Island within Fiordland National Park, Piopiotahi (Milford Sound) Marine Reserve, and the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site. It has been judged the world's top travel destination in an international survey (the 2008 Travelers' Choice Destinations Awards by TripAdvisor) and is acclaimed as New Zealand's most famous tourist destination. Milford Sound runs 15 kilometres inland from the Tasman Sea at Dale Point (also named after a location close to Milford Haven in Wales)—the mouth of the fiord—and is surrounded by sheer rock faces that rise 1,200 metres or more on either side. Among the peaks are The Elephant at 1,517 metres, said to resemble an elephant's head, and The Lion, 1,302 metres, in the shape of a crouching lion. Milford Sound sports two permanent waterfalls, Lady Bowen Falls and Stirling Falls. After heavy rain temporary waterfalls can be seen running down the steep sided rock faces that line the fiord. They are fed by rain water drenched moss and will last a few days at most once the rain stops. 13766

Paradise, Glenorchy, New Zealand

Doubtful Sound / Patea is a fjord in Fiordland, in the far south west of New Zealand. It is located in the same region as the smaller but more famous and accessible Milford Sound. It took second place after Milford Sound as New Zealand's most famous tourism destination. At 40 kilometres long, Doubtful Sound is the second longest, and with a depth of up to 421 metres the deepest of the South Island's fiords. In comparison with Milford Sound, it is more widespread, with the cliffs not as dramatically tall and near vertical. However, the U-shaped profile of the fiord is obvious, in particular on the two innermost of the main fiord's arms and the hanging side valleys along the main fiord. Like most of Fiordland, Doubtful Sound receives a high amount of rainfall, ranging from an annual average of 3,000–6,000 millimetres. The vegetation on the mountainous landscape surrounding the fiord is dense native rainforest. Doubtful Sound lies deep within the Fiordland National Park, about 50 kilometres from the nearest inhabited place, the small town of Manapouri, and is surrounded by mountainous terrain with peaks typically reaching 1,300–1,600 metres. Along the coast, there are no settlements for about 200 kilometres in either direction. 13744

Scenic south West coastline. The fiords of New Zealand are all located in the southwest of the South Island, in a mountainous area known as Fiordland. The spelling 'fiord' is used in New Zealand rather than 'fjord', although all the maritime fiords use the word Sound in their name instead. The Marlborough Sounds, a series of deep indentations in the coastline at the northern tip of the South Island, are in fact drowned river valleys, or rias. The deeply indented coastlines of Northland and Auckland also host many rias, such as the Hokianga and Waitematā Harbours. New Zealand has fifteen named maritime fiords, listed here from northernmost to southernmost. 13770

Milford Sound / Piopiotahi is a fiord in the south west of New Zealand's South Island within Fiordland National Park, Piopiotahi (Milford Sound) Marine Reserve, and the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site. It has been judged the world's top travel destination in an international survey (the 2008 Travelers' Choice Destinations Awards by TripAdvisor) and is acclaimed as New Zealand's most famous tourist destination. Milford Sound runs 15 kilometres inland from the Tasman Sea at Dale Point (also named after a location close to Milford Haven in Wales)—the mouth of the fiord—and is surrounded by sheer rock faces that rise 1,200 metres or more on either side. Among the peaks are The Elephant at 1,517 metres, said to resemble an elephant's head, and The Lion, 1,302 metres, in the shape of a crouching lion. Milford Sound sports two permanent waterfalls, Lady Bowen Falls and Stirling Falls. After heavy rain temporary waterfalls can be seen running down the steep sided rock faces that line the fiord. They are fed by rain water drenched moss and will last a few days at most once the rain stops. 13758

Milford Sound / Piopiotahi is a fiord in the south west of New Zealand's South Island within Fiordland National Park, Piopiotahi (Milford Sound) Marine Reserve, and the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site. It has been judged the world's top travel destination in an international survey (the 2008 Travelers' Choice Destinations Awards by TripAdvisor) and is acclaimed as New Zealand's most famous tourist destination. Milford Sound runs 15 kilometres inland from the Tasman Sea at Dale Point (also named after a location close to Milford Haven in Wales)—the mouth of the fiord—and is surrounded by sheer rock faces that rise 1,200 metres or more on either side. Among the peaks are The Elephant at 1,517 metres, said to resemble an elephant's head, and The Lion, 1,302 metres, in the shape of a crouching lion. Milford Sound sports two permanent waterfalls, Lady Bowen Falls and Stirling Falls. After heavy rain temporary waterfalls can be seen running down the steep sided rock faces that line the fiord. They are fed by rain water drenched moss and will last a few days at most once the rain stops. 13808

The fiords of New Zealand are all located in the southwest of the South Island, in a mountainous area known as Fiordland. The spelling 'fiord' is used in New Zealand rather than 'fjord', although all the maritime fiords use the word Sound in their name instead. The Marlborough Sounds, a series of deep indentations in the coastline at the northern tip of the South Island, are in fact drowned river valleys, or rias. The deeply indented coastlines of Northland and Auckland also host many rias, such as the Hokianga and Waitematā Harbours. New Zealand has fifteen named maritime fiords, listed here from northernmost to southernmost. 13699

This large and distinctively-coloured pigeon is a familiar sight to many New Zealanders. This is because the New Zealand pigeon (or kereru) has a widespread distribution through the country, being present in extensive tracts of native forest, and rural and urban habitats, including most cities.

 

Foods include buds, leaves, flowers and fruit from a wide variety species, both native and exotic. In addition, they have been seen feeding on the fruiting bodies of the parasitic strawberry fungus Cyttaria gunnii found in beech forest.

 

Photographed Bushy Park Homestead, Kai Iwi, New Zealand.

 

Steve Hitchcock © All rights reserved

Milford Sound / Piopiotahi is a fiord in the south west of New Zealand's South Island within Fiordland National Park, Piopiotahi (Milford Sound) Marine Reserve, and the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site. It has been judged the world's top travel destination in an international survey (the 2008 Travelers' Choice Destinations Awards by TripAdvisor) and is acclaimed as New Zealand's most famous tourist destination. Milford Sound runs 15 kilometres inland from the Tasman Sea at Dale Point (also named after a location close to Milford Haven in Wales)—the mouth of the fiord—and is surrounded by sheer rock faces that rise 1,200 metres or more on either side. Among the peaks are The Elephant at 1,517 metres, said to resemble an elephant's head, and The Lion, 1,302 metres, in the shape of a crouching lion. Milford Sound sports two permanent waterfalls, Lady Bowen Falls and Stirling Falls. After heavy rain temporary waterfalls can be seen running down the steep sided rock faces that line the fiord. They are fed by rain water drenched moss and will last a few days at most once the rain stops. 13786

Tauranga is the most populous city in the Bay of Plenty region of the North Island of New Zealand. It was settled by Māori late in the 13th century and by Europeans in the early 19th century and was constituted as a city in 1963. Tauranga City is the centre of the fifth largest urban area in New Zealand, with an urban population of 141,600 (June 2018). The city lies in the north-western corner of the Bay of Plenty, on the south-eastern edge of Tauranga Harbour. The city extends over an area of 168 square kilometres, and encompasses the communities of Bethlehem, on the south-western outskirts of the city; Greerton, on the southern outskirts of the city; Matua, west of the central city overlooking Tauranga Harbour; Maungatapu; Mount Maunganui, located north of the central city across the harbour facing the Bay of Plenty; Otumoetai; Papamoa, Tauranga's largest suburb, located on the Bay of Plenty; Tauranga City; Tauranga South; and Welcome Bay. 13525

Canterbury, New Zealand

Scenic south West coastline. The fiords of New Zealand are all located in the southwest of the South Island, in a mountainous area known as Fiordland. The spelling 'fiord' is used in New Zealand rather than 'fjord', although all the maritime fiords use the word Sound in their name instead. The Marlborough Sounds, a series of deep indentations in the coastline at the northern tip of the South Island, are in fact drowned river valleys, or rias. The deeply indented coastlines of Northland and Auckland also host many rias, such as the Hokianga and Waitematā Harbours. New Zealand has fifteen named maritime fiords, listed here from northernmost to southernmost. 13675

Paihia is a town on New Zealand’s North Island. It’s known as a gateway to the dive sites and sandy beaches of the Bay of Islands. At the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, a carved meeting house, a museum and a giant Maori canoe mark the site of the founding of modern New Zealand. A trail leads to the horseshoe-shaped Haruru Falls. Southwest of town, there are panoramic views from the Opua Forest Paihia Lookout Track. 13361

Tauranga is the most populous city in the Bay of Plenty region of the North Island of New Zealand. It was settled by Māori late in the 13th century and by Europeans in the early 19th century and was constituted as a city in 1963. Tauranga City is the centre of the fifth largest urban area in New Zealand, with an urban population of 141,600 (June 2018). The city lies in the north-western corner of the Bay of Plenty, on the south-eastern edge of Tauranga Harbour. The city extends over an area of 168 square kilometres, and encompasses the communities of Bethlehem, on the south-western outskirts of the city; Greerton, on the southern outskirts of the city; Matua, west of the central city overlooking Tauranga Harbour; Maungatapu; Mount Maunganui, located north of the central city across the harbour facing the Bay of Plenty; Otumoetai; Papamoa, Tauranga's largest suburb, located on the Bay of Plenty; Tauranga City; Tauranga South; and Welcome Bay. 13519

Rotorua, New Zealand

Christmas in New Zealand is less about snow and sleigh bells and more about sun, sand and barbecues in the backyard. The beautiful Pohutukawa tree is regarded as New Zealand’s iconic Christmas tree. Christmas wishes from New Zealand.

South Island, New Zealand

New Zealand native Tui feeding on flax flowers

Tekapo, New Zealand

With the border closed to overseas tourists due to the COVID pandemic, there was never a better time to take a South Island road trip.

I'm a train tragic, I admit it, and I know New Zealand's TranzAlpine Express is one of the world's great short train journeys. We caught the train at Arthur's Pass at the top of the mountain range for the ride down to Christchurch. For most of the time I rode in the observation car with its open sides for bracing fresh air and unimpeded views.

 

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New Zealand native Tui feeding on flax flowers

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