End of October Roadtrip 2021

It’s been a little while since I was able to write a piece for the blog.

How are you?
How has the year been progressing for you?

While I’ll create another post about things that have transpired over the time from August through to October, in this post I’ll share about my recent roadtrip.

I’ve just returned from a week of travel to visit family and friends in the South Island – whom I don’t have the opportunity to connect with regularly.
It was a long 8 days. I drove over 1850km, and each and every one of those kilometres was worth the effort. I love road trips for the opportunity to see the countryside, and towns and cities along the way. It was also lovely having my own bubble in my car rather than travelling by plane or other public transport. Safety while travelling was crucial as Covid is starting to make it’s way around NZ.

I loved being able to spend time with family and friends, talking, sharing meals with each other and making memories together.

And not only did I get to see parts of the South Island’s natural landscape while driving that I had never seen before as I don’t often travel to the South Island and haven’t previously explored much that it has to offer, I also was able to experience a few extra things.
The Royal Albatross Colony in Dunedin was wonderful, and the albatross were kind enough to fly close to the viewing platform window. The wind conditions were just right for plenty of gliding and circling of the area.
I explored the history behind the head of land that became the albatross colony after it had been cleared for military use, and the care that has been paramount since the birds started to land there and use it as a safe breeding space.

With further links to the history of Dunedin and NZ, I visited Larnach Castle and enjoyed learning more about the castle and being treated to high tea in the ballroom on a lovely Friday afternoon.
I am naturally drawn to architecture and love being in historical places to learn more about the people who occupied them and the things that took place there. I hope that the castle continues to be taken care of and restored over the years to come and would love the opportunity to go back and explore some more.

NZ has many natural wonders, and I am beyond grateful to be able to call this place home.

The steep cliffs and quiet bays of the Marlborough Sounds.

Driftwood teepees people have built along the shoreline at Abel Tasman.

The Riuwaka Resurgence was a very magical place, and one where my friend goes to feel refreshed and find calm.
The resurgence is known as Te Puna o Riuwaka by local Māori, Te Ātiawa and Ngāti Rārua, and is considered wāhi tapu (sacred). According to the information on the website linked above, “traditionally, Māori would not eat or swim at the site, and the waters were considered to have powerful healing properties.” As always, when visiting any part of nature, please be respectful when you visit.

The Moeraki Boulders are a delight. Seemingly random spherical concretions that are now partly exposed.

Penguins coming home to their nests from a day of fishing in Oamaru. Unfortunately they head inland when it is dark and my travel schedule didn’t allow me to stay to see them, however you can check out live nest cams here: https://www.urbanwildlifetrust.org/oamaru-blue-penguin-colony-cams/

Seals lounging on the rocky ledges at Kaikoura…

The vistas of the mountains right next to the seas side.

The forests and rivers and all the weirdly named creeks… Pea Soup Creek, Bridge & Road which I had a giggle at whilst driving through the Shenandoah Highway.

If you’ve managed to explore anywhere recently I’d love to hear about your experiences.

The highlight for me was literally the change of scenery.
It was so refreshing, though the trip was exhausting.
It was nourishing in the way that discovering news things and spending time in nature always is.

Until next time, be [em]powered by nature
Just Heather x