boy taking pictures on sea cliff
Aidan photographing the cliffs of Constant Bay

What better way to spend the month of July than getting away from the heat, humidity and mosquitoes of South Florida and spending it way ‘Down Under’ or close enough.

My son and I packed winter clothes for our summer vacation, flew countless hours and thankfully landed in the land of Lord of the Rings and lamb chop, New Zealand!


It was a vacation that falls under the category of “best”! Renting a camper van equipped with all the essential necessities we traversed both the North and South Islands and managed to stay on the ‘right’ side of the road for the most part.

Snowboarding in Mount Cardrona
Boy playing with baby seal
Aidan with baby seal
surfing in New Zealand
Mangamaunu Bay

We hiked, went Zorbing (rolling down a hill inside a giant golf ball), traversed river gorges in zip lines, ate vegemite (well, I did), surfed in freezing water, went bird watching and searching for yellow-eye penguins, snowboarded some incredible mountains and of course we bungy jumped WITH our eyes open! Had we more time who knows, we might have parachuted to the top of some remote glacier or explored some other adrenalin-inducing invention the Kiwis are so well known for.

sunrise over the ocean
Sunrise seen from Nugget Point
town on the South Island of New Zealand
Town of Picton on the South Island
bus stop with a painted mural
Painted bus stop in Port Waikato
sliding down a sand dune on a boogie board
Sand tobogganing at Hokianga Harbour

I could continue and tell you that the scenery is beyond beautiful, the people are accommodating, the wine is cheap and quite good, that street littering is almost impossible to find, that it rains a lot in the winter and that you’ll see at least one sheep if not a thousand every day you are there, guaranteed, but why spoil your opportunity at discovery! I came back with some images but trust me, I left a lot more than I brought back. Reason enough to go back. Cheers!

rainbow over bay and boat harbor
Kawau Bay
moon rise with person viewing
Moon rise over Sail Rock and Bream Bay

Technical details:

  • Bodies: Nikon D3 and D300
  • Lenses: no zoom lenses for the D3, only prime lenses ranging from 14mm to 180mm; took one zoom for the D300 the DX 12-24mm
  • Storage: all CF cards were dumped into an Epson P-4000 viewer/storage drive and a Wolverine 160 GB storage drive
  • Other accessories: a light weight Gitzo Mountaineer tripod, an SPL splash housing and a Lowepro Dryzone backpack.