Looking back when we can’t go forward – second time around.

John at photobyjohnbo is this week’s Len’s Artists Challenge host and says:

‘Considering the current world situation, I decided to focus my challenge to your sharing images from your previous travels rather than asking you to go out to photograph new examples to share.’

On 2nd May we are supposed to be flying to Christchurch where we planned to hire a camper and spend two weeks exploring the Nelson/Marlborough region of our South Island. We’ve traveled a bit down south but never spent any time in this area.

However, New Zealand is still in lock down and even if the COVID 19 Alert Level is lowered, travel restrictions are likely to stay so we have postponed our trip till (fingers crossed) October.

The road follows the wild coast line

Our last trip to the South Island was in 2013. Can’t believe it’s been so long. We hired a camper in Christchurch, (see a theme here?) crossed the Southern Alps at Lewis Pass and toured the West Coast from the top of the road, Kohaihai to the bottom, Jackson Bay.

Driftwood sculpture at the seaside town of Hokitika, home of the Wildfoods Festival where you can eat everything from shellfish to possums or crickets.

We mostly stayed at Department of Conservation camp sites. They are in the most beautiful places, are low cost and outside of high summer are almost empty.

Million dollar view from the camper.

We visited all the popular tourist spots too. Punakaiki (Pancake Rocks) is amazing, the sea rumbles under your feet like a snoring dragon and hisses spray up through blow holes.

A shag having a cleanup at Punakaiki.

At Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers we raced the rain but it caught us up at the Fox. We still did the walk, it’s only water after all. They’re receding alarmingly quickly and the walks to the face of the glaciers are getting longer.


The walk to Franz Josef Glacier gets longer as the glacier recedes.

The West Coast is the wettest place in NZ. Abundant rain feeds lush rain forest, lakes and rivers and mist softens the view.

This way to Jackson Bay

But pop over the Haast Pass and the scenery and climate change dramatically. It’s dry in the shadow of the Southern Alps and beautiful in a whole new way.

SI 4
Big sky country in Central Otago.

The air is clear and even in early autumn, snow lingers. It can be the hottest and the coldest part of the country.

You get a great view of Wanaka (the lake and the town) from Iron Mountain.

With borders closed all around the world, it’s a good opportunity to explore our own back yards, isn’t it. I can’t wait!

Thank you John for the challenge and the opportunity to share my stunning back yard.



  1. How lucky you are to have South Island in your backyard Wendy. My husband and I spent weeks there several years back. We hell-hiked the glacier, kayaked Abel Tasman, sailed in the Milford Sound, even did the Shooter jet boat. One of my favorite memories ever. I’d go back in a nanosecond. sadly you’re so far away from us . It is one of the most beautiful places, with some of the nicest people, that we’ve ever visited. I hope you get to do your visit as planned sooner rather than later!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Tina, we feel blessed. And if we never do another overseas trip it doesnt matter. There’s still plenty to see and do here.
      You’ve done everything except bungy jumping. Are you saving that for next time? 😉


      • Funny story. I went, got in line, watched 3 in front of me go. The third girl had a terrible time, had to be “nudged” off platform and landed head first. I got out of line and decided I didn’t need that particular thrill LOL!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! I love your neighborhood! There is more than one million-dollar view in your collection of images. The glacier you featured brought back my memories of Mendenhall Glacier near Juneau only the cliffs at the edges of the glacier in your photo appear to be closer and taller than my memory of Mendenhall.

    Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks John, They are spectacular and amazing to think they were ground out by the ice. Sadly I didn’t get to Mendenhall Glacier last year. It was pouring with rain and you could barely see past the end of your nose.
      Thanks for a great challenge. Thoroughly enjoyed the memories.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful backyard, Wendy. Wish I could go back someday, but it is so far away. Like you conclude – our backyards have it all, we really don’t need to go anywhere far away. So, I stay put. But NZ is in my heart forever. Because of everything. And I don’t know any woman I admire more right now than Jacinda. Lucky you to have her.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Ann Christine. We really are lucky to have Jacinda but there are some who aren’t convinced. Strong women scare some people and she is much tougher than she looks.
      I think we’ll be staying put too. But that’s ok. I wonder why we feel the need to travel to far flung places when we have so much here.


      • Strong women – yes. They feel like a threat to many men. I always wondered how they could choose Trump before Hilary – I guess that is one of the reasons.

        Liked by 1 person

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