Category Archives: travel

New Zealand: Pelorus Bridge and thereabouts

I’m staying near Pelorus Bridge (not a village but a small bridge over the Pelorus River), famous for being not only the first bridge from which somebody bungee jumped, but also for featuring in one scene in a Hobbit movie, to wit: Part of the pretty Marlborough Sounds at the very top of the South […]

Big fun in Nelson

I spent two days and three nights in Nelson, graciously hosted by American expats Tom and Ann, who spent much of their lives teaching in “American Schools” across the globe, but have landed in Nelson. As one of the sunniest places in New Zealand, a lovely town of 50,000 on the northern coast of the […]

Travels in New Zealand: to Nelson via Pancake Rocks

On the way to Nelson two days ago, we passed through Paparoa National Park on the west coast of the South Island, one of New Zealand’s smallest national parks. It’s famous for its limestone geological formations, nearby blue penguins (I didn’t see any) and the rock blowholes, where the sea violently enters the caverns it’s carved, sending […]

The Great Kea Hunt meets with success

On Wednesday I booked bus tickets up to Arthur’s pass and back, giving me over eight hours in the area. Surely I’d see a kea, then, and that was my goal. This bird (Nestor notabilis) is the world’s only alpine parrot, and has been largely extirpated by human activity, including clearing land and shooting the […]

I have seen a kea

Well, just one, but it was a long story that almost ended in failure, with victory pulled from the flames at the last possible moment. And anyway, seeing one is sufficient. Details and more photos follow tomorrow.

The quest for the elusive kea: staging and preparation

Tomorrow is the day I head up to Arthur’s Pass from Greymouth to look for keas, the world’s only alpine species of parrot. I’m hopeful that I’ll get to see these remarkable birds, because the pass is where they are most easily found. In preparation, today I traveled from Fox Glacier north to Greymouth, took a […]

From Queenstown to Fox Glacier (with added Milford Sound bonus)

My trip to Milford Sound was pretty much a washout–literally. It was pouring rain the whole time, and while the ship’s captain made a great to-do about the lovely waterfalls that spill down from the top of the fjord when it rains, he was just making a virtue of necessity. One couldn’t even go outside the […]

Alert for Kiwis: latest travel schedule

Professor Ceiling Cat is headed to Milford Sound on Monday, then to Fox Glacier on Tuesday for an overnight, then to Greymouth on Wednesday for about two days to see the keas at Arthur’s Pass. From Greymouth I’ll find my way up to Nelson, probably arriving there on the 24th or 25th of March. I’ll probably […]

Travels: Around Glenorchy

Today (yesterday when you read this, though remember that if you’re in the US or UK, it’s tomorrow already!), we toured the environs of the small (population 300) town of Glenorchy, about 45 km north of Queenstown. Our first stop was the beginning of the Routeburn Track, a very famous 32-km (usually 3 day) hike through […]

Travels: to Queenstown and Glenorchy

I had an eight-hour layover in Auckland yesterday morning, but it was mitigated by the arrival of reader Gayle Ferguson, Official Website Kitten Rescuer™, who met me an an ungodly early hour and took me for coffee, also imparting lots of travel tips. Many of her rescue kittens, including Jerry Coyne the Cat, who resides in […]