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Queenstown - Te Wai Pounamu - South Island, New Zealand - Part One

Nya Zeeland (Dunedin) 2006-01-22

What is so special about New Zealand? Well, after two weeks it is a little bit too early to say but our first impression is very positive and what struck us is the magnificent nature here on the South Island - some examples of that can be found among our pictures below.

As we are going to stay here for more than 2 months we hope to catch the soul of NZ - we hope to uncover some of it now when we enter the Southland of NZ where we don't expect as much tourists as in Queenstown, Wanaka, and Mt Cook etc.

We have talked to a lot of people that are running business here and they feel that the NZ dollar has become very strong so most of the business is declining a little. We have been able to manage our budget for food and accommodation so far but it means we don't go to restaurants as often as we did in South America!!!

Since Eva did her 12.000 feet skydive we have been hiking/tramping both in Wanaka and in Queenstown. Wanaka was a very charming village and Queenstown is where the real action is!!! It is THE Adventure Town in the world and of course we went to see AJ Hackets original bungy jump place at Kawarau Bridge - we did not jump this time!

However, we did go to a spinning - and body pump pass one early morning - that felt really great.

We met an English Unisys colleague of Anders - Colin Gash in Queenstown. He and his wife Sue is traveling around the world for 100 days - surprise, surprise! They go east and we go west but we managed to meet up half ways!! We had two very nice dinners together and we think Eva made Sue a little interested to do a skydive on the North Island - we will see if she makes it!?

We have traveled 2.000 kilometers with our Corolla already even though we have only gone from Christchurch to Dunedin via Queenstown and something that struck us is the fantastic nature. However, we are a little surprised there are so few trees on the South Island and that it is so dry in the mountains and that the soil is so poor - tricky to be a farmer here. Well, next week we are going to go the west coast where all the rain falls - that will be a completely different story!!!!!!!!!!

Today we did a great tour with our car out to Otago Peninsula, outside Dunedin. We went to see sea lions, seals, Royal Albatross and penguins. Did you know an Albatross gets a wingspan of 3 meters - that s a lot!!

Back in Sweden and many other places in Northern Europe it has been very windy, cold and snowy this weekend - at least what we can see on internet. We think about all of you there - today/tomorrow it's an ordinary Monday again for You and You have just reached the office door to start another working week.........

Kisses and hugs from EvAnders