Canterbury, New Zealand. It’s often the place visitors pass through to get to somewhere more exciting. But for the last 12 months, it has been our home. And we’ve gotten to explore some of this often overlooked part of New Zealand. There are some gems in the area, some well-known, some not so well-known. Here’s what we saw.
If my recent experience at Moeraki Boulders wasn’t enough, I got another lesson in taking a chance again at New Brighton Pier in Christchurch. My friends Nick, Jorg, and I had agreed on a 5am start from town. When we started off, it was drizzling quite steadily with a completely overcast sky (or as much as we could see under still-dark skies). We kept our expectations low, but still hoped for something, as we drove the hour and 15 minutes through sometimes torrential rain to New Brighton.
So much of photography is down to chance — that was brought home quite forcefully during our last getaway on the South Island. Since we had only a weekend free, it had to be relatively close by. Thankfully, we had something that fit the bill perfectly — Moeraki Boulders outside Oamaru, a short 2-hour drive.
Ah, the South Pacific…conjures up images of white sandy beaches, swaying coconut trees, and warm blue waters. I’ve been on a few beach vacations to some great locations…Maui, Anguilla, Cancun. They were all very pretty. But nothing prepared me for our first foray into the South Pacific. After two years without a visit to the beach and 12 consecutive months without summer (we left London at the end of the northern winter and arrived in New Zealand at the start of the southern winter), we decided on Fiji as our beach vacation.
While I’d been to Mexico a few times before for work, never for vacation. We usually try to take a warm weather trip in the spring to escape the long mountain winters, so this time we settled on Cancun. I was a bit leery, given the image of drunken spring breakers. I planned to not take any vacation, so we splurged and stayed right on the beach for quick/easy access. We planned to stay in the Zona Hotelera — yes it is the touristy Americanized part of Cancun, but given that our plan involved sitting on the beach, that seemed okay.
Living in a ski town means winters are the busy/high season. Lots of snow, people, traffic, energy, and powder fever. After a long (and still continuing) winter, we usually try to go somewhere warm in April, for a change of scenery and pace. This time we got lucky since there was a family medicine conference in Maui that provided the exact number of CME credits that Geny needed for the year. So she signed up for it and off we went.