Monthly Archives: April 2016

Cruising the South Island of New Zealand

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Kia ora

The South Island of New Zealand is the larger of New Zealand’s two islands. While it has approximately 32% more land mass it only has 23% of the combined population. The primary reason for this is the large mountain range, called the Southern Alps , that disects the island (which makes habitation difficult).  Our cruise originated in Australia and after three sea days crossing the Tasman Sea, we finally arrived at the Southwest tip of New Zealand and Fjordland National Park.  The South Island was once glaciated and as the glaciers receded, they carved deep Fjords creating the park. This is an area of approximately 5,000 square miles of spectacular fjords, waterfalls and rainforests that cling to the sides of the mountains. Continue reading »

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Wildlife Down Under

untitled-3Australia and New Zealand are unique places. They are a long way from nowhere, once being part of an ancient southern super continent that split into Australia, New Zealand and Antarctica. Over 80% of the mammals in Australia are found nowhere else in the world because its isolation, combined with the harsh arid climate, allowed for the evolution of unique species. In New Zealand there were no predators and no mammals until humans arrived less than 1000 years ago. Because of this, an unusual number of flightless birds developed, most notable being the Kiwi. On our trip there, we had the opportunity to visit a number of wildlife parks and sanctuaries including Featherdale Wildlife Park, Serendip Open Range Wildlife Sanctuary, You Yangs Ranges National Park in Australia, Trowunna Wildlife Park in Tasmania, and an active Gannet Colony at Cape Kidnappers in New Zealand. Continue reading »

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