NEW ZEALAND PART 2 - JAN 2011

January 18th
Today we had a little sleep in.
The ship docked in Napier at lunch time.
We spent a few hours wandering and admiring the magnificent art deco style buildings.
Napier was hit by an earthquake in the 1930's and much of it was destroyed....it was rebuilt in art deco 'earthquake friendly' style.
The locals really made us feel welcome....some turning out in their vintage cars.....and  period costume.



We also visited the Napier Prison ..and had a great little guided tour throughout.
The guide shared lots of stories about prison life and some of the colorful characters who had resided there....like Mr Big..





We were intrigued by their beach covered in what I assume were volcanic pebbles... they were smooth little rocks and covered the entire beach as far as we could see.


January 19th
Up nice and early today....and off to explore windy Wellington.

First stop was Mt Victoria lookout for a panoramic view of the city.
It really was a beautiful place...with rows and rows of white houses built along the hills.


Next stop was the Weta cave.
Weta is a production company at Mirimar that produces all the special effects for movies such as Avatar, Lord of the rings and many others.
We watched a short film that walked us through some of the departments and all that they do there....it was really interesting.



Next stop was the Wellington cable car....


Then we took a drive....Shaun was keen to see a filming location for Lord of the Rings....
So we set off... to to the Kaitoke Regional park......it was an absolutely beautiful spot....but not one stick of evidence that anything had ever been filmed there....
we had a lot of laughs about our journey all the way out there.


January20th
Another early morning start...this time in Christchurch.
We were amazed when we heard that Christchurch had experienced another earthquake at 6am on the morning we were there....magnitude 5.1..and their largest one since the damaging one in Dec.
There were another two aftershocks while we were there....but we didn't actually feel either of them... much to our disappointment.

Our first stop in Christchurch was Antarctic World
What a wonderful place..... lots of exhibits... a 4D theatre....penguin feeding....and the coolest
Hagglund ride... that was an absolute hoot.




Next stop.... the Christchurch Art Gallery.....and one of the highlights of our trip...
How lucky that we were able to see this exhibition on our stopover.
I think we were all in awe at the sculptures.....they were so incredibly life like.



Our final stop for the day was the cable car......with the most amazing views.


21st January
Gosh its freezing this morning in Dunedin.
The old buildings are absolutely beautiful.... just a pity it wasn't a few degrees warmer to enjoy them.




Our long awaited highlight in Dunedin was the cadbury chocolate factory tour.....and we weren't disappointed. It was probably the last thing my body needed.... but it was delicious.

We also took a drive up the 'Worlds Steepest street'

22nd January
No Port of call today...... instead we are cruising the Fiordland National Park on the ship.
We cruised through three Fiord's.....with Milford Sound  the absolute highlight.
These Fiords were amazing....carved by glaciers and towering up 1000's of metres each side of the ship




 23 -24 th January
At sea....homeward bound.
25th January we said goodbye to the Sun Princess and an absolutely wonderful holiday.

New Zealand .... Well worth the trip..... absolutely beautiful in every way.

(Thanks once again to Donna for a large number of the photos in this post)

CONVERSATION

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