Auckland CBD
Visited galleries participating in the Auckland festival of photography; Wandered around Devonport; Visited Shortland Street; Walked through tunnels at North Head; Saw rainbow after rainbow; Looked at dead sea creatures in the Auckland Museum, and live termites; Visited the island of Waiheke; Viewed the city at sunset from the Sky Tower and saw people just outside flying through the air; Saw more of my relatives; Visited the island of Rangitoto and clambered on volcanic rubble.

Photos on Flickr: New Zealand.

Rotorua

Jul. 14th, 2009 10:52 pm
Thermal Wonderland
We stopped to look at a waterfall; looked for fluorescent blue fungi out of the camper van window; plunged into hot tubs in Rotorua that night, surrounded by plants.

The steam rising from every street corner in Rotorua, rising from gardens, rising from parks, worried me at first, after having been in Melbourne when the Black Saturday bushfires were raging across Victoria. I kept thinking that something was on fire. Of course, it wasn't, it was just the geothermal activity that causes the steam to rise. The smell of sulphur was strong.

It felt magical to walk through a park with many different bubbling pools and steam everywhere, so that the trees would disappear in the steam sometimes, and then reappear. I felt like it was a whole different world we had found, there in Rotorua. In the park, I saw basket fungi, but did not at first believe it was fungi, because of the pentagons.

I went to Wai-o-tapu Thermal Wonderland and saw pools of many different colours - red, green, yellow, multi-coloured craters, and the champagne pool; sipped blueberry wines and gooseberry liqueurs at the Mamaku Blue Blueberry Experience; saw lots of squelchy bubbling mud, with bubbles that would burst and spit mud into the air.
Craters of the Moon
Craters of the Moon
It had been 25 years since I had seen him and I didn't remember him at all, when we met again in Waiuku. He drove us along the beach in the pouring rain, through small rivers that had formed, and past the remains of tree roots, exposed. We'd get closer and closer to the waves, and zig-zag around the tideline, and then when we couldn't go any further, we got out and wandered around on the black sand, feeling windswept in the rain.

It continued to rain as we walked up to the lighthouse, where apparently there are usually good views, but I could just see a blankness, a whiteness, where the fog had settled in. I remember being able to see phormium, as we walked up the steps.

We visited my aunt and uncle's house, but they were in England at the time, and it felt somehow weird being in their house while they weren't there.

That night, we stayed in Waitomo and visited a local pub, and tried out the local cider and the feijoa Archers. I had only tried the fruit, feijoa, a few weeks before, for the first time, in Melbourne.

--

I floated through a cave on a boat, looking up at the glow-worms above, mesmerised by the glowing. After that, I walked through the spiral entrance down to Ruakuri Cave, and was intrigued by stalactites, weird shapes forming. It seems so magical that such things exist underneath the ground and I wonder what else is below.

We headed onwards from Waitomo to Taupo.

Steam arose from the Craters of the Moon, and I stared at the mud bubbling and the steam, so much steam, and at the pretty colours of the rocks. I hadn't imagined the moon would have so much vegetation.
The first night I was in Auckland, I watched a man fall in love with a blow-up doll in Lars and the Real Girl.

I kept thinking of Melbourne as if it was my home, as if I was going back there soon.

I remember walking along the beach and then following my cousin and my aunt's dog into a concrete fort, and into military tunnels that were so dark I couldn't see anything until I'd reached the end and could stare out at the sea.

The sky was blue that day, unlike Melbourne, which had hailstones the day I left, when I changed trams from one to the other, to get to the coach station.

We wandered along Muriwai Beach, but the gannets were gone. No jellyfish were to be seen either, but I did see starfish clinging to rocks, bigger and more colourful than the starfish in Melbourne.

We visited hot pools and whooshed down hydroslides, and as I laid in the hot water, staring up at the sky, I wondered if it was really winter.

Tree

Jul. 4th, 2009 02:37 am
Tree
Tree in Rotorua, New Zealand.

Lake Tekapo
Pylon
Church of the Good Shepherd
Lake Tekapo
Photos are of Lake Tekapo, pylon in Christchurch, The Church of the Good Shepherd, and Lake Tekapo again. More photos on Flickr: New Zealand.

Spring

Oct. 31st, 2008 01:53 pm
Wandering amongst the bluebells and ducklings in Christchurch's botanical gardens in the springtime made me feel like I'd just woken up again, as if I slept through what remained of autumn and all of winter.
Melbourne was a surreal city. The people moved around the streets in jitters, like they were people that weren't quite whole, like there were a few different realities converging in the streets of Melbourne, and on the trains and roads with cars that shimmered in and out of existence. I knew this before I arrived in Melbourne.

(I had wandered into an art gallery in Christchurch, New Zealand and saw videos of Melbourne in the Daniel Crooks: everywhere instantly exhibition, just before I flew to Melbourne. Soon I should actually begin to explore Melbourne and see if it really is like the videos.

Christchurch's art in public places was a little bit stranger.. In the main square existed a giant purple sperm with a bed inside it, and outside the Arts Centre, a petrol engine memorial park, with cars due to die draped in wreaths of dead leaves.)

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