The oldeset known rock in Zealandia
was found here at Lake Wanaka.
It is estimated to be 2.7 billion years old.
This piece of peridotite
is made up of magnesium,
I wonder if it is the magnesium-rich water
that makes it feel so good to go in for a dip in Lake Wanaka.
Most of the stones inside the lake are darker green stones.
If Google served me right,
the rocks in the lake are Green-Schist,
a combo of albite epidote-chlorite-sphene (which is olive-colored),
magnetite (which is grey and dark green),
actinolite (emerald green) etc.
In the water,
they are brighter than when they are taken out of the water.
What attracted me was not actually the green rocks,
but the white quartz.
They are dotted here and there,
not the most common in a lake full of green ones.
Some white ones have the green-schist inside them,
I threw those ones back -
the ones mixed with other colored substances.
The ones I picked out
and filled the front pocket of my camera bag
were so clean and white
that they almost look see-through.
They have no blemish of color from other deposits.
In the water, even under a cloudy sky, they caught my eye.
These were the ones I would take home.
Aside from purple, gold, silver and dark olive green,
colors Iâd easily have around myself,
white is actually my favorite color.
White a color I darenât wear on myself,
or use at home.
White is a color that represents purity, cleanliness.
When I see white, it calls for image of bright light,
like my favorite light -
the bright pale sunlight after the rain,
which I refer to as Platinum Hour.
These white stones represent to me
the untainted minds,
the pure at heart,
the unblemished souls.
Untouched and unaffected by whatever condition they are in.
Especially in times like now.
When information muddles your own clarity of thinking,
when situations forces you to choose or cave in.
I hope there are many
many pure souls around still.
I picked up so many of these white quartz stones on the shore of Wanaka that my camera bag ended up being so heavy,
I had to walk sideways to hold myself straight :p.
After I returned home to Wellington,
They had been laid out in our front garden,
a symbol of appreciation for my kind of people.
I never explored Queenstown properly before.
My 1st time here I was 18,
We stayed overnight
at the lakefront Crown Plaza.
I remember taking an easy stroll alone
âand arriving at the lake,
I remember admiring the mirrorlike surface at dusk,
standing on the beach right outside the city centre;
I remember noticing the white dots
on the tail feathers of seagulls here;
I remember a piece of rounded broken glass
I found and picked up on the beach;
I remember the blue hour light at dusk,
the glorious crisp light at sunrise;
and the $115 ammonite ring
I came across in an antique store.
My 2nd time here I was 22.
Again - I was with the Couchsurfing group.
âEverybody was a couchsurfing host in Wellington.
We never Couchsurfed the whole trip,
we stayed in our rented vans
or in funky wooden huts
(1 in particular stood out as it was pyramid-shaped.)
Our group made a brief stop-over, and visited
the house of a children's books writer.
He was an avid Couchsurfing host himself,
and had many guests there when we stopped by.
He pretty much lived on royalty,
and no longer needed to work
âfor the rest of his life probably.
It was a cloudy gloomy day,
I remember all of us chilling on the carpet,
I took a seat by the window, looking out
at the thin layer of clouds
floating at the waist of the Remarkables.
When the sky cleared up,
we went on the cable car
and saw all the pine trees below our feet.
As we headed to Wanaka afterwards,
âI didn't really get to experience Queenstown.
But this time :) -
This time I made Queenstown my base -
the center point for excursions
visiting surrounding regions
and towns in the vicinity.
This time - I became a local.
I stayed in Queenstown for a total of 10 nights.
After the 3rd day,
I no longer needed Google Map's guidance.
I prided myself as a short-term Q-town local for 11 days.
It was so exciting when I arrived
âas I finally parked the car at my accommodation on my 1st afternoon after hours and hours of dry driving through Christchurch...
It was sunny and HOT -
A huge change from the dreary,
rainy days at Otago Peninsula;
I had a view of the cable cars we were on from the accommodation,
the mountain was full of pines;
The sun shone with a blazing force
that could knock your hat off,
âand poured onto the carpet of my room;
The sky was so pure and blue
that the pine trees took on a blue hue.
Already on the way here,
the drive was full of colors and sunshine.
I drove through the yellow plains and golden hills of Central Otago,
some fields were covered with purple flowers;
I drove through many a gold-mining-settlements
which are now quaint little historic towns,
with rivers coursing through them
and interesting bridges to drive on;
I drove through Cromwell,
which welcomed visitors
with the teal color of Lake Dunstan
and booming jetskiing sound over the lake,
giving out a sense of leisure and fun.
You could take a break/go tramping at Roaring Meg -
part of the Kawarau river
which runs along the gorgeous Kawarau Gorge,
creating a trail of gold-mining sites
leading all the way towards Wakatipu.
The roaring force of Roaring Meg
has been utilised and set up as a power station
with a nice lookout which is worthy of a stop-over,
allowing you to admire the beauty
âand servitude of
âand the power of nature.
Cromwell itself is always a joy to come through.
It offers so much more than it's given credits for:
With waterparks and lakefront sites to camp at,
trails along Lake Dunstan for locals & visitors to enjoy.
The hills here are coated in purple flowers,
fields of orchards/vineyards
make up the view along the highway
âtowards Queensbury & Wanaka.
Here, there are fruits galore!!
It is the Eden of Te Waipounamu,
Hawkes Bay of the South Island.
I loaded up on fresh fruits from Webb's Fruits,
spent a total $65 on 4 boxes
of nectarines, apricots, cherries and peaches -
all my favourite summer yummies -
Deliciousness to live for.
Let the adventure begin!
There's no where better to be than Queenstown~
I hope you never hesitate to travel to QLD,
whether by flight, by ferry then by car.â
Queenstown LOVES having tourists around :)
A key reason I want to encourage others in NZ
to go travel more around NZ
is because domestic tourism industry here in NZ
really has suffered.
The prices for accommodation during the holiday
was tripled, if not doubled, in price,
just so business owners can take the chance
and make some $$$.
Otherwise they'll be left high and dry
through most of the year.
Many places I'd stayed last year
(I travelled pretty much every month in 2021)
didn't have any other guests but me there.
I was shocked when I was told e.g. at Belle Camping
that I was the 1st guest there, and it was October!
So I don't blame businesses for doubling their price,
even though it was a big slash off of my own budget.
I'd rather support local tourism
than seeing stores and accommodations shut down
and our own tourism industry wither away.
I want to see NZ tourism thrive again.
And I pray for the border to open soon,
hopefully by mid-year this year.
Meanwhile the reality IS:
Things have been REALLY HARD.
Shop owners have suffered,
hotels, motels, apartments and holiday homes
We need to make sure to go out there
âand support local businesses.
Buy NZ-made products,
don't shop from overseas - shop local -
purchase kiwi-made goods.
And you are Beautiful!
When I first started this trip
- the day I began to drive down south
(on the 25th of December 2021)
the weather was bright and hot.
I checked out of Waikoura Springs
& headed straight to Fyffe House.
Fyffe House was at the corner of the Kaikoura Coast,
on the way to the Seals Colony site.
It has a wide lawn out front,
flowers everywhere along the front of the house.
The view from the lawn
is of the big and beautifully layered Mount Fyffe,
and the Kaikōura Range across the water.
It was just the most breathtaking sight.
Under the bright morning after-sunrise afterglow,
everything seemed so light and pure.
The blue is of the freshest and deepest blue,
the air was hot,
even the flowers felt like they were busting in heat,
burning for bees to come for their pollen.
Already I knew, for this trip
- I was in for something good.
Having come back,
we had the good luck of staying at a beach-front accommodation.
The view was so good it looked like something out of a post-card.
The sun brightly shone,
the pohutukawa trees were in full bloom.
The blue ocean was right outside the door,
a mere 5-second step-outside-the-glass-door,
and you're there on the beach.
We spent the afternoon and the next whole day
on the beach here, playing fetch, sitting, staring, swimming.
I was able to swim - properly -
for the first time ever in New Zealand!
The water was so warm!
It wasn't a bit cold.
After being in the sun for a while,
you'd actually crave to be in the water.
I LOVE that feeling - that love of the water
and craving for the water.
To be able to float in the ocean in New Zealand,
watching the clouds above
while I was all sprawled out on the water surface
light as driftwood.
It was a feeling of home.
For the first time,
I was truly glad New Zealand was my home.
This is the kind of feeling I sought for all along:
That tropical island feel.
I used to have to seek that everywhere else
around the world,
but I found it again - right here
- in Kaikoura.
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