New Zealand 2009

Steven Lane and I went to New Zealand. I left home on November 28 and went to Auckland. Steve had to go through Sydney and we didn't meet up until Queenstown on December 3. We hiked the Routeburn and Caples tracks. I had one more day to myself in Auckland before going home on December 11.
All my junk.
Loading my pack.
Inscrutable boarding pass code: “RT”.
3D flight visualization.
My first time crossing both the International Date Line and the Equator.
No “no photography” signs at passport control, so I took advantage.
This dog was sniffing for fresh foods being imported.
More inscrutable scribblings. “IC.” means I had to get interrogated by a customs agent.
This is the little room where they checked my tent for biosecurity.
“No spitting - Please use toilets.”
My first arrival in the Bavaria B&B in Auckland.
A nice little room.
The bills have transparent plastic windows in them.
Zebra crossing!
Steep steps in a back alley.
I never saw grass up the middle of the driveway before.
The path up to the top of Mount Eden.
A light refreshing rainstorm.
It's hard to photograph, but there's a deep volcanic crater here.
Auckland from Mount Eden.
Here's a shot of the crater.
Some of the bigger cars have this strange third mirror on the passenger side.
“Don't run, skip! As if the path ahead is full of daisies.”
Auckland Domain, a great big park.
Cricket pitch.
Some ferns in the fernerarium.
Giant lily pads.
Nice unintentional street art.
Kebab and “chips” and L&P.
Queen street.
Spooky smoky Sky Tower.
Hokey pokey ice cream.
This was a crazy steep staircase.
In Auckland, you can write “no junk mail” on your mailbox, and it works.
Auckland Harbor bridge.
Cricketers in Victoria Park.
Albert Park adjacent to the University of Auckland.
Going up the Sky Tower.
Bike mailman.
Cookie time!
The north entrance of Cornwall Park.
The side of One Tree Hill.
Gear up for the bungee jump.
A forced smile.
Before the leap.
Winch me up. Check out the movie too.
“Cara was here XXX AC/DC.”
The bridge from which I jumped.
Here's inside the museum.
Edmund Hillary's ice axe that he took to the top of Everest.
“EP” stamped in the metal.
V-1 flying bomb.
Wow! What an effect! I think it was done with paint remover to reveal the black metal underneath.
Close up of the graffiti showing it's not just drips.
Burger Wisconsin where I ate lunch.
New Zealand plugs.
Hillary on the $5 bill.
Free Internet access at the airport is a good idea, worthy of emulation.
So, the airplane couldn't land at Queenstown, so we landed in Dunedin and had to take a four-hour bus ride.
Finally in Queenstown.
Cat at Pinewood hostel.
Not a bad room.
Lake Wakatipu.
Irn-Bru for $52.80! It's a sign.
Much manlier than South African Iron Brew.
Tourist boat.
Morning at the hostel.
Feels like summer in a Colorado mountain town.
Cricket bowling cage.
Stop sign inventory number, and a palindrome.
Steve arrived and we started getting things ready for a hike.
A bowling lawn. We didn't figure out how it works.
Me at Joe's Garage.
Pikelets and crumpets are new taste sensations.
A sultana is a kind of grape.
Backpacking food.
Gearing up for the ice bar.
Ice glasses.
A little squirrel from the Kinder egg.
Views on the way to Glenorchy.
Glenorchy is govenment by Glen Orcs.
Lovely fields of clover at the trailhead.
All fixed up with a wooden splint.
There were a great deal of these long bouncy bridges.
The water was unbelievably clear.
Routeburn Flats, the first campsite.
Traipsing with our friend Daniel from New York.
This was a really stupid snow traversal that had to be supervised by a ranger.
My eye.
So long to Daniel.
There were some great views through the spotty clouds.
Mackenzie campsite the second night.
A big rock called Split Rock.
This is a crumpet on the inside.
The latrines were awesome. We could learn a thing or two.
Earland Falls, height 174 m.
We got wet going through it.
David Peaks! All right!
Howden campsite, the third night.
The top of McKellar saddle after a long wet ascent.
These wiffle-ball fungoids littered the forest floor.
A very rooty path in contrast to the Routeburn Track.
Mid Caples site, the fourth night.
Nested parentheses.
Big scary spider in the hut.
What the hell? A dead calf and cow while hiking out the last day.
Maybe it died just giving birth. Note all the maggots.
It rained hard all the way out.
Poor little wet cows.
Fast-forward back to Queenstown.
South African biltong, made in New Zealand.
There were all kinds of signs cautioning not to drive too fast.
A lake, I forget its name, on the way towards Mount Cook.
Māori rock art.
At the penguin colony. However you don't get to see them until nightfall when they return from the ocean. Don Knuth has the same sign.
Old gun emplacement. This is in Oamaru.
A red New Zealand flag.
Delicious ice cream.
Bought me some cheese.
Will it be you? Slow Down.
Me with red eyes for some reason.
A dinner of monkfish and couscous we cooked in the kitchen at the hostel.
An aviary in the Timaru town park.
It's called Caroline Bay.
Dead shark!
Strangely deserted, like in Spirited Away just as night is falling.
Ahh! Breakfast man!
The little squirrel came back.
The finishing post. Don't race. Slow down.
Now we're in the RNZAF museum.
Heavy gyroscopic fin stabilizers.
Blam! Blam!
I wasn't feeling well so we just sat by the beach for a while.
Flight back to Auckland.
The view from Queen Street Backpackers. How noisy on a Thursday night.
I don't get it. People travel across the world and then do nothing but sit in the hostel and check email.
There was a series of benches with a word latter that transformed “word” into “deed” in two different ways. WORD.
WARD. WAND. Not pictured are WANT and WENT.
LORE. LORD. Not pictured are LOAD and LEAD.
Some nighttime Auckland lights.
The next day I took the ferry to Devonport.
This is the top of Mount Victoria, where there's a weather station or something.
Mushroom air vents.
There is also a giant “disappearing gun” left over from World War II.
A bright colorful parrot just walking around like anything.
A little American flag.
Footpath closed. Please use other side. (Or die trying.)
Somebody wrote “SOS HELP US” in the sand.
There's Auckland on the left and Mount Victoria on the right.
10-, then 5-, then 3-way symmetry.
Very effective moiré in front of this shop.
So long, New Zealand.
Mac and cheese with hokey pokey.
This kind gent is cleaning my boots to protect American livestock from New Zealand pathogens.
You inconsiderate boob!
You say “American ginger ale”; I say “frisdrank met gemberextract.”

Here are some movies:

And some sounds: