New Year

Hello everyone!

I know it’s been a while, but I’m back from vacations and holidays and raring to go on all sorts of new projects I’ve been thinking about. But, first things first…

I went on a vacation with my wife and my parents¬†to New Zealand. We flew to Auckland and cruised for fourteen days, hitting a number of port cities on New Zealand’s east coast, before heading to Sydney, Australia and then back to Auckland. True to what you saw in Lord of the Rings, New Zealand is an absolutely beautiful country!

I saw the youngest geothermal system in the world! Waimangu valley erupted in 1886 destroying an existing resort and world renowned tourist attractions. Now there’s a whole group of geysers, lakes and other interesting geological stuff to see.

Acid_lakeGeyser

We visited Wellington, home of the government and the burgeoning movie industry. There we saw shooting locations and got to visit Weta, the company that did the special effects for Peter Jackson’s films as well as Avatar, Tintin, Elysium and many other famous films.

Hobbit_fallTrolls

Dunedin (the Scottish Gaelic name for Edinburgh) was a very cool university town that we visited in southern New Zealand. Lots of art galleries, a huge Cadbury factory and a few cathedrals. Also, there were a number of businesses there owned by Todds. I wonder if they are distant relations?

Todds Crypt_office

Fjordland National Park occupies the southwest corner of the South Island and is the largest of New Zealand’s 14 (14!!!) national parks. There are plenty of opportunities for hiking, camping, kayaking and other such activities, but we cruised through it in our big ‘ol cruise ship. Breathtaking!

Fjords_2Fjords_3

We saw many beautiful places and I was outdoors enough to last me well into 2016!

Piha_BeachAuthor

More posts to come, including a new short story next week. Happy Holidays to everyone and welcome back to the real world!

One thought on “New Year

  1. Mom

    Thanks, Hugh–Couldn’t have said any of it better myself! And your pictures are fabulous. One of the best cruises I have ever had, for many reasons but especially for sharing. Love, Mom

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