After being on planes for 26 hours (via Dubai, Singapore and Brisbane) we landed in Auckland February 2004 only having two wishes - taking a
shower and going to sleep.New Zealand is a insular country with 694 121 square miles, 55 million sheeps and only 4 million people, who are always
living with the fear that New Zealand would once drop off the world map and nobody would recognize it.
It took us 3 days to have a look at the sights worth seeing (like the 1000 feet high Sky Tower, Kelly Tarltonâ€™s Underwater World &
the Antarctic Encounter, the Parnell Village, Mt. Eden with the awsome view over the city, the Americaâ€™s Cup Village â€“ â€śthe place to be â€ś
for Kiwis and tourists) and to get our motorcycle through customs.
The time had come to get back on the road and so we travelled up to the most northern point â€śCape Reingaâ€ť. It is the place where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific and it is even allowed to drive on the deserted 60 mile beach with cars and bikes.Always driving south, we reached Rotoura (know as the
cultural centre of the Maoris) with the bubble mud pools and the geysirs. Even the people living there call their city â€śWhangapiproâ€ť â€“ â€śhorrible stinking placeâ€ť.The permanent smell of sulphur couldnâ€™t stop us to have a look at the points of interest in the surroundings like theWaimangu Volcanic Valley, biggest boiling lake; Waiotapu, colourful champagne lake and the Lady Knox Geysir, who gets activated every day with a piece of soap. An absolut
highlight was the arrangement in a village outside of town, where we could take part in a haka (war dance) and being part in a hangi (traditional meal).
The crossing from Wellington on the North Island and Picton on the South Island lasts 3 hours and if the weather is good it is just wonderful (first there is the view at the Skyline of Wellington, after that you sometimes have a rough crossing across the Cook-Strait and last but not least you sail into
the green Marlborough Sounds of the South Island). Jean and Paul (a couple from Auckland, also travelling on a motorcycle) had given us quite a
few helpful and interesting informations on the ferry during the crossing.
If someone has been already fascinated of the untouched nature on the North Island, youâ€™ll be more than amazed on the South Island. Here youâ€™ll find everything like long and lonely beaches to go swimming, huge forests to go hikking and mountains with snow on their tops and glaciers. Leaving Picton and passing through Nelson, Westport, Greymouth and to the Arthurâ€™s Pass we managed to have a good look, due to good weather, at the Fox and
Franz Josef Glacier while the legendary Mt. Cook was hiding behind thick patches of fog. In Haast the West-Coast-Road ends and winds through the mountains of the Mt. Aspiring Nat. Park to Wanaka and Queenstown, the recreational capital city. The offers are reaching from a Bungee-Jump of the
140 feet high Kawarau- Bridge, or a Tandem Gliding Flight to a White-Water-Rafting-Tour.
After an exhausting ride into the Skipper Canyon (gravel road), we booked a room in a motel in Te Anau, because we wanted to take a boat trip through
the Milford Sound. An unforgetable experience! From the boat we had an awsome look at steep hills, up to 2000 feet high waterfalls, dark blue
fiordwater and seal colonies. After a couple relaxing days in this paradisiacal part of the world, we reached Bluff, the most southern point of
New Zealand. Passing through Dunedin and Christchurch we reached Kaikoura, where a boat took us very close to the hunting-grounds of the
Result: New Zealand with its untouched nature, its friendly and open-minded people, will last for a long time in our memory!