Queentsown - New Zealand - © Claire Blumenfeld

Chapter 2 :
The escape

The last land

After a half-hearted trip to Japan, I do not plan to return home and fly to New Zealand. I undertake a different journey made of lot of work, learning and discoveries. The landscapes are very beautiful and I also take the opportunity to go on multi-days hikes. I have the impression of fleeing the future while being almost serene in this country on the other side of the world.

New Zealand – 1 year – June 2016 to June 2017

The photographs

Photos – New Zealand landscapes

I stayed one year in New Zealand. From June 2015 to June 2016. There have been ups and downs, difficulties and extraordinary experiences. But what has marked me is an impression of tranquility and piece at the end of the world.

The tales

My last two months in New Zealand

So here I am, installed at Trevelyan’s campsite. Gonna spend six weeks packing kiwis to get some money for my next trip to Asia. I take advantage of my free weekend to meet the other young people living in the house. A dozen people from all over the world.

Focus: New Zealand – North Island

A selection of the best photographs I took during my past year wandering around New Zealand lands.
The photographs are accompanied by a legend evoking a memory. Here is my selection for the North Island.

April on the North Island

Back in Wellington, I spend a few days with Niels (and his wife), whom I met during my work in Te Anau several months earlier. They live in Plimmerton, a chic suburb of Wellington, about thirty minutes by train from the center. The main purpose of my visit to Wellington is to make an appointment with a nose specialist to settle my sinus infection that I have been carrying for several months.

Focus: New Zealand – South Island

A selection of the best photographs I took during my year exploring the lands of New Zealand. The photos are accompanied by a souvenir associated with the place. I present here my selection for the South Island.

Goodbye South Island

I left Farewell Spit by hitchhiking through Collingwood and back down to Motueka where I left my bike several days before. Along the way, I camped at Canaan Downs, a valley in the hills just behind the Abel Tasman National Park. The place is used for festivals and rave-parties and wooden sculptures are present everywhere.

Encounters in Farewell Spit

After my hike on the Abel Tasman Track, I traveled by hitchhiking the Golden Bay. The area extends from Abel Tasman National Park to Farewell Spit. Farewell Spit is an almost island sinking into the sea from Cape Farewell. It is located on the northern side of the South Island and looks strangely like the long beak of a kiwi (the bird) when viewed on a map.

Along the coast on the Abel Tasman Track

After crossing the West Coast, I arrived in the Tasman region, where the Abel Tasman National Park is located. A trail runs along the coast for a 3/4 days-hike alternating passages in coastal forests and yellow sandy beaches. So I leave my bike and my belongings in Motueka and I start with only my backpack and my tent for 3 days and a half of hiking.

West Coast in picture. Cape Foulwind and its seal colony

The very last stop on the West Coast, a little extra ride after Westport. Go and return to see Cape Foulwind and its colony of seals. Cape Foulwind is about fifteen kilometers from Westport. I then take the bus to Richmond, in the Tasman region, North of the South Island. The end of one stage and the beginning of another.

West Coast in picture. Westport

Here I am, arrived at Westport, the end of my journey on the West Coast. The region still stretches over a hundred kilometers to the north, but the road is one-way. Unfortunately I do not have time to go there.

West Coast in picture. Hokitika

From Lake Ianthe, a couple of Kiwis drives me to Hokitika. With the rain I give up visiting Hokitika Gorge, 33 km away from the village. In the end I will not see much of the area. An appointment a little missed.

West Coast in picture. Franz Josef Glacier

After Fox Glacier, direction Franz Joseph Glacier, another glacier about twenty kilometers away. But I made the journey by bus. Indeed the road climbs very hard to pass the Three Sisters, three big steep climbs that I did not had the courage to do by bike.

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