NZ South Island Dream

ENGLISH: After a full week in Queenstown enjoying mountains and lakes, we took the road to the west towards Milford Sounds in the “Fjordland National Park“.

We crossed many landscapes that seemed to be scenes from the “Lord of the Rings” movie (it was indeed shot a lot in that region), with grandiose & wild mountains, endless rivers and lakes that compose pure nature poetry… We took a boat in the morning to with the Fjords, where mountain meet the ocean, and despite the bad weather, it was a memorable moment, sighting raw nature composition with countless waterfalls falling directly into the sea…

We then headed east to Dunedin , visiting the Otago Peninsula where we could observe Fur Seals in their natural habitat, enjoying the sun and fresh air of the early days of winter.

Further north to Chirstchurch, hiking the Banks Peninsula in deserted hills and secret coves where we could be alone with nature in untouched forests. Pure enjoyment.

Last, we stopped several days in Kaikoura know as one of the best surf spots on earth (Mangamanu bay famous rights over several kilometers), but also one of the unique place in the world where you are guaranteed to observe whales, as male Sperm Whales made their home in the Kaikoura underwater canyon where they can find food all year round. And we did see many of those rare whales, the largest toothed predator on the blue planet.

This long stay in the South Island exceeded our wildest expectations regarding encountering raw nature. NZ is magic!

Now heading back to the North Island to continue our NZ adventures…


FRENCH: Apres avoir passé quelques jours à Queenstown à profiter des montagnes et du lac…comme à Annecy mais en beaucoup plus sauvage, nous avons filé (autant que possible avec le camping car) vers Milford Sounds, dans le “Fiordland National Park“.

Les paysages pour y arriver étaient dignes du “Seigneur des Anneaux” des montagnes grandioses, sauvages, la nature à perte de vue, des rivières, des lacs et des moutons!
Nous avons pris un bateau le matin pour visiter les fiords… pays des montagnes et des cascades qui se déversent directement dans la mer. La végétation luxuriante et abondante habillait les parois rocheuses : magnifique spectacle de Dame Nature.

Nous sommes ensuite passés du côté Est de l’île sur la péninsule d’Otago à Dunedin. Nous avons eu la chance d’approcher des phoques sur une plage profitant du soleil pour faire la sieste… ils avaient l’air vraiment bien, lovés sur un nid d’algue ou carrément à l’ombre d’un arbre!

En remontant au Nord, nous nous sommes arrêtés sur la péninsule de Banks à proximité de Christchurch… Nous avons fait une ballade entre montagne et mer en traversant des forêts envoûtées pour notre plus grand bonheur!

Encore plus au Nord, à Kaikoura nous avons eu la chance de partir voir les cachalots géants. Il y a une communauté de cachalots mâles qui vivent dans les canyons sous marins au large de Kaikoura. Ces mammifères sont vraiment impressionnants, 15 à 20 mètres de long, se sont d’excellents nageurs, ils peuvent rester sous l’eau pendant 2 heures à une profondeur de 3000 mètres! Leurs queues sont comme nos empreintes digitales… uniques.

Nous avons vraiment tous adoré l’île du Sud, par sa nature sauvage et très variée…

Nous avons repris le bateau pour rejoindre l’île du Nord…

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Kids in the Press!

ENGLISH: We are super proud to announce that the kids made it to the famous “Geo” for teenagers, the french equivalent of the National Geographic, where they could talk about their “Carbon Neutral World Tour” in their own words.

Their best memories, their worst, what they miss, and many more interesting thoughts on the Beautiful World Tour (but in french only;-)

Here is a copy of the 4 pages article with a PDF below to download it!

FRENCH: Nous sommes super fier d’annoncer la parution d’un article sur les enfants dans Geo Ado, 4 pages où ils racontent leur impression sur leur voyage “Eco-responsable”.

Leur meilleurs souvenirs, les pires, les amis et les choses qui leur manquent le plus…

A voir ci-dessus et avec le PDF en téléchargement: GEO_CarnetVoyage

GEON158P058_CarnetVoyage pour C2GEON158P058_CarnetVoyage pour C22

 

 

 

Family flight over Queenstown

Kids just cleared another challenge: flying and steering a paraglider!

After our stay in Wanaka, we went to Queenstown where we had great weather to let the kids fly. We have been flying all three one after another (Mom preferred to watch from the ground;-). Both Ulysses & Jade could take the commands to make their first smooth turns, and get into some tumbling with their instructors.

A great flight from Coronet Peak, sighting the lakes around Queenstown and the autumn colors of the surrounding mountains from above.

I had a few more flights, including good soaring in medium wind, to get something I started a loooong time ago: my paraglider pilot license (called PG2 here in NZ)!

Now heading to Fjordland.

New-Zealand road-trip south

We have been only 5 days in NZ, and it looks like it has been a month!

We had to be in the mountains of the south island around the 15th of April, so we have been racing south from Auckland to Wanaka, stopping in some known places and wherever nature was particularly beautiful, which is almost everywhere!

We started by visiting the Waitomo Caves where we could see amazing glowing worms that looked like the milky way in the dark, went to the southern tip of the north island to Wellington where took the ferry, stopped in the amazing Abel Tasman natural reserve where we could kayak, drove along the World Heritage Highway, crossing glaciers & deserted beaches, crossed the southern Alps and lakes to end up in Wanaka today…

In a nutshell: COMPLETELY AMAZING sceneries. In most countries in the world, you find some spots of domesticated nature in between urbanisations. Here in NZ, you find some rare urbanisations lost in untouched nature, everywhere.

Also, people are strikingly nice and welcoming. It’s probably the only place in the world where farmers leave fruits, veggies and honey on the side of the road with a little box to leave money.

We are all mesmerized and believe our long stay here (6 weeks total) will be a highlight of the Beautiful World Tour.

We survived almost a week in the camping car and will now start some new (flying) adventures!