Down Under! - Michael Burke

Down Under!

December 17, 2018

There’s something a bit magical about traveling “down under” this time of year. The dramatic contrast in seasons is evident not only in better weather, but also in much longer days. And when it’s a visit to countries as different as Australia and New Zealand, the potential for enchantment goes up dramatically.

Australia, the big brother of the two, is full of iconic sights, like this nighttime image of the Sydney Opera House and Harbor Bridge.

Or these guys, two of which you know well. The other, a wobbegong shark we spotted while snorkeling, is a bottom-dwelling fish native to the western Pacific and eastern Indian oceans.

By contrast, New Zealand’s majestic south island feels immediately mystical and wild. Remember, this is where the Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed. Milford and Doubtful Sounds, technically fiords, offer scenery that’s simply stunning in any weather. And where else would kayakers be blockaded by a playful pod of bottlenose dolphins, making us late to our pickup point?

The rain forest on the southwest coast creates the conditions for exotic-looking plants like common flax, but also makes it possible for invasive species like lupine to thrive. Despite a dramatic increase in tourism, Fiordland National Park remains beautiful, rugged and wild.

This last blog of 2018 gives me a chance to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and to thank you for following Sherry and me as we pursued a nomadic lifestyle this year. It has been a unique, rewarding and unforgettable experience for us.

If you want to see more images for our month in Australia and New Zealand, click here. As always, I recommend you click on the Slideshow icon over the first image, sit back and enjoy the show. You can always go back and read the caption of any image for more details.

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