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Half way round South Island

March 6, 2015

Kea Motorhome Kea Motorhome parked at Queenstown campsite. Photo by Ian Marshall.

Today we arrived in Wanaka, half way round New Zealand’s South Island.

We did not stop to join the bungee jumpers at Kawarau bridge but I have completed my second stint of driving our 7.5m long motorhome, which is more than twice the size of my car.

It took a while to get used to it, especially as I’ve never driven an automatic vehicle before. Once I grasped that it’s like operating a giant treadle sewing machine I stitched a neat hem using road markings as my tack lines for a few hundred kilometres.

We have now covered 1253 km, mostly on straight, long roads that the Romans would have been proud of and I have this poem to offer about the South Island:

Hard to believe that flightless birds

taller than our campervan

once roamed these ancient hills.

The land is dry, barren,

punctuated by linear stands

of poplar, beech and pine.

Parched rivers filter jade,

teal, turquoise and lime

into a labyrinth of lakes.

Everywhere an undercurrent

of calm, peace and stillness

permeates the vast silence

broken by a sudden scream.

Not a kea, kakapo or takahe

but a kiwi paragliding into town.

Hope you like the sense of humour. There’s a definite wryness in the road signs e.g. upon approaching one town we read:

‘No doctor,

no hospital,

one cemetry.’

… at the same time as a ‘health shuttle’ or local ambulance drove by on the opposite side of the road!


From → Travel Writing

  1. Looks lovely.

  2. Love the travelog and love the poem, Judith.

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