Panos from New Zealand

New Zealand

New Zealand was a long-cherished destination of ours when we seized the opportunity in late 2004. During our month's stay we discovered pretty soon that it is an easy country to travel around, with great scenery (what we knew), good food (what we found out) and the odd kiwi speciality, including kiwis.

Skyline Gondola, Queenstown

File size 81 kB. Choose JPEG or Java Viewer. On our first day in New Zealand we wisely followed the advice of our B&B host to ride the Skyline Gondola that very same evening - before the weather turned sour the day after.

Seaplane flight, Te Anau

File size 76 kB. Choose JPEG or Java Viewer. Money is easily spent in New Zealand, with any imaginable tourist activity available for cash. The seaplane flight in splendid wheather with Wings and Water Te Anau to Fijordland's Doubtful Sound was money well spent. We had gorgeous views over forests, mountains, lakes and fjiords - with no sign of civilisation - combined with the thrill of flying in a seaplane. I took the pano free-handed when over Lake Te Anau's South Fjord, only minutes after take-off.

Milford Sound

File size 78 kB. Choose JPEG or Java Viewer. It was slightly raining when we left for our Milford Sound cruise on the MV Friendship. Later on, it poured with no sight whatsoever and finally - within 10 minutes - cleared up on our way back just in time for a typical Milford Sound shot with Mitre Peak and Harrison Cove.

Lake Wanaka

File size 107 kB. Choose JPEG or Java Viewer. It's a short pleasant walk from Wanaka to Eely Point on Lake Wanaka where I have taken this pano.

Fantail Falls, Mount Aspiring N.P.

File size 132 kB. Choose JPEG or Java Viewer. Mount Aspiring N.P. sounds like serious hiking, but this spot is just a couple of minutes off a parking lot on the highway from Haast Pass to Haast.

Glacier Heli-Hiking, Fox Glacier

File size 97 kB. Choose JPEG or Java Viewer. Heli-hiking in Fox - especially with the wonderful weather we had - was another good idea. As spoiled Swiss, had we only seen Fox Glacier's terminal, we might have well been disappointed by the West Coast glaciers.

Heli hike, Fox Glacier

File size 87 kB. Choose JPEG or Java Viewer. There was some kind of a "Fellowship of the Rings" feeling when we - later on - actually hiked on Fox glacier. Quite astonishingly, Edda was never even remotely afraid.

Avon River off Gloucester St, Christchurch

File size 108 kB. Choose JPEG or Java Viewer. Christchurch is usually described as the most English city in New Zealand. We fully agree, and that was long before we had seen its very American antipode Auckland...

Off Summit Road, Akaroa Harbour

File size 90 kB. Choose JPEG or Java Viewer. Given that we have been to New Zealand, this is the only image where you can discern some sheep in the distance. No wonder, given the visibly lush green on Banks Penninsula.

Cobden Villa, Napier

File size 78 kB. Choose JPEG or Java Viewer. Cobden Villa is run by an American couple who have turned their Victorian home into a truly Art Deco B&B. Definitely the place to be when in Napier.

Napier, Central Business District

File size 74 kB. Choose JPEG or Java Viewer. The Central Business District at the corner of Tennyson St/Hastings St, Napiers Art Deco pièce de resistance. You'll be amazed (Edda was and eventually gave in) how much there is to tell during the two-hour Art Deco Centre tour on buildings which line essentially two roads.

Terraces, Orakei Korako

File size 81 kB. Choose JPEG or Java Viewer. Having visited Craters of the Moon, Wai-o-Tapu Thermal Wonderland and Orakei Korako, we liked Orakei Korako best. Nevertheless, we would revisit all three sites because they are all very different, each having its merit.

Ruatapu Cave, Orakei Korako

File size 161 kB. Choose JPEG or Java Viewer. The cave is a conical-shaped hole into the mountain with a warm pool at its very ground. It's like stepping into a different, hidden world.

Lady Knox Geyser, Wai-o-Tapu

File size 123 kB. Choose JPEG or Java Viewer. Lady Knox Geyser is a big draw because it is made to erupt on time by soap that a Park ranger adds to the geyser, see pano. There is quite some crowd which gathers, virtually all heading towards the main entrance to realize that the geyser is outside the park proper, a short drive away. There a huge parking lot fills with frenzy before the 10:15 scheduled date. It's amazing to see people wait for 20 minutes and then leave a minute after the geyser starts.

View from Mt Ngauruhoe, Tongariro N.P.

File size 71 kB. Choose JPEG or Java Viewer. The one-day Tongariro Crossing (6 - 9h) was serious hiking, especially with the 2287 m high Mt Ngauruhoe (Lord of the Rings' Mount Doom) added to the menu (around 2 - 3h). However, even though I managed to climb it fairly fast, climbing down the crumbly slope was a rather tedious affair. Eventually I did not have much time reserve to make it on the last bus from Ketetahi parking lot, mainly due to my tired knees.
But look what gorgeous weather! I am standing on the outer rim, the snow field covers the inner crater. In the distance I could see Mt Taranaki (you can't).

Red Crater, Tongariro N.P.

File size 62 kB. Choose JPEG or Java Viewer. The Red Crater (you see immediately how it got its name), is the highest point on the Tongariro Crossing, I had an excellent view on the quintessential volcano Mt Ngauruhoe in the distance and nearby Emerald Lakes. After that, weather turned sour on what had been the best day within a week.

Ueli Schmids House, Whangarei Heads

File size 113 kB. Choose JPEG or Java Viewer. Ueli Schmid (alias "Büsi") had studied chemistry with my father at the "Tech" in Winterthur. When he heard that we were coming to New Zealand, he very much encouraged us to visit him and his charming family, what we gladly did. There are few people I know who care that much for their children and the land they live on, off the usual paths of material values.

Acadia Lodge, Russell

File size 99 kB. Choose JPEG or Java Viewer. We almost exclusively stayed at B&B's in New Zealand and fared very well. Charming, helpful hosts, nice locations, good value and ample local knowledge, especially on dining. Acadia Lodge featured among the nicest rooms with the nicest views and to be honest, not among the least expensive.

The Strand, Russell

File size 100 kB. Choose JPEG or Java Viewer. Russell is a truly charming place to stay whilst in the Bay of Islands, unless you prefer all the virtues of modern tourism which lure in Paihia across the bay. Think twice.

Flagstaff Hill, Russell

File size 137 kB. Only JPEG. This commended the far better view of the Bay of Islands than on our boat trip to Cape Brett the previous day, when we realized that this part of New Zealand can get pretty foggy and wet too.


File size 79 kB. Choose JPEG or Java Viewer. Mangonui is a cute little town on the onset of Doubtless Bay.

Clendon House, Rawene

File size 139 kB. Choose JPEG or Java Viewer. Clendon House dates from the 1860s when Rawene on beautiful Hokianga Harbour was one of the most bustling towns in New Zealand. The garden is simply sweet/grand (as a Kiwi might say) and the house itself tells the story of of a great, proud Maori wife.

Walk to Te Matua Ngahere, Waipoua Forest

File size 166 kB. Choose JPEG or Java Viewer. I did not want to leave New Zealand without a forest pano, even though on this one you hardly realize the size of the surrounding "standard size" Kauri trees.

Yakas Tree Walk, Waipoua Forest

File size 168 kB. Choose JPEG or Java Viewer. The Yakas Tree Walk used to connect the smaller walks around the big Kauri trees with the DOC visitor centre, but it was only partially open when we visited. I ventured a quarter an hour along it in an attempt to get my quintessential Waipoua Forest shot. The bigger trees on the pano are all Kauri, including the big trunk which is closest.

Mt Eden, Auckland

File size 85 kB. Choose JPEG or Java Viewer. Auckland is built on many volcanoes, which is most evident if you are standing on one - Mt Eden. Downtown with the Sky Tower is clearly visible.


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