When it was the century-old ruins and colourful animals in Sri Lanka that fascinated us, it is New Zealand’s landscapes and scenic routes which took us in.
The first highlight of our drive along the east coast was the Bank Peninsula. The smooth hills, the windy road, the blue sea and the lush green fields and forests are just gorgeous. And it’s probably there, where we could understand best that some people say, New Zealand looks like Switzerland.
The second stunning site were the Moeraki Boulders. After a 30 minutes’ walk along the beach, we just reached them before another busload of tourists arrived. The main body of the boulders started forming out of marine mud million years ago. Due to the cementation by mudstone, these concrecations happened and were buried in the seafloor. The uplift of the seafloor as well as coastal erosion are the reasons that they are visible today.
The third highlight which the east coast offered us, was the sight of an Orca when we were on our way back from Tunnel beach.
Compared to Sri Lanka the animals are not well visible and you have to make some effort to see the Blue Penguins. They are the smallest penguins of the world and come back to their nests at around 9pm. It’s funny and at the same time fascinating how they climb the path somehow clumsily and still expertly. They meet their partners in the nest who were breeding the eggs.
Steadily we made our way towards the south of the island, getting used to the endless straight roads as well as the strong winds which blow over those huge meadows for cows and sheep.