New Zealand from Dunedin to Christchurch: January
19 to February 1
(Pictures are thumbnails. Click on them for a larger view. You may click on the subjects listed to go directly to them.)
Note to Odyssey followers who are not much interested in the Reynolds - Macandrews family reunion: you can select subjects below that do not begin with the word Reunion and avoid a lot of pictures of people you don't know!
Subjects: Dunedin Reunion Hello Reunion City Tour Reunion Dinner Reunion Church Memorial Reunion Ted Reynolds Gathering Reunion Marble's Dinner Royal Albatross Colony Otego Museum Trip to the South Farm Stay South Slope Point Edendale Machinery Club Crank Up Day Cromwell Mt.Cook National Park Hike to Hooker Glacier East to Christchurch Christchurch Christchurch Antarctica Center
When we were planning this trip, Dennis had wondered why we were planning so much time in one country to which Jennifer replied, "Trust me. We'll still run short of time there!" We have run out of time, and have a long list of places and people to visit on our return. We've learned about the variability of NZ weather in early summer, the beauty, fragility and conflicting values in our environmental and cultural riches, and the joys of meeting family and friends we barely knew existed. The reunion of the next Reynolds' arrival by boat is being discussed for 2006, but we hope we can return even sooner! One thing is sure: we'll be back!
We are now in Ayers Rock (southwest Northern Territory), Australia, having arrived in Sydney on February 1. However, this update will only cover our family reunion held starting January 16 in Dunedin, New Zealand and our continuing travels on the South Island of New Zealand through the end of January. We will update this page with our continuing adventures in Australia as soon as practical.
During our first travels in New Zealand, we found low clouds which kept us from seeing the high volcanoes on the North Island and much of the Southern Alps on the South Island. As you know from our last update, that did not slow us down one bit! Nevertheless, we were disappointed having not seen some of New Zealand's best views.
We fixed that after we left Dunedin! Here are two beautiful shots of the Southern Alps in the backgrounds. The first shows us after landing in a helicopter on a mountain top across a glacial valley from the main dividing range. The second shows the very turquoise Lake Pukaki in the foreground. The color is caused by minerals from glacier runoff.
In the meantime, enjoy our newest pictures from New Zealand. You can still review any of our previous pictures in the Archives Navigation section. Click on New Zealand #1 for the prior update from New Zealand... nothing has been removed. The Trip Log has included a portion of our Australia travels and a view into the coming weeks in the Orient. We will leave Australia on February 25 departing Perth, Western Australia for Hong Kong, China.
Dunedin is a beautiful city on the southeast corner of the South Island with an enclosed harbor as you can see in the first photo. It was founded in 1848 and shortly after boats of settlers began arriving from Europe. A boat with the auspicious name of Titan arrived in 1851 chartered by the Reynolds (Jennifer's Mom's ancestors), Macandrew and Nicholson families. The 150th anniversary of its arrival prompted the family celebration we attended. Dunedin is filled with lots of flowers -- this next photo is just a sample. It reminds one of San Francisco's VERY steep hills. In fact, they have one street claimed to be the steepest in the world! We saw it and it WAS steep indeed. Finally, this is a picture of the Reynold's Family Crest: the Latin motto, "Fine Sed Qui Vide," roughly translates to "Believe What You See" or more imaginatively "What You See is What You Get."
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Upon arrival in Dunedin, we hooked up with Nana (Jennifer's mom, Pat), brother Mike, and his wife Deb Marble, at a fabulous B & B that we had all to ourselves. Nana is enjoying a glass of Marlborough Chardonnay in the living room. Here we all are dressed up (something the Rich Odyssey Team is NOT used to!) getting ready to go out for our reunion's reception and dinner in town.
The joy of the reunion was to meet the dozens of first, second and third cousins Jennifer and Stephanie had never met. A frantic exchange of information, email addresses and genealogical trivia continued for the three days leaving us all overwhelmed and Jennifer with a huge backlog for entering into Family Treemaker! Pat was given lots of pictures by cousin Enid, including this one of Jennifer's dad Ed, along with Mike. Here we are having a nice Italian dinner after the reception. The lady in black is Nana's cousin Margaret Waddy, who lives in Wellington.
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Reunion City Tour
The entire reunion party boarded buses for a tour of historic Dunedin. Along the way, they saw a great example of classic wedding cake architecture, the Dunedin Railroad Station, which is built of native Otago stone and tiled with Royal Doulton inside. The next two obligatory pictures are the graves of the original settlers Thomas Reynolds and James Macandrews, both of whom had a substantial impact on early Dunedin. If you click on them, you should be able to read the inscriptions.
The weather was a bit chilly on the tour. Yes, it is the summer, but Dunedin is quite a bit south of the Equator. Mike is giving a warming hug to Deb and Claire Waddy, who lives near Blenheim. Nana was comfortable with multiple layers -- plus this is her home town, so she must be used to the weather. Next are second cousins Campbell and Rachel Reynolds, Hugh and Heather's children, from Rotorua. We stayed at their home in Rotorua and over the Christmas holidays at their beach house. Thanks again!!
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A formal dinner was held on Saturday night and it was a very nice occasion...save for the university professor speaker who extended his already long talk by apologizing for his truly exhaustive detail about James Macandrews while slighting Thomas Reynolds who should really have a book written about him! The first shot is of Hugh Reynolds (from Rotorua) and older brother Ted Reynolds (from Dunedin). Next Denny is having a nice chat with cousin Enid who seems to know most of the family details. Claire Waddy and Heather Reynolds are looking happy and very festive. Finally, Nana was a grand poobah for the event and cut the official cake with another grand poobah from either the Macandrews or the Nicholson family.
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Reunion Church Memorial
On Sunday morning, we all went to church at First Church in Dunedin. We certainly filled the church up, making one wonder where all the regular church-goers were. Anyway, whatever the speaker the night before missed was quite candidly made up by the minister in his sermon as he recounted the history and exploits of both Thomas Reynolds and James Macandrews. Suffice to say, both were real characters deserving of a good biography to be written of each! After the church service, an oak tree was planted to commemorate the landing of the Titan boat which should look pretty good in another 150 years. Stephanie does her part to put soil on the tree to help it grow. The Reynolds clan had relatives travel from all over, including as far away as Portugal. Here you see Miguel, Pedro and Victoria Reynolds from Lisbon, Portugal. Victoria is currently a winemaker in Blenheim, keeping the Reynolds industry tradition alive: the Portuguese ancestors provided the cork and imported the wine into NZ. Miguel has a super family website where he has documented everything from photos of the old homes to the Family Trees of the European relatives. We had a great time with Miguel and Pedro their two young boys, Artur and Pedro and are quite sure our European itinerary will include Portugal!
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Reunion Ted Reynolds Gathering
Cousin Ted Reynolds from Dunedin had a great gathering of the entire Reynolds clan on Sunday afternoon at his house. These are few of the better photos that we took there. First, you see Miguel Reynolds and Nana enjoying the crowd and Miguel's family photos. Campbell and Rachel Reynolds are also having a good time. Their dad, Hugh Reynolds, and Mike Marble are discussing NZ politics.
Miguel is giving Nana lessons on a Windows photo organizing product. She is intent, but mostly likes the pictures in spite of the computer. Denny and Pedro had a great conversation about the wonderful beaches and housing in Portugal. We are on our way! Finally, a few pictures of the US crew: the Riches and Marbles enjoying themselves.
Everybody likes a new young relative!! Margaret Waddy toasting our host, Helen Reynolds, Ted's daughter, for hosting this gathering of the Reynolds clan. Here are Nana's first cousins, the Reynolds brothers and sisters: Ted, Isabelle Margaret and Hugh.
The Hugh Reynolds family: Hugh, Heather, Campbell and Rachel. Another 'performing' shot of the four Reynolds siblings. And Heather Reynolds gives Steffi a big goodbye hug. We will be back and hope they come to Colorado to visit us too!!
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Reunion Marble's Dinner
The Marbles hosted a final goodbye dinner prepared by our fabulous B & B hostesses. Here are more new Dunedin friends, cousins but NOT Reynolds, who joined us for dinner: Nana's first cousin on the Schaumann side, Julia Molloy and her daughter Pat with Mike. Before the dinner, Mike is enjoying a little more Chardonnay (we had a lot of Chardonnay!) with Denny, Steffi and Nana. A final goodbye portrait of the Marbles and Riches.
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Royal Albatross Colony
Once the reunion festivities were over, we
took a side trip northeast of Dunedin to the tip of the harbor entrance,
which is the home for the nesting colony of the Royal Albatross birds. The
albatross apparently mistook this
point (back in the 1930s) for the island on which they normally nested. Since
the chicks always return to where they were born and fledged, they
are still using this point. In the first picture you
can see a couple of nests of the Royal Albatrosses where they are keeping their
eggs warm just prior to hatching in the next few days. Next, you see one
of the workers at the Albatross site making her way to check on one of the birds
whose egg is "overdue." Notice the sheepskin that she has on her right arm. This is
used to make it easy for her to switch a fake egg with the real thing to perform
weight measurements and to make sure things are going OK. This baby hatched
the next day with no help from humans. Since humans
started helping with these Royal Albatross nests, they have helped keep 50% more of the birds alive!!
Since this is an ocean head, it is also the defensive location for several disappearing gun emplacements originally built in the late 1800s for defense against possible Russian attacks, and later as defense against the Japanese. You can see Stephanie handling the working model of the gun's ingenious mechanism. Next, you can see Steffi and her 3rd cousin, Artur Reynolds, moving the wheel to position the real gun for firing. It was hard, but they got it moved; then they didn't want to stop moving it all over the place, including pointing it at the lighthouse next door! When we left, it was where it was supposed to be.
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Stephanie loves to meet other 10 year olds, especially girls. One of Julia Molloy's granddaughters, Lily, was a great companion for a couple of days, including a sleep-over and a visit to the Otago Museum. Lily is shown in the first picture on the right. Two of her friends went along with us to the museum. They are all gathered together under a model of a Moa, a very large bird that became extinct only 400 years ago from the islands of New Zealand. At the museum, we saw a replica of a map that Abel Tasman made in 1643 of the west coast of New Zealand (Nieuw Zeeland), Tasmania, and the west coast of Australia (Nova Hollandia). You may remember that Captain James Cook did not come along again for another century, and we're still perplexed as to why Tasman didn't bother to claim this fabulous country for Holland. Last, you can see a great example of the stern of a ceremonial war canoe (waka) of the Maori people.
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Trip to the South
After we left Dunedin, we proceeded south to explore the bottom of the South Island. Along the way, we had opportunity to take hikes to visit three very beautiful waterfalls. The DOC (Department of Conservation) maintains very nice trails to these waterfalls. The first two were short (only about 1 km or less), while the last was a 3 to 4 km hike up to the falls which were quite beautiful and very lush due to the continuing rain. Note the bulk of a down vest under that parka! The last picture gives you a view as you first see the ocean on the south side of the island. It is quite beautiful, but the water is definitely on the cool side.
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We had stayed in a number of B & B's along our way, but this was our first "Farm Stay." It is the same as a B & B, but is in the home of a farm owner. The first picture shows Murray and June, the owners of the farm that we stayed at in Niagara. This picture is taken at the local community hall where we had the good fortune to join in celebrating Robbie Burns' birthday, he being the best beloved Scottish poet. Murray decided to wear a red wig and a tam (hat) for the occasion. These were great folks who knew how to party. Steffi even got a chance to meet some more girls her age. Shown in the next picture is Hannah, with whom she had a good time talking and dancing. Several of the kids in the community are learning Scottish dance and are shown performing the famous sword dance (note the improvised swords!). We were there until well past midnight when the haggis was paraded out in front of the crowd of 50 or so people. Then, a traditional presentation of the haggis was recited by Jamie, the boy shown with his arm raised with the cutting knife. We all (even Steffi) had a chance to sample the haggis, which is a sheep stomach filled with other meats and spices and who-knows-what. It is very spicy and is a little like eating a strong warm pate. Good enough, MUCH better than anticipated, but probably not something we would choose to eat very often.
Many animals other than sheep are farmed in the south and other parts of New Zealand. Here we saw a few Llamas in a field. Next, you can some of see Murray's 500 deer herd, which is a great cash 'crop' for him. We were chasing them around in Murray's four wheel drive Toyota pickup in this paddock. The next picture shows a close up of some of the deer with the stags and their antlers. They actually 'farm' the velvet antlers. These are used for medicines primarily for sale to Koreans. It is used as an aphrodisiac and to cure many diseases, the Koreans say. In any case, it brings a fair amount of money. The actual cutting, using sedation, is usually done by a veterinarian.
Here you see a great field of sheep, or as the Rich Family calls them, "grass lice." Finally, in the evening over dinner, we were witness to a beautiful rainbow, a nice ending to a great visit.
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South Slope Point
After leaving our farm stay, we proceeded to the most southern point on the South Island. We had intended to cross the Foveaux Strait to Stewart Island further south, a World Heritage site where you can actually see Kiwis in the wild. We were already 45 degrees, 40 minutes south, and it had been cold and frequently rainy. After checking with a recommended boat guide on the island, we found he was canceling his bookings and leaving for the South Island to work on his farm because the island weather was so bad! We took the hint and decided this was far enough south for this trip; it was time to go north to warm up and hopefully see some of the elusive Southern Alps. The first picture gives you a good view of the southern tip of the South Island, showing the Foveaux Strait and the always present sheep. It is beautiful, but the wind does BLOW as you can see in the next picture, showing the distortion of the trees. Steffi and Denny are shown at the Slope Point sign marking the distance to the next land: Antarctica.
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Edendale Machinery Club Crank Up Day
On the way north, we just happened to come into the small town of Edendale, totally by mistake because we had taken a shortcut that was not on any of our maps. Happily we stumbled onto the Edendale Machinery Club Crank Up Day. You can see in the first picture a homemade single cylinder engine made out of anything and everything. Next you see a British turn-of-the-century one cylinder engine that would be used in factories to run various machines. Next is another view of more old machines.
In addition to the normal machines, they had other interesting engines like this very small railroad engine, which the man had built totally from scratch. The kids liked the ride around the wet grounds. There were also old cars, tractors and the like, all with right hand drive, of course. Steffi tried her hand driving a small 'Jeep' around a rainy muddy course. She had fun, we think, but the rain was hard when her turn came!
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We had been to Cromwell before on our way to Alexandra to research Jennifer's relatives. This area is fruit orchard country, and we showed a picture of the fruit in front of their town. Jennifer took a much better picture from this angle. We also took opportunity to try out a tourist apartment in an RV park. It was very new and quite nice, but motels and B & B's are just as good and the roughly same price for three. If you had a bigger family or an RV (small), these Holiday Parks would be very good options. Mostly, they are filled with trailers.
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Mt. Cook National Park
Denny could not wait until we had the opportunity to see the Southern Alps and Mt. Cook so we prayed for sun. We were not disappointed. On our way in to Mt. Cook National Park, we stopped along the way to take the first picture from an overlook. The turquoise lake in the foreground is Lake Pukaki with Mt. Cook in the background. Next is a close view from the Mt. Cook tourist village.
We had been ready to spring for a helicopter tour over the Southern Alps and glaciers when we traveled down the west coast. Weather prevented that excursion from happening, but the waiting actually paid off. We had a gorgeous day and trip was wonderful, as these pictures attest. Denny and Steffi settle in with their David Clark headsets on for the 45 minute trip. After landing on top of a mountain top, you see Mt. Cook with its long flat top behind Denny and Steffi. Next, you get a good view of Mt. Cook in the middle and Mt. Tasman to the right with the glacier valleys clearly in view.
Here is a view directly down the valley below Mt. Cook called Hooker Valley. The next day, we walked to the lake you see in the distance down this valley where the Hooker Glacier terminates. Around the corner to the left following the glacial river is Lake Pukaki which you saw earlier.
As we approach to land, you can clearly see the coloring of the water from the powdered minerals in the glacial runoff. It changes from dull gray to a very bright turquoise color that you see here. The glacial moraine shown is full of rocks that the glaciers and water have carried down off the mountains. All in all, it was one of the most gorgeous sights we have ever seen!
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Hike to Hooker Glacier
The next day we took a hike from the Mt. Cook Village where we stayed to the terminal lake of the Hooker Glacier. It was a great day again with delightful weather. The first picture shows one of the two suspension bridges crossing the river along the hiking trail. While we could have crossed the stream ourselves, it would not be possible during high runoffs. Stephanie and Jennifer are talking with another girl on the left side of the bridge, who happened to be from Colorado! The next two shots show more detail of the first and then the second suspension bridges.
Once arriving at Hooker Glacier terminal lake, we got a good view of the termination ice face and the floating ice bergs making their way down the shallow lake as they melted. Steffi always loves to climb a big rock to get a better view... in this case of the lake.
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East to Christchurch
After our great experiences in Mt. Cook National Park, we proceeded east to Christchurch. Along the way, we passed the earliest church built in this part of the country on the edge of Lake Tekapo. It was a beautiful sight with the northern part of the Southern Alps in the background across the lake. Traveling several kilometers to the east, we crossed the eastern higher mountains. While not as big as the Southern Alps, they do have many ski areas. Here we got a good shot of the mountains with some morning clouds along the valleys. Further on, you get a view of another river colored bright green by the glacial runoff.
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Once in Christchurch, we saw a few of the sights. The best way around town is to jump on the trolley which makes a circuit around most of the downtown area. It costs about NZ$10 with kids free and is good for a year! Here you can see one of the trolleys stopped in front of some old British style phone booths. Next, you see an old college which has been turned into a center for local crafts people to sell their goods. It was done very well and we enjoyed touring the shops on this old campus.
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Christchurch Antarctica Center
Finally, Christchurch is home to the stopping off point for all flights and shipments to Antarctica and had the very well done International Antarctic Center exhibits shown here. Most Antarctic expeditions leave from Christchurch and are provisioned from the US supply center just a couple miles from our home in Colorado. The USA, being the largest operator of scientific exploration in Antarctica has a major mission here. We are being shown the clothes that are given to the personnel who go to Antarctica to work. The red parkas in the first and second pictures are issued to scientists working down there and are returned when their mission is complete and they return to Christchurch. Brown is for permanent staff such as construction and maintenance crews. Last, you see a C-141 being loaded and waiting to leave on a 7 and 1/2 hour trip to Antarctica. Ironically, we had spent time in Dunedin with US friends Buzzy and Dwayne Kurpius who were enroute to Christchurch to visit their son, Steve, a pilot in the USAF Reserve, who was coming down to fly one of these airplanes to Antarctica. While we had no idea of his schedule, we actually bumped into him while he was eating lunch at the Antarctica Center. He was leaving the next day for his trip. Small world!
At the center, we took a trip on the all terrain track vehicle New Zealand uses down in Antarctica. It is called a Haaglund and is made in Sweden. Steffi is in front of the first of the two cars. Basically, it is the ultimate RV and is able to go about anywhere including across water and crevasses. We were given a demonstration of its capabilities. Quite amazing. Lastly, Stephanie is in a room filled with snow to give a feeling of Antarctica. Since we are from Colorado, we definitely know what cold and snow is like, but not the kind that you get in Antarctica. Besides, we've missed winter this year despite the cold rain in the Southland. Stephanie was able to get the wind chill on one machine down to -20 degrees F while she was in there. Lots of fun!
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