Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Long Journey Home

Unfortunately, my time to leave this fantastic country has come. I had to change my plans to avoid Japan on the way home, which is too bad as I enjoy visiting there.

My departing picture is from one of the most amazing courses I have ever played, Jack's Point in Queenstown. The view of Lake Wakatipu from the fifth hole is below.

jack's point 5th green-2

As conicidence would have it this turned into a four season trip. I left my home in the northern hemisphere in the Winter and travelled into the Summer; the seasons turned to Fall while I was in New Zealand and I am flying back into Spring.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Queenstown, New Zealand and Jack's Point Golf

This country keeps getting better and better. Each location I travel to is more dramatic and beautiful than the last. Queenstown, on the lower portion of the south island has the "Remarkables", a mountain range that is as the name applies.

Jack's Point is a hidden gem that we thoroughly enjoyed, a full write-up to come later this Spring.

jack's point 015

The view from Jack's Point, Queenstown, New Zealand. The course combines elements of Pebble Beach, Loch Lomond and other great courses. What a treat.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Wellington & Paraparaumu

Wellington, New Zealand has one of the most beautiful natural harbors in the world:

paraparaumu 056

Paraparaumu Beach, a links course just north of Wellington, which is very good.

paraparaumu 022

A full write up of all the Kiwi courses will be posted in the coming months.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sneak Preview of Cape Kidnappers

Good morning from Napier, New Zealand. Napier is the most complete Art Deco city in the world. It was destroyed in 1931 and rebuilt over the next couple of years in the Deco style. A view from the town:

Kidnappers has an interesting entry drive:

And one of the best par fives in the world, the fifteenth, with a view of the fairway that can't be replicated:

cape kidnappers 15-4

Not a bad view while changing into your golf shoes:

Will be back in touch soon, have to go try to change my flights to re-route around Japan on the way home, unfortunately, not looking too good there at the moment.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sneak Preview of Kauri Cliffs

Holy cow is Kauri Cliffs beautiful, one of the most beautiful places I've been to.

Check out the view from the driving range, probably the nicest I've visited:

The dramatic view off the high headlands from the fifteenth fairway:

View off 15th

A full write-up is coming this Spring.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Good Morning from Tomorrow

Kia Ora from New Zealand. I finally made it down here after the long flights. I completely missed Monday because we crossed the date line, not a bad day to skip if you could pick a day. Two thumbs up to Air New Zealand and their great Kiwi hospitality.

I only think it approporiate that the first picture I post from Aotearoa be of sheep since there are more of them here than people. I have taken a quick liking to the local beer, the Monteith's Summer Ale.

The language and pronunciations are going to take a little more time to get. One of the places we stopped driving up to Kauri Cliffs was Whangarei. It is pronounced phonetically "fun-ga-ria", apparently "wh" is pronounced as an "f" in Maori.

New Zealand is the second stop on my Pacific "earthquake" tour named because my three stops, Los Angeles, New Zealand and Japan all sit in shifing tectonic plates as we have seen recently. I'm glad to be back to this land of great people and such scenic beauty.