We keep planning to take a break from doing our holiday write up but yet again it was only a week or so before we were contacted by some of our usual recipients asking when we were starting so it looks like we will have to carry on. These travelogues are written as we go. They started as a regular series of lighthearted Emails sent out as "News from The Antipodes" where the text was written on a palmtop and copied into the emails with little polishing and only a superficial spell check. This year they were written on our new MSI Wind U100 Netbook running Linux for security on the move. We were even slower starting than last year as Pauline has once more started OU teaching and had a lot to do at the start of a new course. The first one went out as an email but then on we repeated the approach we have used for the last couple of years and uplifted them as we went to our web site and limited the emails to a summary.
We keep adding pictures as we go, mainly from our Canon A720 IS cameras - we now have two as one went wrong and we got a spare whilst it was being repaired under waranty. We also try to reuse the best previous pictures from film and stills from Peter's digital video camera.
All the pictures on this and the following pages provide details of where they were taken if you hover the cursor over them and they can all be clicked to open a larger version in an Overlay (Lightbox style) or Popup Window. The image display options can be changed using the settings links at the bottom right corner of every page which includes pictures. The 'Spanner' icon or the following link takes one to a page covering the Image Display Options in more detail including bandwidth reduction options.
The Popups for pictures on www.pcurtis.com and www.uniquelynz.com work well with reasonably recent versions of most of the mainstream browsers, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Apple Safari and Opera. That is all the browsers with more than 2% market share. There are however various factors such as security suites which can cause problems. The page More about Popups covers ways of getting the best from my pages on most systems as well as providing some additional backgrond.
Another factor to be considered is that many of the pages have a lot of detail. The first time you visit them they can be slow to load unless you have broadband, even with the small pictures. You should have text in seconds but the last pictures may take a while to fill in and it is best to wait before clicking on the popups - you may have to refresh some browsers to get the last icons filled in if you interrupt them too early.
After each visit we also try to extract more from the chronological organisation and consolidate the content into specific pages. Some background pages which may be of interest are:
New Zealand Wines, Wineries and Vineyard Restaurants - brings together our favourite vineyards to visit. Selection is not solely the on the quality of the wine but is biased towards those with good vineyard restaurants, magnificent scenery and a friendly and helpful approach.
Kauri, both logging and the gathering and use of it's gum forms another unique part of New Zealand history worthy of investigation.
Active Thermal Areas - New Zealand is also an area which is very active geologically and has a number of fascinating thermal areas, predominantly North Island.
Maori Culture and Heritage - One can not fully understand and appreciate New Zealand without gaining some understanding of the Maori Culture and Heritage and the interactions with the first settlers and their way of life.
Sailing in New Zealand - An Introduction to Sailing in New Zealand with an index to our own sailing in the Hauraki Gulf, The Bay of Islands and the Coastal Passage between them and on up to Whangaroa Harbour. Also covers our single experience of sailing in the Marlborough Sounds.
New Zealand Books - We have built up a library of books on New Zealand during our visits and have initiated a catalogue. Our books cover many topics from Sailing and Fishing through the Goldfields and Art Deco to Maori Culture.
Interesting Web Sites: We have found a number of useful Web sites on New Zealand that you may want to have a look at.