light and shadow


I don't have many pictures of Milford Sound or the Fiordlands but it was my favourite of all the places we visited so I wanted to share more.

The Maori name for the Fiordland region is Ata Whenua, which translates to "shadowland". I can't think of a more appropriate name for the moody beauty of the place.

I enjoy most water sports, especially ones where I feel like I am part of the elements, going where they take me (like wind surfing and sailing, and hopefully someday, surfing). I like the ritual of checking wind speeds, directions, the currents, the tide levels, and figuring out if I can make all of it work for me, and take me where I want to go.

Which is why kayaking at Milford Sound was such joy. When the wind, current and tide are in your favour, you skim over the water smoothly, swiftly, moving with such ease that it feels like a divine blessing. When the skies open and the wind starts buffeting your face, you feel emboldened, challenged, and carve your paddle into the water with more deliberation, pulling yourself forward with purposeful rhythm. It is an invigorating, almost visceral way of experiencing nature.


When we reached the Tasman Sea, the burn in my arms seemed to vanish. Or maybe I just couldn't feel my arms any more. Either way, I say go for this.

Of course, away from the water, Milford isn't bad either.



Joy said…
The mountains look so majestic. I love being on the water too...rowing or diving is more my thing though :P

Did you find NZ touristy?
Amanda said…
More! Yay! I left a comment about this in the previous NZ post - but I'm definitely sending these to my in laws again to get them all hyped up for their upcoming trip! Gorgeous photos, Lin.
Ammu said…
Stunning pictures! Love New Zealand.
Lindsay K said…
You know I adore New Zealand! Your pictures are gorgeous. And sailing is one of my favorite leisure activities for the reasons you listed.
Maja H said…
I love how you describe the experience of kayaking, Lin! My family always had a boat when I was younger, and I really miss being able to be out on the water like that. It is also quite striking how similar the landscape in New Zealand is to the one here in Norway - this is a photo from where I grew up: :)
lin said…
Joy: I wish I had a chance to discover rowing as a sport, really enjoyed that post you did on it.

Yes, the places I visited would be considered touristy in that they cater to travellers. The only place I found that to be an annoyance was in Queenstown, because my visit coincided with NYE and there were so many drunk teens. Jeez. Other than that, it's not touristy in a troubling way. For example, there aren't many tacky souvenir stands, and the national parks are all remarkably well kept (if you've been to China and SE Asia you'd know what disturbing tourism means). No one destination felt crowded. Guided tours are expensive but there are options for independent travellers if you are willing to expend the time to plan accordingly. I also liked that many of the hotels and B&Bs I stayed at had architecture that blended into the landscape, rather than imposed on it. This was especially so at Mt Cook.

Amanda: Yes I saw your comment! I feel excited for your in-laws, and feel free to shoot me questions! I'm not an expert but I can definitely share advice as a first-time traveller.

And I;m definitely posting more pictures of course, because I had so much fun that I can't shut up about it...

Ammu: It was really an eye-opener and I'm really inspired to travel more, because it showed me that there's so much beauty out there I haven't seen.

Lindsay K: Thanks! When did you visit NZ? I should asked emailed you for tips before I went!

Maja: That's a gorgeous picture, is is that of a fjord? Norway is on my travel list but I can't quite afford travelling in such an expensive country yet!

Maja H said…
That's actually an island, so I don't think it counts as a fjord! But you can't wave a stick without hitting a fjord around here so it very well could have been ;)

And yes, Norway is extremely expensive for tourists, it really is a shame. A beer at a pub is about 10$, a large pizza from a pizza chain would be closer to 40. I'd love to see more of Norway myself, and will make sure to do so as soon as the boyfriend gets his driver's license. Road trip!
Lindsay K said…
Yes, you should have asked me, next time. I've visited twice. In 2000 with my family (since we were in Australia for a little over a month for the my cousins first olympics) and in the summer of 2010 with friends who are from NZ but went to university with us.
lin said…
Maja H: Working towards getting there some day!

Lindsay K: How amazing it is to have visited it twice! I'll remember this when I return someday!

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