The Lands Down Under
We just returned from a two week cruise to New Zealand and Australia on the Diamond Princess. We flew into Auckland, NZ, then headed down the east coast of New Zealand visiting Tauranga, Picton, Wellington, Akaroa, and Dunedin. Our ship then circled around the southern end of the south island, and we spent a day cruising in and out of the sounds in Fiordland National Park, including the well known Milford Sound. After spending two days crossing the Tasman Sea, we visited Hobart, Tasmania, then up to Melbourne, and disembarked in Sydney. I won’t go into the trip much more here, and my Facebook Friends can see more pictures of the cruise.
In between all the tours and activity I managed to do three paintings. The first was in Picton, NZ, at the head of Queen Charlotte Sound on the south island. The cruise in and out of the sound was spectacular, with the quaint little town of Picton so picturesque. After walking around town for a few hours, I had a couple hours to sit by the waterfront, so did a straight up view of Picton Harbor. (Click on any pictures to see a larger version.)
My next painting opportunity was in Akaroa. Akaroa is a historic French and British settlement nestled in a harbor formed by the heart of an ancient volcano. The hilly terrain reminded me of the California coastal hills in the summer, with golden grass punctuated by green foilage. New Zealand was in the middle of a drought, so I am not sure if the grass is usually this dry. In California, the green is primarily oak trees, but I am not sure what kind of trees were in Akaroa, but fairly certain they weren’t oaks. The beauty of Akaroa is the hills plunge into almost tropical green waters of the bay setting up the beautiful scenery. I was up at sunrise as the Diamond Princess cruise ship sailed into the harbor, and it again was breathtaking!
I spent most of the day, doing one painting in the morning and then one in the afternoon. Here are a few pictures around Akaroa–
And some painting scenes–
I didn’t have time to paint for the rest of the cruise. The most spectacular scenery we saw, of course, was in Fiordland National Park where we cruised in and out of three sounds. It was a somewhat gloomy day, and painting from a moving ship wouldn’t work. Below is a picture of Milford Sound.
By coincidence, Mike Bagdonas, a fellow artist from Northern California who I encounter at many of the art competitions was on the boat. We ended up having lunch toward the end of the cruise to ‘talk shop’.
As mentioned earlier, my Facebook friends can see more pictures of the cruise. If you wish to see them and are not a friend, let me know.