Arriving in the Capitol of New Zealand, known as Wellington, this modern city lies in a former glacier valley situated on a large, protected bay. It’s location at the very southern end of the north island was one of the reasons it was chosen as the Capitol: it’s nearly in the middle of the country. It is also the launching point for ship traffic to cross the 40 mile Cook Strait ferry route. With 2 days to explore the town, Jake walked the streets and many parks that permeate the city with a British Gardener’s design. There are plants from around the world there that stimulate the senses and show off the tenacity of ancient British Explorers. Leaving behind his backwards car for a new one on the South Island at Picton, Jake was off to see the totally changed landscape in such a short distance. The volcanos and calderas of the North Island quickly gave way to the Southern Alps of the South Island. It was as if he was transported from the Mediterranean scenery of San Diego to the Appalachian Range in western Maine in a mere 2 hours on a huge jet drive ferry. Jake was all eyes and amazement on his southern route. Fast moving rivers and waterfalls laced the land as rainfall raced back to the sea. 12,000′ mountains pushed up by the subducting Pacific Plate created glaciers, alpine valleys, and deep rift lakes. Hikes and helicopter rides filled the days as the scenery morphed fantastically, and a must-do flight into Milford Sound was scheduled. Mr. Uff was here to see New Zealand and, by God, he was going to get his money’s worth. Leaving Queenstown on a 40-minute flight, Jake theoretically left Jackson Hole and ended up in Norway. The Sound is dramatic, and the cruise vessel is an international restaurant with guests from all over the world. Back on the plane in a dramatic ascent up that fiord’s vertical walls, Jake was soon reunited with his backwards car, and south he went amongst a sea of sheep and a few shepherds. Soon the bottom of N.Z. would be in sight. 

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