A day in Kendall

Unlike Scott, whose last name is pretty common, I don’t often find places with my name. So when I found this town on the map, I knew it was worth the detour. Not only was it a whole town named after me, never has there been a town with more items in it with the name of the town.
The town was named after Henry Kendall, an Australian poet who lived here in the late 1800’s, and throughout the town were plaques with verses from his poems.
This one near the school was pretty obviously not written by Kendall himself, but I thought it was pretty good anyway!
 Believe it or not, this is only a small portion of the collection of photos I have of myself with places around Kendall, but I think that’s probably enough for now. Kendall, Australia. A town worth visiting – for me anyway!


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We saw a lot of kangaroos in Australia, but the live ones were too fast to get a good picture of in the car, and the abundant dead ones were too sad. By far the most impressive one was this 20 foot animatronic kangaroo next to a gas station in Queensland. It moved its ears and eyes and Scott waited around for a long time to see if the pouch would open, but unfortunately we had no luck on that front.

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North Island Road Trip

After trading in Blackhole for the vastly superior Shenzou, we made our way to the North Island. Here we had only 6 days to explore before meeting a friend in Auckland, so we crammed as much as we could into our short time.

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After an amazingly luxurious ferry ride on which I watched the children’s classics Monsters Inc and Mars needs Moms, we headed into Wellington to begin the second part of our adventure.

We had a fantastic time driving through deserts, sheep farms and forests, stopping in Wellington, Auckland, and some smaller towns. The north island had a totally different feel from the south, and was much warmer too!

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Up the West Coast

After our lovely day in Franz Josef, we spend the next two days slowly winding up the beautiful west coast. We weren’t able to fully appreciate it’s beauty because it was teeming rain the whole time, but we did have a great stop at the famous pancake rocks, where we had to run through the gale, taking out our camera for pictures and then quickly waterproofing it again.

While the scenery we could see was breathtaking, the most exciting part of our west coast adventure was when we were trapped in the parking lot of a grocery store with a dead battery and we watched an elderly man beat in the window of a car to save a baby who had been locked in. Thrilling!

The west coast definitely had it’s own special charm and beauty. A very small population of New Zealand’s already small population lives there, and the passes through the mountains are often closed in winter due to snow and ice, so it had an isolated and remote feel to it. We drove for hours without passing any thing but sheep and mountains. In short, exactly what you would expect from New Zealand. It was a little sad because we knew it was the last chapter of our journey with our faithful van, but I think Scott was excited to finally sleep in a real bed.


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Franz Josef

New Zealand really is the best country for geography nerds. Many countries may have the same interesting topographical elements, but I can’t imagine that any country has them all so close. In one day we drove through a rainforest, from the beauty of the Fjordland national park to the base of a glacier. Amazing.

After a quick stop at the excellent visitors centre, we drove as close as we could to the glacier, ate some peanut butter sandwiches and went for a hike. First stop, Peter’s pond, which was created when the glacier retreated and left behind a large chunk of ice. It used to be much larger, but has shrunk over the years, and will soon disappear.

After stopping to check out all the striations, erratics, and moraines, we reached the foot of the glacier.

We couldn’t, as the signs made sure to remind us, go any closer, without taking a guided tour, but it was surreal just to see an actual glacier up close.

As we left, I couldn’t help but think that this would be a much better grade nine geography field trip than the dump… Too bad we don’t have one in Waterloo.

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Wonderful Wanaka

Lake Wanaka: we spent a pleasant afternoon here paddle boating and drinking coffee here. Absolutely gorgeous!

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