The Gannets of Cape Kidnappers and the Trans Tasman Flight

June 13th, 2014

The Gannets of Cape Kidnappers and the Trans Tasman FlightSeabirds are little miracles of evolution and New Zealand is home to a lot of them. At Muriwai Beach and the Cape Kidnappers in Hawke’s Bay I spent days with the second rarest gannet species in the world, the Australasian gannet, who is a master aviator and swift as an arrow hunter when it comes to fish. Their chicks are even tougher as when coming of age having no life and hunting experience they start a life-threatening adventure, the Trans-Tasman flight »»

Living at the Landing Strip – The Tuvalu Atoll

February 13th, 2014

Living at the Landing Strip – The Tuvalu AtollHaving a look at its actual landmass, Tuvalu is the second smallest nation in the world. Some of its islands are so tiny and narrow that you can literally spit from one side to another. The heart of Tuvalu is the Funafuti atoll being embraced in the east by the main island Fongafale. Airplanes can land there, on the highest spot of the nation, which is 5 metres above sea level. Along that airstrip the life of Funafuti atoll takes place and even if islands are generally pretty limited, Tuvalu gave me the most important moment of authentic Polynesian culture along with a dinner with the Prime Minister »»

Tonga – Where Time begins

February 7th, 2014

Tonga – Where Time beginsWhat does the Island Kingdom of Tonga have in common with a high voltage cable? Correct, both things are pretty much isolated. The 136 islands of Tonga are the only Polynesian nation that never got colonialized by the west. The archipelago being called “The Friendly Islands” lies at the 10.8km deep Tonga trench, a fault where the Pacific plates submerges the Australian, which is at the same time also the International Date Line; a place where you can meet the new year as being one of the very few first people on the planet. Since the white man hadn’t his finger in the Tongan pie many unique Polynesian cultural assets like f.e. the Ha’amonga Trilithon could survive. With pleasure locals take the “palangi” by the hand and show him the island’s highlights, such as the Blow Holes, Flying Foxes or the magic Anahulu Cave, a limestone cave having a pristine fresh water pool inviting to have a swim »»

Abel Tasman National Park – Seal Puppy Playground with Dutch Roots

July 1st, 2013

Abel Tasman National Park – Seal Puppy Playground with Dutch RootsWhen it comes to discovering New Zealand there is no question that James Cook played the most important role, but it was the sailor Abel Tasman from Dutch East India Company who spotted the archipelago being located in South Pacific Ocean as first European ever and even some 100 years earlier than the Brit did. For eternity Tasman’s surname now captions an island, a sea but also New Zealand’s smallest national park. The latter is located on the north coast of the South Island and is a Garden of Eden for all things called flora and fauna. This pearl among Kiwi Land’s refugiums gets completed by its immediate vicinity, the Cape Farewell and the beaches of the Golden Bay. Each of those places belong to the sites a New Zealand visitor should have seen with one’s own eyes »»

Doubtful Sound – Where bold Cliffs meet bold Albatrosses

April 29th, 2013

Doubtful Sound – Where bold Cliffs meet bold AlbatrossesThe Doubtful Sound at the south island’s west coast is one of the large impressive fjords New Zealand has on offer. Unlike Milford Sound, that is usually more known to visitors, it is more winding, has even a couple of islands and its steep slopes are entirely uninhabited unlike Norway’s fjords. Normally clouds hang low between its escarpments and it rains a lot but also for Doubtful Sound the summer of 2013 was a pretty dry one. The wild albatrosses living at the fjord’s estuary don’t care much about that as they have their own water supply. Meeting them close enough to touch and seeing them flying above the wave crests is the most august wildlife experience of southern New Zealand »»

Anemonefish

December 30th, 2011

AnemonefishNot many fishes are automatically having that cuteness factor anemonefish do have and at the latest after the Find Nemo film everyone knows them. Though anemonefish can appear in much more different ways than being only orange and painted with two white stripes. No matter how exactly they are looking like, mostly they are very small and the human eye can quickly miss them when they are hiding themselves between dozens of tentacles »»