poem: NZ South Island, road trip 2010

NZ South Island,  road trip 2010


The fog rolled in at Christchurch and our plane

Could not descend; so on to Wellington

We flew and waited long in ‘Land of Long

White Queue’.  Jet Star seemed quite disorganized.

Next day we made it back to Christchurch, tired

But pleased to be within the Arts Precinct

Beside old university; in fine

Youth hostel next to Rutherford’s Den – split

The atom, found its structure, famous son

Of Aotearoa.  All of this

We saw before the dreadful earthquake wrecked

This gorgeous place of parks and galleries.

We drove our little car across the isle

To Greymouth, mining district, site of yet

Another tragedy to come. We’d climbed

Through Arthur’s Pass and rugged snow-capped peaks

Then on to glaciers Franz Josef, Fox,

Sheer bluffs and waterfalls; and many long

And narrow bridges made the driving tense

At times.  Then south to lakes and fjords, views

Of Wanaka sublime, and steep descent

Through many hairpin bends to Queenstown, there

Amid the mighty peaks.  Next day we drove

To Milford Sound, and took a cruise aboard

The Sinbad;  huge stone walls and jagged mounts

And glaciers, with seals and dolphins round

Our boat – dramatic scenery all the way.

Dunedin next, long way by road, so there

We stopped in nice apartment, YHA,

Was once a hospital.  We’d passed a large

Amount of hedging, trimmed so fine and neat,

It made you think a bit about the folk

Of that environs.  Lots of buildings old

And stately, great museums; drove a short

But winding road and found sea lions, so big

Yet not too quick on land, cold beaches clean

And blown – Otago wild and lovely.  Soon

We headed back to Christchurch, climbed Mt Cook

And skirted comely Lake Tekapo on

The way.  And there we saw the long white cloud.


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