Local Heart, Global Soul

April 6, 2018

Study Of Nature…

Filed under: Canterbury & Region,Christchurch: Gondola,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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On our way down from the top station of the Christchurch Gondola, I was interested in the textures, shapes and patterns in the rocks that we passed by. This is more a “study of nature” than anything else… enjoy!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 5, 2018

A Few “Pointers” To Find South…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The last information board I’m looking at in the top station of the Christchurch Gondola is all about the Southern Cross.

It’s a bright group of stars that all Kiwi’s learn to identify at a young age, and it’s important enough to be on both the New Zealand and Australian flags.

I was lucky to have a teacher at school who’s hobby was astronomy. I think that every kid who passed through his classes got, like us, extensive lessons on stars, field trips to local observatories and on occasion when some of the big planets were visible, night classes in the park where he would have his astronomy friends and their huge telescopes in the middle of the field, delighting kids and their parents with amazing real-time images of planets that we had only seen in books previous to that.

I not only remember it fondly, I would go so far as to say it was one of the highlights of my time at school.

Since many Kiwi kids of my era grew up “tramping” (the New Zealand term for “hiking”) in their holidays, this teacher was keen that we should all be able to navigate by the stars, so taught us how to find due South. Here at the Gondola there is also a guide to the same… so a lot of memories came flooding back when I saw this. The information board reads:

The Southern Cross. The Southern Cross is a group of stars always visible in the southern hemisphere. It consists of four bright stars in the shape of a cross and a fainter start located just below the cross bar. Although there are a number of start crosses in the night sky, the Southern Cross is the most prominent. It is able to be identified by two very bight starts called “The Pointers” that point towards the top of the cross.
How to find South. While the position of the Southern Cross changes in the night, there are various ways to use the cross to find South.
One of the more accurate methods is to:

(1) Extend a line joining the pointers. Midway along this line extend another line at a right angle to it.

(2) Extend a further line from the long axis of the Southern Cross.

(3) Where the two lines meet drop a vertical line to the horizon. This is South.

The Southern Cross is a national icon, appearing on the New Zealand flag. The Maori believed it was an anchor of a great sky canoe, while other tribes thought it was an opening in the sky that the wind blew through.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 4, 2018

A Harbour View Like No Other…

Filed under: Canterbury & Region,Christchurch: Gondola,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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Looking over the other balconies of the top station of the Christchurch Gondola in New Zealand, we see the beautiful Lyttelton Harbour, with all it’s various bays. It’s a view that fills me with many memories so it brings a smile every time I see this.


(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 3, 2018

Knowledge And Photos Off The Beaten Tack…

Filed under: Canterbury & Region,Christchurch: Gondola,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I sometimes quite often like to make arty photographs for no reason other than the fact that patterns, shapes, shadows or forms interest me.

When we visited the Christchurch Gondola in December 2017, I had one of these moments.

Some distance away was what I think was part of the Summit Road.

I think (but am not certain) that this part of the road has been closed since the earthquake, but I did see alone cyclist making his way up up the road.

I like the zig-zag of this road, the shadows of the terrain, the outlines of the rock.

This post is a mix of exhibits from the Top Station of the gondola for another bite-size of knowledge and my “arty’ photographs.

Speedy’s fun facts. Did you known… (1) The Bridle Path, (built 1851) was the main acess way for pioneers bringing their belongings over the Port Hills from Lyttelton to Christchurch. Horses hd to be led by the bridle to the Summit – thus the name: “The Bridle Path”. (2) Bank’s Peninsula is home to the world’s mallest dolphin! The Hector olphin is only 1.4m in length and is one of the most endangred marine mammals in the world.

(3) Bank’s Peninsula was nce an island! 12 million yearsago the landmass of bank’ peninsular was born via a series of volcanic eruptions. (4) In 1838 Jan-Francois Langlois 9a frenchman0 tried to purchas Banks Peninsula fom local Maori. he paid a deposit of 2 cloaks, 6 pair of trousers, 12 hats, 2 pairs of shoes, some pistols, axes and 2 shirts.
(5) The highest point of Bank’s Peninsula is Mt. Herbert standing at 919m above sea level. The Gondola Top Station sits only 500m above sea level, just over half the height of Mt. Herbert!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)


(photograph © Kiwidutch)


(photograph © Kiwidutch)


(photograph © Kiwidutch)


(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 1, 2018

History of Banks Peninsular.

Filed under: Canterbury & Region,Christchurch: Gondola,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The next information board at Christchurch’s gondola is all about the history of the area.

The map that goes with this board gives a really good idea of how New Zealand’s Banks Peninsular was formed and how it looks today.

The gondola sits on the very edge of one of two extinct volcanoes, both of which had breaches in their rims in one spot which turned them into natural harbours.

The gondola gives a good view of Lyttelton Harbour but Akaroa harbour faces a completely different direction so is not visible from this side of Lyttleton harbour, or indeed from most of Lyttelton harbour. The map makes it clear why this is so.

History of Banks Peninsular.

Banks Peninsula is a spectacular landscape, covering approximately 450 square miles and comprised of extinct volcano whose craters for the Harbours of Lyttelton and Akaroa. The first known inhabitants of this area were the Maori people During the 17th century the Ngai Tahu people established fortified pa (villages). On 16th February 1770, explorer Captain James Cook, sighted the Peninsula. he mistakenly concluded it was an island and nmed the feature in honour of the Endeavour’s botinist, Joseph Banks.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

During the 1830’s Banks Peninsula became a European whaling centre and was frequently visited by the French, American and British deep-sea whalers.

Trade was established between the Europeans and the Maori. The local native people however, succumbed in large numbers to disease and inter-tribal warfare, particularly from raids of Te Rauparaha, chief of the North Island tribe, Ngati Toa.

Many remember Te Rauparaha as the author of the haka ” Ka mate, ka mate”. In 1838 Captain Langlois, a French whaler, decided Akaroa would make a good French settlement and “purchased” the Peninsula in a dubious land deal with local Maori.

He returned to France and set sail for New Zaland with an advance guard of French settlers. They arrived in August 1840 to find that British sovereignty had already been proclaimed over the whole of New Zealand, including the South Island. All hopes of a French colony taking shape were therefore destroyed. Meanwhile British settlers were increasing rapidly and numerous small settlements were founded. Akaroa was quickly established as the first planned township in the South Island, with the South Island’s first post office, police force, magistrates and customs house. Since the 1850’s, Lyttelton and then Christchurch outgrew Akaroa. Over the years Akaroa has maintained many French influences and is now a popular holiday resort.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 31, 2018

Information If Only we Could See It…

Filed under: Canterbury & Region,Christchurch: Gondola,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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The gondola in Christchurch New Zealand has information boards on the outside balconies that name some of the important places that can be seen from up here. On the Christchurch city side of the view I tried to match up photographs with the information boards. The report for today was changeable weather, a weather front meant to roll in this evening was moving faster than expected so the Alps are now shrouded in cloud. The day on this side of the mountains is still warm and hazy, the biggest thing is the wind: we barely felt it down below, but up here it’s buffeting us from all angles. I use the zoom on the camera as much as possible, wringing out as much detail from the landscape below as I can manage.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 30, 2018

Drooling Cheese And Fabulous Views…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Visiting the Gondola in Christchurch was family outing that was a complete success.

There was something for everyone and we were all taking in the exhibitions and sights.

Soon though, stomachs rumbled and hopeful noises were made from our offspring with reference to the Café.

“Lolly cake” New Zealand Lolly Cake, the favourite of generations of Kiwi’s… was especially a target on their radar, a particular bakery speciality of New Zealand.

When Little Mr found out that they also made toasted sandwiches, he was set. The Café was our next stop.

The cheese in the toasted sandwich turned out to be both a source of frustration and amusement, being so soft and melted that it drooled out of the toasted sandwich in every direction.  Little Mr managed to enjoy it regardless, and later devoured the Lolly Cake that he had been looking forward to.

I delighted in a brownie and Kiwi Daughter found not only some Lolly cake but also some delicious peach iced tea. Delicious all round! The tables in some of my shots look empty, but that’s mostly because they had been filled with people who had young children.

Trying as much as possible to take photographs to exclude the faces of young children on my blog, I waited to take photographs until they left. I’m finding one unexpected problem that appears to be the result of today’s “camera age” where every little move is documented (yep, of course that’s me guilty too of course! but I don’t document my children relentlessly like some parents do), that some children are now conditioned to constantly posing for photographs.

On occasion I am trying hard to exclude a small child and the same kid thinks that since someone is pointing a camera even slightly in their direction, this is their cue to take part in a photo-shoot. Some even run into the shot when I move to one side, clearly thinking that if there is a photo, then surely they should be in it. It’s a startling by-product of multiple devices we carry these days that all contain cameras. I was rather surprised to see that a couple of the people taking photos further along the balcony appeared only interested in taking Selfies with the view in the background, rather than any photographs with just the view.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 29, 2018

Lost Forever…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

At the top station of Christchurch gondola, there are many informational displays.

This one is all about the many unique species of New Zealand birds who became extinct after mankind entered their environment.

I’ve posted the text, plus photographs as best I could because there was a lot of sunlight and reflection, making these shots particularly tricky.

“Over 80 million years ago, many extraordinary birds existed in New Zealand’s lush rainforests.

They were completely isolated from the outside world. The lack of predators enabled the birds to develop various levels of flightlessness, ground feeding and nesting.

The first Maori settlers arrived 700 years ago and together with introduced predators the impact on bird life was devastating.

Within a few hundred years, 40% of New Zealand’s terrestrial birds were destroyed. A total of 58 different species of birds were lost forever…”

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

“The Moa was the tallest bird ever to live on our planet with the top of it’s back measuring 6 feet above the ground. The ten species of Moa were diverse with a wide range of habitats and sizes. The Little Bush Moa was the size of a turkey, however the Giant Moa measured up to 3 metres. The Moa was hunted to extinction by the first human inhabitants exterminating the Moa during the 13th and 14th century, a period of only one hundred years.”

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Haast’s Eagle. This was the world’s largest eagle, with a wingspan of up to 3 metres. It had huge claws measuring over 6 centimetres, with the horny claw extending another 3 centimetres. The species was unique in it’s ability to take prey 10 or even 20 times it’s own body mass. They were specialised bird eaters capable of attacking the largest herbivores in the environment – the Moa. The Haast’s Eagle died out with the extinction of the Moa.”

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Laughing Owl. This bird was given it’s name because it sounded like someone laughing. The Laughing Owl was twice the size as the remaining owl – the Morepork. The owl had a strong talons and feet, enabling it to kill tuatara, kiwi, ducks and even baby seals. This nocturnal bird of prey was found throughout New Zealand until it went into decline in the mid 1800’s. It was declared extinct in 1914, with the last specimen found in Canterbury.”

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

“The Huia. The act of “putting a feather in a hat” led to the demise of this wonderful bird. The Huia had a beautiful bright orange wattle at the end of it’s ivory beak and a white band of tail feathers. This bird was unique in that the female had a distinguishing long curved beak. This all changed when the Prince of York returned from New Zealand with a Huia feather in his hat and created a fashion sensation in Europe. Consequently, the bird was hunted to extinction in 1907.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 28, 2018

The Top Station, Views From The Rim…

Filed under: Canterbury & Region,Christchurch: Gondola,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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In this part of our New Zealand trip, Family Kiwidutch are back at the Christchurch Gondola. The top station has been designed for maximum views but without intruding on the landscape. in fact, from the bottom the building a rather hard to spot, even if you know where to look. Sitting delicately on the rim of an extinct volcano, I think that the location is, on a fine day, sporting one of the best views in the world. Mind you, I’m from here, so I’m definitely not biased!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)


(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 27, 2018

Discovering New Zealand…

Filed under: Christchurch: Gondola,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The top station of the Christchurch Gondola in New Zealand as some excellent historical information panels, the first two being all about the discovery of New Zealand:

“Abel Janzoon Tasman 1603 – 1659″

” The first European to sight New Zealand was  Dutch explorer Abel Tasman.  He was on an expedition to discover a great Southern Continent “Great South land’ that was believed to believed to be rich in gold and silver.

In the 1600’s,  many Europeans believed that this unknown continent was necessary to balance the weight of the northern hemisphere. On December 1642,  Tasman saw a ” large high-laying land” of the West Coast of the South Island. The land sighted was part of the Southern Alps near Hokitika.

Abel Tasman claimed the country for Holland under the name “Staten indt” (later changed to “New Zealand” by Dutch map makers. Sailing up the countries West Coast, Tasman’s first contact with Maori was at the top of the South Island in What is now called Golden Bay.
On 18 December, one of his boats was attacked by Maori and four of his men were killed. because of this incident, Tasman named this area “Moordenaers Baij” – Murderer’s Bay.

He sailed north but missed Cook Straight due to bad weather, believing New Zealand to be a single land. Tasman sighted the northwest tip of the North Island before heading away, without ever setting foot ashore in New Zealand.
Tasman’s employers, The Dutch East India Company found his explorations a disappointment having found “no treasures or matters of great profit”. For over a century, until the era of James Cook, New Zealand was not visited by Europeans. As with many explorers, Tasman’s name has been honoured in many places throughout the Pacific, including the Tasman Sea and the Abel Tasman National Park.”

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The second board reads: “The discovery of Aotearoa, New Zealand. Captain James Cook 1728-1779”

“James Cook was born in Yorkhire, England in 1728. he entered the navy in 1755 and by 1768 he was promoted to first lieutenant and given command of the bark Endeavour.

The Endeavour was a relatively small vessel of 368 tons, just 32 metres long and 7.6 metres broad.

On 26 august 1768, the endeavour set sail from Plymouth stocked with 18 months supplies and 94 men onboard. Captain James Cook’s orders were to sail for the Pacific to study the passage of the planet Venus across the disc of the sun.

The second set of intructions concerning this voyage were secret. Cook was to search for the mysterious and elusive “southern continent” – Terra Australis incognita.

After almost four months in Tahiti, where the passage of Venus was duly observed, the Endeavour sailed south into uncharted waters. On 6 October 1769 the coastline of aotearoa, New Zealand was sighted. Two days later the Endeavour laid anchor at the entrance of the small river in Turanga-nui.

Noticing smoke along the coast, Cook and a group of sailors headed for shore, hoping to establish friendly relations with the natives, and to take on refreshments. Unfortunate skirmishes on that day and the next, resulted in the deaths of several Maori.

Cook was upset by the killings and left the area after calling it  naming it Poverty Bay, due to his inability to take on refreshments. While Cook was circumnavigating the North Island he laid anchor at Mercury bay and took formal possession of this area by carving the date an ship’s name Endeavour, into a tree.

Over the next four months the Endeavour encountered stormy conditions as it continued surveying both the North and South Islands. Friendly relations were finally established with local Maori in Queen Charlotte Sound and trade for fish and fresh vegetables commenced.

By 13 March the southern most tip of the South Island was rounded. In charting New Zealand Cook made two famous mistakes, due largely to adverse weather conditions. He chartered Banks Peninsula as a probable island, and Stewart Island as a probable peninsula.

The Endeavour left New Zealand on 31 march 1770 and sailed west to discover the eastern coast of Australia. Cook had chartered 2400 miles of New Zealand coastline, in under 6 months. He finally returned to England on 13 July 1771, having circumnavigated the globe. Cook returned to New Zealand on two further occasions, once in 1773 and again in 1777, in command of the Resolution. Captain James Cook was killed in an incident with the islanders at Kealakekua Bay , Hawaii, on 14 February 1779.”

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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