Banks Peninsula, New Zealand

The Divine Earth Shard of the Banks Peninsula

Pure New Zealand
Sheep graze on a sloping meadow on the Banks Peninsula, with the Akaroa estuary in the background.
Colored signage indicates villages and different bays on the Banks peninsula.
"These" countrymen
Car goes down one of the roads that leads from the interior top of the peninsula towards sea level.
Under the South Pacific
Casario de Akaroa, the main town on the Banks peninsula.
Fire & Ice
Children shop at a French store in Akaroa.
house life
Akaroa houses arranged downhill to the inlet of the sea.
curious cattle
Herd of cows breaks the enormous predominance of sheep in New Zealand and the Banks Peninsula.
endless talk
Homemade work of art in a villa in Akaroa.
Pasture time
Herd of sheep leaves a sheep station
Promo to Chalk
Residents of Akaroa pass through promotional boards of a bar-inn in the city.
sheep splashes
Sheep scattered across a verdant meadow on the Banks Peninsula.
Okains Bay Garage
A car repair shop in the insignificant village of Okains Bay.
airy hill
Cows graze on a ridge overlooking the South Pacific.
aeronautical experiences
Man jumps and is held aloft by gusts of wind that blow into the Akaroa estuary.
tranquil cove
A small trail gives access to a beach of volcanic origin.
God's house
The church of Saint Patrick in Akaroa.
family business
Family rests in a store in Okains Bay.
tight bay
Blue Sea of ​​the South Pacific fills a tiny inlet on the Banks Peninsula.
Quality of Life
Cyclist walks along a historic street in Akaroa.
Seen from the air, the most obvious bulge on the South Island's east coast appears to have imploded again and again. Volcanic but verdant and bucolic, the Banks Peninsula confines in its almost cogwheel geomorphology the essence of the ever enviable New Zealand life.

New Zealand's cities are really special.

We've barely left the historic center of Christchurch and the green countryside, whether rural or not, predominates. The notion assailed us that in few territories would the British settlers have felt as much at home as in this one, fallen into the antipodes.

The route has little or nothing urban when we glimpse, through an old garden railing, a group of cricket players dressed in white and polished and refined to perfection, in the good aristocratic manner british.

By itself, the sport was not going well with us or with any Latino on the face of the earth. Still, we wanted to understand and witness what made those young players get up so early on a Saturday morning to surrender to their fight and wickets.

We install ourselves on the near-perfect lawn. As close as possible to the edge of the playing area where a few others socialized with each other and with friends and girlfriends, sitting or lying with their heads on the sports bags, beer in hand, waiting for their turn to enter the scene.

With each grossest mistake, the reserve ones burst out laughing. Lock them up with a series of jokes that go better with the girls in attendance than with the active, competitive, desperate for concentration buddies.

As soon as the latter leave the elongated rectangle in which they play, they refresh themselves, settle in and assume the role of joking bores of their substitutes.

To our chagrin, no matter how many turns that followed, his strong kiwi accent and some technical vocabulary of the sport or New Zealand slang prevented us from noticing much of the satire.

We followed this alternation for almost an hour, but we knew how long a game of cricket. Even though it was an amateur confrontation, we didn't want to take any chances.

We've already witnessed the genuine enjoyment that those prim but laid-back teenagers cool withdrew from sport.

We were still far from understanding how they, their parents, uncles and the bulk of the Anglophone male universe including India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and the West Indies endured TV matches that dragged on for four or five days.

Directions, Banks Peninsula, Akaroa, Canterbury, New Zealand

Colored signage indicates villages and different bays on the Banks peninsula.

New Zealand Urban from Christchurch to the Banks Peninsula Field

New Zealand was, all around, more dazzling than ever. With the time counted, we return to the car. We pointed to a certain Banks Peninsula, a place that had been so praised for us in recent days.

On the way, we stop at the top of Port Hills. Then, in Lyttelton, which lies by the sea, at the bottom of a long, steep slope that we descend to the “those”.

"These", Banks Peninsula, Akaroa, Canterbury, New Zealand

Car goes down one of the roads that leads from the interior top of the peninsula towards sea level.

It was on that same coast, in a distressing imbalance, that, in 1850, the first European settlers disembarked. There they opened a historic hike up the hills.

They would come to cluster in what has become the largest of the South Island's cities, dubbed Christchurch, in the nostalgic image of the Dorset model who lurks the English Channel.

We skirt the great Lyttelton Estuary to another summit via its name Gebbles Pass Road and the supreme summit of Mount Herbert (920m).

We pull up to a picturesque mountain cafe on the ground floor of a wooden cottage. We buy hot drinks to disguise the frigidity of the wind. As we sip them, we admire the surreal scenery that stretches forward and downward.

Banks Peninsula, Akaroa, Canterbury, New Zealand

Sheep graze on a sloping meadow on the Banks Peninsula, with the Akaroa estuary in the background.

From the top of the slope to the southwest, the road clears the surrounding trees. It reveals to us a breathtaking scenery that is simultaneously bucolic and wild.

The Geological Eccentricity of the Banks Peninsula

It extends along a gradual slope, lined with a patchwork lawn of various shades of green and yellow on which they graze. thousands of sheep.

Announcing the Pacific Ocean, the Bay of Akaroa appears, so hidden by the coastal hills that it is disguised as a lake.

Akaroa, Banks Peninsula, Canterbury, New Zealand

Casario de Akaroa, the main town on the Banks peninsula.

At that time, we didn't even have a clue. From the air, the Banks Peninsula appears to have been the victim of a nuclear test. Its irregular and fragmented surface, full of small peaks, bays and geological sections invaded by the sea, resulted from the long erosion of two stratovolcanoes, the Lyttelton and the Akaroa, which reached XNUMX meters in altitude.

If this description raises a rocky and inhospitable imagery, the reality turns out to be quite different. As surreal as we discovered it, the peninsula was both stunning and cozy.

It welcomed almost eight thousand souls attracted by the quality of life of that species of grassy Eden. Our compatriots had already passed through there. They left a legacy that entered our eyes when we reached Akaroa, the only real village on the peninsula.

Cyclist in Akaroa, Banks Peninsula, Canterbury, New Zealand

Cyclist walks along a historic street in Akaroa.

“Exactly. His name was António Rodrigues. It was Portuguese…” assures the waitress on the other side of the Bar Hotel Madeira counter. The mystery settles.

What was an establishment of Portuguese origin doing there, in that remote corner of the planet? To find out, we went back in time, to the era of New Zealand colonization, when the Maori people it still dominated most of the South Island.

James Cook, Franco-British Rivalry and the Native Maori

We learn that Akaroa was sighted by navigator James Cook in 1770.

As he passed, Cook thought it was an island. He named it after the naturalist Sir Joseph Banks. In 1831, the resident Maori tribe Ngai Tahu was attacked by the rival Ngati Toa.

This conflict caused a drastic decrease in the native population. It facilitated the life and intentions of a French whaling captain named Jean Francois L'Anglois. Nine years later, L'Anglois bought the peninsula from the natives he found.

With the support of the government of the metropolis, he offered boat tickets and managed to encourage another sixty-three French settlers to settle there. Just days before they arrived, British officers sent a warship and hoisted a Union Jack.

Saint Patrick Church of Akaroa, Banks Peninsula, Canterbury, New Zealand

The church of Saint Patrick in Akaroa.

They claimed possession of the peninsula and surrounding territory under the auspices of the Treaty of Waitangi, according to which Maori chiefs recognized British sovereignty over New Zealand in general.

The people of Akaroa like to stress to visitors that, had the French settlers landed on the peninsula two days earlier, the entire South Island could be French today.

These same French eventually settled in Akaroa. In 1849, they sold their claim of ownership to the New Zealand Company.

The following year, a large group of British settlers set up camps and began to clear the then densely forested land with the purpose of securing livestock.

Herd, Banks Peninsula, Canterbury, New Zealand

Herd of sheep leaves a sheep station

The village houses and various street and place names help confirm the authenticity and seriousness of what was once France's only colony in New Zealand. But, as is customary in these novels of discoveries and colonizations, the Portuguese were also involved.

The Unveiling of the Inevitable Portuguese Expatriate in Akaroa

In the early years of the XNUMXth century, whaling was one of the activities that most attracted Europeans to the downunder. During that period, American and French whalers often included Polynesians and Portuguese from the islands in their crews.

Eventually linked to this influx, António Rodrigues arrived from Madeira. He settled in the village where he would build and acquire some buildings, including the Hotel Madeira, now in a classic guest-house style combined with british pub, continues to function detached from the lower houses.

Akaroa (long cove, in the Maori dialect of the area) is today a cosmopolitan village. Appreciated from a few kilometers above the peninsula, it is an immaculate postcard, with its colorful houses at the base of two opposite slopes and invading Akaroa Harbour, an incredible bay hidden from the ocean, with baby blue waters.

Akaroa Villas, Banks Peninsula, Canterbury, New Zealand

Akaroa houses arranged downhill to the inlet of the sea.

Banks Peninsula a la française

Along the coastal street, bars and restaurants, craft and souvenir shops, inns and hotels are repeated, all of them colorful and picturesque, exploring the unique beauty of the place and its French-style atmosphere.

Lilac and pink chalets with names like “Chez La Mer”, “La Belle Villa” or “C'est la Vie” entice backpackers to a few days of stay scented by nature, which includes distinct aromas of the prolific local cattle ranching .

Fire & Ice, Akaroa, Banks Peninsula, Canterbury, New Zealand

Children shop at a French store in Akaroa.

Among the films shown at the local cinema there is an Anglophone replacement of “Bienvenue Chez Les Ch'tis” Dany Boon's comedy that entertains and amuses more than 20 million French viewers – a new record for the nation – to caricature the peculiarities of the people of the far north of France.

Around Akaroa, the Banks Peninsula descends into far more extreme scenarios.

Banks Peninsula Cove, Canterbury, New Zealand

Blue Sea of ​​the South Pacific fills a tiny inlet on the Banks Peninsula.

Sheep and the Most Bucolic New Zealand Possible on the Banks Peninsula

As we travel along its cogwheel perimeter, deep and craggy coves succeed one another, hiding streams and deserted beaches. At space, sheep farms surprise us.

The huge herds contribute to New Zealand having eleven times as many sheep as humans.

Huge flock, Banks Peninsula, Canterbury, New Zealand

Sheep scattered across a verdant meadow on the Banks Peninsula.

When not concentrated in them, the sheep dot vast uneven meadows and perch on thin ridges disguised by grass, half-walls with sheer cliffs that plunge into the South Pacific.

As we explore this fascinating volcanic-livestock domain, we pass over countless road grids that prevent cattle from leaving the properties and straying.

On other farms where this solution has proved unreliable, we are forced to leave the car and open and close old solid wood gates.

From time to time, we come across family businesses lost in nothingness and that only seem to activate when they detect the approach of the vehicles of outsiders. In the insignificant village of Okains Bay, a small grocery bar coexists with an auto repair shop.

Okains Bay Workshop, Banks Peninsula, Canterbury, New Zealand

A car repair shop in the insignificant village of Okains Bay.

They are both eponymous. They maintain a telephone booth with the same red-green and architectural profile of the sheep stations at the disposal of locals and outsiders.

Okains Bay's Verdant Retreat

We stop our discovery at the Okains Bay Store to enjoy ice cream and the day's ultimate sun. Perhaps because we approached slowly, after three or four minutes, no one came to meet us.

When, at last, someone hears our calls, two young sisters appear, shy but used to getting away from their parents in their absence. They serve us ice cream from the fridge and do the math without any fear or hindrance.

Okains Bay Homes, Banks Peninsula, Canterbury, New Zealand

Family rests in a store in Okains Bay.

It even occurred to us that they would be able to give us directions to another deep bay. We were, however, joined by a small group of residents who, despite the almost intelligible kiwi accent, volunteered to help.

Until dark, we simply skirted the Banks Peninsula, delighted with its countless geological whims and the down-to-earth lives they've adapted to.

Nelson to Wharariki, Abel Tasman NP, New Zealand

The Maori coastline on which Europeans landed

Abel Janszoon Tasman explored more of the newly mapped and mythical "Terra australis" when a mistake soured the contact with natives of an unknown island. The episode inaugurated the colonial history of the New Zealand. Today, both the divine coast on which the episode took place and the surrounding seas evoke the Dutch navigator.
Wanaka, New Zealand

The Antipodes Great Outdoors

If New Zealand is known for its tranquility and intimacy with Nature, Wanaka exceeds any imagination. Located in an idyllic setting between the homonymous lake and the mystic Mount Aspiring, it became a place of worship. Many kiwis aspire to change their lives there.
North Island, New Zealand

Journey along the Path of Maority

New Zealand is one of the countries where the descendants of settlers and natives most respect each other. As we explored its northern island, we became aware of the interethnic maturation of this very old nation. Commonwealth as Maori and Polynesia.

Mountains of Fire

More or less prominent ruptures in the earth's crust, volcanoes can prove to be as exuberant as they are capricious. Some of its eruptions are gentle, others prove annihilating.
napier, New Zealand

Back to the 30s - Calhambeque Tour

In a city rebuilt in Art Deco and with an atmosphere of the "crazy years" and beyond, the adequate means of transportation are the elegant classic automobiles of that era. In Napier, they are everywhere.
Great Ocean Road, Australia

Ocean Out, along the Great Australian South

One of the favorite escapes of the Australian state of Victoria, via B100 unveils a sublime coastline that the ocean has shaped. We only needed a few kilometers to understand why it was named The Great Ocean Road.
Christchurch, New Zealand

New Zealand's Cursed Wizard

Despite his notoriety in the antipodes, Ian Channell, the New Zealand sorcerer, failed to predict or prevent several earthquakes that struck Christchurch. At the age of 88, after 23 years of contract with the city, he made very controversial statements and ended up fired.
Tongariro, New Zealand

The Volcanoes of All Discords

In the late XNUMXth century, an indigenous chief ceded the PN Tongariro volcanoes to the British crown. Today, a significant part of the Maori people claim their mountains of fire from European settlers.
New Zealand  

When Counting Sheep causes Sleep Loss

20 years ago, New Zealand had 18 sheep per inhabitant. For political and economic reasons, the average was halved. In the antipodes, many breeders are worried about their future.
Mount cook, New Zealand

The Cloud Piercer Mountain

Aoraki/Mount Cook may fall far short of the world's roof but it is New Zealand's highest and most imposing mountain.
Fiordland, New Zealand

The Fjords of the Antipodes

A geological quirk made the Fiordland region the rawest and most imposing in New Zealand. Year after year, many thousands of visitors worship the sub-domain slashed between Te Anau and Milford Sound.
Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand

The Aeronautical Conquest of the Southern Alps

In 1955, pilot Harry Wigley created a system for taking off and landing on asphalt or snow. Since then, his company has unveiled, from the air, some of the greatest scenery in Oceania.
Napier, New Zealand

Back to the 30s

Devastated by an earthquake, Napier was rebuilt in an almost ground-floor Art Deco and lives pretending to stop in the Thirties. Its visitors surrender to the Great Gatsby atmosphere that the city enacts.
bay of islands, New Zealand

New Zealand's Civilization Core

Waitangi is the key place for independence and the long-standing coexistence of native Maori and British settlers. In the surrounding Bay of Islands, the idyllic marine beauty of the New Zealand antipodes is celebrated, but also the complex and fascinating kiwi nation.
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.
Masai Mara Reservation, Masai Land Travel, Kenya, Masai Convivial
Masai Mara, Kenya

A Journey Through the Masai Lands

The Mara savannah became famous for the confrontation between millions of herbivores and their predators. But, in a reckless communion with wildlife, it is the Masai humans who stand out there.
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 5th - Ngawal a BragaNepal

Towards the Nepalese Braga

We spent another morning of glorious weather discovering Ngawal. There is a short journey towards Manang, the main town on the way to the zenith of the Annapurna circuit. We stayed for Braga (Braka). The hamlet would soon prove to be one of its most unforgettable places.
The Little-Big Senglea II
Architecture & Design
Senglea, Malta

An Overcrowded Malta

At the turn of the 8.000th century, Senglea housed 0.2 inhabitants in 2 km3.000, a European record, today, it has “only” XNUMX neighborhood Christians. It is the smallest, most overcrowded and genuine of the Maltese cities.
Full Dog Mushing
Seward, Alaska

The Alaskan Dog Mushing Summer

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Saida Ksar Ouled Soltane, festival of the ksour, tataouine, tunisia
Ceremonies and Festivities
Tataouine, Tunisia

Festival of the Ksour: Sand Castles That Don't Collapse

The ksour were built as fortifications by the Berbers of North Africa. They resisted Arab invasions and centuries of erosion. Every year, the Festival of the Ksour pays them the due homage.
Dusk in Itzamna Park, Izamal, Mexico
Izamal, Mexico

The Holy, Yellow and Beautiful Mexican City

Until the arrival of the Spanish conquerors, Izamal was a center of worship for the supreme Mayan god Itzamná and Kinich Kakmó, the one of the sun. Gradually, the invaders razed the various pyramids of the natives. In its place, they built a large Franciscan convent and a prolific colonial houses, with the same solar tone in which the now Catholic city shines.
Cocoa, Chocolate, Sao Tome Principe, Agua Izé farm
São Tomé and Principe

Cocoa Roças, Corallo and the Chocolate Factory

At the beginning of the century. In the XNUMXth century, São Tomé and Príncipe generated more cocoa than any other territory. Thanks to the dedication of some entrepreneurs, production survives and the two islands taste like the best chocolate.

the last address

From the grandiose tombs of Novodevichy, in Moscow, to the boxed Mayan bones of Pomuch, in the Mexican province of Campeche, each people flaunts its own way of life. Even in death.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.
Jeep crosses Damaraland, Namibia
Damaraland, Namíbia

Namibia On the Rocks

Hundreds of kilometers north of Swakopmund, many more of Swakopmund's iconic dunes Sossuvlei, Damaraland is home to deserts interspersed with hills of reddish rock, the highest mountain and ancient rock art of the young nation. the settlers South Africans they named this region after the Damara, one of the Namibian ethnic groups. Only these and other inhabitants prove that it remains on Earth.
Tabatô, Guinea Bissau, tabanca Mandingo musicians. Baidi
Tabato, Guinea Bissau

The Tabanca of Mandinga Poets Musicians

In 1870, a community of traveling Mandingo musicians settled next to the current city of Bafatá. From the Tabatô they founded, their culture and, in particular, their prodigious balaphonists, dazzle the world.
View of Fa Island, Tonga, Last Polynesian Monarchy
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

Exotic Signs of Life

Khiva, Uzbekistan, Fortress, Silk Road,
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The Silk Road Fortress the Soviets Velved

In the 80s, Soviet leaders renewed Khiva in a softened version that, in 1990, UNESCO declared a World Heritage Site. The USSR disintegrated the following year. Khiva has preserved its new luster.
Viti levu, Fiji

The Unlikely Sharing of Viti Levu Island

In the heart of the South Pacific, a large community of Indian descendants recruited by former British settlers and the Melanesian indigenous population have long divided the chief island of Fiji.
Northern Lights, Laponia, Rovaniemi, Finland, Fire Fox
Winter White
Lapland, Finland

In Search of the Fire Fox

Unique to the heights of the Earth are the northern or southern auroras, light phenomena generated by solar explosions. You Sami natives from Lapland they believed it to be a fiery fox that spread sparkles in the sky. Whatever they are, not even the nearly 30 degrees below zero that were felt in the far north of Finland could deter us from admiring them.
Visitors to Ernest Hemingway's Home, Key West, Florida, United States
Key West, United States

Hemingway's Caribbean Playground

Effusive as ever, Ernest Hemingway called Key West "the best place I've ever been...". In the tropical depths of the contiguous US, he found evasion and crazy, drunken fun. And the inspiration to write with intensity to match.
Intha rowers on a channel of Lake Inlé
Inle Lake, Myanmar

The Dazzling Lakustrine Burma

With an area of ​​116km2, Inle Lake is the second largest lake in Myanmar. It's much more than that. The ethnic diversity of its population, the profusion of Buddhist temples and the exoticism of local life make it an unmissable stronghold of Southeast Asia.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Flam Railway composition below a waterfall, Norway.
Natural Parks
Nesbyen to Flam, Norway

Flam Railway: Sublime Norway from the First to the Last Station

By road and aboard the Flam Railway, on one of the steepest railway routes in the world, we reach Flam and the entrance to the Sognefjord, the largest, deepest and most revered of the Scandinavian fjords. From the starting point to the last station, this monumental Norway that we have unveiled is confirmed.
One against all, Sera Monastery, Sacred Debate, Tibet
UNESCO World Heritage
Lhasa, Tibet

Sera, the Monastery of the Sacred Debate

In few places in the world a dialect is used as vehemently as in the monastery of Sera. There, hundreds of monks, in Tibetan, engage in intense and raucous debates about the teachings of the Buddha.
In elevator kimono, Osaka, Japan
Osaka, Japan

In the Company of Mayu

Japanese nightlife is a multi-faceted, multi-billion business. In Osaka, an enigmatic couchsurfing hostess welcomes us, somewhere between the geisha and the luxury escort.
Balo Beach Crete, Greece, Balos Island
Balos a Seitan Limani, Crete, Greece

The Bathing Olympus of Chania

It's not just Chania, the centuries-old polis, steeped in Mediterranean history, in the far northeast of Crete that dazzles. Refreshing it and its residents and visitors, Balos, Stavros and Seitan have three of the most exuberant coastlines in Greece.

Djerba Island of Tunisia, Amazigh and its camels
Djerba, Tunisia

The Tunisian Island of Conviviality

The largest island in North Africa has long welcomed people who could not resist it. Over time, Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Arabs called it home. Today, Muslim, Christian and Jewish communities continue an unusual sharing of Djerba with its native Berbers.
Serra do Mar train, Paraná, airy view
On Rails
Curitiba a Morretes, Paraná, Brazil

Down Paraná, on Board the Train Serra do Mar

For more than two centuries, only a winding and narrow road connected Curitiba to the coast. Until, in 1885, a French company opened a 110 km railway. We walked along it to Morretes, the final station for passengers today. 40km from the original coastal terminus of Paranaguá.

A Market Economy

The law of supply and demand dictates their proliferation. Generic or specific, covered or open air, these spaces dedicated to buying, selling and exchanging are expressions of life and financial health.
Casario, uptown, Fianarantsoa, ​​Madagascar
Daily life
Fianarantsoa, Madagascar

The Malagasy City of Good Education

Fianarantsoa was founded in 1831 by Ranavalona Iª, a queen of the then predominant Merina ethnic group. Ranavalona Iª was seen by European contemporaries as isolationist, tyrant and cruel. The monarch's reputation aside, when we enter it, its old southern capital remains as the academic, intellectual and religious center of Madagascar.
Tombolo and Punta Catedral, Manuel António National Park, Costa Rica
PN Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Costa Rica's Little-Big National Park

The reasons for the under 28 are well known national parks Costa Ricans have become the most popular. The fauna and flora of PN Manuel António proliferate in a tiny and eccentric patch of jungle. As if that wasn't enough, it is limited to four of the best typical beaches.
Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii Wrinkles
Scenic Flights
napali coast, Hawaii

Hawaii's Dazzling Wrinkles

Kauai is the greenest and rainiest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is also the oldest. As we explore its Napalo Coast by land, sea and air, we are amazed to see how the passage of millennia has only favored it.