My rip to New Zealand began in Christchurch(I have relatives there). This is a beautiful city set in a kind of hollow among the Port Hills. Took a day trip to Kaikoura to see whales. Did see one but got seasick and only saw the first of four) :( From there I went to Wellington, which is aptly known as the 'Windy City' . Had a city tour part of which went to Mount Victoria, there are houses here built on the side of the hill with no access except by private cablecar. It was kind of weird. Here too I had a LOTR tour with a guide who claimed he play an extra in the second movie(he was a standard bearing elf of the leves who came to Helms Deep). Anyway, he had good stories and was a good guide which was just as well as there is no physical evidence of the film anywhere. We did see Peter jackson's studio from the outside, well outside. We also saw the ship used in King Kong. From Wellington I went to Queenstown set on a beautiful lake Wakatipu(some of the names in New Zealand are truly wonderful. had a lakeshore cruise on a 93 year old steamship. Took a bus trip to Fox Glacier and the small village nearby. Had a helicopter trip up onto the glacier, landed for about ten minutes then flew back down. From Fox, went to Greymouth and took the Tranz-Alpine Express across to Christchurch for one more day them began the long trip home. I have photos on a website if anyone wants to see them. Don't want to post the URL here(not just sure of the ettiquette involved yet) but if someone knows how I can without breaking rules I will.