Archive for the ‘New Zealand’ Category


I was asked today what makes New Zealand so special. The answer is kind of complicated, but it begins with a dear friend that doesn’t mind me there for five weeks at a time (if she needs a sedative, she’s never mentioned it. If she’d like to give me a few, she’s refrained), and the very first thing I look forward to seeing once I’m off the flight is the women’s bathroom. The second (once customs declares that I am safe) is seeing my dear friend.

She shows me interesting birds, takes me too zoos (and is still kind enough to bring me home with her!), and takes me to beaches.

I’ve learned that when a Kiwi asks to ‘go away’ I should pack for one – possibly two nights (that’s one I’m still teased – justifiably – over.) we were to be gone two days and I brought only a toy. No chargers or clothing ūüė≥

The plants with various color shades, sizes, and shapes can occupy me for hours. Walks around the block can feel like an expansive garden as birds flit here and there! And, you haven’t seen Auckland until you’ve done the sky jump or eaten at an awesome restaurant that moves so you can see most of Auckland from on high.

There are museums, trail riding, tramps galore (walking trails, all, walking trails!), and boats with glass bottoms enabling passengers to see life below. New Zealand has come a long way from destroying their forests, to now revitalizing them.
The waterfalls of New Zealand are breathtaking beauties as are the braided rivers, and small streams. The water is so clear!


People on beaches are surprisingly friendly, and even while I was wearing five cameras, I felt like I fit right in, although some people wanted a photo of me and my digital treasures.


The sun can get you, though! Bad burns pack a punch at night!
There are jellyfish, and I even stumbled across a shark! Every day is an adventure – I seem to attract them: lost guides, freak snow storms, the occasional cyclone (that must be filmed), and storms that surprise passengers while stalking dolphins in a boat.
So, you see, New Zealand isn’t about just one aspect. Well, on second thought, it is.
It is about love. The love of my friend, the love of thrills, the love of beauty, and the love of visiting new places while trying new activities.


New Zealand has much to teach the rest of the world if we’d only listen. We all could make great strides in cleaning up the environment and saving plants and critters if we would follow the conservation examples they are setting.¬† The countries number one resource is Agriculture. Everything depends on the land, so they are conscience of good conservation practices.


I am goofy, and I love fun, but I also have respect for the Kiwis who do all they can to preserve what they have.

Written by: Kathy Meader

Kathy Meader has a Masters in Fine Arts in Writing. She earned her MFA in writing, but she is self-taught in photography. When Kathy was younger, you had to drag her outdoors. Now you have to drag her indoors!

She doesn’t see animals mean or nice. They are animals and loves them.  She’s aware they can be unpredictable, but then, so are humans. When out stalking animals with her camera, she knows she is a guest in their habitat.

Her unique experience was of a bull moose running interference between her and a cougar. From Kathy: ‚ÄúI don’t begrudge the wild cat. In order for it to set its eyes on me, it had to be old, sick, or injured. I was lucky the moose

chased it off. ¬†I’m also the only one that I know of that had a wild cow moose rest her head on my shoulder. I never heard her behind me as I was focused on the coyote in front of me. I am blessed to see animals up close and personal,

and it brings me such joy to share my finds and captures with people who might never see them otherwise. I don’t fear the animals. I do fear the humans because at least wild animals give you signs and signals if they are uncomfortable.

Heaven can be a place on earth; I know this because when I run into a mama nuzzling her babe, I realize we aren’t so different from the creatures that bring me joy. The common denominator is called love – love for a babe that transcends across both generations and species.‚ÄĚ

I hope you enjoy her writing and her photographs!

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Making your way through the LAX Airport to connect to your International flight Down Under

When you travel ‚Äúdown under‚ÄĚ you most likely will travel through the Los Angeles International Airport or LAX.¬† If you haven‚Äôt done this before, it can be intimidating.

Here are just some basic steps you need to do to get to the International Terminal (this is where QANTAS, Air New Zealand, Fiji Airways and Virgin Australia depart and arrive.

  1. You arrive at LAX on the second floor, you make your way to the first floor and will depart from the ground floor (baggage area).  After collecting any bags (if you didn’t check them through to your destination), you will exit the terminal.
  2. Coming from the Pacific Northwest, I usually take Alaska or Delta, so my arrival is either terminal or 6 for Alaska, and 5 for Delta. But check the map for your carrier.
  3. Once outside, you can either walk to Tom Bradley International Terminal or take the shuttle which runs counter clockwise

NOTE:  LAX is shaped like a U with Terminals 1,2,3, on the right side, Terminal B, or Tom Bradley Terminal (bottom of the U) and then terminals 5,6,7,8 on the left.


If you look at a map, it makes getting to the B terminal easier. Check your air itinerary it should say at which terminal your carrier should depart and arrive.

  1. Look for the Blue Sign for the Airport Shuttle-airline connection.

The other shuttles will not work.

  1. I find 3 hours between flights going and returning has been enough time to change terminals.  Two hours may not be enough, especially in winter with the extra delays.
  2. When you get on the Coach, travel to Tom Bradley Terminal or B. When you get off the coach, you are on the ground floor or departure area of Tom Bradley Terminal. Go inside, you need to go to the elevators either to your Right or Left located in the front corner of the terminal. You need to go up to the 2nd floor to the Arrivals hall.
  3. Proceed to your carrier, and check into your flight.

Luggage:  the carriers do weigh both your carryon and your checked bag.  Make sure they are not over weight, you who will either (1) Be repacking on the airport floor or (2) Pay a lot for extra weight

  1. Once you get checked in, proceed through security, then continue to your gate.  Now you can shop, eat or whatever depending on the time of your departure!


Happy Flying to your destination!


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When I hear someone say Marlborough, I think wine–Sauvignon Blanc to be specific. Can’t help it. Some of the best Sauvignon Blanc I have ever have come from this section of New Zealand. The award-winning Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs tend to be crisp and complex with an array of citrus and passion fruits hitting your palate in an explosion of goodness. You want a reason to go to New Zealand? Really? You need a reason? Well, we’re giving you one. Go taste their wine. It doesn’t matter if you say “I’m not a white wine drinker”…a) they have red and b) the¬†Sauvignon Blanc will knock your socks off.

Located in the northeast corner of the South Island of New Zealand, Marlborough is the biggest and most recognized wine district in the country. While you could walk around the countryside, searching for this infamous wine, it would be much easier ‚Äď and more exciting ‚Äď to participate in one of the fabulous tours Journeys Down Under Can create for you.

Sauvignon and Greenshell Mussel Cruise:
Imagine cruising the Marlborough Sounds while sipping some of the aforementioned award winning wines, eating mussels and relaxing in quiet, sparsely populated bays. Learn the history and nature of a world of sea-drowned inlets and water ways. The pinnacle of your cruise is a launch tour to a Greenshell mussel farm. Enjoy fresh, steamed clams. In truth, nothing goes better with steamed clams than that Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc I keep mentioning than fresh steamed clams.
Wine, Water, Wilderness:
Going back to the subject at hand, Marlborough makes the most amazing, distinctive Sauvignon Blancs. You will never taste anything like it anywhere else. There are over 110 wineries spread throughout the region. Add to that, waterways, forests, wildlife, and you have the makings of a perfect Journeys Down Under Tour.  Journeys Down Under will book you a room at the Heartland Hotel  which is centrally located right in the heart of wine country.  You will visit some of the highest rated wineries in the Marlborough region and finally relax with a spa treatment and finish off your day at Seymours Restaurant. This is paradise. Truly.
The Marlborough Wine Festival:
Why not indulge your inner wine-O and attend the Marlborough Wine Festival? Wine, local cuisine, meet the wine makers, meet the food producers, and watch the competition for the regions most celebrated wine. Held every February, one of the warmest most pleasant times of year to visit New Zealand. Do NOT miss your opportunity to rub elbows with some of Marlborough’s most celebrated vintners. Ever wonder what wine fashion looks like? Festival organizers have added a fashion show with a competition for the best dressed male and female at the festival. Now is your chance to find out.
Marlborough¬†isn’t¬†just about wine. It’s about a wonderful climate and amazing water-scapes. It’s about about mountain ranges and¬†picturesque¬†sounds. It’s about culinary adventure.
Don’t take our word for it. Go and get yourself a bottle of Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc. Try it. You’ll see what’s in store for you once you go down under. And then, call Journeys Down Under. We’ll give you a trip you won’t ever be able to forget.

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