New Zealand, same fascination
Our November filming in New Zealand took us to:
Abel Tasman Nature Park, where rocks take on amazing shapes, where beaches are superb (but the water a little cold!) and where are found the crystal clear and multicoloured springs of Pupu Springs.
The hot springs of Maruia and Hanmer Springs; near the latter, it is from the top of this bridge that Bungee jumping enthusiasts throw themselves.
The Banks Peninsula, and Akaroa, among remains of a failed French attempt to colonize New Zealand. Not to be missed in Akaroa, the fabulous garden of the "House of Giants", countless, magnificent sculptures covered with mosaics by extraordinary Josie Martin, the New Zealand equivalent of the Ideal Palace of the French artist-postman Cheval, albeit more joyful and colourful.
In Pohatu Bay, Kevin, a Frenchman living here, has taken us to a farm whose inhabitants lovingly protect the little penguins of Australasia.
Christchurch, which is being rebuilt after the terrible earthquake of 2011 ; the "punts" have started navigating again on the Avon River, and in a Maori village, the actors are teaching tourists how to stick out their tongues for a convincing haka.
In the Lakes region, we have found the unlikely turquoise of Lake Pukaki, and the millions of lupins that border the shores of Lake Tekapo in November/December.
In a very beautiful little church transformed into a tasting room, in the Marlborough area, Damien made us taste the admirable wines of Clos Henri.
And our shooting ended in a climax with the reunion in magnificent Marlborough Sounds of legendary boats: a reproduction of Cook's Endeavour, which viosited here 250 years ago; the Spirit of New Zealand , a training boat; and several double canoes, reproductions of those once used by Polynesians to crisscross the Pacific, including one from Tahiti, Faafaite (in Tahitian: reconciliation)
The bird on my shoulder, a kind of local parrot, bears the picturesque name of Kaka!
And here we are again in Australia, in Brisbane, a stone's throw from imposing Story Bridge, whose illuminations change colour every night. Tomorrow, we will return to Banana Split to sail towards Sydney.
Happy December ! Antoine