In November, I traveled to New Zealand, New Caledonia, Australia, Fiji and Samoa.
The following is a photographic record of some of the things I saw. It was a big trip in many ways and I am just beginning to digest my experiences. Please forgive the sparse text. My mind is turgid from jet-lag. This trip and others to follow, are part of my research into a book I have just begun to write.
I flew from San Francisco to Auckland and then drove north-west to the Waipoua Forest, home to some of the largest trees on earth, the Kauri (Agathis australis).
The Waipoua Forest is a sanctuary full of understory trees, shrubs and ferns.
The underside of the silver fern ( Cyathea dealbata) is particularly beautiful.
From the North Island, I flew to Blenheim in the South Island and attended Garden Marlborough, a four-day garden festival. I was invited as the guest international speaker and gave two talks. They seemed to go well. I had the audience dancing.
My hosts, Rosa and Mike Davison, are the creators of Paripuma, a garden of New Zealand natives designed in formal European style.
While at the festival, I took a boat trip along Queen Charlotte Sound to visit the spot where Captain Cook first landed in New Zealand – ship cove.
On another day, I was taken into the Kaikoura mountains to see tōtara ( Podocarpus totara).
From New Zealand, I flew to Noumea, New Caledonia. If current geological thinking stands up, New Caledonia is the northernmost tip of Zealandia, the eighth continent. https://www.livescience.com/60538-zealandia-eighth-continent-once-above-ocean.html
With only three days in New Caledonia, I explored the Parc Provincial de la Riviere Bleue .
In the park is a thousand-year-old, forty-meter-tall Agathis lanceolata.
and an exceedingly rare palm Pritchardiopsis jeanneneyi (now named Saribus jeanneneyi ). Storckiella pancheri was in bloom.North and west of the parc, a stand of New Caledonian pine (Araucaria columnaris) grows from cliff to beach.
Along the shore, mangroves.
In the mountains, giant tree ferns.
From New Caledonia, I flew to Sydney. The streets were full of Jacaranda in bloom. That’s another story – in part 2.