Le Pays du long nuage blanc

Note de la rédaction (!) : article écrit par Françoise (maman de Marc)

Ou plutôt l’île du long vertige… tant cette île à la dérive a engendré de paysages extraordinaires et de créatures hors du commun qui en font un eldorado pour les naturistes (NDLR : nous précisons à nouveau que nous ne pouvons être tenus responsables des propos rapportés ici) que nous sommes !

Jamais je ne pensais un jour débarquer en Nouvelle-Zélande mais l’occasion fait le larron !

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Bienvenue !

Après 39 heures de voyage et une arrivée sous la pluie battante, nous récupérons les globe-trotters (plutôt nous sommes récupérés par les globe-trotters !) sous une bannière de bienvenue à Mimi et Doudoune ! Heureux qu’ils sont de voir arriver leur nouveau quotidien fait de lits moelleux, de toilettes privatives et de repas équilibrés…oubliés les dortoirs et les fastfoods, le 3ème âge aime son confort et nous sommes ravis de leur en faire profiter !

 

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Le parc Abel Tasman

Le parc Abel Tasman n’a plus de secret pour nous et les premières otaries sont au rendez vous à portée d’une pagaie de kayak. Et oui nous avons ramé dans la baie de Tasman sous un soleil de plomb avec Chris , un guide australien des plus antipathiques devant ces french touristes en recherche de sensations !

 

Un coup de pagaie pour une première otarie
Un coup de pagaie pour une première otarie

 

Nous avons marché dans ce parc magnifique sous les fougères arbor..escentes bravant ces con..sses de sandflies qui s’obstinaient à n’attaquer que Marc et Albane !

Belle plante !
Belle plante !
Plus de moutons que d'habitants...
Quelques moutons…

En route vers Kaikoura les moutons nous accompagnent, toujours plus nombreux et laissent finalement la place aux otaries le long du Pacifique. Otaries ou phoques, la grande question qui va nous occuper pendant le trajet et qui trouvera sa réponse via internet, c’est donc bien une question d’oreilles !!

 

Le début d'une longue série d'otaries !
Le début d’une longue série d’otaries !

 

Notre émerveillement se poursuit à bord du bateau qui nous conduira à 7h du matin à la rencontre d’une baleine et de sa plongée majestueuse tant attendue et d’une flopée de Dusky Dolphins et de leurs acrobaties que nous immortaliserons avec peine.

La queue du cachalot avant les sauts des duskys !
La queue du cachalot avant les sauts des duskys !

 

Le port d'Akaroa
Le port d’Akaroa

Akaroa et son petit port lové au fond d’une baie va nous donner l’immense privilège de nager avec les Hector’s Dolphins dans une combinaison des plus seyantes et ce à 6h du matin dans une eau à 15° ! Que ne ferait on pas pour approcher ces « torpilles » endémiques en voie d’extinction se faufilant à toute allure entre nous et se jouant des objectifs sub et sous aquatiques ! Les quitter fut difficile tant l’expérience nous a comblés.

 

En tenue (classe) pour aller nager avec les dauphins d'Hector
En tenue (classe) pour aller nager avec les dauphins d’Hector

 

Y'a pas d'âge...
Y’a pas d’âge…

Christchurch et ses stigmates du dernier tremblement de terre de 2011 sera le point de départ de notre traversée est-ouest de l’île de Jade avec le Kiwi Rail Scenic, la Tranzalpine, le train de l’aventure, un des plus beaux circuits ferroviaires au monde ! Aux pâturages ovins et bovins succèdent des viaducs, des tunnels surplombant des canyons puis l’ascension de l’Arthur’s Pass dans un ahanement impressionnant des machines ! Attraction touristique s’il en est dans un wagon aéré et panoramique mais circuit inoubliable de 4 heures dans des paysages inouïs.

Le fameux train !
Le fameux train !

Bienvenue sur la cote ouest à Greymouth, ancien bastion des chercheurs d’or, où nous commençons notre descente vers la région des glaciers, Fox glacier et Franz Josef glacier qui s’étirent jusqu’à 15kms de la mer. Etrange impression que celle de côtoyer une barre de glace à une si basse altitude !

Notre premier glacier, Fox !
Notre premier glacier, Fox !

Le lac Matheson, le plus photographié au monde pour ses reflets féeriques des plus hauts sommets de Nouvelle-Zélande, sera l’occasion d’une course contre le coucher de soleil dans les fougères pour ne pas rater ce spectacle rare de carte postale.

Matheson lake !
Matheson lake !

La route vers Queenstown sera ponctuée d’arrêts photos intempestifs quasiment à chaque virage tant la tentation était grande et incontrôlable d’immortaliser une si grande diversité de panoramas, lacs, étendues désertiques, criques…

Queenstown, au bord du lac Wakatipu, avec les Southern Alpes en toile de fond et ses excellents crus (le pinot noir notamment !!) est la porte d’entrée de la fabuleuse région du Fiordland.

Doubtful Sound...
Doubtful Sound…

Non ce n’est pas un parc d’attraction ou plutôt si mais grandeur nature, des fiords enneigés tombant à pic accessibles par trek ou par bateau. C est le « Doubtful Sound » qui se dévoilera à nous après une heure de bateau pour traverser le lac Manapouri, une heure de route (la plus chère au monde, 1.20euro du cm !! ) et 3 heures de bateau accompagnés par les « Bottlenose Dolphins » et sous l oeil placide des otaries nous rejoignons la mer de Tasman. Notre envie de solitude malgré les «chichis» armés de leurs perches à selfies a été comblée et nos efforts récompensés par la beauté sauvage de ce lieu unique : les zipperdules au pays des merveilles !

Les derniers dauphins !
Les derniers dauphins !

Notre dernière étape nous a conduits à la péninsule d’Otago sur la côte est et là, les superlatifs font défaut : la parade amoureuse des lions de mer qui nous ont presque jetés de Sandfly Bay, l’arrivée nocturne des blue pinguins qui déambulent vers leurs nids du haut de leurs 20cm, l’attente, camouflés, pour apercevoir le rare yellow eyed pinguin qui finalement daignera se montrer ballotté par les rouleaux pour rejoindre le sable et les albatros royaux de 3 mètres d’envergure qui planent et surveillent leurs couvées : nous avons été sous le charme pendant 17 jours.

Dans l'ordre : lions de mer, blue penguin et yellow eyed penguin
Dans l’ordre : lions de mer, blue penguin et yellow eyed penguin

A l’ instar des albatros qui partent 2 ans autour de l’Antarctique pour finalement retrouver leur progéniture, nous avons bien traversé la moitié de la planète pour retrouver la nôtre et ce fut une de nos plus belles expériences.

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Albatros royal

Un grand merci donc à Albane et Marc d’avoir posé leurs sacs à dos sur une île si exceptionnelle et de nous avoir accueillis au bout du monde.

Signé : FH
Signé : FH

 

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    Quel beau périple, quelle riche expérience , on persiste et signe , vous avez bien fait !
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