Tag Archives: Oceania

Go south

Yenny WongsoPHOTOGRAPHS  I  YENNY WONGSO

Yenny Wongso is a bachelor of Chinese Language in Beijing. In her recent tour to Western Europe and Italy, she captured many remarkable pictures. She now works and studies in Jakarta.


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The clear blue sky as the backdrop of the chains of mountain—part of the giant Southern Alps—welcomed the plane when it landed on the south island of New Zealand. The Queenstown International Airport was flanked by a fraction of 50 volcanic mountains in the country. Don’t worry, the last earthquake occured in south island in 1968.

White clouds blanketed most of its long summit, a beautiful scenery to begin the journey on this resort destination. For Asian tourists coming from the typical densely populated home city, the south island would have certainly made them dumbfounded with the least appearance of humans.

It is one of the less inhabitated lands on earth in comparison with the modern world that is crowded by over 6 billion people.

The ultimate stop on the visit to the south island of New Zealand is Christchurch, the third most populous city in the country after Auckland and Wellington in the north island, with just over 340,000 inhabitants. Over 30 per cent of the south island population lived in Christchurch.

As the history of the European settlement in New Zealand started in the south island during the goldrush that culminated in the 19th century, Christchurch is the country’s first established city.

Frequent series of earthquakes over two years since 2010 had changed its outlook into even more vibrant and new. Rapid and thorough restoration that took place in the past two years made the traces of destructive impact of earthquakes disappeared.

New Zealand was one of the last stops of human migration in the prehistoric era. Its indigeneous Eastern Polynesian people, the Maoris, settled long before the Dutch and British voyagers found the island in the 17th century, calling it Autearoa, meaning the land of the long white cloud.

The country’s name refers to the Abel Tasman-led Dutch explorers who called it upon discovery in 1642 Nova Zeelandia. The British explorers anglicised the name to New Zealand, and unanimously agreed by consesus for use until today.

Shoalwater Islands Marine Park

PHOTOGRAPHS  I  AIRIN PRIHANDANI
Shoalwater Islands Marine Park
Pelicans at the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park

Shoalwater Islands Marine Park is one of the most protected natural habitats in Australia classified as Class A Reserves. The status gives protection for the surface and the submerged areas, covering over 6000 hectares, for the sake of biological diversity in the marine park.

But it was not until 1990 that the area was granted such important status. Later, in order to encourage social use, it introduces recreational service to the public.

It is constituted by a chain of islands such as Seal Island where visitors can view a herd of rare Australian sea lion lazing under the sun before hopping to Penguin Island, where the penguin colony there enjoy the highest conservation status of its kind in the country.

Things you can do while visiting the reserves

Some animals in the area are not only available for viewing, fishing and catching crabs are permitted within the park, except in the sanctuary zone and marine life research areas as pinpointed in the visitors map.

Other recreational activities include boating, water skiing, surfing, swimming, and diving in the waters off Cape Peron or in the shipwreck location of the Saxon Ranger which requires permit letter.

Shoalwater Islands Marine Park
Wildlife at Shoalwater Islands Marine Park

For those with milder sense of adventure, strolling around Penguin Island with its extensive walkways has its own charm, but be mindful of the correct timing as the island closes from June to September each year to provide safe breeding period for the animals.