Friday, December 24, 2010

A/NZ - Picton, New Zealand - Day 25

Picton was originally called Waitohia which means beautiful harbor. This is one of the sunniest parts of New Zealand and we really enjoyed our day here. The little harbor is fairly busy with small boats and planes rides for tourists.

As in so many other ports, you can see that logging is also a major industry on the part of the South Island.

Today, we visited two family owned operations with different businesses but both had beautiful gardens. The first was a couple who own a custom furniture company and also entertain tourists at their home. The house was pretty run down when they bought it but over the years they have turned it into a "Better Homes and Gardens" work of art.

Maintaining the gardens has to be a full time job for at least one of them. These are serious gardens.

So many varieties of flowers.

I was amazed that they had so many poppies. We have seen them at a number of other gardens as well. These poppies are ready to be milked for the makings of opium. I guess there are no regulations on growing them here.

We had morning tea and cookies by the pool.

Sigrid really enjoyed the gardens.

Fruit trees in their orchard.

We moved on to the next farm. This one raises sheep for wool. We got another demonstration of sheep herding with dogs. These dogs were really good at managing the flock. The handler said that the four dogs used today could manage up to 3,000 sheep at a time.

The dogs brought them down the hill and maintained total control.

More shearing. I had never seen a live sheep being sheared before. This year I have seen four of them sheared on two different continues to amaze me.

The modest ranch house is nearly obscured by greenery.

Lunch was served here. Of course, we had lamb with one of the local wines.

Flowers were exploding everywhere.

Picton does have a beautiful harbor.

This is wine country.

The landscape is always changing as we drive from place to place.

Our next stop is a short hop over to Wellington on the North Island.

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