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Down South, New Zealand: Tiny Penguins, Pristine Beaches

Aired February 13, 2014 - 05:30:00   ET



KELLY MCGARRY, PROFESSIONAL MOUNTAIN BIKER (voice-over): Here we are at Skyline Gondola in Queenstown. This is one of my favorite spots to ride my bike. You can just chuck your bike on the gondola and head up to the top, really nice views over Queenstown. And then the best part is you get to ride down.

(INAUDIBLE) on the Queenstown scene, like so many people coming over here in the off season from the Northern Hemisphere. Obviously it's summer here when it's winter there, so people wanted some sunshine and bikes. So a Queenstown trip is just natural for that. I'm stoked to be a part of it.

Once you're at the top of the gondola, you got mountain biking but you've also got a few other things. You've got the luge running down here behind us. It's a heap of fun. Yes, you can get up to all kinds of mischief with your mates.

So right now we're at the top of Vertigo Trail. This is one of my favorite trails on the mountain. It's really fast and flowy. So I'm going to blast down right now.


Over the last few years, mountain biking has become really popular here and the whole scene is just drawing a lot, you know, the Queenstown Meeting Bike Club slogan is "Dirt is the new snow," which obviously means summer has taken over winter.


So where we're heading now is Wynyard jump park, yes, it's more advanced jumps and trails so yes, it's good to get up.

So one of my favorite spots here in Queenstown is a spot we like to call Little Thailand. It's a big, old rock cliff that goes straight down to the lake. Yes, it takes fun jump off (INAUDIBLE). (INAUDIBLE) check it out.

When you -- when you jump off here, it's kind of hard not to wind down the windows because it's a long way and you -- it can.

Here we go.

The water is over fairly low.

OK. This is Atlas. It's where I drink after I've had a hard day on my bike, lots of my mates turn up and have a drink, too, and it's a great place to hang out, so come and check it out.

DUNCAN FORSYTH, MOUNT EDWARD WINERY (voice-over): (INAUDIBLE) back and forth (INAUDIBLE) and we are at Mount Edward Winery in the middle of the central of the table in the Southern Alps of New Zealand. We have a fantastic little Riesling vineyard behind us, which is completely well suited. Riesling is a variety that speaks of where it comes from. And in that sense, you find a vitality in the wines and sense of precision in the wines.

We're fully organic. We like to do things in quite a traditional way. And so for people to come to here, they get a sense of that. They get an education as well as a lot of enjoyment in drinking our wines.

Our town is in the central part of the area. It's 20 minutes from Queenstown. And actually almost has more history. This place was founded on the back of the gold rush in the 1860s. But most of the town, this is how it looked. If you look back on the old photos, it's -- this is exactly how it looked 150 years ago.

(INAUDIBLE). Some of the beers here in town, they specialize in craft beer which is (INAUDIBLE) to New Zealand. The food's fantastic, really low-key, quintessential New Zealand tripe (ph) pub (INAUDIBLE).

Ah, it's my favorite place.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Hey, Dunc (ph), how you doing, (INAUDIBLE)?

FORSYTH (voice-over): (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Good to see you, mate.

FORSYTH (voice-over): You all right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Yes, yes.

FORSYTH (voice-over): (INAUDIBLE)?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): We (INAUDIBLE) from being low spores (ph) and the full thing (ph), forthing (ph) things locally and we forage (ph) mostly. We forage (ph) for our fish hooks (ph) behind -- around the bar. But our drink for our -- for our established beer (INAUDIBLE).

FORSYTH (voice-over): What else can you get locally? What can you find in this area?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): (INAUDIBLE) down these beautiful little porcini (ph).

FORSYTH (voice-over): Ohh.


FORSYTH (voice-over): One of the best things about Queenstown, they have sussed ham (ph). The fact that we've got over 140,000 restaurants, good way of eating. Let's have a course here, course there.

First stop is one of the top restaurants owned by Josh Emett, Rata. Josh is a Michelin chef. (INAUDIBLE).

Still a bit of a southern (ph) sushi?

JOSH EMETT, RATA (voice-over): Yes. I think you've had it before, haven't you, cheese rolls, classic. So yes, let's worth bogadu (ph) and salmon as well. We're working salmon from top of the north island. Salmon mousse underneath peas (ph), nice and summery.

It's pretty hot.

FORSYTH (voice-over): It's fantastic. I mean, you've worked everywhere around the world. And you're now then, what made you come here?

EMETT: I had to do something in New Zealand. And Queenstown was sort of it for me. This is quite an international town. It's a small town. But it's an amazing place.


FORSYTH (voice-over): Down with the first course. Now we're on to one of the better places for lake trout signings (ph) in Queenstown, Botswana Butchery. Best seat in the house.

Ahh, it's true, excellent.

Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Cut of that.

FORSYTH (voice-over): Oh, look at that. Excellent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): So what we've got here is a nine- month-old fiori (ph), OK. But it's milk fed (ph) for six months and then finished on grass. So it's free range. He gets to roam around in the fields with its parents.

FORSYTH (voice-over): Has a happy life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Yes, yes.

FORSYTH (voice-over): So -- and so where have --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Brilliant. Everybody's happy.

FORSYTH (voice-over): Perfect.




NICKY SAMUELS, OLYMPIC TRIATHLETE (voice-over): So here we are at Lake Wanaka (ph), beautiful town morning this morning. This is where I do most of my training so I'm -- if I'm not in the pool, I'm in the lake and this is where I look for pretty much of the year and, yes, because it's places for triathletes and different places to be based.

There's a lot of people, a lot of international athletes that do base themselves here. Got local runners, local families that ,you know, just like to be outdoorsy, adventuring kind of things. Plenty of mountains to climb and plenty of lakes to go on and the trails and everything just that -- and down to the coast (ph).

So I think that all of the outfooting (ph), the racing poles (ph), so there might be a bit of a brisk run this morning.

OK. So this is Lake Wanaka (ph) and after a swim, the best place to eat is in Kai Whaka Pai. Kai Whaka Pai is the center of town so it's a place that you can always meet people and gather around. So it's a very common spot for us. It's quite clean. The owners (ph) are actually runners and triathletes. So it's good to support local people and you know, see friendly faces and whoever is walking on the street will always come and -- come and see you and have a chat. (INAUDIBLE). (INAUDIBLE).

OK. So today after the chilly water in the Lake Wanaka, we ordered a hot chocolate. Go down the street after swimming.

This is Lake Wanaka outlet trek. And this is where I do a lot of my training. I live close by and there's a great look to run around. On autumn, there's trees which, you know, everything turns yellow and then on a crystal calm morning, it's just a reflection of those and that's -- you know, that's just me and the trees and that's all that's here.

CHRIS RILEY, ECO WANAKA (voice-over): The actual island we're going to today is 16 kilometers down the lake, perhaps 20 minutes journey by boat. It's a rumor that the Ice Age, the glaciers built right over the top of the island. But it's got an amazing feature of a lake right on top of it, which is quite special.

And that island is also home to a lot of birds, including our very rare flightless bird called the buff weka, which is extinct on the mainland here.

All righty. Here we are. Welcome to Mou Waho Island.

We see little guys here, probably the rarest things that you'll see in this now. These are amazing. They're actually very transnature (ph) is the god of ugly things, which is quite appropriate, really.

I was walking up here in the afternoon one day on one of my trips. And there was a wood pigeon came down this track right through here and I saw him; he saw me. He had no reaction time, because he'd been flying too many wine birds (ph). I ducked, he knocked my cap off as he went through. He landed on this branch up here and nearly fell off. He was wobbling around, way over me.

Here we are. Have a look at this.

A lake on top of an island, 150 meters, 450 feet up, beautiful.

Amazingly, there's islands on the lake on top of an island as well.

With a range you get a little bit of plate (ph) lake on top of those islands. So you get a lake on an island on a lake on an island on a lake on an island in the ocean.

So here we have the Hilary Sticks (ph) right here. And this is the summer. Yes! Check this out. So just around here, we have the best seat in the house.

Did you bring the single malt? This is the place. Here we go. There's where you put your favorite drink here and your glass and you put your foot here, put your hand on the table, drop in. Look at the view.



SIMON KAAN, ARTIST (voice-over): Yes, this is my studio. I'm here as an artist and an agent and I've been working in this space for about five years. I was born in Dunedin (ph) and it has always had a strong art and cultural background, you know.

My genealogy is Maori (ph) and Chinese along with Scottish and everything else that rolls. So you know, my tribe here is Ngai Tahu (ph). And that informs my work quite a lot. It informs a lot of my content, come from Ngai Tahu (ph) or Maori (ph) background, connection to the land, connection to the ocean, connection to the environment around.

So here's a really good example or a good example of here's some ideas that I'm playing with at the moment, with these -- with these landforms. Like and I always associate it with the water, you know, the water and land relationship I'm really interested in. But also they're very indicative of the coastline here and the rocky outcrops, you know, and come here often and sit.

I was just going on to the Otago (ph) Peninsula around one of my favorite beaches and, you know, the surf and checking it out. So it's really beautiful here. It's lots of spots people know about. There's special spots that, you know, you just want to stick with the locals and things a little bit more. So there's plenty of -- there's plenty of places to surf around here.

And Eden's (ph) a fantastic place to surf. It's really consistent. You hardly go -- hardly go a couple of days without surf here right through the year, which is fantastic. We're here on another part of the peninsula and really like to go and get cockles (ph) or tuakis (ph), which is a traditional practice from our -- from the tribe that I'm from. Want to get some cockles?

You found some?

And just pick up -- pick up three or four, five in a handful and here are a good size and really juicy. So you just got to find the right here where the shells collect. Just from the lake back to our past as well. So something they can grow up with and then there's that's something that's going to be natural for them to do for the rest of their lives, really just great.

KELLY LINDSAY, GREEN MAN BREWERY (voice-over): Now whistle brewed (ph) has been done for eight years now. We call Green Man because we have a green philosophy. We use organic ingredients. We use organic malt and hops in our beer. We also only have water and yeast, which means we brew to very purity lower 15-16.

We have a fantastic gym and brewmaster, too, so he makes some lovely European style beers. He wants to make some slightly unusual beers in that we have a tequila (ph) beer, which is lighter light than tequila. We also have an alcoholic ginger beer. So some quite different styles.

One of the things that's a part of today, which is called the Arctic (ph) and it's probably the busiest part of the city, but tucked away amongst this is Dunedin Public Art Gallery and it's a place I love to come to because it's nice and quiet. It's not with the dependents and some really cool stuff to come and see. So let's go and check it out.

So here we have looks like an attractive display by a Korean artist. The exhibition is called Moa Moa, which means Come Together. Slightly bit of fun, put some gloves on and interact as we're intended to do.

(INAUDIBLE) I saw these pieces and they looked like (INAUDIBLE) canvas along with melted wax, candles. However, get closer, it's actually noodles, bowls of noodle soup, (INAUDIBLE) up really high with chopsticks at the end.

So we're here at (INAUDIBLE) Esplanade (ph). (INAUDIBLE) on the eastern coast of the South Island. So if you can't tell, we're right on the coastline and let's go to a better location. This beach is better, so very close to the center of the city. And within about five minutes, you can be from the center of the city in the octagon (ph), and then you can be out here.

MARGI ROBERTSON, DESIGNER, NOM*D (voice-over): This is our store. It's called Plume. We've been here for probably about 20 years. We've actually been in retail since 1975, but sort of in the mid-'80s, where I had this desire to start doing our own thing, which has been really successful.

I think people are quite unique. I think they're quite expecting of the art world, of the music world. Like there's a lot of subculture that goes on here. There isn't really any feeling of pretentiousness. Here we love it.

Here we are at the viewing observatory (ph) or the Royal Albatross, which is a pretty visual place, I think, for the native and also a pretty special place in the world. It's the only place where Royal albatross nest in the world. And to be so close to civilization is quite incredible. So for any visitors that are coming to the (INAUDIBLE) it's (INAUDIBLE).

Here's one standing up down there.

Whenever I speak to anybody about Dunedin, I think (INAUDIBLE) they remember about Dunedin is the nature and obviously part of the nature is the wildlife that's here.

And of course, we've got the added bonus of seeing the little blue penguins coming in for their breakfast (ph) time. They look like little windup toys. It's something that they obviously do every morning and every night, so realizing that there is that opportunity to come and have a look at the nature, you know, every day is quite special.