Blessing must arise from within your own mind. It is not something that comes from outside. When the positive qualities of your mind increase and the negativities decrease, that is what blessing means. The Tibetan word for blessing … means transforming into magnificent potential. Therefore, blessing refers to the development of virtuous qualities you did not previously have and the improvement of those good qualities you have already developed.
― Dalai Lama XIV
Monday, December 19, 2016
James Cameron's New Zealand
October 1, 2016
New Zealand didn’t only serve as backdrop to James Cameron’s 2009 blockbuster hit Avatar. New Zealand is also home to Cameron and his family.
When the visionary Hollywood director visited New Zealand for the first time in the mid-1990s, he felt a profound sense of place. His maiden voyage included a road trip up the country’s east coast, whale watching in Kaikoura, and wine tasting in Central Otago.
“I thought, ‘this is my kind of country, this is a fun place.’ ” Cameron says. “If you enjoy the outdoors and you enjoy a sense of adventure, you’re not going to be able to beat this place anywhere in the world.”
When he returned to New Zealand a decade later to film Avatar, Cameron decided to officially call the country “home.” Captivated by the beauty and natural wonder of New Zealand’s vast landscape, he established his family estate near the coastal capital of Wellington.
An advocate for New Zealand tourism, Cameron encourages travelers to holiday on the island country he calls home. He recommends that first-time visitors embrace experiences surrounding art appreciation, wine tasting, and sailing; he also suggests venturing to Kaikoura and Queenstown for culturally-stimulating activities.
Using Cameron’s suggestions as a guide, our editors have compiled a list of dynamic excursions that are certain to punctuate a Pacific expedition with excitement, adrenaline, and culture.
Set your sights on the recently renovated Auckland Art Gallery, a striking French Chateau-style attraction that dates back to 1887. Museum architecture represents the bicultural relationship of Māori and Pakeha, while permanent and rotating exhibits celebrate New Zealand culture and history.
Wine enthusiasts flock to Central Otago in New Zealand for a taste of the region’s delicious Pinot Noir. At Amisfield, a winery dedicated to harvesting grapes and fermenting reds and whites through sustainable processes, sommelier Jeff Sinnott pairs aromatic blends with dishes definitive of New Zealand like wild rabbit stew and chorizo risotto.
At Viaduct Harbour, an oceanfront dining, shopping, and sporting arena in Auckland, visitors can charter a yacht, catamaran, or sailboat for a scenic jaunt around New Zealand’s coastline. Adrenaline junkies can opt for a two-hour ride in a vessel constructed for the 1995 America’s Cup, the famous regatta Auckland has hosted twice.
Climb aboard a jet-boat for an hour-long thrill ride over New Zealand’s pristine blue waters. Engineered in the mid-19th century to navigate Queenstown’s shallow rivers, these jet boats generate momentum by sucking water up from below its hull and whooshing it out under the stern. Shotover Jet offers spine-tingling jet boat experiences for individuals and families.
Scenic Flights Above Fiordland
Take to the air above Fiordland, in the southwestern corner of the South Island, for once-in-a-lifetime views of stately mountaintops, grand waterfalls, shimmering lakes and breathtaking fiords. You'll find a variety of options for flights, from helicopters to floatplanes.