In the year since the New Zealand Covid-19 lockdown ended in late April 2020 I completed 72 hikes (“tramps” in the NZ vernacular), and fifteen shorter walks. Of the 72 hikes 68 were new to me (I had done one before, and I repeated just three). I will explain how I came to do so many walks in a moment. But first, and in order to show off a bit, I will regale you with a few statistics:
» 68,500m (~225,000ft) of ascent and descent
» Almost 900km (~550mi) of walking
» On 64 of these hikes I climbed to a peak or other high point, ranging between 445m and 2333m high, and averaging 1000m of ascent and descent each time
» 58 of these high points were named peaks over 1000m of elevation, so I incidentally completed the 52 Peaks Challenge
» All of these tramps were on New Zealand’s South Island, and completed as day-walks; I did all but three of them with my wife Sophia (& she did an overnighter I didn’t do)
The video of the Banks Peninsula, on the South Island of New Zealand, is presented by the European Space Agency (ESA).
Banks Peninsula, visible in the bottom-right of the image, consists of two overlapping extinct volcanoes: the Lyttelton Volcano and the Akaroa Volcano. The peninsula was formed by several volcanic eruptions that took place around eight million years ago. The name of the peninsula comes from Sir Joseph Banks, a British biologist who sailed with Captain Cook.
Breaches in the crater walls led to the formation of two long, thin harbours: Lyttelton in the north and Akaroa in the south. The peninsula also has many other smaller bays and coves, giving it its unusual, cogwheel shape. Christchurch, the largest city on South Island, is visible immediately north of Banks Peninsula.
The jagged coastline heavily contrasts with the adjoining, flat Canterbury Plains. Extending around 80 km inland from the coast to the foothills of the Southern Alps, visible in the top-left of the image, the plains are a rich agricultural region known for wheat and barley, as well as wool and livestock.