Tango Diva : Travel Stories for Women, by Women

by Liz Sullivan, South Sea Mermaid Tours Ltd.

South Sea Mermaid Tours are designed especially for women who want to travel with other women. Treat yourself to the magical experience of being led through New Zealand, one of the world’s most scenic countries, or join the Mermaids on an international tour! Read below for one traveller’s glowing review of a recent South Island Tour.

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If you want a snapshot of New Zealand’s South Island, do not miss South Sea Mermaid’s tour! The sheer scale of the island is difficult to appreciate until you have travelled in the comfy Mermaid van for several hours and only moved an inch on your map! You have probably only passed two or three cars in the last hour because the population is only one million people live here—and they are mostly urban dwellers. The feeling of space is almost overwhelming.

Let yourself relax under the expert guidance of laid-back [Mermaid owner and operator] Lizzie, and visit the many wonders New Zealand has to offer you…

Mount Cook

First climbed in 1884 by a team of European men, in 1913 Freda du Faur became the first woman to conquer this 3755-meter climb. (In corset and high heels no doubt!)

Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise

Forget Milford Sound and the throngs of tourist buses—this is the real McCoy! Experience the magic of fiordland on a seventy-passenger boat, with a wonderful (“If you fall off the boat, wave your credit card and we’ll come and rescue you!”) young crew. We kayaked around one of the fiord’s inlets, saw fur seals basking on rocks, and visited with dolphins. Some of us Mermaids even flung ourselves off the side of the boat for a chilly dip! (13 ° C!) But perhaps the highlight of the cruise was when the ship turned off its engines and we were surrounded by the most awesome ‘silence’ of distance birdsong and waterfalls.

Queenstown

Indulge your adrenalin addiction and bungee jump from a parachute over a lake!

Glaciers Fox and Franz Josef

In all their grandeur, uncannily close to the sea. Take your pick of activities here: heli-hiking, glacier walking, or tramping up to fabulous viewpoints overlooking the huge white giants.

The Amazing West Coast

Driftwood piled on sandy beaches-to-die-for alongside rainforests boasting fossils of native trees millions of years old, endless tree ferns, manuka and kanuka trees, and the melodious tune of the bell bird.

The West Coast

Hokitika, a one-horse hippie town isolated by the Southern Alps. The scale of what the settlers went through, and their pure grit and determination, is evident from the small settlements along this most rugged and beautiful coastline.

Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki

A stunning geological wonder.

Other Highlights:

Enjoying the arts and crafts of Arty Nelson and the beautiful golden beaches of Abel Tasman National Park, where you can go kayaking.

Swimming with of a pod of two- to three-hundreed dusky dolphins at Kaikoura. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to experience their playfulness and agility.

…And if all this sounds exhausting, Lizzie knew exactly where to take us to fuel up! The Bay House Café is an award winning restaurant at Cape Foulwind (!) with the most fancy cuisine you could expect to find in a major metropolitan city. Just ask the staff if they remember the Mermaids in glitter wigs and specs!

There’s loads more—but you should experience it for yourself! Contact South Sea Mermaids for an experience you won’t forget! Check out their website www.southseamermaids.co.nz for information.

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