ICYMI: We are helping Karina Halle count down the days until the release of her upcoming contemporary romance novel (via Atria), Where Sea Meets Sky!
Each day until March 31st (release day), we will be hosting exclusive content from Karina Halle herself! These will include photos/images that inspired scenes from the book, teaser photos, excerpts, and GIVEAWAYS! Each day there will be a different giveaway that are ALL OPEN INTERNATIONAL! You can win signed books, swag, and HUNDREDS of dollars in gift cards!
Check out Karina’s post below, and don’t forget to enter the GIVEAWAY at the bottom! And, don’t forget to tell all your fellow book buddies!
New Zealand Travels: Art Imitates Life Part Four
After Josh and Gemma leave the Routeburn Track – where some crazy events happen that change the direction of the story – they go to Milford Sound. This is perhaps the most famous place in New Zealand and another one that you have to see to believe. Imagine a deep and long fjord, mountains jutting out of the still water like slices of granite, waterfalls streaming down the sides. Milford Sound is a very rainy place and anytime you visit – whether you do the famous track or take a boat tour (like me, Josh and Gemma did), you’re guaranteed to get wet. But don’t worry, it only adds to the beauty. If you look at the back of the paperback of Where Sea Meets Sky, you’ll see Milford Sound right there.
After Milford Sound, Josh and Gemma (and Gemma’s cousin, Amber) head further inland to the Mount Cook area and Lake Tekapo, two very beautiful and unique places on the south island.
You can see the clouds hooking over the top of Mount Cook here. This is the Tasman Glacier, turned into a lake and that dark mound in the middle of the water is actually an iceberg. It’s one of the few places in the world where icebergs float around in a lake and you can hire a boat to go explore them up close.
Mount Cook is the highest peak in New Zealand and was frequently used in Lord of the Rings. Sir Edmund Hilary – a Kiwi who went onto be the first to climb Everest – got his start on the giant mountain.
Lake Tekapo is known for the stunning pale blue color of the water. It’s caused by sediment “flouring” the water and when the light reflects back, it becomes this milky blue that is mesmerizing.
After Mount Cook and Lake Tekapo, they head to the East Coast of the South Island and the Banks Penninsula. This is a special place, having stayed here with my mother back in 2004 at the very same backpackers that my characters do. In fact, I did the same boat tour that is featured in the book. Once you’ve read Where Sea Meets Sky, I invite you to come back to this post and look at the photos so you can get a visual (JUST in case my writing wasn’t good enough to make it appear in your head! :P)
I wrote a travel post about this area of New Zealand a while ago and thought I would share it with you here:
The Banks Peninsula extends out from the East Coast of the South Island like a wee thumb. A little over an hour from the city of Christchurch, the Peninsula is home to historical towns, such as the French settlement of Akaroa, and historical sights (the peninsula is formed by volcanic activity). The area is characterized by steep and undulating hills, deep coves, winding roads and amazing wildlife. There are plenty of boutique hotels, private bed and breakfasts and charming hostels around Akaroa and the Outer Banks, but the one I recommend is the wonderful Le Bons Bay Backpackers. A wonderfully remote and rustic setting, this gregarious and memorable place serves home-cooked meals and takes guests out on fantastic private dolphin-watching trips. It’s a bit of a trek to get to (and that’s definitely part of its charm), but they do offer free pick-up or you can use the only taxi service in Akaroa, run by the sweetest lady. Underrated, underappreciated and off the beaten track, The Banks Peninsula is a worthy stop on your New Zealand journey.