Sightseeing with Huang Hao-shan

Posted in GRAND PRIX AUCKLAND 2015 on March 14, 2015

By Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw

Huang Hao-shan is no stranger to Grand Prix events in the Asia-Pacific region, with four top 8’s in the last four years, including a win on home turf last year in Taipei. Having seen much in his travels, Hao-Shan figured it was time to head down under – no, further than that – and see New Zealand.

He and a couple of friends flew into Christchurch 18 days ago, a city once known for its gardens and now sadly known for its heartbreaking earthquakes. Also I am from there, so it has that going for it, too. From there they drove across to the West Coast to take in Franz Josef Glacier, before driving south to Lake Wanaka, and then to New Zealand’s adventure capital; Queenstown.


(Photo provided by Huang Hao-shan)

Queenstown was a personal favourite for Hao-Shan. “I went sky-diving and white-water rafting,” he replied with a grin, with no apparent regard for his own personal safety. He did at least avoid bungee jumping, understanding that bridges are better utilised for crossing divides, not jumping into them.


(Photo provided by Huang Hao-shan)

From there they drove to beautiful Lake Tekapo (where I proposed to my beautiful wife) and then back down south to Dunedin, a city known for its castle, and once being the largest city in New Zealand. Then it was the long drive up the East Coast to Picton where they caught the Inter-Island ferry to Wellington, the Actual Capital, and home to Te Papa Tongarewa: The Museum of New Zealand, Peter Jackson, and Flight of the Conchords. From Wellington they drove to Rotorua, known for its geothermal geysers and mud pools, before finally driving into Auckland for the Grand Prix.


(Photo provided by Huang Hao-shan)

“I fly home on Tuesday,” Hao-Shan admitted sadly, but then brightened up, “but then in two weeks it’s off to the Pro Tour in Brussels!”


(Photo provided by Huang Hao-shan)

I live in Australia now, and whenever anyone asks me “I’m going to New Zealand, where should I go and what should I see?” I usually tell them to do pretty much exactly what Hao-Shan did over the last few weeks. He chose exceptionally well.