Archive | May, 2011


31 May

Ice Ice Baby! Our next challenge was to enter an incredible world of ice. The Franz Josef glacier was known to the Maori as ‘Ka Roimata o Hine Hukatere’ , which means ‘Tears of the Avalanche Girl’. The old legend is that of a girl who lost her lover from the local peaks, and the glacier being her flood of tears. This is the glacier that we were about to experience.

After gearing up with a big warm Rain jacket, sturdy boots, crampons (in our lovely red bum-bag) and of cause our hats and gloves, we were ready to go!

Walking down and climbing some very slippery ice…

At times it was a tight squeeze as we found some brilliant ice caves. The ice was ‘glowing’ bright blue the further down we went…

Sometimes I made some unnecessary but extremely fun squeezes…

But we always got out safe and sound…

To give you a feel of how far down we went at times…

But, I did make it to the top!

I obviously did not make it to the top of the glacier, do not be silly. The glacier is enormous! But we managed to get very far up (as far as it was safe for us). It was an great experience, and one of my favourite adventures. After the full day of climbing on the cold glacier, we went to the Glacier Hot Pools, which was nestled outside in the rainforest, it was so warm and relaxing.

Nelson and Abel Tasman National Park

29 May

We stayed at a lovely place in Marahau, called The Barn. It was also only a few minutes from the coast where we were going to start our adventure the next morning, brilliant.

National Park Abel Tasman was very beautiful! We rented a kayak as set off from Marahau. We kayaked around the Fisherman Island and Adele Island. The weather was surprisingly warm and summer-like even thought winter season has started over here. We saw lots of bird life, but also Seals! I have never been that close to seals in the wild before. They are definitely some very cool animals, just chilling on land, sunbathing, and swimming around making their skin shine in the sun. Most of all I found them adorable!

We had a lovely lunch at Akersten Bay, one of the many scenic beaches at Abel Tasman. It was so beautiful and quiet, definitely one of the best picnics I have ever had.



26 May

We got the ferry from Wellington to Picton (from North Island to South Island). Everyone told me that it was a nice little boat trip, but I have to be honest and say I got boat sick! Luckily there was no barfing involved, but the constant feeling of urgh…then again, the scenery was lovely.

We did The Queen Charlotte track, or parts of it, in Picton. The track has gorgeous coastal scenery as we walked along the coast surrounded by wooded area. The walk took about 3 hours so was a nice little walk.

Wellies in Wellington

25 May


I thought that Wellington was pretty small considering it is the capital of New Zealand. However, it was a really nice place, with a lot of nice restaurants, bars and fun entertainment (like very cool cinemas). The only big negative factor was that it rained the WHOLE time we were there! I am not joking, it was so windy and rainy. Overall thought, I really liked the place.

I should also mention that there is a debate occurring over here, whether there should be a sign put up on the mountains saying ‘Wellywood’, like the same as the ‘Hollywood’ sign, I know I nearly cried NOOO when I heard about this Idea as well. Luckily, I think they are going off the idea now, Thank God!


23 May

We stayed the night near Wanganui River. The people who are here must be giants…I did not meet any giants thought.

They also have big dinosaurs as pets, they scared me…

Only joking. Back to reality. On our way down to Whanganui River, we stopped off at a sheep farm, to look at all the farmers giving the sheep a haircut. I have never seen anything like it, just cutting away at a really fast speed. Steve (the owner) told us that one person could get through 300 sheep a day, crazy!

Anyways, back to what I wanted to tell you about, we paddled down Whanganui River in a nice red canoe.  Starting off at Whakahora, we paddled down 11km down the river to , where we stopped for lunch. Then we carried on 16km further downstream. The scenery was so beautiful, even when it rained. The scenery made me feel like I was in a middle of a fairy tale, like the ones I got told when I was little about Trolls and Princesses. This is actually where they filmed some scenes of Lord of the Rings, beautiful.


Then we got picked up by a jet boat, which brought us back upstream. They just tied the long canoes on the back of the speed boats and off we went, crazy people!


21 May

Today we did some hard-core Black Water Rafting. This included getting into some tight wetsuits (which made us point and laugh at each other) and finding a float-able ring that fitted to our bums. Then we climbed down into the Raukuri Cave, floating down the underground river, twisting and turning. We also jumped backwards into waterfalls, it was so scary as its pitch black, gives you a right adrenalin rush! It was great fun!

At one point we turned all our flashlights of, just floating down river looking at the roof of the caves, to see lots of glow worms doing their glowing at the top. Glowworms are actually the fungus gnat, but I think they named them Glowworms as that sounds nicer (imagine saying I’m gonna go and look at some fungus gnat today, not a winner). Anyways, they glowed very nicely.


Rotorua and Hells Gate

20 May

Wai-O Tapu Wonderland is a park situated at the most colourful and diverse volcanic area. No it is not a adventure park, it is actually a Scenic Reserve, where areas are covered with collapsed craters, pools of mud, water and steaming fumaroles. As you walk around the park you see ‘pools’ with many different colours and named for their shapes and appearances (e.g. Devil’s Bath, The Champagne Pool and so on). It is actually quite an odd sight, but also very nice.

After a long day walking around sight-seeing in Rotorua and at Wai-O-Tapu, we headed for Hells Gate Geothermal Park. First we walked around looking at the different mud pools, some very hot, others cold (we could put our hands in some of them). Afterwards we had a lovely MUD Bath. We got a private little mud bath which was lovely. Then after a quick cold shower (to get all the mud off) we had a Sulphur Spa. The whole experience was so relaxing and your skin felt super soft!

Karangahake Gorge

19 May

We stayed at the Dickey Flat camp site, which is situated by the Karangahake Gorge. This is a very historic walk, as you walk along many old gold mines, as well as walking by beautiful scenery (along the Waitawheta River). We also had to go through some dark and long tunnels, making it a bit spooky and exciting.

The Coromandel Region

17 May

In my opinion Coromandel had some of the North Island’s most beautiful beaches. Driving up by the coast, looking over the powerful waves hitting the shores, you do not have to do much to get a great photo.

as you drive along the beach you see some ancient pohutukawa trees (Far North Coromandel)..they are brilliant.We stopped in Coromandel, a lovely small town, and tried some mussels. The mussels were marinated in different sauces, including BBQ, sweet chili, garlic and so on. However I think i should keep to mussels cooked in white wine sauce from now on…


Our next stop in the Coromandel region was the Cathedral Cove. It took a 40 minute walk to the beach, but it was well worth it. The “hidden” beach where the Cove was had a natural waterfall and the Cathedral Cove huge natural stone arch was something of natures beautiful creation.

The Hot Water Beach was next, for two hours on each side of the tide we could access the area in front of some rocky outcrop hot water ooze up from the sand. So ready with a spade we dug ourselves a hot water pool. It was one of the weirdest things i have ever done. The water was really hot in the little pool we made, so nice and relaxing. However, I have to admit that my bum was very hot and red afterwards, think i might have burned it a little bit.

Tapotupotu Bay and Waipoua Forest

14 May

Woke up and had breakfast on Tapotupotu Bay…there is no better way to wake up and have breakfast…

We then went to some hot springs, which had lots of different pools, with different temperatures. Some were oily and warm, other pools were boiling hot, so hot we could not go into them (we would literally cook), and some that were nice temperatures. It makes you body relax, but it smells a lot!

We stopped for lunch at Opononi by the coast.

Then we had a stroll on the beach…

Our last stop was at the Waipoua Kauri Forest, where there are some huge trees. There we saw Tane Mahuta, which is the largest kauri tree alive, and is known as the farther of the trees. I have never seen such a large trunk! It was wow!

We camped in the forest at night, falling asleep to the sounds of the wildlife.