(filtered by tag 'NewZealand')

DSC_5264_raw

Karekare is picturesque area near Auckland. There are nice hills, wonderful beach and small waterfall. Enough reasons to go there. Maybe we will manage to visit also Piha and certainly we should spend some time in Auckland.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Wormy caves at Waitomo

Added: May 31, 2010

Tags: NewZealand RTW cave photos

Inside Aranui Cave at Waitomo

New Zealand can offer an interesting attraction to tourists - glow worm caves. Imagine sitting in a boat inside dark cave with zillions of bright turquoise dots above you, reflecting in peaceful water around you. You don't need to imagine that. You can see that in Glowworm Cave at Waitomo and to have more "hands-on experience" also in Ruakuri Cave nearby.

I've been to many caves before, but these still could offer me something new. We bought triple cave combo tickets online to see all caves opened to public in Waitomo. (The third one was Aranui Cave without worms). It is also possible to do black water rafting in Ruakuri Cave, but we opted not to.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_5041_raw

After leaving Rotorua we headed to Waitomo. I will write about Waitomo Caves in next post. I wanted to write something shorter this time and following 2 waterfalls provide a good opportunity for me. They are both in the same region - Waikato, but the distance between them is about 140km.

The whole region is nice green with rolling hills. They are either covered with dense foliage or with grass. We passed only a few kilometres away from place where Hobiton from the Lord of Rings movie is located. I have learned about exact location only couple of days ago. If we knew about it we would possibly do something differently. Not because we are Lord of Rings fanatics, but just because we could.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_3799_raw

On 23rd and 24th of January 2010 we explored area of Rotorua, but also 2 places belonging to Taupo area. They are famous geothermal areas with many colourful pools, bubbling mud pots, smelly vapours and everything you need to see :-)

We visited Craters of the Moon, Orakei Korako, Wai-O-Tapu, Waimangu and Te-Puia (and Whakarewarewa). Most of these places are bigger and more amazing than similar places in Iceland. It takes long time to see them all and lot of walking to see them complete.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Emerald Lakes

Friday 22nd of January is our 25th day of travelling around the world. Once again we have great hike ahead of us. We arrived to Erua from Wellington yesterday. We could see Mt Ruapehu in the heavy clouds shortly before our arrival. It seems the weather for our Tongariro Crossing hike is not going to be better. It is one of the most beautiful hikes when weather allows and volcanoes from this area starred in Lord of Rings movies.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Wellington

Added: May 18, 2010

Tags: NewZealand RTW city museum photos

DSC_3385_raw

We arrived to Wellington later than we planned, but we were happy swimming with dolphins in Marlborough Sound was successful. Besides, we did not plan to stay there for long time. Just to visit Te Papa Museum and then move on.

Due to our late arrival in the evening we had some time to look around the centre. Museum was postponed till next morning.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Hector dolphin in Marlborough Sound

We arrived to Picton in Marlborough Sound quite late. After leaving Shambhala in the morning we found we got flat tire. I don't think it was caused by terrible dirt roads in Abel Tasman. More probable cause was the accident when we lost axle cap, but the roads here certainly did not help.

Then we found we don't have a lifting jack in the car, so we borrowed one in Mussel Inn, we were lucky the staff was there in the morning and they helped us. Finally we could not go very fast with emergency tire and the car rental company wanted to see the car before we could replace the tire so we needed to go slowly to Nelson. It was on our route, but we wasted lot of time.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Archway Islands, Wharariki beach, Abel Tasman

Our stay at Abel Tasman was nicely enhanced by wonderful place we stayed at - Shambhala in Onekaka. It was completely different to all other places we have been to till now. Beautiful surroundings enhanced by peaceful atmosphere, about 4km from "civilization" by private (terrible) road.

After our arrival I was a bit suspicious of many long haired people around and the presence of meditation room, but it turned out it was not lair of some sect as a paranoid me suspected :-)

Whole New Zealand tries to be ecological, but this place uses solar energy, collects rain water and has composting lavatory and trees for men :-)

Missing TV only added to its charm. And the night sky was even more beautiful than we could see at Mt. John Observatory. All in all, if I returned to Abel Tasman I would like to stay at this place again.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Totaranui Beach

During our round the world trip we looked forward to 3 places with fantastic beaches. We slept over Bondi Beach in Sydney more than 2 weeks ago and Copacabana or Ipanema in Rio de Janeiro will have to wait for another month. But beaches at Abel Tasman are here and today!

It was not only about fantastic beaches here, but also weather is usually sunny and hot here. After 2 weeks of rain, clouds and occasional fair weather we really hoped this place will show us what a good weather looks like.

But it did not look very promising as we were getting close. Since morning there were many clouds in the sky. And they did not scatter. Contrary, when we were climbing winding road to Takaka Hill we could see thick clouds everywhere around. My hope was over.

But then, when we got on to the other side of hill, we could see thin band of blue in distance. We could see also some sandy beach ahead. Are they close enough? Will clouds pass before we get there? A slight taste of hope returned.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Nelson Lakes NP

Added: May 02, 2010

Tags: NewZealand RTW lake mountains photos

Sunrise at Lake Rotoiti

We visited Nelson Lakes only because we liked the photos done by my former colleague Ben Smith. He was huge inspiration for our trip year ago and his photos played huge role in our decision for going to South America during our trip.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Kaikoura Bus Encounter

Added: May 02, 2010

Tags: NewZealand RTW photos

DSC_2168_raw

After leaving Christchurch on Friday 15th of January we are heading to Hanmer Springs. We don't have many things in our plan for today. Spending some time in thermal pools of Hanmers Springs will be good during this cloudy weather and then we need to get to Kaikoura. We are planning to swim with dolphins there with Dolphin Encounter, Kaikoura.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Christchurch

Added: May 01, 2010

Tags: NewZealand RTW animals photos

DSC_2094_raw

We are not excited about cities, so despite the title of this post I am not going to show any photo of Christchurch. It is quite hard to find free or cheap parking in Christchurch (it was the 1st place in New Zealand where we needed to pay for parking), so we did not explore more than immediate surroundings of our accommodation and restaurant we dinned at.

We stayed there only one night and the main reason of visit was Ko Tane - Maori Village.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Arthur's Pass

Added: April 26, 2010

Tags: NewZealand RTW photos waterfalls

Entrance to Arthur's Pass NP

14th of January. We knew we were not alone in dormitory, but our roommate was not there. He arrived at 2am and went directly to bed. We were sleeping too so we did not bother to check on him. Then his alarm clock rang at 7am, but he managed to snooze it 3 times by ten minutes. We were not sure he was not able to get up or he just wanted to make sure we could not sleep too. He went for quick shower and then left.

Only later we have noticed a paper next to door warning about fake backpackers operating in Greymouth area who steal from unsuspecting roommates.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Detail of layers - Pancake Rocks

Full of experiences from Franz Josef Glacier we were speeding to the next point of interest - Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki. Punakaiki is 171km from Franz Josef. It was side trip for us and visiting that place was the only reason we did not book full-day walk on glacier, but only half-day. After finishing the walk we felt like we could be there for longer, but we looked forward to see Pancake Rocks.

We stopped in Greymouth to accommodate and continued in our ride to Punakaiki. It was getting more cloudy and late.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

detail of glacier crevasse

It is fantastic to live through our trip for the third time. The first time was when we were there, the 2nd time while I was processing photos and now for the 3rd time when I am writing this post. Our experiences from Franz Josef Glacier fully deserve to repeat them for the 3rd time. BTW while I am editing this post I am processing photos from Bolivia (Uyuni) on background making this post travelling flashbacks even more fun.

We had helicopter flight and we were also walking on glacier for a half day. I usually show all photos in one page, because I think some "quick scanners" would miss a link to the 2nd page, but there are too many photos here so the split is necessary.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 1

Lake Hawea

Landscape we have seen on Tuesday 12th of January was as close to my dreams about New Zealand as it could get. Snowy mountains against nice blue sky are reflecting in deep blue lakes. Lot of greens in tropical vegetation around.

Our only reason to rush through this paradise was to be at Franz Josef at about 2pm to catch so long awaited helicopter ride to Mt Cook. And the only reason to have negative thoughts were occasional, but cumulating clouds ahead.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Wanaka

Added: April 13, 2010

Tags: NewZealand RTW city lake mountains photos

Wanaka

The same place can look completely differently when the weather changes. We could observe such a change in Wanaka. When we arrived it was cloudy and Wanaka did not look very nice. But next morning the sky was clean, sun was shining, birds were chirping and whole place seemed to be refurbished.

Colour of Lake Wanaka changed from ugly grey to beautiful blue. And the similar change happened with surrounding hills and mountains of Mount Aspring National Park - they grew from 2 dimensions into 3. My impression of Wanaka changed and I would put into my list of places I would like to live if I had one.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Milford Sound

Added: April 13, 2010

Tags: NewZealand RTW mountains photos waterfalls

Mitre Peak at Milford Sound

Milford Sound is one of places used in promoting New Zealand. Others are Lord of Rings locations, of course... I would say it is a must-see.

We looked forward to be here not only to enjoy this place. We could resume our daily rituals like taking a hot shower in the morning. Can you imagine how much better is that compared to an alternative offered by Milford Track - cold water seeping through cheap rain coat whole day? Or not overhearing chatting girls on the third day judging their attractiveness: "I smell like a s**t"?

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 1

Milford Track

Added: April 11, 2010

Tags: NewZealand RTW mountains photos waterfalls

Lake at at Mackinnon Pass

One of the activities we looked forward to in New Zealand the most was Milford Track - 54km long hike done in 4 days. Plus healthy amount of respect. That respect got even bigger when we arrived to Visitor Centre in Te Anau. Dark clouds to the north and the weather forecast for 3 days did not help to raise my mood. It said it will be raining all the time, it will be cold, snowing, windy and everything we hoped we will not experience there.

We left our car at Burglary point - nice name for parking lot near Visitor centre, took out backpacks and headed to bus for Te Anau Downs. Ignoring warnings I left my photobank and e-reader in the car. 15kg of stuff was about maximum I was willing to take with me.

It started raining before we jumped into boat and left our backpacks outside of cabin to give them the 1st test of our rain covers. We were not sure about it in the beginning, but the best buy we ever done in NZ was big yellow plastic bag we bought in Visitor Centre for 5 NZD. Thanks to it at least something stayed dry during whole hike.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Waterfalls at Catlins

Added: April 08, 2010

Tags: NewZealand RTW photos waterfalls

DSC_0540_raw

From Moeraki we sped to Catlins, completely skipping Dunedin. Cities are not what we came to New Zealand after. We wanted to see Purakaunui Falls and Peter found 2 more nearby.

When Zuzka and me are searching for places to go we are looking at photos in Google Maps, Google Earth, books and similar. On the other hand Peter checks where geocaches are. They are usually at interesting places and it happened many times he navigated us (pun intended) to wonderful places we missed.

This was our first encounter with rain forest and we liked it (it was not raining).

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Moeraki

Added: April 08, 2010

Tags: NewZealand RTW beach boulder photos waterfalls

DSC_0389_raw

During planning of our trip in New Zealand I had hard time to persuade Zuzka to accept big side trip to Moeraki. I wanted to see those famous boulders and she preferred other places - there are so many of them in New Zealand. Peter sided with me so she finally accepted. But everything was resolved in favour of Moeraki after we failed to book Milford Track for beginning of our trip. The first available slot was at 6th, so that we needed to spend more time in south - the side trip sounded better now.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

To Oamaru

Added: April 05, 2010

Tags: NewZealand RTW cliffs lake photos

DSC_0080_raw

Next day we woke up full of hopes to do helicopter flight to Mt. Cook. It was partially cloudy, but nearly half of sky was clear. We called to Tekapo Helicopter at 9am and they did not know when they will fly. I tried again at 10am with the same result. That's it, we could not wait longer.

According to original plan we wanted to do about 3h long hike in Hooker Valley under Mt. Cook. But due to bad weather we decided to skip it too. We had about 200km to go for today plus some stops and we lost some time by waiting for helicopter friendly weather.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Lake Tekapo

Added: March 29, 2010

Tags: NewZealand RTW church lake mountains photos

DSC_9966c_raw

We woke up to see terrible storm on 3rd of January. Great, it was wonderful weather yesterday and it is terrible today. We got completely soaked just after running to the other side of road and packing our luggage into car. That did not help with our mood.

And we had two attractions asking for fair weather planned today! We planned to go into Lake Tekapo and to have helicopter trip to Mt Cook. We can move that to next day or to next week when we get to Wanaka or Franz Josef. But we will not be able to move visit of St John observatory to any other day, so let's hope sun starts to shine.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_9775_raw

We left Australia on 2nd of January. It was cloudy morning, we could not see panorama of city well. Thick layer of clouds was beneath us nearly during whole flight over Tasman Sea. But shortly before reaching New Zealand clouds scattered and we could see land. Wonderful mountains with some snow and big lakes. Our landing in Queenstown reminded me our landing in Lhasa last year. Sunny, blue sky, mountains at both sides.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0