What I want you to know – but hope you don’t tell anybody else – is that Arthur’s Pass is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places in New Zealand.
Sitting halfway between the West Coast and Christchurch, it’s an easy trip from either. Yet it remains relatively quiet as most people seem to see it as a place to stop-off in, rather than to explore.
Those that only rush through will miss out on so much.
When you escape from the village, you’ll find quiet trails. Few people around to bother you. Despite some of the walks being stupidly easy.
Continue reading Hiking in Arthur’s Pass
It seems to be a general rule on New Zealand’s South Island, that the further South you get, the more tourists there are. Or rather, the closer you get to a location from the Lord of the Rings, the greater the amount of people you’ll see. Either way, as you travel south the amount of tourists continues to grow.
We got our first real taste of the negative energy of other tourists when we found ourselves in Lake Tekapo early one afternoon. With its turquoise blue water, hemmed in by mountains on almost all sides, Lake Tekapo is an obvious lure for tourists. Add to that the fact that it’s slap bang in the middle of a dark sky reserve – perfect for star watching – and it’s almost too much to resist.
Continue reading Getting Annoyed by Tourists at Lake Tekapo
Before we moved to New Zealand, I never really paid too much mind to birds. Birds were just something that were there. Flying around in the sky at the edge of my mind.
When I think back on our year in Korea, I can’t even remember seeing any birds. Surely that can’t be true though. A whole country without any birds?!
Here in New Zealand, birds are impossible to ignore. For a start, they’re so colourful, so flamboyant. They prance around screaming, “Look at me! I’m fabulous!” You’re forced to stare and enjoy them.
Continue reading The Pleasure of Birding in New Zealand
Over the last few years, Jamie and I have started a tradition. Each year, between Christmas and New Year we’ll head off on a trip somewhere for a few days.
This year we decided to head to the Hawke’s Bay region of New Zealand’s North Island for a few days. We’re leaving the North Island soon and we’ve yet to travel up the east coast and knew this would be our only opportunity. We decided to spend a few nights of camping in Napier exploring the surrounding area. Then another few nights in what used to be Te Urewera National Park.
Continue reading Visiting Lake Waikaremoana in Te Urewera National Park
With a week off work, I decided to do a few walks by myself. So on a hot, calm day I headed out to walk Wellington’s City to Sea Walkway.
The walk is appropriately named starting off near Wellington’s downtown area and twisting through various city parks, then over hills for 12km to the sea.
Despite traveling through plenty of them, this trail was no walk in the park. Constantly climbing up and down Wellington’s many hills for its duration – leaving me sweaty and dehydrated.
The first climb went through the Botanical Gardens ending at this typical view from Wellington’s cable car.
Continue reading Wellington Walks: City to Sea Walkway
I pace quickly up the hill. My feet slamming into the mud of the trail.
My heart is racing, my body sweating. Legs ache, lungs burn. I can’t stop though. There’s something in the trees behind me. Something scary. Not a bear or a monster. Much worse than that.
Now you may think from my last post about socialising while travelling, that I’m a lover of conversation. The truth is, I hate it. I am a level 99 ninja at avoiding it. There’s a lot I’d go through to get out of a conversation. Including climbing a mountain.
Continue reading Avoiding Social Interaction While Traveling
My first hike in the Grand Canyon was without a doubt one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Some may scoff at the idea, but at the time I was weak in body and mind. The hike pushed me to my physical limit and all along I had to live with the humiliation of my German friend walking along without even a change of breath. I had run-ins with lizards, mice, and almost stepped on a rattlesnake. I was pushed to the edge of exhaustion. Yet despite all of that, I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Continue reading Hiking in the Grand Canyon