The Banks Peninsula is a small, hilly circle of land that juts out into the sea close to Christchurch. Due to the large amount of beautiful bays and little villages, the peninsula seems to be the perfect weekend getaway for Christchurchers. For the same reason, we thought it would be a great place to base ourselves in our last week in New Zealand.
It’s close to the city, I told myself while typing out an email to a HelpX host. We’ll be able to pop into Christchurch in the day or do some sightseeing on the peninsula. That’s what I thought.
Until we found ourselves sitting in The Bloody Legend looking up on a steep road heading right into the hills. Nothing on the website said anything about this.
Continue reading A Horrific Help Exchange on the Banks Peninsula
After weeks spent in rural towns, Dunedin came as a bit of a shock. It seems like most places on New Zealand’s South Island are barely big enough to qualify as towns, let alone cities. So coming into a big city like Dunedin is a bit of an eye-opener.
At night the stars no longer shine, the city lights too bright. The rolling green fields vanish, replaced with wooden houses on tidy streets. The buildings grow upwards, looming over you, covering the sky. For once you’re in a place where people out number the sheep.
Continue reading Nature Tours on the Otago Peninsula
The more popular something is, the less inclined I am to enjoy it. Maybe I’ve always been a hipster at heart. Snorting with derision at anything popular. Or maybe I can never be satisfied by something with high expectations.
Expectations were the reason I couldn’t really enjoy Milford Sound. Continue reading Milford Sound – One of New Zealand’s Biggest Disappointments?
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
When you’re on the road for a while, travelling can start to become a chore. Eventually you need to stop for a breather, which is how we found ourselves lazing around in Hokitika on New Zealand’s west coast.
On the surface, there doesn’t seem to be much to Hokitika. It’s like many of the other west coast towns. A small downtown area with a sprinkling of hundred-year-old buildings and plenty of cafes and souvenir shops for tourists. Nothing amazing sticking out.
Continue reading A Few Lazy Days in Hokitika
Why is it that if we live close to a major landmark, we never have the energy to go to it? It seems we’re all so lazy about exploring our local area, maybe because it holds no surprises for us.
Since we moved to Wellington in June, we’ve been living a 15 minute walk from Zealandia. Arguably New Zealand’s biggest eco-tourism attraction. With the nature reserve basically on our doorstep, we’ve always put off going. There was always something else further away we could do. Zealandia could wait. Continue reading Wellington Walks: Visiting Zealandia
It seems to be a general rule in life that if everything is going fine it’s only a matter of time until disaster strikes. How we deal with these disasters shows what type of person we truly are. Do we break instantly and fall apart? Or do we battle through? Overcoming these obstacles so we can go back to our happy lives. Continue reading The One Where our Car Broke Down on a Mountain
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