H. L.

Joined October 2019Living in: Salzburg, Österreich
  • Day56

    Lake Tekapo to Rakaia Gorge

    December 15, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

    Hmm, Tekapo‘s our last planned stop before going to Christchurch and returning the campervan. Just we have 3 nights left and the were questioning on what to do, as the weather‘s going to be lousy.

    We finally decided to go to Mt. Sunday aka Edoras (for the LOTR fans). Since it‘s in the Rangitata area, which got flooded recently we checked with the local I-site. So off we go. The last 25km will be gravel road but manageable. Mt Summers‘s the gateway. Just as soon as we took the junction, a big sign said: road closed. Man, we were disappointed 😔

    Now we took the second option: Rangitata Gorge. We found a little campsite and the spot for tonight was just at the cliff 😁 we explored the riverbed and the girls had a great time throwing stones and just playing in the sand.
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  • Day55

    Lake Tekapo

    December 14, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    We booked tickets to Lake Tekapo Springs and were really looking forward to soak in the hot water. Just if you‘re used to Central European springs you might be quite disappointed. There are no indoor relaxing area or outdoors (outdoor was chilly and windy anyway). This means you soak in the hot water until you’re wrinkled. Lockers needed to be rent. Just only the kids area is cute, as they have fountains. In total it was quite nice for 1,5hrs. But nothing were you would stay for a day.

    Lake Tekapo‘s also famous for its lupin fields. Of course we wanted to take family pics there. But first playground... we needed sth to bribe the big one 😂 And if you have a photographer hubby it‘s not making thing‘s easier. You need the right light, the perfect surrounding and somehow the right clothes (no bright colors, depending on the background the right pattern etc )🙈

    Some time later we realized it was far too late to head back to cook our own dinner and went straight to the first restaurant, which happened to be the sky dinner. Food was surprisingly good and they had a kids play area, too! The view was stunning and after dinner we could have done a star gazing tour, but skipped. Lake Taupo area is also a dark sky reserve. An area, which is perfect for star gazing.
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  • Day54

    Mt Cook to Lake Tekapo

    December 13, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    The weather forecast was right during the night it started raining and all taller mountains hid under big clouds. Gone‘s the beautiful view. So far we didn’t get surprised by a rain shower. The weather forecast‘s quite accurate.

    Despite the bad weather we decided to still do another smaller walk. But first coffee ☕️😄 we got some at a cafe in the village.

    Today we wanted to see the Tasman Glacier. The biggest one with over 20km length in the Southern Alps. If we‘re lucky we can also see some ice bergs in the lake. It rained... we weren’t to keen on getting outside 😬 luckily it‘s just a 15-20min walk with lots of stairs. Originally we thought of doing a boat tour on the Tasman lake, so we could have a closer encounter with the icebergs, but as smaller kids weren’t allowed we skipped it. When we were at the viewpoint we were: Puh, luckily we didn’t do that tour, as there were just only a handful of smaller ice bergs.

    Matilda climbed on all the rocks and stones and was just happy 😌 (we should consider climbing, when we‘re back home), while Thomas took pictures and I walked up and down, as Greta was sleeping in the carrier.

    On our way from Mt Cook to Lake Tekapo we passed by Lake Pukaki again. And the lake was bluer than before. It looked like being in the Caribbean.

    In Lake Tekapo we headed straight to the only campsite and were shocked by how many people queued at the reception! We just crossed fingers to get a space for tonight. This was the only time where we thought: we should have booked in advanced 🙈 But all good. We got our powered site.
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  • Day53

    Mt Cook

    December 12, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

    It was almost noon, when we finally started the 3hrs return walk. It‘s a very easy well-formed track. Just not so interesting for Matilda. She prefers proper hikes 🙈

    It took us roughly 2,5 hrs with uncountable stops in 1 direction. The view was magnificent and Matilda was happy again, as she could do some rock climbing. We promised her to carry her back. So we ended up that I carried Greta and the backpack and Thomas our big girl. The other hikers didn’t envy him 😬. The return inclusive a couple of photo stops took only 1:10hrs 😂

    To the question, why Matilda didn’t want to walk. Her reply: why did you choose such a long walk? It was around 5,5km in one direction... good question big girl 😘 most of the time it‘s the over eagerly parents 🙈🙈

    For dinner we promised her her beloved noodles 😁
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  • Day52

    Oamaru to Mt. Cook

    December 11, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ ☁️ 18 °C

    Another long driving day. We headed back towards the Alps and the weather should be nice, which is quite a bonus, if you like to do a walk. Passed by several dams and the road itself from Lake Pukaki to Mt Cool is just amazing! On the right hand side the lake and in front the mighty snow covered Mt. Cook.

    We were en route to the only campsite at the start of the Hooker Valley Track. It was very busy although it only had toilets and no other facilities. We squeezed ourselves between 2 campervans and had a nice afternoon off chasing ducks and hares.
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  • Day51

    Otago Peninsula to Oamaru

    December 10, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

    Next stop in Dunedin again: the former steepest road in the world. We didn’t dare driving there 😬

    Also on the Agenda: Moeraki Boulder Beach. One would wonder, how it‘s possible to create these smooth round or sometimes eggshaped stones.

    Oamaru: another opportunity to see blue pinguins. We therefore chose a campsite close to the blue penguins colony. Also next to it is a huge playground. Matilda was in heaven and not just her 😂 The old town of Oamaru reminds me somehow of the Netflix series Lemony Snicket. We‘re quite surprised and really liked the charme of the town.

    A quick check on google maps (what would we do without google nowadays...) led us to a surprisingly delicious Italian restaurant. We were in food coma 😄

    Since the penguins only return to their nest at dusk we had enough time to prepare ourselves (means: putting on extra layers) for the night. The original plan was to see the penguins at the colony, but as soon as we got closer we already heard voices in various languages through loudspeaker explaining the penguin life. We looked at each other and were like „are they serious“? On top they wanted to charge 40$ per adult. No thanks. So we went a bit back where we saw a couple of people before. Not long and the first penguin came out of the water and was kind of running to his nest hidden in den bushes. A bit later 7 fellas came and hid under the carriage. They acted like the penguins in the movie Madagascar. 😂 A few more came until we decided to return to our cozy campervan.

    We walked a couple of meters and suddenly a penguin could be seen on the walkway. Looked left and we saw another one, probably waiting for him. While the first penguin waited a third one bumped into him. It was like: hey, what are you waiting for. Goooo! After a pause 🐧#3 started walking and suddenly paused, so 🐧 #1 bumped into #3. #2 at the bush must have thought 🤦🏻‍♀️😂😂😂😂

    Almost at the campground we saw another 4 penguins. This time they crossed the street. They looked like the Beatles on the famous picture, just minus the crossing.

    In comparison the blue penguins were running, while the yellow eyed penguin waddled.
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  • Day50

    Dunedin to Otago Peninsula

    December 9, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    What a night... As we didn’t manage to do proper sightseeing yesterday we decided to stay at the freedom camping spot in the city instead to move to one of the holiday parks outside of Dunedin. In fact it‘s just a car park located between the train station (should mean sth already) and a main road. As we arrived on a Sunday, there was less traffic and we thought it can’t be that loud. It was ok, but more annoying were the other campers, who slamshut the port-a-loo (glad we have our own toilet 😁) doors and the walls of the campervans are on the thinner side... and sleeping with ear plugs next to a baby, which wakes up during the night is not the option... ok, noted: never again to camp in the middle of the city on a parking lot (our experience in Wellington should have been enough, I just guess that we didn‘t want to realize the truth 😂)

    So the first stop of the day: coffee ☕️ & breakfast 🍳

    We strolled through Dunedin and ended up at the Otago museum before we decided to leave Dunedin earlier than planned and heading to Otago peninsula instead.

    We arrived at a cute little campground. After the last days with barely any amenities we needed to catch up. Never been happier before to use a hot water washing machine (hot water wash machines are not common here).

    The main reason why we came to the Otago peninsula: Royal albatrosses and blue penguins. The latter we didn’t see, as we didn’t do a tour. We just drove to that albatross Center where we were greeted by hundreds of sea gulls. The parking lot‘s just next to their breeding zone, no surprise they‘re not too fond of the visitors. And lots of birds also mean lots of sh*t. 🙈

    It was a quick out-grab a photo-back to the campervan. And enjoyed the flying royal albatrosses (wingspan up to 3m!) through the window. 😁
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  • Day49

    Nugget Point to Dunedin

    December 8, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    Check out time at most of the campground‘s 10am, which we in 99,9% never manage and never has been an issue. Today was the first time the campground host knocked at the door at 10.05 🙈 This kind reminder lead us to a speedy getting ready 😂

    So, first stop of the day: Nugget Point. Quite impressive. Thinking of the people 130 years ago, when they came to that area of New Zealand on a stormy day. Must have been quite a trip.

    A bit later we finally managed to arrive in Dunedin. We urgently needed to dump and fill up fuel. Just at that moment the dark rain cloud with the heavy rainfall, which we only escaped a bit earlier, caught up again and Thomas ended up a bit wet, while dumping 😬

    That rain wasn’t too inviting for a sightseeing tour through Dunedin and we went shopping instead and draw a plan for later the day and tomorrow.

    Also a big bonus, if you come to a bigger town in NZ: there‘s plenty of Asian food and they‘re always good value for money 😁 And what‘s more inviting on a rainy day than a hot bowl of Vietnamese Pho 🍲 (noodle soup)? 🤤
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  • Day48

    Curio Bay to somewhere in the Catlins

    December 7, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    I love these free maps and guides from the local I-sites. They provide lots of info of what to do nearby and are often better than any travelguides. And the best part: I can scribble my notes on it, while I hesitate to do so in books (and even more difficult to do so, if you only have the electronic version of the travelguide).

    We continued our way through the Catlins and stopped at the McLeans waterfalls. We stopped counting the number of waterfalls we‘ve already seen on this trip. It was a nice short walk through lush green forest. And there we met the unintended-following-each other family again 😄

    Further stops: Tautuku Estuary Board Walk (ok, but necessary a stop. It took longer to park and getting out than actually being out 😂), Lake Wilkie (only Thomas got out, Greta fell asleep and Matilda and I endulged into some ice cream in the meantime 😁), Purakaunui Falls (yes, another waterfall 😂, but it would‘ve been less interesting without that meditating guy on the rock in the middle of the waterfall 😂)
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  • Day47

    Monkey Island to Curio Bay

    December 6, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌧 17 °C

    I think this was the best freedom camping spot so far. Right in front of the clean beach, peaceful and quiet. There was a public toilet, which we didn’t use, as we had our own. Luckily 😄

    While I cleaned up the mess from breakfast Thomas went to the beach with Greta. Greta‘s always the first one to leave the Campervan and Matilda only if we force her to 😂 Since yesterday Greta decided to prefer walking to crawling. For a couple of weeks already she‘s walking bit by bit.

    On the way to the Catlins we passed by Invercargill. It‘s fine to pass by 😁 And as Greta was sleeping we kept on moving to the next possible dump station.

    A couple of weeks ago we‘ve been to the Northernmost point of the South Island a visit to the Southernmost point was therefore obligatory 😄 And it was there were we met a family again. The first time was at the Golden Bay. Since then we‘re meeting every other day by coincidence. It‘s like, if we‘ve matched our travel itineraries to the hour 😄

    The night we spent at Curio Bay Campground, as it‘s just a walking distance to see the fossiled forest and penguins 🐧 (blue penguins and yellow eyed penguins, which are endangered).

    The fossiled forest is only accessible during low tide and was pretty impressive and we were even fortunate to see a yellow eyed penguin waddling from the sea to his nest.
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