Follow Your Heart

Travels in NZ...
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  • Day1

    Phang Nga Elephant Sanctuary Phuket

    November 18, 2017 in Thailand

    The elephants here have been rescued from the logging industry, and while they still interact with tourists, they do seem to be enjoying a relaxed lifestyle. The park is very caring and the history of each animal is known. The elephant I bathed was 40 years old, and has only been at the park for 6 months, so is still a little bit underweight. It was a great experience to get close to these majestic animals.Read more

  • Day5

    Mahwhera (Greymouth) to Christchurch

    August 10, 2017 in New Zealand

    The journey home today by train after a trip that seemed to encompass so many elements in such a short time. A phenomena that I have found frequently in NZ, even a short trip feels like a complete experience. A final note to the Global Lodge Backpackers, an outstanding accommodation, would highly recomend, great facilties and a rainforest and river view from my room.Read more

  • Day4

    Taniwha Cave

    August 9, 2017 in New Zealand

    An inspiring day out in the Paparoa National Park, beginning with a beatiful walk in through the rain forest and an excitig zipline down into the gorge. The rain was pouring, accentuating the beauty of the rainforest, with water falls puring into the gorge. Tube rafting down the rapids in the gorge was the mode of transport to the caves, where once inside the ceiling was lit by millions of tiny glowworms, always a magical sight. Each tiny larvae on its own territory, glowing like the night sky. The name of this cave is a Maori word for monster or dragon, and these entities can disguise themselves as natural objects. Lodged higher up in the cave where we did not venture is a large log, could this be where the cave got its name ? Walking out of the gorge it was impossible not to be moved by how accessible it is to connect with the natural world in NZ.Read more

  • Day3

    Punakaiki

    August 8, 2017 in New Zealand

    A visit to Punakaiki, AKA Pancake Rocks. A unique geological formation of layered limestone jutting out into the sea. The formations create chimneys through which the sea spouts up at high tide, booming through the rocks, with a power that is humbling. In NZ there are many unique geological formations that only occur here, and though there are theories about the formation of these, as with many formations, an element of mystery lingers. Here are also beaches where the iconic NZ Greenstone can be found, though we were not lucky today, but as the saying here goes, " you don't find greenstone, greenstone find you ".Read more

  • Day2

    Greymouth

    August 7, 2017 in New Zealand

    Arrival in Greymouth after 4 hours on the train. An historic mining town, first the goldrush, then coal, only remnants of these industries now remain. Many coal miners migrated here from the South Yorkshire area, and a monument gives memory to all those who lost their lives in mining accidents, many as recently as 2010. The coal in this area has a high methane content bringing high risk for explosions, so accidents were often catastrophic claiming many lives. The land here is traditionaly Maori, and is still owned by the Maori tribes. The true names of places pepper the narratives, emphasising the duality that exists here following places being renamed by settlers. History is important here, but sadly the Museum is closed as the old building cannot easily be made earthquake safe. A peek through the windows revealed a fascinating archive, appearing untouched since closure.Read more

  • Day1

    Springfield Junction

    August 6, 2017 in New Zealand

    Heading to the West Coast on the great scenic rail journey of NZ, the Tranz Alpine Express. Taking in mountain views, rivers, gorges and changing to temperate rain forest nearing the West Coast at the destination of Greymouth. En route is an 8 km tunnel, which at the time of building was the longest tunnel in the world. At the present time this is the only passenger route running on the South Island, but once the rail networks were a life line, the past history of this visible along the route.Read more

  • Day1

    Fleurs Place and Kiwi Holiday Park

    May 27, 2017 in New Zealand

    For this trip it was a stay in the Kiwi Holiday Park, with a view of vintage caravans and the sea, and then a meal at the famous Fleurs Place. The restaurant building is an old whaling station and though the restaurant looks in need of renovation, the location is stunning, surrounded by the sea on three sides. And couldn't resist adding in a few more pics of boulders.Read more

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