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New Zealand

Curious what backpackers do in New Zealand? Discover travel destinations all over the world of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.
  • Kiwi Cave Rafting Tour
    -Black Water Rafting
    -Rock climbing

    Das alles beinhaltet die Tour. Es ging los mit dem Umziehen. Wir sahen wunderschön aus im Neoprenanzug mit Helm und den sogenannten Ugly Pants (in pink) zum Schutz des Anzuges. Dann mussten wir uns 27m tief in die dunkle Höhle abseilen.
    Sobald wir unten angekommen sind, machten wir uns auf in die erste Höhle. Es war wunderschön mit den Glühwürmchen 😍 durch laute Geräusche leuchten immer mehr von ihnen auf. Einfach traumhaft!
    Also haben wir alle unsere Stirnlampen ausgeschaltet und sind auf Tubes (Reifen) durch die dunkle Höhle getrieben und haben die Glühwürmchen bewundert, die über uns wie der Sternenhimmel wirkten.
    Weiter ging es mit dem Caving, wobei wir uns durch enge Spalten quetschen, auf dem Bauch durch kleine Löcher kriechen und über die rutschigen Steine klettern mussten. Sehr anstrengend und beängstigend... doch alle haben es heil bis zum Ende geschafft. Dort erwartete uns dann noch eine steile, 20m hohe Wand, die wir nur mit einem Seil gesichert alleine hochklettern mussten.
    Nach dem Abenteuer gab es für jeden noch eine warme Dusche und eine heiße Suppe!
    Es war wirklich cool und interessant die Glühwürmchen zu sehen, die eigentlich gar keine Würmer sondern die Larven einer Fliege sind. Die Larve leuchtet um ihre Beute anzulocken. Zum Fangen bzw. "Fishing" produziert die Larve bis zu 70 50cm lange klebrige Stränge, ähnlich wie eine Spinne.
    Die Art "Arachnocampa Luminosa" ist auch nicht mit dem europäischen Glühwürmchen verwandt, welche bei uns ja als leuchtende Käfer bekannt sind.
    Die Waitomo Caves sind der einzige Ort, wo es so viele Glühwürmchen auf einmal zu sehen gibt!
    Da wir keine Bilder aus der Höhle haben, hier ein Link zu einem Video, damit ihr eine kleinen Eindruck bekommt!
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  • After some heavy days driving up from the south coast, we reached Papamoa Beach near Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty. We checked into a nice Airbnb, resuming a normal schedule of copious wifi and multiple showers a day. Ahh so much to be grateful for! The weather here is 20-30 degrees Celsius and absolutely beautiful. The incredible beaches are just outside of a mid sized city that buzzes lightly with moderate density, comfortably sprawling outwards in acres of untouched land. Of all of the places in NZ we have visited, this would be a place to move to and call home one day. We went to pickup a MicroSD card from a local store here and had a nice chat with one of the female employees. She was a little bit older but not yet a pensioner, proudly a Kiwi. We got to talking about travelling and where we were from etc. and the fact that we have been in Bali came up. Her tone changed quickly to a fearful note saying that she would never go there after there were bombings in 2002 and 2005. The conversation ended shortly after that, but me being on holidays and full of great coffee took on an endeavour to investigate this fear-based outlook on life to see if it was valid. Beth helped me google some statistics about terrorism and terrorist attacks, and the numbers are absolutely astounding. One article we found was titled 'you are more likely to be fatally crushed by your own furniture than die in a terrorist attack' ....seriously. I don't really watch the news, I read online articles and try to stay out of mainstream propaganda programming as I find that it makes me generally think negatively about the world and is mostly fear based. So below I have copied and pasted some interesting numbers to put things in perspective. Feel free to google this also, it's quite interesting.

    In 2011, 8 Americans died in terrorist attacks worldwide. In that same year 29 people died after being struck by lightning.

    Regarding being killed by a terrorist (based on numbers from USA) you are:

    35,079 times more likely to die from heart disease
    33,842 times more likely to die from cancer
    5,882 times more likely to die from medical error
    1,904 times more likely to die from a car accident
    9 times more likely to be killed by a police officer

    For comparison: According to the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, only 80 Americans were killed in terrorist attacks from 2004-2013; 36 of those were killed in attacks that occurred in the USA

    From the CDC: from 2001-2013, 406,496 people died by firearms on US soil (incl. homicide, accident, and suicide)
    From US State Department: from 2001-2013, 350 people citizens were killed overseas as a result of incidents of terrorism

    The Fatal Numbers:
    * The odds of being the victim of a shark attack are 1 in 11.5 million worldwide. Although there are 65 annual shark attacks each year, only a handful are fatal. Compared to this, a person is 3 times more likely to drown and 30 times more likely to be hit by lightning.
    * Compared to being killed by a dog, the likelihood of which is 1 in 18 million, a person is twice as likely to win the lottery and 5 times as likely to be struck by lightning.
    * 1 in 8 men and 1 in 24 women over the age of 40 will die from a sudden heart attack, while 1 in 4 men and 1 in 5 women will die from cancer.
    * Worldwide, 1 in about 2,050 people will die each year from unclean water, which carries numerous, life-threatening diseases. Each year, more people die from a lack of clean water than from wars.
    * The chances of being killed in a terrorist attack are about 1 in 20 million. A person is as likely to be killed by his or her own furniture, and more likely to die in a car accident, drown in a bathtub, or in a building fire than from a terrorist attack.
    * The chances a person will be killed by an asteroid are 1 in 200,000, which is much higher than the odds of being killed by hail, which is 1 in 734,400,000.
    * Each year, 1 out of 100,000 people die in a skydiving accident, which is 17 times lower than the risk of dying in a car accident.
    * The odds of dying in a severe storm are 1 in 68,388. A person is more likely to die slipping in his or her bathtub, which occurs at a rate of 1 in 11,469.
    * A person’s chances of dying in an elevator are 1 in 10,440,000. Due to successful elevator brake systems, an elevator has plunged only once—in the Empire State Building in 1945.
    * The lifetime probability of dying in a car accident is 1 in 100, which is 200 times higher than the probability of dying in a plane crash.
    * While 1 out of 5 people fear the possibility of being murdered, the odds that a person will be murdered in any given year are about 1 in 18,690. According to the FBI, violent crime is now at a near-historic low.
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  • Before the 14 of us get off the minibus we are asked to look out for seals, they could be behind a rock and they could bite if frightened. Also whatever else happens do not get between the seal and the sea.
    We all get off the bus, 13 people turn left so I turn right, I cant help it and I don't know why but Ive been like that all my life. I head towards the cliff and the sea. It is stunning. A couple of minutes later I hear a commotion and turn round to see 14 people (guide included!) shouting about the seal that they have disturbed and is now heading straight for the sea with only one obstacle in its way - me. I move swiftly and agilely(LOL - have you ever seen me run, especially on wet sand) to the side and proceed to take photos and a bit of video just like everyone else except I'm the only one in the group who hasn't got the English woman featuring in their photos and videos of the adorable little seal.....
    Later there was another seal discovered by a rock but he was so laid back he didn't even open his eyes.
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  • There are 2 main lakes, neither called Nelson. Lake Rotoiti and Lake Rotoroa or Little Lake and Long Lake – doesnt it sound more romantic in Maori?
    There were eels in Lake Rotoiti and apparently these were at least 50 years old and quite large. I tried to take underwater photos of them but as soon as the camera went in the water the eels came right up to it so there was just a black blotch. A duck came over with a set of small ducklings and the child next to me said ‘oh mummy look at the ducklings’ and I thought eel food but I must have said it out loud and not just thought it, the little girl, (id guess about 4 years old) welled up and then wouldn’t look at either the eels or the ducklings, her mother couldn’t work out what the problem was as she hadn’t heard me but the little girl looked at me and started crying so in a mature and adult manner, I casually walked off before the parents found out why their child was so upset.
    I took a couple of walks along the shore and it was a beautiful spot. I 'discovered' the pool and as it wasn't named in my mind I've called in Sweetheart Falls.
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  • There was a massive storm (weather bomb) last night. A lot of the roads were flooded and I had to cancel my trip to Westport and Greymounth for the next 2 days because they are cut off.. Never mind there is SO much to do in Reefton, hub of the universe....

  • It's been a hectic week and we're only just catching up! It's also been an exciting week and we would like to introduce the third member of our traveling party, Bobby Jean. She's a last minute stand in for our original van which sadly isn't with us any more. But Bobby is even more awesome - a pop-top Mazda Bongo, 20 years old, a replaced engine and now a whole load of bike specific custom storage! It took 3 days of work to kit her out but she's now purpose built and has been a wonder over the last few days travelling!Read more

  • 35km of sand and almost no birds. The variable oyster catchers are around, about 35 pairs as their territory is about a km each pair but we didnt see anything else. Then there is the occassional seal causing its own little sand dune. New Zealand seals have ears on the outside and 'walk' on their flippers which are both usually sealion rather than seal characteristics.

  • I set off on the Braeburn loop path which the park map said would take about an hour and half. I had discovered that their timings for walks were almost exactly right for me unless there were steps involved and then I needed to add 10 mins. It didn’t seem to matter if the walk was 500m or 5km and whether there were 30 steps or 300 steps (yes really!) I needed to add 10 mins – go figure!
    It was a landscape that was different to the other forests I’d walked in. This was very damp with mosses and ferns everywhere and the inevitable sweet smell and countless bees and wasps feeding on the tress and so you needed to be careful not to touch anything.
    The path started off fairly wide and well maintained and got narrower and rougher the further I climbed. The landscape was alien, there were no people about at all (the only car in the car park was mine) no birdsong but plenty of buzzing from the bees and wasps. As the path got really narrow with a very long and steep drop to the side, the surface slippy and muddy with tree roots everywhere to trip you up and I realised that nobody on this planet knew where I was my spirit of adventure started screaming at me that it was time for a latte, wi-fi and someplace to where pretty shoes. However, I could hear the waterfall nearby and knowing that I would never be here again (and trying not to think about this morning when I had listened to my inner adventurer!) I pushed on up the hill and low and behold the waterfall was around the next bend. It was quite a drop and a pretty spot and so then I felt good about going all the way to the top. I set off back for the car being careful of tree roots and slippy mud and was almost back as it started to drizzle. I got to the car and as I was eating my ham sandwich the heavens opened and so my timing was good.
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  • Maybe slightly bigger than Murchinson but its touch and go. Its been pouring down all day and there is a weather bomb tonight apparently - my advice would be dont believe anyone who tells you the weather is good in NZ

  • Spent a few days exploring the maze of Auckland. Seemed like the streets just run into each other without notice. Just zoom into the map and you will see what I mean! Lol. Caught up with friends and met some cool Airbnb hosts. Standard hustle and bustle here and I got honked at for the first time since we have been here because I wasn't attentive to the light going green. Maybe I am adopting the "island" lifestyle too much. Tomorrow we leave to serve a 10 day Vipassana course which we are really looking forward to. And of course we went back to One Tree Hill to hug some trees and hang off of them while having another deep life talk fuelled by amazing NZ coffee.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

New Zealand, Neuseeland, Seulandia Barô, Nieu-Seeland, Ziland Foforo, ኒው ዚላንድ, Nueva Zelanda, Nīwe Sǣland, نيوزيلاندا, ܢܝܘ ܙܝܠܢܕ, নিউজিলেণ্ড, Yeni Zelandiya, Яңы Зеландия, Neiseeland, Новая Зеландыя, Нова Зеландия, न्यूजीलैंड, Niusilan, Zelandi Koura, নিউজিল্যাণ্ড, ནིའུ་ཛི་ལན྄ཌ།, নিউজিল্যান্ড, Zeland-Nevez, Novi Zeland, Шэнэ Зеланд, Nova Zelanda, Sĭng-să̤-làng, Керла Зеланди, نیوزیلاند, Nova Zilanda, Yañı Zelandiya, Nový Zéland, Nowô Zelandzkô, Çĕнĕ Зеланди, Seland Newydd, Ny Zeeland, Zelandaya Newiye, 10.1073/pnas.0801507105, Nowoseelandska, ނިއުޒިލޭންޑު, ནིའུ་ཛི་ལེནཌ, New Zealand nutome, Νέα Ζηλανδία, Nov-Zelando, Uus Meremaa, Zeelanda Berria, زیلاند جدید, Nuwel Selannda, Uusi-Seelanti, Nýsæland, Nouvelle-Zélande, Novèla-Zèlande, Nei-Sialun, Nij-Seelân, An Nua-Shéalainn, Eni Zelandiya, Sealainn Nuadh, Nova Celandia, न्यूझीलंड, 𐌽𐌹𐌿𐌾𐌹𐍃 𐍃𐌰𐌹𐍅𐌰𐌻𐌰𐌽𐌳, ન્યુઝીલેન્ડ, Yn Teelynn Noa, Nuzilan, Néu Sî-làn, ניו זילנד, न्यूज़ीलैंड, Nouvèl Zelann, Új-Zéland, Նոր Զելանդիա, Nove Zelanda, Selandia Baru, Nov-Zeland, Baro a Selanda, Nova-Zelando, Nýja-Sjáland, Nuova Zelanda, ニュージーランド, zis. poi cnino, Selandia Anyar, ახალი ზელანდია, Jana Zelandiya, Ziland Tamaynut, ЩIэ Зилэнд, Nyuzilandi, Жаңа Зеландия, Nutaaq Zeeland, នូវែលហ្សេឡង់, ನ್ಯೂಜಿಲೆಂಡ್, 뉴질랜드, Джангы Зеландия, Выль Зеландия, Mordir Nowydh, Жаңы Зеландия, Nova Zelandia, Mueva Zelanda, Neiséiland, ЦӀийи Зеландия, Niyuziirandi, Nui-Zieland, Neuva Selanda, Növa Zelanda, Zelandɛ ya sika, ປະເທດນູແວນເຊລັງ, Naujoji Zelandija, Zelanda wa mumu, Jaunzēlande, 紐西蘭, Aotearoa, Нов Зеланд, ന്യൂസിലാന്‍റ്, Шинэ Зеланд, У Зеланди, နယူးဇီလန်, نیوزلند, Niu Djiran, Yancuīc Zetlālpan, Sin Jia̍t-lân-jia, Nòva Zëlanna, Niegseeland, न्युजिल्याण्ड, न्यु जिल्यान्द, Nieuw-Zeeland, Novi Selande, Nouvelle Zélande, Nòva Zelanda, ନ୍ୟୁଜିଲାଣ୍ଡ, Ног Зеланди, ਨਿਊਜ਼ੀਲੈਂਡ, Novèle-Zilinde, Nyuu Ziilan, Nowa Zelandia, Neuva Zelanda, نیوزی لینڈ, نیوزیلنډ, Nova Zelândia, Musuq Silanda, Nuvelizelandi, Noua Zeelandă, Новая Зеландия, Новый Зеланд, Nuveli Zelande, न्यूजिलैण्ड्, Саҥа Зеландия, Noa Zelanda, Nova Zilanna, Ođđa-Selánda, Finî Zelânde, Naujuojė Zelandėjė, නවසීලන්තය, Nova Zelandija, Niu Sila, Neyuusilaand, Zelanda e Re, Нови Зеланд, Nya Zeeland, Nowo Zylandyjo, நியூசிலாந்து, న్యుజిలేండ్, Зеландияи Нав, นิวซีแลนด์, Täze Zelandiýa, Nuʻusila, Niu Silan, Yeni Zelanda, Яңа Зеландия, يېڭى زېلاندىيە, Нова Зеландія, نیوزی ینڈ, Yangi Zelandiya, Nova Zełanda, Uz Zelandii, Nieuw-Zêeland, Nula-Seleäns, Nouve Zelande, Bag-o nga Zelanda, Seland-Gu-Bees, 新西兰, Шинзелендин Орн, ניו זילאנד, Orílẹ́ède ṣilandi Titun, Saen Saelanz, Nieuw-Zeêland, i-New Zealand