New Zealand
New Zealand

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Top 10 Travel Destinations New Zealand

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  • Day11

    Rabbit Island

    December 31, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    Today we took the ferry ⛴ from Wellington (North Island) over the Cook Strait, through the Marlborough Sounds to Picton (South Island).

    From Picton it was still 2 hours to our accommodation on Rabbit Island 🐇🏝 (ironically, no rabbits here).

    Here we are staying in a cozy hut for the next 2 days. Isolated from civilization (Christian likes it very much).

    Heute sind wir mit der Fähre ⛴ von Wellington (Nordinsel) über die Cookstraße (benannt nach James Cook - wie unschwer zu erkennen ist), durch die Marlborough Sounds nach Picton (Südinsel) gefahren.

    Von Picton waren es dann noch 2 Stunden zu unserer Unterkunft ggü. der Rabbit Island 🐇🏝.

    Hier sind wir die nächsten 2 Tage in einer kuscheligen Hütte abgeschottet von der Zivilisation untergebracht (Christian mag es sehr).
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  • Day12

    Stand Up Paddle

    January 1 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    Today we were stand-up paddling at Tahunanui Beach. In short: Christian fell into the water about 100 times. Rebecca paddled like a pro. At some point an 80 year old man came on a stand-up paddle board and gave Christian tips. It was at this moment Christian decided to never try it again.

    Short additional information: during the whole time (2 hours) nobody else (approx. 25 people on stand-up paddle boards) fell into the water. 🏄‍♂️

    Heute waren wir am Tahunanui Beach Stand-Up-Paddeln. Kurz zusammengefasst: Christian ca. 100 mal ins Wasser gefallen. Rebecca gepaddelt wie ein Profi. Irgendwann kam dann ein ca. 80 jähriger Mann auf einem Stand-Up-Paddel-Board und hat Christian Tipps gegeben. Das war der Zeitpunkt als Christian für sich entschieden hat, nie wieder im Leben einen weiteren Versuch zu unternehmen.

    Zusatzinfo: in der ganzen Zeit (2 Stunden) ist sonst niemand (ca. 25 Leute auf Stand-Up-Paddel-Boards) ins Wasser gefallen.
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  • Day18

    Stewart Island - Rakiura Track

    January 23 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    Stewart Island, la "3ème île de la Nouvelle-Zélande". Une immense forêt dense la recouvre, avec ses rivières à méduses, ses plages isolées, ses sentiers boueux, et ses kiwis, très bruyants le soir mais difficiles à apercevoir. Porte d'entrée : Oban, un port minuscule et accueillant avec quelques maisons qui s'étagent sur les collines alentours et entre les arbres. Les mouettes y sont féroces, et nous poursuivent en une meute affamée pour nous voler nos fish&chips! Le Rakiura Track est un sentier de randonnée (Great Walks) qui parcourt la région autour d'Oban en 3jours, autonomie complète et petits campings au long du trajet. Temps superbe et magnifique chemin, qui nous porte d'une baie paisible à une autre, vers une petite crique cachée bordée par la forêt, puis on s'enfonce au coeur du bush, des collines et des rivières, on traverse la péninsule pour déboucher sur une autre baie ensoleillée, et l'on suit à nouveau la côte pour revenir à Oban.Read more

  • Day129

    Sawyer burn hut track walk

    February 5 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    Got up and out by 9ish to go walk the Sawyer Burn Hut track. About 45min drive from Wanaka. It gives amazing views over lake Hawea and the hills surrounding it. Our way in was completely blocked by cows, so had to slowly creep through them.
    Took about 5 hours to do the full up and down, with a few sketchy bits where you needed to clamber near a shear drop. Forests, great views, wild flower meadows, all round epic.
    Got back home just before 5. We met with Pete and Cathers to headed to KiKa. A very fancy restaurant.
    This is what my sister would have classed as a 'if in doubt splash out'. Included a bottle of wine from Sam Neil's vineyard (from Jurassic Park)
    Came back home and debated the world whilst polishing off another 2 bottles of wine.
    The girls went to bed so Pete and I completed the first 3 levels of Halo 3. Old school play of 5 mins on and 5 mins off. By 1am we were ready for bed!
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  • Day18

    Delightful Dunedin

    February 7 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

    Our ship docked this morning at Port Chalmers on the mainland of NZ South Island. This was where Scottish settlers first arrived in 1848 on the ship John Wickliffe. Rather than go on an official tour, we took the local bus the 13k into Dunedin - New Zealand’s oldest city - given the Celtic name for Edinburgh by the early Scottish settlers. It enjoys the status of being the furthest city in the world from London.

    A highlight for me was visiting Dunedin Railway Station with its ornate Flemish Renaissance-style architecture and gorgeous Minton tiles on the inside - apparently this is the most photographed building in New Zealand. Scottish names and influences are everywhere in this area - St Kilda, Portobello, Musselburgh - the museum even had a preserved cable car going to Maryhill!

    We enjoyed a walk round the central Octogon area, featuring a pride-of-place statue of Rabbie Burns, and the excellent Art Gallery which included interactive exhibits involving hammocks and free tea making. At the Chinese Garden we had more tea and dumplings (although these were not as good as Alice’s mum’s homemade ones). We finished up at the extensive and fabulous Otago Settlers Museum - almost as good as Oban’s Museum yesterday - and this one was free! 😂

    On our departure from Port Chalmers, the ship passed an albatross colony, and there was great excitement as almost all passengers, including zimmers and wheelchairs, clambered up to the Crow’s Nest bar for a glimpse of the creatures. I have to say they looked much like the seagulls at Largs who steal your fish supper.
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  • Day23

    Halcyon Hobbiton

    February 12 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    We arrived at our penultimate (meaning ‘beyond the ultimate’ according to the real Jean) port of Tauranga very early this morning. Another beautiful sunny day - the weather has been warmer in the North Island of New Zealand. Once ashore we decided to go on a tour to Hobbiton, where the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies were filmed. (Again this trip was half the cost of the ship’s version).

    Again we had a lovely, friendly and knowledgeable local guide - Garry - who stopped off at a couple of interesting spots: a local viewpoint; a Manuka Honey shop (with free honey flavoured ice cream), and a kiwi orchard 🥝.

    It was great to visit Hobbiton and see the familiar Hobbit holes. Everything was well organised and we had our own young guide, Caleb, on our 2 hour tour, who amused us with anecdotes from the movies, and pointed out where key scenes were filmed. We had one LOTR nerd in our group who kept interrupting and correcting the guide: ‘You see I was actually in the movies’ he explained. It turned out he was one of several hundred Orc extras. I took great pleasure in telling him that I was friends with Billy Boyd who played Pippin, one of the main Hobbits. As Jean would say, ‘ten up ye!’. The nerd’s Goth daughter and boyfriend subsequently took the opportunity to get engaged outside Sam Gamgee’s cottage, much to everyone’s delight. Our tour ended up at the Green Dragon pub where we were refreshed with complimentary Hobbit sized ‘pints’ of cider. Ah, just the job! 🍺

    Hobbiton is a great place to visit and highly recommended if you are in the area.
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  • Day6

    Pananui Beaches

    December 26, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    Afterwards, we continued our drive down to Pauanui, and we have had a really nice relaxing afternoon walking on the beaches! A bit cloudy bit still really nice for a walk 😊

    Nachdem wir dann in Pauanui angekommen sind, entspannten wir gemütlich am Strand. Ein bisschen wolkig, aber dennoch angenehm 😊Read more

  • Day125

    Mt Cook

    February 1 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    We got up early to make the 3 hour journey to Mt Cook national park. Leaving the house at 7am we quickly stopped for some coffee and cheese scones. Cathers did a great job of driving while we were all very snoozy.
    Walked the 3.5 hr Sealy Tarns track, which was a lot of steps towards an epic view of Mt cook. The wind was strong and gusty at times making us hunker down to stay safe so close to the edge. Was great that the clouds stayed and bay and we had awesome views the whole time.
    We stopped for some lunch at the bottom and decided our legs were too tired for the other 3 hr tracks along the valley so we headed to the visitor centre. Great information about the national park and some scary stories of the many people who have died in the mountains.
    We did a quick walk to the Tasman glacier view point and then back in the car for the drive home. Sadly some heavy rain was coming in and the high winds continuing so it wasn’t the weather to stay over night.
    When back in wanaka we made some fajitas and finished our Harry Potter movie marathon.
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  • Day71

    Taupo by pirate boat

    December 9, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    No real plans today, after yesterday where we managed to cram in loads.
    Our first stop was to book the Tongariro crossing for tomorrow at the tourist office.
    We went to the moon crater walk but was closed for filming.
    So booked a sailing boat to see some rock carvings. The boat also included beer and pizza. 😁. Had a very knowledgeable lady at the helm who told us all about local volanology info. Apparently the lake is a super volcano, which is well overdue.
    Very relaxing and informative.
    Did a small amount of shopping followed by sitting on the beach on the lake side. I think this is probably the first time in 2 months we have actually stopped and done nothing for over an hour.
    Got to the campsite and got onto the high ridge with a great view. The lady next to us got very arsey about us spoiling her view, even though we were well out of her way. She also had words with anyone else who parked near us. She then proceeded to spend most of the evening on the bench by the beach. Some people must just enjoy being angry.
    With a 5.20am start tomorrow morning we started to get all our hiking gear ready and made some food. Then watched the sunset whilst having some wine.
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  • Day51

    Lunch in the rich people's garden

    December 27, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    We woke up to beautiful blue sky and a view of a very nice beach and some picturesque rocks with the typical diverse New Zealand plants. Making it a good habit, we had breakfast at a bench at the beach before getting ready to drive off for another road trip day in Northland. While driving, we saw two chickens cross the road. We still haven't figured out why they did that.

    Out first stop was in Oakura. We read about a possible short walk to the end of a peninsula with nice views. Unfortunately that was again only possible at low tide and we didn't want to wait that long. The beach there was still good enough for an enjoyable short walk.

    Some viewpoint stops later we got hungry for lunch. Finding the perfect lunch spot was a difficult one but we are confident to say that we found it at Jacks Bay. We weren't quite sure if it was private or public but stayed anyways as it looked just too perfect with 4 chairs facing a perfect bay with nice boats, blue water and an empty beach in front. Right behind us there were some enormous gardens and expensive houses. We were just heading back to our car and while still joking about that this is our holiday mansion, we heard a helicopter landing right where we were having lunch just minutes before. Turns out the place didn't just look expensive but apparently is wealthy enough to afford private helicopters as well.

    Our next stop was the peninsula of Russell. At the very top we went for a walk up a small mountain to Tapeka Point to have a nice view over the famous Bay of Islands. It was all so nice, Machiel had a hard time asking himself why he was born in the wrong country. While being known for not being a fan of beaches, he actually realized he wanted one of these New Zealand beach houses with huge windows and terraces facing one of the thousand bays.

    It got later so we unfortunately had to drive further. We managed to get some cash without transaction fees, so we felt very lucky. Then we got even luckier with the ferry we wanted to take from Okiato to Opua to shorten the way. Arriving at the harbour, we saw the ferry full with cars, looking ready to leave. There was a STOP sign and we stopped for it, unsure what to do without further instructions. The car behind us then thought 'what are these tourists doing?', drove around us and onto the ferry. We followed them and when we parked the car, the ferry was already moving.

    A short ride later we arrived just south of Kerikeri at a camping with very soft grass. Before having a delicious wrap dinner, we needed to get some fresh vegetables. This was an excellent opportunity for Susanne to get nostalgic as she spend several weeks in Kerikeri 10 years ago. Visiting the former Kerikeri Farm Hostel was nice and weird at the same time. The main building still looked the same with its orange trees all around that Susanne was treating when working here for a few days back then.

    When going to bed later in the evening we discovered a sandfly problem. Hundreds of them were around our tent trying to get in, and when we went in at least 50 or so of them managed to join us.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

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