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Top 10 Travel Destinations Manawatu-Wanganui

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  • Day42

    Day 42/72: Tongariro Crossing

    December 8, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    We woke up early to get the shuttle bus to the start of the Tongariro Crossing! It was a cold morning and we were walking up to over 1800m so we wrapped up warm. We wolfed down big bowls of cereal, made some ham and cheese cobs and set off for the bus.

    The bus was full and we arrived at the crossing with about 40 other people. There were already lots of people there, it was a beautiful Saturday after all and the weather promised to stay clear and dry. We began the walk pretty much as soon as we got off the bus, interestingly the driver who took us there becomes responsible for anyone who they bring to the crossing, and has to ensure that they are finished by the end of the day and if not the driver has to go and find them.

    The scenery was fantastic, mountains right in front of us and snow capped peaks looming up from the lava rock that we were walking across. The crowds had come in droves though and at the start it felt a lot like quick queueing instead of hiking. But as Izzi marched on ahead, overtaking people as if she had somewhere to be, the crowds thinned out and walking became much more pleasant. The first section was all uphill and before long we'd stopped to take off all our layers, change into shorts and layered on the suncream. The scenery was brilliant all the way: you'll see in the pictures.
    The path was decent too, gravel and staired, and then we came over a ridge and for about a mile it was completely flat with mountains to our left and right. It felt like a huge crater on the moon (or what you'd imagine that to look like if you walked across it). We then had to scramble out of the crater on the other side, and at the top stopped to have a waffle and an apple, and sit looking over the rolling hills and mountains around us, truly spectacular! We carried on up the hill and below the top of the peak we saw 3 lakes steeply below us, with steam rising from random points in the ground. The walk down there was tricky, patches of loose dry mud that sank under your feet, and gravel on top of very hard dry rock which made you skid. At this point we felt sorry for the people struggling in trainers and plimsoles, and we slightly wondered at the end if they had fallen or not. It was tough going and the steam began to drift across the path, filling out heads with the smell of badly rotten eggs (this won't quite translate in the pictures). We walked around the lakes, taking lots of photos and then left quickly as the stench was getting to us.

    The hike from that point was all downhill, and the landscape below us began to reveal itself. It was stunning, and we were walking towards it and could see for miles. What a great hike! The further we got down, the more the landscape changed. The greener the plants got and the higher they grew. After a few hours, we'd gone from walking through barran desert to walking through a lush green forest. It'd taken us 5 and a half hours of walking, and we sat at the end waiting for the bus to take us back to the campsite, feeling very fulfilled and thinking about the views we'd just seen. Unfortunately, we had done it a bit quicker than expected, and the first bus back wasn't expected for at least another hour, so we sat in the sun and baked for a bit.

    The entire walk was dotted with signs of what to do if the volcano erupts, and "Caution- you are now entering a lahar flow zone- move quickly and don't stop. If you hear noise from upstream, run." which made it interesting.

    After a good half an hour on a bus, we realised just how tired we were and read for the rest of the afternoon and evening in the dappled sunlight split by trees over our campervan. It was a fab day!
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  • Day66

    Wanganui river - 3 day journey

    December 4, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Day 1
    6am start for the canoe trip so we were up at 5.20 to drive to the start. Looks like most people are not on time, so the lady was pleasantly surprised we were there. Got a nice bit of home made honey and toast and a cup of tea, followed by a safety briefing. Which basically said it is quite likely that you will fall out of the Canadian style canoe.
    We packed our belongings for 3 days, plus hired camping stuff, into 6 waterproof barrels and we loaded into a bus to be taken to where we would join the river.
    An hour an a half later we were at the start. The Wanganui river goes all the way to the coast but we opted for the 3 day 2 night version. We were first ready and after a brief check that we knew what we were doing we were off.
    Glorious sunshine, some fun grade 2 rapids and an amazing steep sided tropical valley.
    Did some paddling, a lot of sitting and watching the fern trees and tropical jungle float by.
    Had lunch whilst floating and about 4pm landed at the first Department of Conservation camp site. A charming couple were there to greet us. It is only accessible by jet boat and they are there volunteering for a week, before the next set of people take over.
    Met a few people as they paddled in in drips and drabs. Almost all of them were walking the length of NZ, from the north to the south. One lady was running it! Doing a marathon a day. Mental.
    With Sand Flies eating every bit of exposed skin even with the 95% deet we retired for the night.

    Day 2
    Rain on the tent woke us up. Uggghh. We Waited about 30 mins but it still was not stopping so we got up anyway. Most people had left or were already leaving.
    We packed up the tent in between showers and got on the river. Had breakfast whilst floating. Made it to a stop off where you can do a 40 min walk to a bridge called Bridge to Nowhere. Nice walk with only a few people on it. At the end a concrete bridge built by 4 guys in a couple of years. Now not very well used.
    Back on the river we had a few breaks in the showers so managed to get the drone up. Made you realise how far away from civilisation we were. If you wandered off from the river, you would never be found.
    Got down to our private campsite (cheaper than the DOC one, which was fully booked) Full water proofs on, not from the rain but from the sand flies. Nasty bastards.
    They had a bar, so walked up the hill to find amazing views and a fridge full of cold beers. Lovely.
    Back down to play some cards and chat with some of the others. Having pizza bread dipped in beans. Tssk, ohh sir.

    Day 3
    On the river by about 7.45am as we needed to be at the pick up point by 1.30.
    The guides said that there was some mega rapids on the last day. So was quite looking forward to them. Pretty exciting when we did hit them with the boat 1/4 filling with water. Tempting to run them again, but did a drone whilst others went through to see if there were any capsizers. No luck.
    Made it to the pickup point and was greeted by a chocolate muffin. After an hour and a half drive, with views of mount doom, we were reunited with the van. Good little adventure.
    Next step, onwards towards the Tongariro crossing.
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  • Day69

    Tama lake walk

    December 7, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

    We were due to do the Tongariro crossing. Our bus was meant to leave at 4.50 which meant a very early 4.15am start for breakfast and faffing.
    Got to the bus and the driver gave us the low down for the day. He said that it was 80% likely that we would see nothing due to cloud and that it would be a minus 8 wind chill with 60kph wind gusting 80.
    He asked if anyone wanted to get off the bus and try another day.
    One brave couple put up their hands, which then allowed the rest of us to also do the same. In the end, everyone got off the bus.
    Instead he recommended the Tama lake walk, still 6 hours but not as high up, so better weather. He suggested we go straight away, as we were already up.
    So we fought off the urge to go back to bed and drove to the start of the walk. We were on the trail by 5.30am. It was a lot like Dartmoor, cold, windy and only about 40m visibility from mist and cloud.
    We only saw another 2 couples all the way to the top.
    As we got to the top, the clouds started to part and we got some sunshine. Still very windy on the high ridge with great views over the upper and lower lakes.
    Very slippery underfoot from the small volcanic round stones.
    The weather got better and better as we walked back to the town where the camper was parked. Once back we made a plan to head to lake Taupo about an hour north. As the weather was still not looking good enough to do the crossing for the next few days. 15 mins in and it was bed time! Couldn't stay awake so we both had a nap in the back for an hour.
    Cruised up to the main town to find a non existent camera shop and then found a campervan site on the edge of the lake for wine, noodles and an early night.
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  • Day41

    Day 41/72: sledging and Tongariro

    December 7, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 11 °C

    We woke up, as promised by Peter (who ran the campsite) with a loaf of warm bread outside the door. It was wonderful. After the fun of rafting the day before we had signed up to do sledging with the same company. It was just me and Tom and 2 guides in a group, and we hiked to the same stretch of river that we had rafted the day before, only just below the huge waterfall. We watched a few rafts come down the waterfall: one flipped over and no one managed to hold on. Amateurs.

    Then we jumped in the water with our sledges and flippers and kicked our way down the huge rapids. It was so much fun, diving under the rapids and getting pulled around. Our guides pushed us into the insane bits of the waterfalls and cruised ahead to catch us when we eventually got spit out.

    At the end of the stretch of river they announced we were going to do some river surfing. This involves going straight for the rapid from underneath, and balancing on the bit where the water falls down the short waterfall on your sledge. Absolutely great, and we both nailed the flip the first time, something the guides were impressed with.

    One near drowning incident and one swollen and huge nose (Toms- very amusing) later, we got back on the bus and headed back to our van. After buying Tom a bag of peas to put on his face, we started the drive to Tongariro: the mountain area we are walking from tomorrow to do the Alpine Crossing. The drive was beautiful; going past Lake Taupo and the mountains in the background.

    When we got to the campsite we both decided to go for a shorter walk to warm up for tomorrow, so headed out on the trails to a waterfall about 2 miles away. The trail was beautiful and the sky was blue and cloudless.

    After a huge dinner, we settled in early for the night. Another action packed day ahead of us!
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  • Day9

    1-2 Whanganui

    February 1, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ ☁️ 22 °C

    Ik doe een stukje omrijden, maar voor 81 km terwijl het via de snelweg maar 30 is, ben ik toch te lui. Het landschap is ook niet mega woeha of zo. Goed besluit, want uiteraard weer wind tegen. Als ik de verhalen van Willem lees voel ik me echt een watje, maar ik vind het zalig dat ik na dik 60 km nog even in zee heb kunnen spelen. En ik was het ook wel weer zat, dat gefietst. Ik moest vlak voor de camping opeens nog een boterham eten omdat ik zo raar bibberde. Wisten jullie dat? Dat Mars tegenwoordig diervoeder maakt?😀Read more

  • Day11

    3-2 Koriniti

    February 3, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    Geen telefoon bereik, maar wel Wifi. En nog goed ook! En koud bier!
    De fietsroute blijkt gewoon een wit weggetje langs de rivier te zijn, dus geen fietspad. En de "grade 2, mostly flat", maakt mij redelijk bezorgd voor de Forgotten World Highway. 180 m klimmen om in het volgende dal te komen, o.k. Maar die aldoor op en neer minimaal 6%, daar had ik bij mostly flat langs een rivier niet helemaal op gerekend. En dan voelt het echt anders voor mij dat ik dit puur voor mijn plezier doe en het ook weer terug moet, dus dat ik niet echt op weg ben ergens heen. En het voelt ook wel een beetje warm. Klopt: 40 graden in de zon.
    En dan zie ik een camping op de app waar je met een kabelbaantje voor over de rivier moet én met douchen tussen de bomen en nog maar 10 km ipv 45. Midden in het National Park Whanganui. Ha!
    En ik heb in Pipiriki niet iets anders te zoeken dan hier, dus daar ga ik al niet eens meer heen. Ga ik op de terugweg lekker lunchen in dat hartstikke leuke café van vanochtend, met tuin en mooie muziek. Morgenochtend ff voelen of ik hier nog een dag blijf of niet.
    Heel fijn dat ik door de wifi wel enigszins in contact kan blijven.
    Foto 2 zal Shellrock Bluff wel zijn vermoed ik.
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  • Day10

    3-2 Gisteravond Castle Cliff

    February 2, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Leuk hoor, westkust!
    Naast mij stonden Kiwi's uit Masterton, die hadden nog nooit de zon in zee zien zakken. Ze waren niet eens veel jonger dan ik! Tsjonge, wat waren ze blij met deze zonsondergang. Gaaf was dat.Read more

  • Day8


    November 11, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌧 12 °C

    Encore une belle nuit dans notre superbe voiture !

    Pour démarrer notre journée nous avons décidé de louer une trottinette électrique pour 2. C'était trop bien, nous avons fait une petite balade dans la ville et nous avons fini par une petite course avec un autre couple 😂

    Ensuite, direction le parc de "Tongariro". La nature nous a, tout le long du trajet, offert des paysages à couper le souffle 😍 verdure, montagne, hauteur, tout y était et c'était un véritable spectacle pour les yeux ! Arrivés à destination, nous avons tout d'abord été surpris par le froid ❄️. Nous étions près d'une montagne enneigé donc par étonnant mais nos petits cerveaux ont oublié de réfléchir à ce petit détail.... mais bref, comment est-il possible de se plaindre face au décors sous nos yeux. 🗻 Nous y avons fait une courte balade à pied, on se promenait en faite dans une station de ski, mais il y avait seulement de la neige aux sommets. Après quelques clichés capturés dans nos portables, nous avons repris la route. 🚗

    Nous avons continué vers le sud de l'île du nord, destination "Palmerston North". Une fois dans cette ville, nous avons pour objectif de trouver un endroit sauvage pour planter notre tente, mais impossible. Nous avons donc décidé qu'on dormirait encore dans la voiture. On avait faim, on a choisi de nous faire plaisir ce soir en mangeant à "Pita Pit". Repas dans l'estomac, on voulait de la Wi-Fi pour télécharger des films sur Netflix 🎥. Nous nous sommes alors posés dans un McDonald's où nous avons pu boire un chocolat chaud (pas trop chaud) à 1 DOLLAR 💵😍. Je l'ai savouré comme jamais, d'autant plus qu'il y avait des petits chammalow à la surface 🤤.

    Ensuite : mission trouvé un endroit sombre où garer notre voiture pour la nuit. C'était difficile !! Mais nous sommes finalement garer dans un endroit assez propice au sommeil, on verra bien ce que ça va donner 😴


    Je voulais publier ceci hier soir (heure NZ) mais manque de réseau donc impossible.

    Nous avons bien dormi !
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  • Day43


    December 12, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    Wundert Euch nicht, wenn Ihr ein paar Tage nichts vion mir hört. Ich verlasse jetzt die Zone mit Handyempfang. Am 16. geht es auf den Whanganui River für 3 Tage und dann noch 1 Tag mit dem Fahrrad und dann melde ich mich wieder 😃
    Liebe Grüße
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  • Day9

    Tongariro National Park

    December 29, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 13 °C

    We arrived at the National Park quite late and we are too tired to go out and explore! It’s really pretty here but we’ve decided to go to Wellington early tomorrow morning, so we’ll enjoy the views on the drive through!Read more

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