New Zealand

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    • Day82

      Takaka, Springs, Golden Bay & Salmon

      March 1, 2020 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

      Today is the first day of Autumn in New Zealand - time for a drive up to Collingwood on Golden Bay and then do a little chinook salmon fishing! But first we had to gear ourselves up for the infamous Takaka Hill drive.

      Driving through the rolling hills of Mapua, we passed apple orchards, hop farms and grazing animals. A little further, we drove through the Abel Tasman park area and a little further we started the steep and winding drive up the Takaka Hill.

      It looks pretty bushy but looking at it closely, you notice that the rocks are marble and had been smoothed out over years by erosion. Chris has his NZ driving down pat so the trip over the hills was as bad as we thought it would be. It was still steep and winding, but okay. We enjoyed stopping at some of the lookouts. This area was filmed in both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings movies. We didn’t feel that we had time to hike out to the Ngarua caves or see the deep Harwoods Hole. You can only do what you can do in the time you have.

      We did stop ad walk out to the Hawks Lookout. It was very easy and only took 15 minutes. The rock formation along the side of the trail looked like small scaled models of mountain ranges. From the lookout you look down the Riwaka Valley and out to Motueka and the coast. Lovely. It was a nice break from going up the steep and winding road. Going down was fine.

      On we went to Collingwood, the town where our Elora friend, Doog, grew up. It is the last town on Golden Bay ad it feels like the end of the road. Most people who come here continue on to see the Farewell Spit. We didn’t. We had a fancy coffee in the interesting old Courthouse Cafe, visited the museum, saw the cemetery and read about the history of the school in the upper part of the village.

      Then we turned around and started back to Mapua. But, we still had a few side trips on the way.

      Just a short distance from the town of Takaka, we came to an extraordinary spot - Te Waikoropupū Springs. They are the largest freshwater springs in New Zealand, and the largest coldwater springs in the Southern Hemisphere. This sacred Maori place is considered a treasure, and is held in high cultural and spiritual regard. Although people cannot swim in the springs, or even so much as put your finger in the water, it is easy to follow this rule as it contains some of the clearest water ever measured. A community of eels and native fish can be seen darting around underneath the bubbling surface, and we heard more birdsong here than any other walk we have taken. A wonderful stop.

      But we haven’t gone fishing yet... Next stop - the Anatoki Salmon Hatchery - a fresh water Chinook salmon farm located in a sheltered valley beside the Anatoki River. We could can buy direct from the farm, or fish to our hearts’ content, paying only for what we catch. As we only needed one fish we figured that we would stop fishing when one of us caught a fish.

      Rods, nets, bait and instructions are provided for free. Chris won. His fish wasn’t very big but it was fine for the two of us. The staff weighed, gutted and gilled the fish, and then smoked it for us to take home for dinner. We had a smoked salmon on a bagel and fries for lunch while we waited. We watched as friendly pigs wandered around eating scraps and saying hi to the kids who were there.

      Heading home, we went over and down the ‘hill’ and took a detour home by pretty Ruby Bay.

      We were happy to see Dawn and Michelle again and get caught up in everyone’s daytime adventures.
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    • Day11

      Collingwood, Golden Bay

      February 17, 2017 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌧 17 °C

      Up early to get the tent down so we could beat the rain. A very cloudy but dry morning at least for a spectacular drive up and over Makaka Hill into the area called Golden Bay on the very North of the South Island. Suddenly realised we had been through here on our previous travels but only fleetingly. Small towns are very unique and quirky with an artistic feel. The afternoon turned into a very wet one which made for a quick pitching of our tent. Thankfully the campsites that we are currently using (although more expensive) not only have hot showers but kitchens and a small lounge that you can use too! This one is situated on a peninsula with a river on one side and the coast on the other.Read more

      Stunning scenery - and you both look so happy! Great to see. Xx Rundles. Xx


      James - you look like you're rising to the surface. Showing my age, was thinking of Grey Skull - do you remember the He -man cartoon? Xx


      You look totally at home Lou! Xx Great to see. Rundles. Xx

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    • Day10

      Irgendwo im Nirgendwo ...

      January 3, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

      Collingwood, das größte Dorf, wirkt zwar manchmal verschlafen, sollte nach dem Willen einiger Lokalgrößen Mitte des 19. Jh. aber sogar Hauptstadt der jungen Kolonie werden, als hier für kurze Zeit ein Zentrum des brodelnden Goldrausches im Te Aorere Valley war. Aber das Gold ging schnell zur Neige, die Karawane der Glückssucher zog weiter und es kehrte wieder Ruhe ein.
      Unser Hostel ist in dem verträumten Ort Collingwood sehr schön gelegen.... abgeschieden und sehr ruhig mit einer toll ausgestatteten Küche und freundlichen Mitbewohnern. Die Fahrt über die Berge und der anstrengenden Serpentinen hat sich mehr als gelohnt.
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    • Day140

      South Island at last!

      February 2, 2017 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌧 13 °C

      Finally the day has come to leave the lovely, cosy home of Rachel and Dave and set off for the next adventure.
      Yesterday was a bit of a crazy day of sorting, packing, tidying and cooking...for nine people! For some reason we thought the best day to invite James and Justice and their kids over for dinner was the day before we were due to leave. This was made even more disconcerting when we remembered that we had been due to leave the following day when they last had us for dinner, but of course an earthquake struck. As it happens this time the night went smoothly, dinner was great and we had a nice evening saying bye to new friends.

      The morning was calm and the sky was a lovely pale purple, it looked promising for a good crossing over the Cook Straight and then through Marlborough Sounds. It started so well, we stood outside and then headed to the observation deck to take in the scenery and wave goodbye. We were only about half an hour in at most and Rob pointed out dolphins!!!!! There were about three or four small dolphins a few metres from the side of the boat, bobbing in and out of the water. Considering we avoided the dolphin tours as they seem to chase them down, this made my day as I have been waiting to see them in the wild for ages since been here. We soon out ran them though, Rob didn't even get a picture.

      After spending a but of time back inside the boat we noticed the sounds ahead of us and so went back outside to enjoy the view that everyone says is so beautiful. It really was, lovely still water, forested cliffs that reached the shores, it was very mesmerising. Then the rain came, and never stopped. We headed back inside and didn't make it back out again before docking.

      Once off the ferry and in Picton the rain seemed to get even heavier. Fortunately the old ship we had planned to see was undercover in a dry dock. The ship is...
      It was pretty awesome to walk around, especially as it is just been preserved rather than restored, it just had a bit more of a history to it I think. The textures and colours of the wood and copper was really interesting and the back story of the ship was told really well in the video they had.

      The rain still hadnt let up when we left and so we stopped for lunch at Subway and then headed north to Collingwood and Cape Farewell.

      The drive took us through the wine region first, so many vines, and then we were up in the mountains, with pouring rain and cloud everywhere. We past many lookout points so we knew the view must be good, we just couldn't see it. We could barely see a few metres ahead at times and the road was so winding (with sheer drops at times) that it was pretty unpleasant. We managed one photo op when the moody skies lifted ever so slightly. But apart from that....nothing.

      We arrived late at Collingwood, a tiny little place (practically a street) whuch sat by wetlands. Fortunately the rain was easing and we managed to cook some dinner before bed.
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    • Day109


      November 26, 2016 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

      Ich bin am Samstag noch nach Collingwood gefahren. Auf einen unglaublich tollen Campingplatz, einer der besten, die ich hier je hatte! 😀 Sonntag gab es ein starkes Unwetter, das den ganzen Tag angehalten hat. Also hatte ich mich entschlossen noch eine Nacht dort auf dem Platz zu bleiben. Die unglaublich nette Besitzerin gab mir wegen des Wetters eine kleine Kabine, so dass ich im Warmen, Trockenen und in einem Bett schlafen konnte. Somit habe ich am Sonntag wirklich nur gefaulenzt. Muss auch mal sein 😜Read more

    • Day15


      December 29, 2017 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌙 16 °C

      Rientriamo a Collingwood dalla nostra bellissima gita passando per una curiosa formazione rocciosa: l'Old Man Rock. Dopo una breve sosta all'immancabile mega supermercato locale per pomodori, cartoline e cappello, torniamo in ostello per il momento più temuto della settimana: la pesatura delle valigie!
      Dopo l'esperienza di Kerikeri non vogliamo ritrovarci nella stessa situazione e giochiamo dunque di incastri per riuscire a far rientrare nei parametri di pesi almeno tre delle quattro valigie (se poi ci pesano gli zaini ovviamente siamo fregati...).
      Dopo un'ora estenuante a fare-disfare-pesare-rifare tutti i bagagli, andiamo in paese per la cena. Scegliamo un café molto alternativo con dei piatti apparentemente allettanti... ed effettivamente tali si rivelano! Peccato che papà riesca come sempre a ordinare la cosa peggiore e - invece dell'atteso spezzatino di cinghiale - si ritrovi una zuppa coreana piccantissima con un contorno di verdure fucsia imbevute di zenzero e peperoncino. Come consolazione gli ho dato dei dolcetti di Shiho...
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    • Day15


      December 29, 2017 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

      La sveglia suona presto stamattina: è la giornata del tour a Farewell Spit!
      Prima di partire per questa nuova avventura, ce n'è un'altra da affrontare: la prima colazione condivisa in un ostello per i miei genitori. Papà sembra lievemente impacciato e non si toglie mai lo zaino di spalla, ma il profumo del pane tostato sembra rilassarlo e presto si siede al tavolone con tutti per godersi la sua prima colazione da backpacker! Ok, la conversazione con la nostra Host non è delle migliori, ma direi che come primo approccio non è male. Il vero problema è il post colazione... ovvero il lavaggio piatti! Per quanto provi a convincerci a occuparcerne io o la mamma, non transigo: deve lavarsi e asciugarsi i piatti da solo. E dopo il primo tentativo glieli rimando indietro: erano ancora pieni di briciole!
      Superato lo scoglio della colazione, si può finalmente andare in paese, dove ci presentiamo all'ufficio del tour operator per il check in. Tre pullmini rossi sono già fuori ad aspettarci e saliamo subito sul nostro: Dart.
      La nostra autista-guida è un donnone tipico neozelandese. Ci sarà da divertirsi...
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    • Day14


      December 28, 2017 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌙 15 °C

      Prima di rimetterci in viaggio, contatto il tour di domani per confermare la nostra presenza e mi accorgo che mi avevano già scritto loro. Possiamo dunque ripartire e, dopo meno di un'ora, arriviamo finalmente a Collingwood, ridente paesino di 200 anime che... rischiò di essere capitale della Nuova Zelanda! A vederlo adesso pare quantomeno improbabile scorgere in questa manciata di casette la nuova Wellington...
      Dopo aver identificato il punto di partenza del nostro tour (non è stato molto complicato visto che ci sono due strade in tutto il paese), troviamo altrettanto facilmente il nostro ostello: una casetta in cima alla collina che guarda sull'estuario di un fiume.
      I nostri padroni di casa - Chris e Hiromi - ci spiegano le regole della casa: non esistono chiavi, si lasciano sempre fuori le scarpe e i bagni sono solo in comune. Il nostro alloggio è una specie di capanno in mezzo al giardino con porta a vetri non chiudibile. Sarà un'esperienza...
      Ah... in compenso domattina avremo la colazione gratis (ma solo se contribuiremo alla conversazione del gruppo)!
      Dopo aver lasciato i nostri bagagli in camera, ci avviamo verso il paese, che - a sorpresa - conta ben due trattorie e un café (oltre a due supermercati, un parrucchiere e i vigili del fuoco).
      Decidiamo di sperimentare la "tavern", che si rivela essere molto spartana (ma non nei prezzi). Dopo aver usufruito delle toilet facilities (per non dover poi attraversare di notte il giardino) torniamo in ostello. Io decido di andare a farmi un tè e scaricare le fotografie sul PC, ma in cucina becco un tizio di Auckland che mi attacca un bottone allucinante e non mi molla per tutta la sera. Ergo, le foto slitteranno a domani...
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    • Day333

      New Zealand, Tasman

      February 16, 2015 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

      Sukhita Langford
      I hope that I can shpwer my children wirh the depths of beauty that this painting depicts, the deep blue sea, the endless sky, the spectacular world of possibilities. The children are our future. xoxo SukhitaRead more

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