A spectacular day at Arthur’s Pass and an interesting night in a nursing home – Greymouth,Moana, Arthur’s Pass & Hokitika

On first appearance, Greymouth isn’t anything particularly special and was simply going to serve as a place to buy some new flip flops; James’s 2 dollar ones were giving up the ghost. However, we soon found that it was a lovely town for a leg stretch with some quirky shops and cafes and a dose … Continue reading A spectacular day at Arthur’s Pass and an interesting night in a nursing home – Greymouth,Moana, Arthur’s Pass & Hokitika

A whole array of wildlife from Reefton to the Pancake Rocks; birds, seals and the dreaded sandfly

After a wonderfully relaxing evening in the dry, we woke up to beautiful sunshine and were definitely in need of a walk to stretch our legs. We headed out to Victoria Forest Park to tackle the Murray Creek Track, a 10.7km loop through forest dotted with redundant mines. The area had been heavily mined for … Continue reading A whole array of wildlife from Reefton to the Pancake Rocks; birds, seals and the dreaded sandfly

Henna and dreadlocks, from camping to damping and some necessary home comforts

After packing up our site at the River Inn we made our way to the northernmost point of the South Island, Farewell Spit. The spit is 27km sandbank that is constantly extended and reshaped by the sea. You can’t actually access the far end without some sort of special permission so we just went for … Continue reading Henna and dreadlocks, from camping to damping and some necessary home comforts

Our first days on the South Island, a minor hissy fit and beautiful Abel Tasman National Park

A quick preface to our South Island adventure; we had 4 weeks available to us and below is a picture of the map that we had annotated with what we wanted to see. Yes, Caro was in charge of the map and no, James was not allowed to touch it.The point is that, despite being … Continue reading Our first days on the South Island, a minor hissy fit and beautiful Abel Tasman National Park

James the passion killer and a very Welly New Year

We have not really experienced the downsides of sharing accommodation with lots of other travellers, but James had the misfortune of disturbing a French couple getting frisky in the gent’s showers when we returned to camp after the Tongariro Crossing. He signalled his presence with some awkward coughing and loud gargling whilst cleaning his teeth … Continue reading James the passion killer and a very Welly New Year

Taranaki, the Forgotten World Highway, Tongariro and the relative merits of long drop toilets

We had come to Turangi with the sole purpose of undertaking the Tongariro Crossing and so, when our crossing was cancelled the night before due to gale force winds, we rearranged our schedule to come back in a couple of days when the weather looked more favourable. Instead we headed south the following morning through … Continue reading Taranaki, the Forgotten World Highway, Tongariro and the relative merits of long drop toilets

Soaking up the scenery in Te Urewera and Christmas in Taupo

After leaving Rotorua we had our first, and to this day, only, bad experience whilst camping. We had pitched up at a free campsite at Lake Aniwhenua and, as it was December 23rd, the site was extremely popular with Christmas campers. The spot was beautiful and we had enjoyed a stroll along the lake, and … Continue reading Soaking up the scenery in Te Urewera and Christmas in Taupo

Stunning Karangahake Gorge, a family reunion and some truly ridiculous looking birds – The Coromandel to Rotorua

James’s uncle, aunt and cousin happened to be in New Zealand visiting their daughter/sister and her partner and we had instantly, and gratefully, taken them up on their kind offer of going to stay for a few days to catch up. This meant that for two glorious nights we had a bed to sleep in, … Continue reading Stunning Karangahake Gorge, a family reunion and some truly ridiculous looking birds – The Coromandel to Rotorua

Climbing yet another hill, rocking neoprene with the glowworms and an impromptu swim – Mt Maungatautari to New Chums Beach

Mt Maungatautari is a volcano which has been enclosed by a 47km pest proof fence, creating Maungatautari Ecological Island. The aim is to eradicate invasive predators and promote native species. The tramp to the summit sounded like exactly the type of thing we should do. The peak was covered in cloud as we started our … Continue reading Climbing yet another hill, rocking neoprene with the glowworms and an impromptu swim – Mt Maungatautari to New Chums Beach

Is it still called a domestic if you live in a tent? The Northlands & Bay of Islands

We had two options to continue our journey north, either take a long inland detour or hop on the car ferry. We love an impromptu car ferry so we joined the short queue and watched the world go by in Rawene, a lovely little town with many historic buildings and, as it turned out, very … Continue reading Is it still called a domestic if you live in a tent? The Northlands & Bay of Islands