Saturday, April 2, 2016

New Zealand - Part 1, the North Island

New Zealand has long been on my list of places I want to travel to and when I found out I'd be getting off Sørlandet so "close" (a 5 hr plane ride away) to NZ I thought it would be a good opportunity to come. 

So far it has been amazing! I started by visiting a former crewmate and her hospitality has been outstanding! She has gone out of her way to show me her area of the country as well as giving me advice and ideas for my travels further afield. 

It's a very outdoors oriented place and I've been enjoying tramping (hiking), beach walking, swimming and paddling as well as more urban activities like museums and galleries. I had my first go at scuba diving here as well! 

And that is the very short version of what I've been up to. But I'll leave you with some pictures which make up for thousands and thousands of words ;-) 

Went paddling (sit-on-top kayak) here. Crazy amounts of current. 

Also went paddling here (Goat Island) and had some friendly fish follow us. 

Beautiful beach walk at Mangawhai Heads. 

In Taupo I hiked along this trail (note steam on right - from a thermal creek which I soaked in on the way back)…

…and saw the water of the Waikato River most of the way…

… to Huka Falls. 

The start of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. 

The Red Crater a bit later on the hike. 

And one of the Emerald Lakes. Not the best visibility but at least we could see them!

Yep, there's a few sheep here. 

More paddling, this time a 2 day trip on the Whanganui River. 

The view from "Romantic Russell" (once the hell hole of the Pacific). Not the best weather, in the brochures this bay is blue and sparkling! 

A waka (Maori war canoe) on the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. 

Bayly's Beach. It was low tide and many people drove their cars on the beach!

Tane Mahuta, an estimated 2500 year old kauri tree. You can't really tell from the picture but he's 51 m high with a trunk girth of 13.8 m. 

A view from the tramp we did on Whangarei Heads. 

And now I'm on the South Island for a few weeks before returning north and then home. 

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