A Travellerspoint blog

Rotorua

smelly...

We stayed 2 nights at Crank Backpackers, it seemed the building was modeled around a multi-storey car park, but we've already learnt - you get what you pay for!

The whole town smells like egg, thanks to the sulphur that comes from the nearby geysers. But it means the whole town is powered by geothermal energy, so you win some you lose some.

The first night we met some nice people and had a chilled movie night - complete with copious amounts of dominoes pizza and ice cream (as two separate dishes, i'm not weird).

On the second day we wanted to see the geysers, but the woman at the info centre told us it was $46 per person for entry - which is a ripoff considering its a natural attraction. She sympathized with our light wallets and told us we could follow a path to the back of the park and view the geysers from afar (for free).
We went one better however!
We walked to the park looking for this path she'd talked about, but couldn't find it anywhere. By this time, little Charlie's bladder was giving way and a quick visit to the restroom was in order. Charlie suggested going into the parks gift shop (which is by the entrance) to find a toilet, there was no toilet in the gift shop, so headed out through the back of the shop and low and behold - we'd managed to get lost so well, we'd got into the park for free!

Highs:

  • Dominoes pizza
  • Te Puia geyser park (for free)

Lows:

  • Rotorua museum - first time I've ever had to pay for a museum and it wasn't even very good. Most of the 'history' they have there are stories about fairies and giants, maybe someone should let them know that doesn't really consitute as history?? Also, they had an exhibition on Anne Frank - who has absolutely zero relevance to Rotorua whatsoever.

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Posted by lwright11 18:53 Archived in New Zealand Tagged rotorua museum te geysers puia smelly sulphur Comments (0)

Lake Taupo

We stayed 2 nights in Taupo at the Urban Retreat hostel. Lake Taupo is NZ's largest lake, so in our heads we were imagining a giant mountain lake, like the ones we'd visited in the South Island. Sadly, this wasn't the case - the lake was very pretty, but there wasn't any dramatic scenery, it was more grassy hills than striking mountains, I guess we've just been spoilt!

The town itself was very nice, lots of good eating, a good buzz and lots of friendly people.

Highs:

  • Yummy thai restaurant
  • Beer pong
  • Beautiful visit to the Huka falls
  • Once again, great weather
  • Trip to the cinema to see American Pie Reunion

Lows:

  • Had higher expectations
  • Tongariro alpine crossing was cancelled

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Posted by lwright11 18:50 Archived in New Zealand Tagged lake waterfall taupo cinema Comments (0)

Wellington

Mega Macs and Student Night!

Wellington was raining when we arrived, but could tell it was a cool city, lots of characters walking the streets - 2 of them being us lolz.

We stayed 2 nights at the Nomads there and met some really cool people, as well as bumping into some old friends we met in Queenstown.

We went to New Zealands official museum - Te Papa, which was free to get in and really good. I always rate a museum based on how many of the exhibits have buttons/handles/pushy things that you can play with, they had LOTS - it made learning fun!

On our last night in Wellington we had a great night out with the friends we'd made, it was a student night which is always a bonus! Highlight of the evening had to be the 'Mega Mac' (two big macs made into one giant burger) that I had once the night was winding down. What I can't understand is why they don't do it in England?! Epic meat time.

Highs:

  • Mega mac
  • Student night out
  • Cuba street people watching
  • Met some great people

Lows:

  • Poor weather

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Posted by lwright11 05:44 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Abel Tasman National Park

Seals, kayaks, penguins and oh yes.. sandflys

We caught a bus from Nelson and arrived in Marahau at about 12 midday, it's just a tiny village that serves as a launching point for all the kayak trips and walking tours.

People come to Abel Tasman because of the amazing wildlife and gorgeous scenery. You have two options on how you want to view it: walk the trail or kayak along the coast. We did 3 days- 2 kayaking and 1 walking.

Day 1 - Walking
Walked to 'The Fat Tui', had an amazing burger (seems to be standard for NZ) and Charlie had fish n chips (also amazing). With some food inside us, we started our walk along the coastal trail, which takes you past loads of little secluded beaches. We stopped for a while at Coquille Bay before heading back to stay the night in Marahau, ready to begin our kayaking in the morning!

Day 2 - Kayaking from Marahau to Anchorage
We had a 2 seater rudder controlled kayak (made it a lot easier to steer). It took us about 4 hours to get to Anchorage, but we stopped at lots of the beaches and spent a LOT of time at Adele Island. They had a small lagoon you could paddle into, which is where all the seal pups are playing.
We stayed that night in Anchorage on a boat - a permanently moored converted catamaran that sleeps about 30 people, there were only 9 of us that night so there was loads of food to go around!

Day 3 - Kayaking from Anchorage to Onetahuti
Same distance to cover as day 2 so we stopped a while at Mosquito Bay (don't pay attention to the name, it was lush and had zero mosquitoes). We saw some more seals at Tonga Island before we went to Onetahuti where our water taxi picked us up.
On the taxi we saw some little blue penguins - the worlds smallest penguin, so it was a good spot from the driver.
Once back in Marahau, we caught the shuttle to Nelson and stayed 1 night at Tasman Bay Backpackers (taking full advantage of their 'free fudge cake' deal).

Highs:

  • Great weather
  • Gorgeous coastline
  • Seals & penguins
  • Night on the boat
  • Kayak fun

Lows:

  • The Sandflys - they're bastards, 100% deet protection required

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Posted by lwright11 05:22 Archived in New Zealand Tagged coast kayak tasman penguins seals abel sandflys Comments (0)

Franz Josef

Glacier in a rainforest?!


View Louie and Charlie's 4 month travels on lwright11's travel map.

We stayed two nights in Franz Josef in the YHA Hostel.

Franz Josef is a really small town, its only really there to serve people who want to visit the glacier. Whats really weird about the town is that it's situated in a rainforest.
*Cue Science Lesson* All the hot air that blows across from Australia picks up loads of moisture on its way across the sea and when it hits the NZ mountains it shoots up in the air, only to dump all that rain and moisture on the hills surrounding glacier country, making the soil super fertile. *Science Lesson Over*

We were treated to another two days of great weather, which made the glacier hike on the second day a lot more beautiful. The hike lasted about 8 hours and they had us climbing through ice caves and squeezing through crevasses - super tiring but a great experience.

After the hike we grabbed some dinner before enjoying a complimentary trip to the glacier hot pools - just what our aching muscles needed!

Highs:

  • Great weather
  • Tartare Tunnels mine shaft walk
  • Glacier hike
  • Hot pools
  • Superb view of the milky way at night

Lows

  • Super smelly feet after hike

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Posted by lwright11 22:08 Archived in New Zealand Tagged rainforest glacier hike feet hot pools franz josef smelly Comments (0)

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