A Travellerspoint blog

Super South Island

  It really is true what they say. The South Island is more beautiful than the North. We arrived in Picton after a stunning 3 hour ferry crossing and stayed there for one night in a really cool hostel. We watched Lord of the Rings and went out for a look around and had some fresh fish and chips! That's really all we needed as its a tiny town with not a lot to do, people say it only survives because of the ferry so off to Nelson we went!
ferry ride

ferry ride

skimming pebbeles in Picton

skimming pebbeles in Picton


   Nelson is a bit bigger than Picton and is really close to the Abel Tasman National Park so after a night we got a bus to there. It was crazy beautiful. We got a water taxi from Marahau to Anchorage and then walked back from there. It was a 4 hour trek with amazing scenery and deserted beaches which I imagine are packed when it's summer. We were lucky with the weather as well. Clear blue skies but still pretty cold.  
beautiful deserted beach

beautiful deserted beach

stopped off here for vegemite sandwiches!

stopped off here for vegemite sandwiches!


We're spending our last night in Nelson tonight and heading to Franz Joseph in the morning where there are glaciers which we're hoping to get a tour on if they aren't too expensive.

Posted by amcara91 03:47 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

All Blacks vs France

  We spent last Saturday evening at Eden Park in Auckland watching the All Blacks vs France. Before the game our hostel had a big BBQ and we were all getting warrior painted up with a couple of beverages raring to go! It was so much fun. Half the hostel staff are French so there was a good mix of people.
barbeque fun

barbeque fun


I'd bought an All Blacks shirt especially for this occasion! We all headed to the stadium and the streets were lined with fans it was an incrdible atmosphere. Considering we'd bought our tickets a couple weeks ago and paid the cheapest price our seats weren't that bad at all! Both teams sang their national anthem amd then we got to see the Haka which I think is the main reason why people go to the games. That was awesome but you don't get nearly as good a view as you would from the tv.
anthems

anthems


Mexican waves were flying around the stadium and chants were being sung. France got an early try but NZ came back to win the game 23 - 13 It was pretty scrappy and France had a huge opportunity in the second half to score another but made a couple of mistakes so lost it. Brilliant experience! We all headed back to our hostel and finished off the left over food from the BBQ. It's safe to say there were a fair few people with sore heads on Sunday!  

We are now in Wellington and are going to stayhere for maybe one or two nights before we head over to the South Island. It took a long 11 hour bus journey to get down here where we went through quite a few of the towns that we visited on our road trip and to Wills excitement we went through Cambridge!

rugby fun!

rugby fun!

Posted by amcara91 01:41 Archived in New Zealand Tagged rugby allblacks Comments (0)

North Island Road Trip

Last Saturday we set off on our road trip of the north island. We picked up our car from the airport and headed off to the Waitomo Caves. The car was an automatic which I wasn't a big fan of but it was alright! We got lost within the first 10 minutes but finally found our way out of the airport and were on our way! The caves were so cool and looked so beautiful on the inside where the rock had sort of dripped into place over time. Its crazy! When it was really dark we could see glow worms all around the cave. They looked so pretty but when we realised they were just maggots that turned into flies it put me off them a bit!
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After our tour we moved on to New Plymouth and spent the night in the car with our sleeping bags. It was a little spooky and got very cold but saved the cost of a hostel! We woke up very early and decided to head into Egmont National Park to see Mount Taranaki. Unfortunetly we were off to a bad start when Will had been driving for 5 mins and then got pulled over by the police and got a cracking $120 fine for speeding. The annoying thing was neither of us had even realised we were going too fast as we were only going 70kph but the speed limit was 50kph we just hadn't seen a sign for it. Such a nightmare! We tried to forget about it and enjoy our day so we went for a walk through some Goblin Forests and over a river and did a small bit of rock climbing! Haha it was ace fun. There was snow on the ground and we were just behind a group of boy scouts so very nearly got hit by a couple of snowballs. There was also a group of young guys who looked like Maoris running up the path barefooted and with no tshirts. Nutters! The view of Taranaki was amazing!
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mt taranaki

mt taranaki


We then went on our way to Tongariro National Park. The cool thing about this was we got to drive along the Worlds Forgotten Highway to get there. It was a really windy road about 190km long. We drove through beautiful valleys, passing lots of sheep and stopping off at some beautiful look outs.The scenery is amazing here you can really see why they picked New Zealand to film Lord of the Rings and apparently this is nothing compared to the South Island!
worlds forgotten highway

worlds forgotten highway


We arrived in Tongariro just as the rain was starting but decided to go for a quick walk anyway. Tongariro is where they filmed Mordor and Mount Doom from LOTR so we had to catch a glimpse of them! We spent another night in the car and had another early morning to give the Tongariro Alpine Crossing ago. It's meant to be New Zealands best one day trek that's 19.4km long. We hadn't realised that we had to book a shuttle from one end to get back to our car amd didn't fancy getting to the otherside and have to walk all the way back so we walked half way and then turned back. Mt Ngauruhoe is what was used as Mount Doom and the crossing goes right by there. It's an active volcano and a couple of times we saw some flying rocks so we thought it might be about to arupt and got a bit scared! Haha! We nearly got to the highest peak of the walk but the clouds started rolling in and it was soo windy and cold that we thought it would be best if we turned around. Such a lovely walk though. Definitley seemed like the sort of place Gollum would hang about at!
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nearly at the top!

nearly at the top!


With aching legs we got back in our car and drove on to Taupo. The first site we got was of the beautiful Lake Taupo with the stunning Tongariro mountains in the distance. We walked around the small town and watched a couple of people go bungy jumping. Still haven't plucked up the courage to do it ourselves.. yet. It was yet another night in the car in a campervan park right next to a river. Day 4 we were off to another bad start as I realised I'd misplaced my brand new $190 Oakley sunglasses that I bought last week. We retraced all our steps from the day before but no luck. Devastated! I've moved on now though and am trying to forget about it. Basically eveyone in Taupo now has my email address though and said they will email me if they turn up.

So after having not a great day we decided to move on to Rotorua and treat ourselves to a hostel. It was the best decision we ever made! The owners were amazing and made everyone homemade bread and soup for dinner for free. What a treat! I can tell you that never ever happens! As it was such a noce place we decided to have another night in that hostel and just chill out for a bit watching the hobbit as it was raining all day. It was nice not being in the car and we ended up going white water rafting! So much fun but pretty scary! We went down a 7m waterfall and managed not to capsize somehow but we got soaking anyway. Brilliant fun though and it took our minds off the lost Oakleys and speeding ticket!

We decided to visit Matamata as it is pretty close to Rotorua and where they filmed Hobbiton and The Shire. It was bloody expensive to get in but soo cool! All the hobbit holes are still in place and they have The Green Dragon pub where we got an ale or cider that's straight from the movie and sold nowhereelse! Pretty cool. Once again the scenery was stunning and we found out a couple tricks that they use in the LOTR films. Will and i are going to have to watch them again!
hobbit hole

hobbit hole

loving the shire

loving the shire

90_20130606_043306.jpgthe shire

the shire


We weren't sure where we were going to head after Matamata but in the end decided to go to Tauranga. We got very lost and were both in very foul moods. Finally though we arrived and couldn't face sleeping in the car so booked another hostel and went straight to bed! We woke up in better moods and found out the hostel had a table tennis table! The first we have come across since South America. Brilliant! We played a couple of games and then realised it was time to head back to Auckland only to find a nice big parking ticket on our windscreen for parking facing the wrong direction. The most ridiculous thing we've ever heard of but apparently you can get tickets for that here. So it really is true bad things happen in threes. We had a cracking week though and couldn't let any of that ruin it. It just turned out to be quite expensive...

Posted by amcara91 22:35 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

New Zealand Bound

rain 14 °C

We arrived in New Zealand on Monday morning after a 13 hour flight and a +16 hour time difference which I still find I'm getting used to. Normally starting to fall asleep at 9pm and being wide awake at 6am which is a bit of a pain but it could be a lot worse! When we stepped out of the airport the weather was very drizzly rain and it was pretty cold which made me wonder if we had flown into Aberdeen Airport by mistake. Its pretty much been raining ever since with a couple of dry spells, it's a nice change though and does remind us both of home. The only difference is we're going into winter now and have been told it's going to get colder and possibly snow!

We're staying in quite a big hostel that's right next to Mt Eden which is a small extinct volcano that we've walked up. You get a cracking view of Auckland it's beautiful! We are currently planning a road trip which I'm very excited about! I've never been on a road trip before! We're picking up a hire car tomorrow morning and have it for a week. We've planned lots like going to the Waitomo Caves, a couple of national parks, Bay of Plenty and hopefully seeing where they filmed 'The Shire' in Lord of the Rings. That's just a couple of the things we want to do so I hope we fit it all in! Then we come back to Auckland in time for the rugby game. Exciting stuff! I've bought an All Blacks rugby top because lets be honest they are pretty cool! Oh and the best news ever is Taca have finally paid my refund into my account! So happy! So today we're going to be making sandwiches and packing our bags ready for tomorrow. Can't wait! I hope we don't get lost though!

view of Auckland from Mt Eden

view of Auckland from Mt Eden

Posted by amcara91 11:02 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Last Stop in South America

We've spent the last week in Santiago not doing an awful lot to be honest. Its an ace city that reminds us both of London. Really busy streets and lots going on. We've been on a couple of walks and done some shopping but mainly just getting ready for New Zealand. I had my final visit to a Taca office asking about the refund they owe me only to be told that my cheque is waiting for me in london so I call london and of course it's not there. The company is really turning into a bit of a joke for me but oh well new continent as of tonight so time to move on!

South America haa been so incredible and such an eye opener! So many amazing experiences like Machu Pichu and the Iguazzu Falls too beautiful for words! Paragliding, cycling death road, body boarding in Chile, the salt flats, spending a week with my family in Rio were all highlights and all in all we've just had an amazing three months! Really excited for New Zealand and we've got rugby tickets to see the All Blacks vs France at the beginning of June so that'll be a great start to our trip!

Posted by amcara91 13:23 Archived in Chile Comments (0)

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