A Travellerspoint blog

Nelson and Abel Tasman


overcast 15 °C
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After everyone telling me how much I would like 'sunny' Nelson, I of course, had to go there. And of course, it pretty much rained the whole time. If it wasn't raining, it was overcast. So I didn't actually see the sunny part of sunny Nelson. Not a bad small city. But also not as cool as I had expected either. I stayed there for a couple of rainy days and nights until I felt a little better, and then I headed north to Abel Tasman National Park. I didn't have the time or the desire to do the whole Abel Tasman track - but I wanted to do some of it. After a visit to the isite, I decided on doing a boat trip up the entire length of the park, with a drop off further down the coast where I would walk part of the track going south and get picked up by the boat again for the return trip to Kaiteriteri. I lucked into getting the only somewhat sunny day and the boat trip was quite nice. The captain was informative when we could actually hear what he was saying. And we saw adorable baby seals. Turns out they actually look pretty creepy up really close. I got dropped off at Medlands Bay and walked back to Anchorage Bay in record time so I had about an hour and a half to just chill out on the beach until the boat came back. The sun had actually appeared so it was quite nice. The only downside was the sand flies. Not so good.
I returned to Nelson that day and spent the next day - my birthday - with another girl I had met from Canada whose birthday it was also. A bunch of us from the hostel went out for some day drinks. to celebrate.

Posted by karencook 21:09 Archived in New Zealand Tagged boats abel_tasman national_park seals Comments (0)

The Queen Charlotte Sound


sunny 22 °C
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Walked part of the Queen Charlotte Track. I only went about 6-7 kms in and back. Nice view and a very nice walk. Stayed at a DOC campgroud right along the water. Attempted a scenic drive up to Portage the next day but the road was so twisty it made me sick and just wasn't worth it. I actually ended up pulling over and laying in the back of my car reading for a couple of hours because I just couldn't stand driving anymore. It was really nice though and it was a really hot day - which I liked.


Saw some glow works too!

Posted by karencook 00:46 Archived in New Zealand Tagged sound glow_worms Comments (0)



sunny 23 °C
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Spent one night in Picton. Really liked it there. Small but neat little town. Quite beautiful and situated right on the coast. Is the arrival point of the ferries to the South Island from Wellington. Definitely not a bad first taste of the South. I was very surprised with the weather. Pleasantly, that is. It was a lot warmer than it had been in most places I had been on the North Island.


Posted by karencook 00:56 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)



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FINALLY! 16 months to the day after first arriving in New Zealand I have finally crossed over to the dark side. Uh, I mean the South Island.


Posted by karencook 23:39 Archived in New Zealand Tagged hot ferry south_island Comments (0)

Wonderful Windy Welly


sunny 17 °C
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Made it to Wellington. It was kind of an overcast rainy day when we arrived but the rest of the days I spent there ended up being sunny. Fortunately. I stayed at a gross hostel right in the city. My friend Ronnie is living there - that's why I stayed there.
Spent most of my days just wandering around the city. Actually really enjoyed it. The weather was nice and it was good to have some alone time. I ended up spending 8 days here. I visited the Te Papa Museum a couple of times, rode the cable car up the the botanical gardens, drove around the coast a bit, checked out Parliament, and went up Mt. Victoria a couple of times.


Posted by karencook 23:16 Archived in New Zealand Tagged city capital cable_car windy Comments (0)

Tongarirro National Park


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After leaving the rain behind in Taupo we arrived in Tongarirro National Park. Only to promptly turn around and drive back to Taupo to get my much needed camera battery and charger, and then some bear - just for fun, then return immediately to the National Park again. That pretty much killed the day.
Woke up at 6am the next morning hoping to do the Tongarirro Crossing but just as predicted the weather was foggy, overcast and raining. So we didn't go. It turned out to be a BEAUTIFUL day. So instead we just did a little hike to a waterfall. And I hurt my leg. Twice. In the EXACT same spot. Not fun at all.5728DB8E2219AC6817E5DEE2048C6DCA.jpg572C0DE02219AC681781AF1BBE1FD3F3.jpg572EC5322219AC6817C6A1C57E71FD14.jpg

Posted by karencook 03:49 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)



rain 14 °C
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I left rainy Rotorua and arrived in very rainy Taupo. The place wasn't quite what I had expected. Just a generic town bordered on a lake (Lake Taupo). I had expected much more and it was one of the places I was most looking forward to going to on the North Island. Anyway, it rained the whole time I was there and was basically a disappointment. I just mainly hung around the hostel or walked around the town and it was pretty boring. So I moved on.

Posted by karencook 03:07 Archived in New Zealand Tagged rain lake Comments (0)



sunny 18 °C
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Next we were onto Rotorua. I had been warned of how badly the town smells, but you really can't be prepared for it. It was pretty nasty and kind of makes you feel nauseous. The good thing (I think) is after about a day or so you really can't smell it anymore and really only get whiffs of it at random times in REALLY stinky areas. James and I had pretty different plans for Rotorua, so we kind of just divided and conquered.
My first day there I went to the Blue and Green Lakes, and the Whakarewarewa Forest.



I also took an afternoon to introduce myself to the geothermal world by visiting Kuirau Park right in the centre of Rotorua.

Next day James and I headed to Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland and then onto Waimangu Volcanic Valley. It was a lot of walking in one day. Both of these places turned out to be quite similar attractions and I would have to say that Wai-O-Tapu was my favorite, although it was quite a bit more touristy and less natural. I really like the Champagne Pools. Probably because orange is my favorite color :)

Here's some of my fave pics:






Posted by karencook 16:06 Archived in New Zealand Tagged lakes forest geothermal Comments (0)

Tauranga & Mt. Maunganui


overcast 19 °C
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Arrived in Tauranga/Mt. Maunganui. Tauranga proved to be just another city and so really wasn't my thing. We basically drove right through to get to The Mount. Which turned out to be pretty much exactly my thing. We checked into a 16 bed dorm at Mount Backpackers and headed to the isite just in time to have the doors closed and locked in our faces. Awesome start. All I really wanted to do here was hang out at the beach – which I did, and climb up Mount Maunganui – which I did. At sunset. So Mt. Maunganui was a success for me. It was a little chilly to be laying out at the beach, but that didn't stop me as it was my last chance to catch some rays in NZ.
While I was chilling on the beach Mr. James – Cantsitstill gathered up a huge box of shells and shipped them home. Costing a grand total of $204.00NZD. Hopefully they make it through customs....

Not much else to say - it was a nice and relaxing place to be and it was really good to just chill out.

Posted by karencook 15:12 Archived in New Zealand Tagged sunset mount beach coffee Comments (0)



sunny 16 °C
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This was really just a place to stop for the night. We thought about spending another night in Hahei, but decided that since it was early eve and we didn't have anything left there we wanted to do, we may as well get some miles behind us and shorten the next mornings drive. We stayed at a cabin in a holiday park and actually spent way more time in Waihi that we had planned. We checked out a gold mine, had coffee/breakfast, then went to the library and I called my mom to wish her a Happy Birthday. It was afternoon by the time we finally got on the road.


Posted by karencook 19:50 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)



sunny 18 °C
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Next stop on the tour was Hahei. Home of Hot Water Beach, Cathedral Cove and most importantly - Cooks Beach. Hahei is a ridiculously small town. As in population of a few hundred. MAYBE. We stayed in a cabin at the holiday park. We hit up Hot Water beach in the morning. It was way more crowded that I had anticipated. It it was really hard to get a good spot. The water would either be scalding hot or just cold. Eventually we managed. But the tide came in really quickly it seemed and before we knew it, it was time to go.
Next I did the hike down to Cathedral Cove.


It was nice but I really don't get what the big draw is. Kind of like the Hole in the Rock up in Paihia. It's a hole in a rock. So what?

Last thing on the Hahei to-do list was to find the beach named after me. We did! And it wasn't that nice :(


Posted by karencook 19:37 Archived in New Zealand Tagged hike cathedral_cove hot_water_beach Comments (0)

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