The two days after the Milford Track and Routeburn Track were a holiday at the other extreme; from tramping to living it up in Queenstown! Having never been to Queenstown I was blown away by the range of activities on offer, all of which are quite expensive. So first up it had to be the Shotover Jet, one of the oldest and most famous attractions in Queenstown.Read More
The final day of the Routeburn Track involves is a short walk of only 9 kilometers all up about 4 hours walking - all up which is either downhill or flat so it was an easy day.Read More
The third day of the Routeburn Track involved going up over the Harris Saddle.
The day started with low cloud cover and off and on rain – so this the one day on the tramps where the weather did not behave, but I can’t complain as the Milford Track was the more important walk.Read More
People normally do the Routeburn Track over a period of three days, but I decided to take my time and do the walk over four days. This gave me plenty of time to enjoy the lovely beech forest of the South Island and to make the most of the expense getting here. As such the previous day had been a short 2 hour walk to Lake Howden.Read More
After walking the Milford Track, and relaxing in the lovely Milford Sound for 3 days it was time to start walking the Routeburn Track, another of New Zealand's Great Walks. The Routeburn Track is normally done over 3 days, but I have arranged to do the walk over 4 days, as I have come all the way down to fiordland national park, I wanted to spend more time here.Read More
Yesterday was a lovely day, with the afternoon and evening spent on the water in Milford Sound, and this morning I get to wake up in our little cabin on the Milford Mariner. Quickly I got dressed and headed up for breakfast as the Milford Mariner starts heading out towards the open sea.Read More
The third and final night at Milford Sound before our second tramp was not spent in our chalet, but instead on the water with with on the Milford Mariner through Real Journeys. There are whole range of boat trips you can do in the Milford Sound ranging from 1 to 3 hours – but I guarantee nothing beats leaving at 4.30pm, staying overnight and leaving at 9am the following day.Read More
After the Milford Track, the next few days were spent in our glorious standalone riverside chalet at the Milford Lodge.Read More
The fourth day of the Milford Track was a long one, and a ferry to catch at 4pm and an 18 kilometre walk to get there - so we couldn’t be late!Read More
The third day on the Milford Track is another long day with a 14 kilometre walk, including heading up one side of the Mackinnon Pass and down the other side plus of course I was interested in a side trip to the Sutherland falls, the largest waterfall in NZ.Read More
The first day waking up on the Milford Track was a great feeling even with an early start, as today is a long day at 16.6 kilometres and I like to take it slowly with easy stopping to enjoy the scenery and the wildlife as I walk.
The rare NZ native Blue Duck lives in this valley and I was determined to see one, so any opportunity to look into the Clinton River while walking along involved stopping for a look, so there were many little pauses through the morning.Read More
Milford Track is the most famous and the most popular of New Zealand’s Great Walks and is something I have been wanting to do for a very long time and last year I decided to just do it.Read More
Robin found out a while ago that Paw Patrol was having a live show and he really wanted to see it and as the fates would have it, the date of the Auckland show (just a short drive from my house) was the same weekend that we were going away to the snow.
But it so happened that Paw Patrol Live was playing in Hamilton the week before, and as Robin was so excited I thought lets go for it; and to take the opportunity to finally visit Hobbiton, which has been so close but I have never got around to visiting it.Read More
The last two days of holiday were a lot more relaxed than the first two, and unlike most of my other holiday’s in the past there were no set plans from here on-wards. First up on Monday morning was to the Woodville information centre on the other side of the Manawatu Gorge to see if we can collect a kiwi ranger badge for Robin, who had completed the required tasks from the booklet several days earlier.Read More
On arriving at the Air Tattoo we walked around all the static aircraft and tents, I wanted to see what I could before the flying started at 10. This was so different from a civilian air show which have lots of old historic aircraft, as it was just current military aircraft – a real show case the RNZAF.
First up and, and really exciting to me were the helicopters (for those who don’t know I used to fly helicopters & they are a bit of a passion for me). The RNZAF now has a range of modern helicopters compared to Vietnam era old B47’s and Huey’s that we used to have only a few years ago.
When we were on Tiritiri Matangi over Christmas, Robin completed the DOC kiwi ranger programme for the island which is a range of activities designed to help children learn about New Zealand’s wildlife, and they receive a badge at the end of it – and Robin was so excited when he did so, he now wants to do other kiwi ranger programmes throughout NZ, and luckily there is one in the Manawatu Gorge only 15 minutes from where we are staying for the RNZAF 2017 Air TattooRead More
The Pinnacles is is a very popular mountain in the Coromandel ranges, so popular in fact that DOC’s largest hut is located below the summit with an impressive 80 beds!
As Coromandel is so close and convenient I have never been up to the Pinnacles even though I have been wanting to go there for a long time.
Tiri has a kid’s ‘Kiwi Ranger’ experience which is a number of activities which need to be completed and you get a badge. Robin has been working hard over the last few days on the activities and was so excited to get his badge, and has told me that he wants to complete other Kiwi Ranger activities at other DOC sites, unfortunately most of the others are in the South Island.Read More
Monday morning was the same reading and guiding routine, but for the afternoon we headed to the far end of the island 3 kilometers away. So it is a bit of a walk, but on the way we came across a takake in the bush called Nohoa and then excitingly a kokako and we got some great views of this normally hard to see bird. Stopping to look at all the birds really slowed down our walk but after an hour we arrived to find the beach all to ourselves all alone except for some shags and oystercatchers.Read More
On Saturday morning, the first morning of the holiday I was up early as normal and I got to read my large Tuatara book in peace and quiet which was nice before people including the boys got up.
As there are currently no DOC volunteers on Tiri all the volunteers staying overnight have to do their bit to help out, so we are cleaning and refilling the water troughs around the lighthouse. There is 6 of them and took us about an hour, and the boys loved doing there bit to help the endangered birdsRead More