In a few hours I will be hopping on a plane to Auckland, New Zealand to begin a 17 day trip around the North and South islands. Since I highly doubt I will have the opportunity to update this blog while I am over there, here is a detailed description of what I will be doing while I am there:
17 January- After having the morning in Auckland to get supplies and explore a little, I will meet up with the bus tour at 10am and leave for Coromandel. We will spend the day at Coromandel Cove Beach and I will go sea kayaking before we camp on the beach for the night,
18 January- We will travel to Whiritoa to explore the Pahutukawa forest before going to Rotorua where we will camp next to Lake Rerewhakaaitu below Mount Tarawera, a dormant volcano.
19 January- In Rotorua for most of the day, we will go to the Wai-o-Tapu thermal pools. Later we will hike to Taupo where I will bungee jump and hike around the mountains Ngauruhoe, Tongariro, and Ruapehu. Camping at Turangi that night.
20 January- I will embark on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing which will take me through and past many landscapes most people will recognize as Middle Earth. Move camp to Otaki.
21 January- Since my trip involves both the North and South island I will take the ferry to the South island after we arrive in Wellington. This is a loosely organized day so that we can explore the capitol’s many cafes, bars, museums, and shopping. That night I will take the ferry across the Cook Straight to Picton where we will stay for the night.
22 January- We will follow the coastline to Kaikoura where the hiking takes you into ‘close encounters with fur seals and a myriad of sea birds.’ I’m gonna make me some homemade UGGs!
23 January- We travel through the Canterbury region where I will do a dolphin swim and hang out on the beaches for the day.
24 January- After we travel to Rangitata I will white water raft through the Rangitata Gorge before we set up camp at the foot of Mt. Cook.
25 January- We will hike around Mt. Cook during the morning before traveling along the coast to Oamaru. We will spend a few hours there before going to the coast to camp for the night.
26 January- After a morning hike along the coast to see the Moeraki Boulders we will travel into Dunedin where I hope to tour the Speights Brewery. Travel to Catlins to camp and have a night hike to Nugget lighthouse.
27 January- We will hike around Catlins in the morning and stop for lunch at Lake Manapouri before visiting the town of Te Anau. Next we will leave for Fiordland National Park and camp in Hollyford Valley.
28 January- We will hike our way into Milford Sound via the Homer Tunnel (which is a 3,000ft decent). I still haven’t decided if I am going to do the Routeburn three day wilderness hike or not. I think I will wait to decide based on how I feel about the trip at that point and pray that there is an open spot if I decide it is something I want to do. The Routeburn is a three day hike that is truly backpacking. I would carry my tent, food, and everything else I would need as we hike up and over the mountain that the rest of the tour would go around.
29 January- If I don’t go on the Routeburn hike, I will hike in and around Te Anau and will do an overnight walk on the Keplar Track to go see Mt. Luxmore. Possibly do a jet ski before going back to our lakeside camp? 😀
30 January- We will finally get into Queenstown, the adventure capitol of the world! We will camp outside of the city but within walking distance. This is where I would rejoin the tour if I did the Routeburn and I would celebrate either way by a well deserved beer.
31 January- The last day of the tour. We will explore Queenstown for the whole day. I hope to go skydiving for the second time and possibly do more depending on the time constraints. The tour ends here but I will stay one more night in Queenstown before I return to Melbourne.
1 February- I will catch a plane from Queenstown to Auckland and then fly from Auckland back to Melbourne. THE END!
To say that I am excited about this trip would be a vast understatement. Everyone who has been to New Zealand says that it is the most beautiful place they have ever been and I cannot wait to experience it for myself. I wish that I had more time at each destination but I decided that a quick tour of the entire country would be a better way to spend my time than to stay in one or two places for longer amounts of time. If the country lives up to everyone’s high praise then I have no doubt I will be back and this trip will hopefully give me an idea of what I want to do when I return.
Since I am not expecting to have internet and my phone will not be working while I am there, this will more than likely be the last post you receive from me for a few weeks. If I am able to post, it will most likely only be a brief “I’m Still Alive” update so that you all stop your worrying.
I am off to pack my backpack and make sure I have all my documents/tickets/information that I need. I also feel the heavy urge for a Coke.
Before I leave you, I want to reiterate what I have been saying the whole time since I have gotten here. I miss all of you so incredibly much and you have no idea how awesome it is to know that you all are reading this and supporting me while I am traveling. It has definitely been an adjustment to not be able to see all of you everyday or have immediate connection to you but it is something I am beginning to get used to. Please don’t take offense to a lack of communication, whether direct or through this blog. Always assume that no news is good news and that where ever I am that I am happy and smiling.
It is what I do for all of you.
Kei te aroha au ki a koe,