Coast Hike 
After the library, we headed towards a campground in Totaranui. It's huge! It can fit 850 campers, or so the DOC book claims. We had a relaxing evening and decided to do a section of the Abel Tasman coastal hike the next morning. One option was the whole loop, which would have been around 20k, part of it going up to around 450 meters. Otherwise, we could hitchhike to the start and hike back to the campground.

We found a ride pretty quickly, so we started hiking. It was a bit more up and down than I was expecting, but it was still a very nice hike. Most of it was in the forest and it had some great views of the coast and some beaches. We made the hike in 4 hours. It was around 13k total.

From there we headed back into Takaka to use the library's internet for an hour. Our goal from there was to maybe get to a free DOC site, but it was looking a little far and we were due for a shower, so we stopped in Motueka at a holiday park and are staying here for the night. It's super packed because the fruit pickers of the season are here, but a shower is definitely nice.


[ 2 comments ] ( 2 views )
Walk Through Mordor 
We woke up this morning to frost and ice covering the windows... We had purchased hats and gloves the day before just because information on the hike we were going to do mentioned you should have them. We figured we would probably need them on the South Island anyway. Boy are we sure glad we picked them up. In the middle of the night we had to put the hats on to keep so much heat from escaping out of our heads.

Our plan for the day was the Tongariro Alpine Pass. It's a day hike that typically takes 7-8 hours. It's 19.4 km (12 miles) with about 2500 ft up and 3600 feet back down. When we arrived at the parking lot, there were a lot of people there. Some shuttles (read buses) pulled up not long after us, so we tried to get started before them. The train of people was pretty crazy, but through the hike, we did manage to space out a bit.

We definitely saw the inspiration for Mordor and got to see 'Mount Doom' up close. The walk back down was quite painful on the knees, but the hike was great. There were beautiful sites along the way, including some 'emerald lakes'. Unfortunately, my camera's battery was basically dead, so I didn't get to take nearly as many photos as I wanted to, but maybe that was a good thing in the end. Now we can say that we have walked through Mordor. :D

Here's a link to a map of the hike:


Start of the hike.

Mt Ngauruhoe ('Mount Doom')

Emerald Lakes.

[ add comment ]
We were picked up last night from the airport by our host. The view from our room is of the city and is pretty amazing. Lucas and his mother are very nice and fun. They're both basically vegans. We had fun chatting with them quite a bit last night.

This morning, we headed out to get breakfast. Unfortunately, the house is up quite a hill. We walked a mile down and found a small grocery store and a cute cafe. We had breakfast at the cafe, walked around a little bit, then headed back to the supermarket, back up the hill in the hot sun, and home.

We were due for our second Twinrix shot (Hep A and Hep B shot in one) so I called a travel clinic that was a little under 2 miles away. They could get us in at 2. We headed back out and hoofed it down there. We each got our shot and decided to walk around and explore some. We walked down to the beach and over to Waikiki before starting to work our way back, finding dinner along the way. We ended up walking around 13-14 miles today total. We're hurting pretty good.


[ add comment ]
Long Hike 
There was a trail about four blocks away that went down to the water. We grabbed our stuff and headed out. Apparently the hike was 2 miles (one way) and about 1900 feet down.... It was pretty toasty on the way down. Starting about halfway down, you're basically just walking through old lava flow. Once we got down there, we found out that the snorkeling there is supposedly amazing. We did bring our goggles, but didn't have snorkel gear. We went in for a bit. It was really clear and lots of fish. So, we'll see how snorkeling on other parts of the isle goes and then decide if we'll have to try kayaking there (what a lot of the people there did).

Once we were done, we headed back up the hill. So hot. But we made it in one piece and sat and worked for the rest of the day.


[ 2 comments ] ( 11 views )
Swinging Bridges!!! 
Today we decided to go on a little hike. We hung around the house for a few hours in the morning, then left for Kahului to get lunch at a store that has only vegetarian stuff in it. Their hot deli/buffet is huge! It was very good.

From there, we headed down the highway to check out a hike that is supposed to have a couple swinging bridges on it. We weren't quite sure where to find it. We eventually did though. It was on a plantation, so we had to pay $6 per person.... Seemed a bit steep, but the hike was gorgeous and fun. At the end is a pool you can swim in. We didn't bring our suits, but it was still a great hike.

Our general plan was to head to Paia afterwards to play in the waves and have a good dinner. It ended up being too late, so we worked our way home and stopped in Lahaina again. The hope was for pizza, but we were not impressed with the menu. We ended up finding a Vietnamese place that was very good. We just headed home after that. Very fun day.


Laura in front of a Banyon Tree. These trees are super neat. Their branches let out 'feelers' that are roots and will basically create a whole nother tree trunk. There is one in Lahaina that you would swear is multiple trees.

Laura by a super pretty flower.

Laura and I walking across one of the swinging bridges. (Click on photo to see it larger.)

Joe in the bamboo forest.

The three of us at the pool at the end!

[ 2 comments ] ( 12 views )

Back Next