New Zealand ·
68 Days ·
70 Moments ·
20 January 2017
Good bye New Zealand, I had a great time here. And as much as I enjoyed it here, I am excited to fly to Australia today. I am very early but I like being very early with planes, you never know what might happen on the way. Safe to say that this part of my trip is finished.
19 January 2017
One more day and I'm off to Australia. My mood's once again swinging wildly between excitement and nervousness. I mean, I have a little bit of experience now with the few weeks I traveled through the South Island here, but Australia will be a very different experience. Not so much backcountry as I'm "limited" by the stops the Greyhound busses make although they are still plenty of places I will see, and all the main places will be in for sure. I just don't have the possibility of hitchhiking anywhere unless I find someone in a hostel. Plus the cities are way bigger and there are way more of them, the only cities here are Nelson and Christchurch, everything else felt by far smaller than Eitorf or New Liskeard. Also a little scared of the animals to be quite honest but they are probably much less of a problem than they are made out to be.
17 January 2017
You'd figure just feeding the chickens and horse every day wouldn't take much time out of your day but without really realizing it, the 'little' time you spend on bringing them their food, cleaning out bowls, collecting eggs and washing their dishes does take up to 2 hours out of your day. And the wood I have to chop here (like I don't get enough of that at home) really doesn't want to cooperate with me and loves keeping the Axe stuck in the wet wood. At least the weather is fantastic.
13 January 2017
Totally forgot to post here yesterday but hitchhiking worked beautifully. Only needed 3 different rides for the roughly 450km between Nelson and Christchurch which was a great relief since I was almost worried that I might not even make it in one day. But I arrived at the farm safe and sound and now I'm in charge of the entire farm basically. The owners are gone for a. Few days and I'm the only one here so I have to take care of the farm for the time being. Also means I can blast my music however loud I want to though.
12 January 2017
Sorry for the lack of updates. I ended up not going to Christchurch quite yet, because the farm currently has a full house but I'll be heading there tomorrow, staying until Tuesday and then staying with another family. Organizing a lot of stuff here especially for Australia which will be a lot different to here I think. Excited to finally see some friends there though that's for sure.
9 January 2017
Had a little stroll through town today, bought some sunglasses and some clothes while I'm still here. My trip here is slowly coming to an end as I'll be making my way back to Christchurch tomorrow and will be preparing for Australia there. Very excited for Australia because it'll be very different compared to New Zealand with the way I get around and what I'll be doing. Also walked the the geographical center of NZ today. The church in the middle of town is oddly enough enough named "Christ Church". Don't know if they're just locking or being serious.
8 January 2017
Woke up to a gorgoues sunrise right out of my tent. My sleep wasn't that great but will be even better tonight. The hike was only about 1:30 so a really relaxing one at that. Took me nearly 3 and a half hours to get to Nelson though, which is only a one hour drive. Finally arrived at the house of the people I met on Wharariki beach and I have my own bed, towel and everything. I feel like I should pay these people for what they provide. Will lay low today and recover a bit and then go shopping tomorrow.
7 January 2017
.....I think that totally saved my day for me. I would've suffered a lot if I would've had to do the entire day with both backpacks. With all the side trips I probably ended up doing around 35km today so that would not have been a lot of fun with such heavy weight on your shoulders for 10 hours. The first picture is my tent right now by the way, and yes I'm sleeping on the beach. I also attached one of the signs that's posted throughout the hike that tell you where to go if anyone was interested in seeing them. Thankfully short day tomorrow and then I'm off to Nelson for a few days.
Well that was a long day once again. I started at 7:15 this morning and arrived at 17:05 so it took me just under 10 hours to travel 32km. Although technically not quite because I took about 2 to 2 and a half hours worth of breaks and side trips so it's technically less time for more distance (yes, I think I earned the right to brag a bit. Although I must say I did cheat a little bit. I knew that the water taxis that stopped at certain beaches every now and then did luggage relocation but online it said "Only if you've booked another fare with this company" and I didn't feel like taking a water taxi just to be able to have my luggage delivered. So about 2 hours into the hike I saw one and just thought "Eh, why not" so I asked them and sure enough, they took my big backpack about 20km down the track meaning I only had my small backpack and I could catch up a lot of time.....
6 January 2017
Looks like there's Wi-Fi here oddly enough so you're getting an early update. Started the day with a beautiful sunset in Totaranui and made my way to Awaroa. Short day along some really nice beaches once again, arrived around 10 o clock and just had a super relaxing day here at the beach (the last two Panoramas are off the beach in front of the campsite one at low-tide and one at high-tide). Since they had a shower here too, I jumped in the eater here for a bit which felt amazing. Mentally preparing for a long day tomorrow, thankfully no blisters yet and the long break today helped to relax everything before I do the 30km tomorrow. I do know to take plenty of breaks along the way to take some stress of my shoulders.
5 January 2017
What a great first day. The weather is gorgeous, and apparently it's supposed to stay sunny and warm throughout my entire hike. Walked along tons of beaches already and they are all super super nice. I'd love to just sit down at every single one and relax for an hour but then I remember that I have to get to my campsite (the beach in the very last picture is right outside my tent site). The tent site also has a great little cooking shelter and best of all......no sandflies .So far my body isn't complaining, nothing's sore yet and the short day tomorrow will help so that I'm feeling fresh and motivated for my big day on the 7th.
Here I go on to the Abel Tasman Coastal Track. 60km of beaches and forest, I'm excited. But don't expect any kind of updates until the 8th because that'll probably be when I have internet next.
4 January 2017
One more big hike and then my time here is basically over and I'll be heading off to Australia. Only going to Nelson for 1 or 2 days afterwards and then I'm back to the farm in Christchurch where I'll be preparing for Australia. Also, Today marks the 3 months left point of my trip which feels weird to think off sitting at home in 3 months already. Time flies like nothing. I know that Australia will be tons of fun for me especially Melbourne and Sydney because I get to meet up with some friends in both cities.
The Hostel I'm staying at offers you some bikes to take out for free so I took advantage of that and drove to Waikeropupu Springs (or just Pupu Springs) which besides having some of the clearest water in the world is also one of the largest fresh water springs in the world. Once again, the pictures don't make it justice but it's crazy how clear the water is. It legitimately looks like a pool with plants in them. The color is just fantastic. I'd suggest you look it up on google, so far there's only been one person allowed in to take some pictures for preservation purposes. Besides that you are absolutely forbidden from touching or drinking the water. Even the river that come out of the springs are super clear and it's just a beautiful little area.
2 January 2017
Went to go see the Labyrinth Rocks here in Takaka today which is basically a naturally formed Labyrinth out of Limestone. Through out the years the rain and water formed these what they call "canyons" which are basically the walkways. Since this is about a two hectar area there are tons of little natural stone carvings that look like faces, animals, places etc etc. It's a really neat little spot to spend some time in but it definitely won't make you go "Woah that's crazy" unless you're a geologist and this is your shit.
1 January 2017
It was just pouring when I got up in Puponga and it wasn't looking like it was going to stop. And since people only drive up there to see beaches I was worried about a ride even though Takaka, where I am now, is only about 50km away. Thankfully someone from the Camp I stayed at was heading this direction too so I did catch a ride. Yes, I am still alive if anyone was wondering. Very much so. One more hike to go and I'm off to Australia in 20 days. Really excited for that part of my trip and the nice thing is I might spend less here than I thought which gives me more to spend and less to worry in Australia. Will lay back and enjoy my internet today and then go see some things tomorrow.
Happy New Year. Really odd not celebrating at all, just sitting there, eating my fruit salad. But I'm really excited what this year has to offer, there's lot's of stuff happening for me. Today I'm trying to get to Takaka and then I'm starting the Abel Tasman Coastal Track very soon which will be my last big hike after which I'll head to Nelson for a day or two and then I'm back to Christchurch until I fly to Australia on the 20th which I'm super excited about.
31 December 2016
Sadly the weather isn't holding up but someone here offered me a ride to Wharariki Beach so I said yeah why not. Due to a little bit of rain, there were very few people on the beach and even in the not so perfect weather it looked great. The beach must be at least 2-3 Kilometers long and it has beautiful arches and caves spread throughout. Tons of Mussels on the rocks that almost look like dark moss from a distance. Some sealions along the beach but not many. Met some nice people there from Nelson that offered me to stay at their place for a few nights which I'll gladly do. Then I walked to Cape Farewell which is the northernmost point on the entire South Island. Walked it all barefoot so I didn't irritate my blisters any more and they have gone back significantly since I've gotten here which is fantastic.
Did an early morning hike along Farewell Spit because apparently the wind can get pretty hefty during the day and the sun was out on what looked to be a cloudy day. At first I thought "well this is pretty bland, I get the same experience in Northern Germany" but then I ventured above a little hill that looked like a good lookout and woah.....sand....perfectly golden, soft sand as far as the eye could see. Sand dunes out of nowhere and it completely blew me away. It was absolutely awesome. And the entire first 2/3 of the way I was basically by myself, the other people only started to arrive after I started my way back. Was also cool to see the difference between low tide and high tide for the first/last stretch of my walk.
30 December 2016
Since it's apparently going to be cloudy tomorrow I though I might just use a little rest of the day to see the beach with blue sky. Now this is neither Farewell Spit nor Wharariki, this is just a stretch of beach in front of the Motor Camp. When I got close to the Boulder with the hole through it, some Seagulls started fake-divebombing me so I guess that must be their breeding ground or something. Let's hope the Sun down tomorrow is glorious.
Just arrived in Golden Bay, Puponga and it's as beautiful as it sounds. I get to relax for 2 days over New Year's Eve and not have to worry about any kind of booking or where the hell I'm going because all that's done already. Sadly no internet here, so you will be bombarded with posts once I get to Takaka and have internet again. Tomorrow I will visit Farewell Spit, take a little stroll along there and then spend my sundown at Wharariki Beach. Prepare for beautiful beaches (and possibly some baby seals).
29 December 2016
And it's done. Nearly 80km in 4 days, that was one long hike. Although it was fairly easy. One might even say if there wasn't that 32km day in between......it would've been a walk in the park (pun intended). Anyways, on to find a ride into Collingwood and maybe even to Wharariki Beach if the opportunity presents itself. Would be a great place to be for new year's eve.
I know, I did kinda make it sound like I was dying yesterday, which I kinda did feel like for a good few hours after I arrived. Thank god it was much better this morning. Even after the 6 hours today my shoulders aren't really killing me anymore. My blisters are still quite annoying at times but most of them are in spots that don't really affect me too much while walking. It's mostly steep downhill or uphill bits that really suck. Thankfully I only have a short day tomorrow (just about 4 hours) and then I'm Hopefully off to some nice beaches.
28 December 2016
This is probably some of the worst pain I've felt. My hips and shoulders are absolutely dying and I already know this pain will probably not go away until 2 or 3 days after I'm done. And to my luck this campsite is also elevated...... on wooden planks.... so it's a very hard surface. The rest of this hike won't be a lot of fun.
Those were probably some of the most dreadful 9 hours and 15 minutes of my life but I did the 32 km. Absolutely dead, but I did it. Collected a few blisters along the way, mostly in spots that don't affect my walking oddly enough, super sore shoulders from carrying both backpacks and sore feet. But besides that, all good. Not quite looking forward to tomorrow if I'm sore everywhere but thank god it's only about half the distance and time. Although beautiful it was not a very fun day.
27 December 2016
Great first day. 16km in 4 hours, double that tomorrow. This track is definitely a photographer's paradise, so many beautiful spots along the way and a huge variety of landscapes too. My campsite is right next to the beach (first picture) and you'd figure on such an open grass area especially with the wind, there wouldn't be many sandflies but nope, there are still tons which is incredibly annoying. Already had a little massacre when I first got in my tent and it's just going to continue the more often I get into it.
26 December 2016
Had a really laid back day yesterday. And I decided that after the Heaphy track I'm not planning or reserving anything because that just makes me worry too much if I'll actually get there. I have things I want to see but I won't decide where to stay until I get somewhere and depending what time it is. Heaphy track starts tomorrow and then I'll once again be off the grid for a few days. Met some really cool Irish guys who may or may not take me for a little trip to see some limestone arches and caves today.
24 December 2016
Early Merry Christmas everyone. This is what I'm getting for christmas, at least what I can see. There's much more there behind the scenes. I hope you all celebrate Christmas happily with family and friends because it sucks without them. It's moments like these where I wouldn't mind just flying home but I have to stay and evolve myself (or at least try). If this trip has made me realize one thing, it definitely is "You don't learn to appreciate what you have until you don't have it". Have a great holiday! (And yes, Airport security opened my present and closed it again with "INSPECTED" tape)
24 December 2016
Well that was definitely the worst hitchhiking so far. Left at 10 am and didn't get here till 5:30 pm. And the driving itself is only 2:30 hours. It took 7 people to get me here. I hope all the shithead drivers that were in the car all by themselves with room for plenty of hitchhikers step in a puddle with their socks on and stumble onto some Lego bricks, that's how mad I was. If the scenery along the coastal road wasn't so beautiful I would still be annoyed but I arrived in time and I'm all good now.
I was originally just going to walk to the Glow worm Dell tonight because I really like looking at Glow worms and it's the best way to spend your evenings here. It really is just like stargazing only hat you're staring into the bush/rocks to see them. There were hundreds, maybe even thousands across this rockwall lighting up basically everything with their faint little blue/green lights. But I saw from afar when I left that the entire sky was lit up from the sun so I sprinted to the beach and there it was....a worthy sunset. Close to fairy lake, but still not quite there. Anyway, I have no idea how well hitchhiking is going to go tomorrow, let's hope for the best. (I attached a glowworm picture for your viewing pleasure because my phone can't see them)
22 December 2016
Hokitika is a beautiful little town. Even have their little lookout for sunsets which I happily took advantage of and it was quite the nice one too, not quite up there with the best of Fairy Lake sunsets, but definitely not bad. The hostel is located right above a (jade) jewelry shop. This town has the cheapest jade in all of NZ because it's mined here.
22 December 2016
I gotta say, last knights hostel was definitely he best hostel so far. Great internet, big enough kitchen, nice lobby, superb beds/rooms and very environmentally friendly with solar power and solar heated water. Anyway, got up to Hokitika today. Hitchhiking worked like a charm, waited for 2 minutes and the person took me all the way. When I first started I didn't notice someone also hitching further down the road. So I kind of felt bad when someone stopped for me so quickly so I told the guy "As much as I would love a ride, he's been standing here longer so go pick him up" but there was room for the both of us so a win-win for everyone.
Hiked to the Franz Josef Glacier today. A little longer of a hike and through some light rain the entire way but it was almost kind of nice to hike through the rain. The hostel has fantastic internet for once, such a beautiful thing. Sadly I couldn't see the glacier very well, it was kind of cloudy but even just the hike there through the mist with waterfalls on the mountains coming down was nice too. It was interesting to see the very gray water of the glacier mix with some super clear water from the waterfalls that come from the mountain tops. Anyway, off to Hokitika tomorrow to see some Kiwis.
20 December 2016
Hiked to the Fox Glacier today. Was a little further than I expected, but such is life without a car. The Glacier is pretty hidden with all the dirt and rocks on it but it's gigantic. There's tons of melted water coming out of a little cave at the bottom that mixes with other water sources throughout the river making it a pretty loud and dangerous river. The water is super mucky but right next to it, there was a little lake that had an absolutely crazy colour. It was almost Gatorade colour, it just looked fantastic.
20 December 2016
So when I read through the walks that can be done here there was one that said "20 mins return, Glowworms after dusk" and I though well that sounds interesting. Not thinking much of it, I ventured into it when there was just barely enough light left for me to see the walkway. And wow, it was beautiful, just like a scene right out of the movie Avatar. Tons of glowworms sitting along bushes and trees with a greenish blue light. Almost looked like the stars just in a bush, it was really really beautiful. I wish I could've taken some pictures but my phone won't pick up their light. You might have better luck googling "Minnehaha track Glowworms".
Just did a quick little hike to Lake Matheson because I didn't know what else to do with myself. This can be one of the most stunning views in all of New Zealand if there's no wind, no clouds and a good amount of sun but such was not my luck today (took a picture of a picture of how it can look when it's perfect). It was still nice but I might just try my luck again tomorrow to see if I can catch that perfect reflection.
Another successful day of hitchhiking. Got all the way from Wanaka to Fox Glacier. When I first started hitchhiking, there was a dude in my spot that I wanted to hitch from (well like 100m in front of me, so why would I even try before he is gone), but he was right behind a round about and only stuck his finger out when a car came up so they only had like 2 seconds to react. Anyway, he waved off two guys, the came over to me and boom, I had a ride. They took my about 1/4 of the way and then I got picked up by a Family that headed to the next glacier. Will be staying here for 2 nights and doing some of the hikes. One night at Franz Josef Glacier and then up to Karamea. Beautiful drive up here, really had everything: dense forests, mountains, coastal regions and beaches.
18 December 2016
Hiked up to Roy's peak today. Hitchhiking worked beautifully even though I kind of expected it to almost not work at all and I was almost worried I wouldn't make it back to camp in time. 16km in total and Roy's peak is just over 1500m high although it felt like we must've started at around 500m because it really wasn't all that steep. Contemplating staying another night because it's cheap first of all and some of the Germans from Te Anau just arrived here too but I'll see, depends how I feel tomorrow. If I do end up leaving I'll either head to Haast or right up to the first glacier depending on where my ride could take me because Haast is definitely skippable. Just had a nice cold shower as well and I feel fresh as (as the New Zealander would say).
17 December 2016
Just arrived in Wanaka. Finally a cheap camping spot, only 5$ a night with fridges, showers and bathrooms. It is very hot today though and there were only tentsites in the direct sun. So I found a little shady place that I will sit because my tent will soon turn into a sauna. Will be visiting Roy's Peak tomorrow, it's supposed to rain but whatever.
16 December 2016
Treating myself a little here in Queenstown today. Been looking up stuff all day yesterday of what to do on the west coast. Went for a pretty big grocery shop today (who can say no to great specials) that should keep me satisfied for at least 4 days. The hostel room is really nice, although I would've camped if I would've had the choice. Made myself grill cheese for lunch and for tonight some good meat and fried potatoes, cause pasta gets a little boring every night.
14 December 2016
-I've hitchhiked around 990km so far
-15 people have picked me up so far resulting in an average of 66km per person
-7 women have stopped and 8 men
-when I get dropped off I always leave the front door of the car open until I've grabbed my bag and then I close both doors so they don't take my bag
-I've saved more than 100$ so far by sleeping in a tent rather than hostels
12 December 2016
The cruise was awesome. Beautiful weather although quite windy, but even for Milford Sound, where it can go up to 150km/h, it was still very reasonable. The view is just crazy, huge mountains just straight up rockwalls right next to the water. You can even see exactly where the two tectonic plates meet, there is a 'little' crack going up mountain. The captain also took us right into a waterfall and we all got drenched but it was awesome. Sun dries faster than any towel. Too many selfiesticks though, definitely too many selfiesticks. Sadly I can't do the entire Routeburn, since it's so overbooked (freedom camping not allowed), but I will venture into it for a day tomorrow and come back out.
Just arrived at Milford Sound. Hitchhiked all the way here from Te Anau which is about 120km. I was kind of worried to be honest that I wouldn't be in time even though I'd booked a cruise at 3 pm before I had even left. So I started hitchhiking at 11 in Te Anau just to be super sure. After plenty of full campervans and tourist buses, 2 guys took me about 20km up the road. From there a swiss lady actually drove all the way up here and I was so relieved when she had stopped. So instead of paying 120$ for a busride here plus the cruise, I saved the bus, bringing it down to 80$ plus I bought tickets on sale which in total was 59$ for everything. Proud of my saving abilities dad? Anyway, can't wait to get on the ride, the weather is perfection at the moment.
11 December 2016
Just went to a really nice little community barbecue here in town, and as a traveler, you don't pass up the opportunity for free food. Talked with a lot of people and had plenty of meat there too so I could catch up for a bit that I've missed so far. People here remind me a lot of Canadians, very friendly and just a really similar attitude towards life and everything.
9 December 2016
First Great Walk: Check. Finished the last 22km today in 5 and a half hours excluding breaks and back in the hostel I just want to lay down and do nothing. Couldn't have asked for better weather, as it's usually pretty rainy here in Fiordland, we had absolutely perfect weather. There's such a variety of landscapes here from nice beaches and lush forests all the way to beautiful mountains and valleys. As someone here said, it truly is a great walk. Also hitched some of the way back in the back part of a pickup truck which I thought was kind of funny. Supposedly lots of rain incoming though so I'm not quite sure what I'll do yet but I'll surely figure something out.
8 December 2016
Ended up going to the waterfall 20 minutes away, just because why not. The water was about the lowest temperature you could set on a tap, it's freezing. But worth it, dried off in a heartbeat with the sun in my face.
Just arrived at the second campsite and I'm dead meat. Met a guy from the UK at my first break station and we continued on together from there. 8:05-16:25. Without breaks it took about us about 6 and a half hours to walk 22.8km. We started at 200m, climbed all the way up to ~1400m and back down to to 500m. At the start I was kind of worried, because it was cold and a little rainy for the entire first 1:30 of climbing. But after we got above the clouds, it started dissipating and boy, were we rewarded. The views were breathtaking and the weather was just straight blue sky and warm sun. It was glorious (see pictures). Also saw a cheeky Kea up close, the world's only alpine parrot and it really likes to steal peoples' food.
7 December 2016
First meal on the little cooker tonight as well. Made Spaghetti with sauce, cut some salami into the sauce and added some cheese on top. For my first ever pasta (I know right), I think I did pretty well.
Just arrived at my first campsite and holy god are the flies terrible. A few people have asked me before "Do you mind the sandflies?" And I was always like "Nah, I grew up in Canada, you learn to deal with Mosquitoes and other annoying bugs there". But damn, was I not prepared for this. Even while writing this on the beach, I'm surrounded by a swarm of about 30 Sandflies (they're basically like the New Zealand version of the blackfly). With all rain gear on and just my face and hands out, it is survivable though. The location of the campsite is right at the beach even though it's lacking the beach weather, hut we're in Fiordland, so you can't expect sun. Gotta rest up good for tomorrow, I have a tough day ahead of me.
6 December 2016
Just arrived in Te Anau and checked into my hostel. Beautiful location and the track start is only about 45mins away by foot. The first day will be easy going for me, ~7km only until the first campsite. 2nd day will be killer though because it's ~24km up and down a fairly big hill, so that will drain me for sure. 3rd day will be around ~22km, although mostly flat with a healthy portion of lightly downhill walks. I could've shortened the last two days or chopped it up more evenly, but I would've had to book the huts instead of the campsites and they cost, hold on to your nearest chair, 50$ for literally just a bunk bed, water supply, toilet and a kitchen area. Well, guess what: I can have all that, just a tent instead of a bunk for the price of 18$ if I just hike a bit further and you can be damn sure that I'll go for that option. Will make a quick supermarket run before I head off and then I will be off the radar until the 9th.
Making my way out of town right now, to hitch towards Te Anau. On the way out, I saw a Segway rental place whose slogan was "Nothing is better than segs"...... Those clever bastards.
I did end up heading to the "Fergburger" which was amazing. I always think everything is so friggin expensive but I also remember that the € is worth much more than the NZ$ so it evens out really. Also took a stroll through the Queensland Garden. Half of the Garden is actually a Disc Golf course which is awesome. The water around Queenstown is also much clearer than I thought, It looked a lot like a deep blue, not very clear water from afar. Will be heading to Te Anau tomorrow for a night before I head out to the Kepler Track, one of the seven (I believe) Great Walks which I'm very excited about. Thankfully I can actually leave some stuff here until I return in about 1 1/2 to 2 weeks.
Hostel was nice and so was the weather. I transferred to another Hostel for tonight that offers a campground, still somewhat pricey (25$) for a campground but it's downtown the most touristy town place on the South Island, so what can I expect. Took a hike up Queenstown Hill with a great view of "The Remarkables", which is the Mountain Formation to the left of the panorama picture. Really hot today, sweating even just sitting in the sun. Everyone that I hitchhiked with recommended I go to a place called "Fergburger", so if the line isn't too long I will definitely pay it a visit. One of the few times I'll actually eat out and not make my own food which really only consists of Milk, Cereal, Sandwiches, Cheese and Salami so far. Will be picking up some pasta and everything soon, so I can cook once I get to the great walks.
3 December 2016
Just arrived in Queenstown. Thank god there was a cancelation in the hostel I was aiming for or else I'd still be lookin for a room. The Lake in the Picture is Lake Pukaki with a view of Mount Cook in the back. Imagine the color of Lake Louise, add another 15 Lake Louises to the back of it and put a 3.5km high Mountain behind it.....now you have the view I had. The ride here was beautiful, great weather all along. Very touristy here though, I'll stay one more night after this and then head to Te Anau. Drove through Lindis Valley and Kawaraus Gorge which has a Emerald colored river flowing through it. One of the Bungee Jumps is also located here. I suggest you google the placed I go to to get a better image and view of how beautiful these places really are.
Quick shoutout to the inventor of Milk Powder. You are a lifesaver.
2 December 2016
Today was a relatively low-key day. I did a 3 hour hike to the Hooker Glacier/Lake. I kind of expected it to be bright blue water since it's directly fed from the glacier but it's very mucky cause the entire Glacier has retreated very far up the valley in the last 100 years. So it's a very dirty and rocky glacier and it's fairly easy to miss if you don't pay attention. Anyway, even the view from my tent is great, found a nice little spot yesterday despite me setting up camp fairly late. I'll most likely try to get directly to Queenstown tomorrow, since there's not much to explore in the way there. Hopefully it'll be as quick as last time.
So to my surprise, I actually hitchhiked all the way from Rolleston (about 25km outside of Christchurch) right to my Campground which was about 300km in total in just under 6 hours with breaks. First guy stopped within 30 seconds of me sticking my thumb out and took me all the way to to the exit off of the main Highway. I get out, cross the road and literally the first car that comes buy stops and takes me all the way to Lake Pukaki. Then from there I walked about 20 minutes until a car stopped but she took me all the way to the Campground. Weather changed from rainy to blue sky on the drive here and we had clear sight of Mount Cooks tip. Set up my tent and I'm ready to sleep. Lake Pukaki looks like a supersized Lake Louise and with the mountains in the background.....wow
2 December 2016
Up up and away. Now the real stuff begins. Left the farm and just arrived at the main bus station in the city. Also got a SIM Card here and was surprised how easy it is to get one.....if I ever decided to become a drug lord, it would definitely be here. Give the man at the counter 5 bucks and boom, you have your own number and no one knows who it belongs to.....kinda sketchy really. Anyway, I'm taking a bus to Rolleston, from where I will hitchhike to Mount Cook. White Horse Hill Campground is my target if anyone feels inclined to google it. My aim is to spend not more than 2000$ in the time I'm gone. I think that's realistic for a newbie traveler like me. The slight rain is actually a good thing right now, because that'll give people more of a reason to pick me up. More to come soon.
1 December 2016
Packing up my stuff and I'm pretty much ready to go. I'll be heading out on my trip tomorrow morning towards Mount Cook, which is 300+km but my fellow travelers here said it's definitely possible to get that far by hitchhiking. Will be staying there on a campsite and doing a small hike there before I keep on going. I'm aiming for being back here around the 10th of January, so I have some time to settle down before I make my way to Australia. I'm very excited and nervous to leave here and explore the south island. Expect a lot of updates and beautiful pictures.
27 November 2016
And this is the little hut I'm staying in tonight. Very minimalistic, but kind of charming too. The walk here was fairly easy going except for the very start which was very steep, almost rock climbing level steep, but once I got up to the top, the entire track basically stayed on top of the ridge and peaks of the mountains/hills. The view is amazing as you can see in the pictures. Took about 3:45 for 15km to get here, which is pretty good. Apparently the great walks are around 20km a day, so I know it's definitely possible to do with my big backpack. Tomorrow should be a lot easier, since half is flat and the other half leads down to Purau Valley, where our farm is.
26 November 2016
As some of you might have figured, the people I live with care a lot about what they eat, it being organic, basically no meat and trying to use little electricity and so on. So some of the wwoofers that are here with me and the hosts try to convince me to cut down on my meat consumption and I'm just there like "No, do you even know who you're talking to? Give me meat and milk and I can feed myself for months on end". I'm eating so little meat here already, I'm already craving a good steak. I've never eaten this little meat and this much green shit, that doesn't give me enough energy to do what I'd like to. Anyway, I'm going on a 2 day hike tomorrow and I'm taking my big backpack to prepare for the great walks that last up to 5 days sometimes. It'll be a great thing, won't be that hard though really, since it's ~30km divided into two days which isn't very far.
23 November 2016
A lot to do here here on the farm. 4 hours everyday might not sound like much but doing 4 hours every single day with no days off in between is a bit draining. Weather hasn't been doing that well either here for the last two days, but I can't complain since it's still fairly warm. 2 days ago some chicks hatched as well who we just transferred into a new little home and they're doing quite well in there. Will most likely head out on my trip within the next week.
22 November 2016
Very hot here the last few days. It's fine in the shade, ~25°C but as soon as you step in the sun it's almost unbearable. Getting a lot of grass cutting in, like I didn't do enough of that already. Jokes aside, it's not very demanding work here and I really can't complain about working this little for the housing and food that I have here. Planning my trip right now and I'm getting more and more excited but also nervous because this is a really new thing for me to travel completely on my own, make my way wherever I need to be, make my own food, manage my money, it will be very interesting to say the least.
19 November 2016
Today I hiked all the way up Mount Herbert. The walk was gorgeous and quite exhausting. The first sign said ~5 hour hike and that kinda surprised me but I reached the top after about 3 hours so it wasn't quite that bad. Had a little lunch at the top and made my way down with an amazing view ahead of me at all times. Took me all in all about 5 hours to go up, down and across to our harbor. This is just in preparation for the great walks that I will embark on throughout my journey along the south island.
So friends of the farmowners here decided to spontaneously drive up to Kaikoura for some volunteer work so they asked if I wanted to join so I went with them. If you want to know what I'm talking about, I suggest you Google or look up on YouTube "Road to Kaikoura". The earthquake on Sunday night absolutely demolished this road and cause a few landslides as well. Additionally, the earthquake cause the ground along the coast to rise 2 meters which means that tons of these so called Pauas, that suction themselves to rocks, are now out of water and have to be taken off and thrown back in. Tons of dead seaweed as well, which feel like big long rubber tubes. Everything is called off now though and people are being sent back home. As rough as the drive is, it's interesting to see the totally ripped up roads and bridges.
17 November 2016
Sadly it rained all day today, pretty heavy rain too so we couldn't get anything done outside. But I got a bit of planning in and more or less a rough route that I'll try to follow on my adventures throughout the south island. Got some tips from my hosts and some of the other backpackers that are here so that should definitely help me along the way. I'll most likely be leaving a lot earlier than anticipated, probably within 1 or 2 weeks from now just to give me more flexibility time wise.
14 November 2016
Had a relaxing first day. Enjoyed the amazing weather we had and took a little walk down to the beach that is pretty much all made up of shells. We are surrounded by mountains so one day while I'm here I'll definitely have to take a hike to the top of one or two of them.
After I got settled in yesterday, I went to shower and layed down in bed for a bit. This was at about 3:30pm. Next thing I know, I wake up at 3 in the morning with heavy rain hitting my little cabin. So I fall back asleep, cause that's what the sound of rain does to me and wake up again at 5 and I haven't slept this well in a very very long time. I feel very relaxed and am ready to start my day.
Finally arrived at my destination in Purau. The view is absolutely gorgeous and I think I'm going to get along with the other guys that are working here. Excited to know what I'm gonna do. There's some really nice hiking possibilities here up and around some mountains that I'll probably try to explore fairly soon. Besides that, it seems to all be really nice. Feels really odd though to be so far away from anyone that I know.
13 November 2016
And so I've arrived in Auckland. Crazy movie selection, but I definitely need a bit of sleep before I went on with my day. But after that I watched 4 movies, which were all fantastic. Funnily enough, the monitors on this plane have a chat function, meaning you can invite any seat number in the plane you'd like and just start a random chat with them if you'd like and they accept. I wish I would've seen it earlier, then I might have just started a big group chat with random people. Anyways, I still have another flight to go plus some public transport so I've still got a bit of stuff ahead of me.