Sorry for the massive post. this is our trip to date. the next posts will be much shorter, probably with less photos.
17 February xxxx
Ferry from Welly to Picton, drove to Collingwood in Golden Bay
Our first swim – Pelorus River, just down from the bridge. Rocks to jump off, cool refreshing water after the hot driving (the driver’s side window doesn’t work in the ‘Rolla)…
This place is not called Golden Bay for its beaches. The weather was great, the water was warm, the beaches within the bay are all tidal mudflats, so the best swimming beach was north of the spit. Not a bad place to spend a week tripping ’round though.
looking towards Farewell Spit at sun down
this is a dead whale lying on Farewell Spit. We could smell them well before we found them.
21 FebruaryMussel Inn
Great food, even Jon ate the mussels… Apa, you HAVE to come here to try out the beers…. we tried a few different ones (not too many, as we needed to drive a couple of kms back to camp), and we did a review for Chris and Apa’s radio show. It’s written on a menu somewhere…
The north/west end of the Abel Tasman walk. Not too many people here, and we have had our first rain. Big ups to nic for the tent – I don’t think our tent would have performed in quite the same way. PS the beach here is also very good. Good waves, golden sands (finally) and warm water.
24 FebruaryBarrytown Hexagon
Barrytown has one of those rustic West Coast pubs with friendly locals who look a bit ‘rough’. The sort of place Andy F would retire to.
25 FebruaryCastlehill, Craigieburn, Flock Hill,
Arthurs Pass in the rain
Flock Hill Station is now a gated community for sheep. We didn’t see armed border patrols, but we were pretty circumspect. We were desperate for a swim after the descent to Cave Stream, so we swam in the sheep swill that IS Cave Stream…. we were enjoying a quiet moment, swimming in our undies, when a huge group of teenage boys and there equally leering teacher came out of the cave. Serenity now….
27 FebruaryAkaroa for fish and chips, Okains Bay
O’ Bay has a great museum. The water here was a bit colder than Golden Bay….
Photos are from the museum, a photo of a painting of gleaners. there’s a good movie about the history of gleaners whose name i don’t recall, the last pic is the top of a gnarly hill road that we took to get to Chch.
29 FebruaryNikos and Karyns, shots at travel doctor
Thanks for the place to dos N and K :0) and good luck in Wellington. It seems to be common for Jon to leave a town and then for his friends to move there. Hmmm…. that goes for you too, Maaaatt and Crazy Phil.
1 MarchDereksThanks also to Derek and Gomez! We timed our arrival perfectly for a training session with Mayan, Derek and one of the young local punks. Then there was a party for Taryn’s 30th which was fortuitous because we got to see some other grizzled climbers that Jon hadn’t seen for a while.
2 MarchGeraldine, Lindis Pass, Tarras, Omarama, Cromwell
We dropped off to see Mayan’s mum at the cafe, but it was closed 8(
So, onto Cromwell!
4 MarchGlendhu Bay, Rob Roy Glacier, Lake Wanaka
The Piccies are the two Ls and us at Diamond Lake, Lei on a swing at L. Wanaka, and the walk up to Rob Roy Glacier. Big Ups to the Ls for the place to stay. As per usual, the photograper never does the view any justice.
We went for a ‘walk’ to Long Gully. Of course the two Ls have been training for about 3 months, and the walk was a mini-tramp… anyhooo…. we found a spaniard, a gin trap with whom Leslie was keen to become acquainted with, then the view at the top was luverly. Note the green bits. That’s called unsustainable agriculture, something NZ is all too familiar with.
7 MarchQueensberry with Jon Seddon and whanau
Queensberry is just north of Cromwell, on a hill on the LHS. Thanks for the great place(s) to stay! The bus was pretty cool, if it’s there when we get back we’ll borrow it while your friend is in Australia.
8 MarchQueenstown for brekkie with Nick Fly, thru Haast and down to Okuru.
Nick Fly, for those who know him, is very well. He is doing some sort of welding course so he can make lots of money on oil rigs, in between heli-guiding for snowboarders and running his own design company. We then drove through the beautiful Haast pass, and south to Okuru. 9 MarchJacksons Bay, walk to Smoothwater Bay, Okuru
Jackson’s Bay is the end of the road on the West Coast. The plaque below commemorates a bunch of settlers who were shipped there by the government, and lasted 3 years before the rain, mossies and depression got to them. It doesn’t look like much has happened since. The much celebrated fish and chips shop was so horrendously overpriced we had to abstain 8( The last photo is a punga that’s been chopped.
10 March Lake Mahinepua
The 1st photo is of George winning the Okarito games day. He vaulted 8’4″ using a “manuka” clothesline prop. They breed them tough down there. It doesn’t say whether he survived the landing.
You can’t see much of Okarito lagoon without hiring canoes or going on a boat, so we drove north to a Lake whose name we can never remember and Jon took a photo of a plant in the lake. Chur.
11 March Maruia, Lewis Passs and Hanmer Top 10
Maruia Springs were, as per usual, practically empty. Kiwis don’t sit in filthy hot water in the nude nearly enough. We did meet a nice couple from Hong Kong, talking about their crazy living arrangements, in massive appartments that sway in the wind. 12 MarchWellington, drinks with Athfields Crew and staying with Adelaide Road Crew
Sorry we didn’t get to see many people in Welly on our final pass through, but let’s be honest. How many times can you say good bye” Good Bye Wellington. 13 MarchLunch with Trannies, onto WaikanaeThanks for coming to lunch Transpower peoples! Off to stay in Waikanae with nickers and damon ;)14 MarchWOMAD at Taranaki
Womad was AWESOME. you don’t need to fit into any pigeonhole to be there. old, young, trendy or like us, etc etc… but you need to be into music and dance. we had great weather, and did lots of boogying. Good on Neil Finn for filling in for Cesaria who was sick. Village of the idiots did a massive dissapearing crowd trick, starting with a packed house and freaking so many people out, there were bugger all left when they screamed their way off the stage… The Japanese taiko drummers were awesome, and we saw them take a cooking class later and they were very down to earth folks too. We also saw wicked African drum and dance groups, crazy Russian folk music, Latin American musos etc etc….
19 MarchBridal Veil falls, Raglan for lunch, Coromandel Cooks Beach
We finally get to Cooks Beach to stay with the olds.. Thanks for the place to stay for so long. We sorted out some of our junk, and dad has kindly agreed not to sell it for two years, so the clock is ticking.
The next few days were spent reading, sorting our junk, playing golf, and swimming once or twice a day. The water was lovely, and there were even waves which is pretty good for the usually tame beach. A few rellies came over for Easter too which was a bonus. Good to see y’all
21 MarchShed22 MarchGolf
I broke my jandles.
23 MarchGolf Practice
24 MarchGolf Practice25 MarchTauranga for Molemap, stayed at Opoutere
I got a molemap done. it’s bloody expensive, but i’ve got so many moles it was probably only a couple of dollars for each one. i don’t have melanoma.
26 MarchCooks Beach27 MarchKuaotunu, Otama28 MarchJeans and Screen – I sewed some jeans, thanks Caro! I still need to send you a photo… maybe one of our south american posts will have me wearing them. Lei made a triptych screen which came out really well. there will be a photo of that too, one day.
29 MarchScreen30 MarchPinnacles
We tramped to the Pinnacles, the most popular walk in the Coromandel ranges, then walked north to Coroglen, the least popular walk in the Coromandel ranges. the first photo is a male tit. the second is table mountain in the rain, taken from the Pinnacles. the weather was ‘changeable’. the last photo is of these crazy steps that were cut out of the rock. the photo is actually of a photo in the Matakohe Kauri museum (which was excellent). we have the same photo, except instead of horses carrying packs, i had Leila! thanks Lei.
31 MarchCooks Beach
Photo for Lei’s mum, taken at Ferry Landing. Hot couple.
1 AprilEggsentric and shooters2 MarchFinished Screen, drive to Auckland, stayed at Kerry and Jeffs
3 Marchthe Teat
Meeting the Girls at Puhoi
4 MarchGoat Island
Goat island is a marine reserve. it’s pretty touristy in the weekends, but the snorkelling was good. we didn’t have wetsuits, so it was a bit chill. 5 MarchGoat Island6 MarchUretiti and Marsden PointUretiti is a DOC camp site on a beautiful beach. I didn’t time it right, but if you do, you can get a fabulous photo looking north along the beach, with the sun setting in the craggy hills and the smoke coming out of the Marsden oil refinery. Simply stunning.7 MarchWhangarei to Waikakoa
Waikakoa is another DOC camp site, at the end of a long gravel road, through a locked gate, through two cow paddocks and then you park the car and walk over a small hill, carrying your sh!te. needless to say, we were the only people there…
In the photo below, it is on the RHS of the lump in the middle. The long beach on the LHS is Mimiwhangata were we did see some other humans. 8 MarchWaikakoa
9 MarchWaikakoa10 MarchMatakohe top Ten, Kerry and Jenny
Jenny is Lei’s Air Traffic Controller friend from Ireland who had a job interview in Chch. She came up to meet our friend Kerry in Auckland and they drove to meet us in Matakohe. We went to the fresh water Kai Iwi lakes for a swim, which was great, as we were salty after our swim at Baylys Beach. The waves at Baylys were massive.
The photo below is Kai Iwi lakes, then there’s a couple from the excellent Kauri museum at Matakoke.
11 MarchMatakohe, Baylys Beach, Kaiiwi
12 MarchMatakohe, the girls and Jeff
We hugged a few trees in Waipoua forest, Lei caught a hedgehog and we had that whole-roasted for dinner, then drove north to Hokianga Harbour.
14 MarchKohukohuWe tried to drive out to Mitimiti for a goo, but there was a flood from the night before. This house is NOT lowered. we drove into the flood but it got even worse round the corner, so we reversed out again. very exciting.15 MarchKohukohu16 MarchWaipapakauri 90 Mile Beach17 MarchWaipapakauri 90 Mile Beach18 MarchMatai BayYet another beautiful DOC campsite, the waves were great, the water was warm, etc etc…20 MarchTauranga BayBy now, the matress that I had bought in Wellington about 3 weeks ago was going bung. if you are looking to buy a mattress, i would never recommend an EPE (exploreplanetearth) one. it lasted three weeks, compared with my thermarest ultralite which has lasted over 3 years and still works fine….Anyhow, we stayed in a cabin for two nites at Tauranga Bay which was great. at the north end of the beach there are mussels growing in rocks which you can hand pick at low tide, and we spent a good while watching some kids kite fishing. We ate potatoes. 22 MarchOakura Beach 25 MarchOakura Beach, Jo and Iain arriveWe booked a house in Oakura for 7 days, and jo and our friend Iain came over to stay for the long weekend which was great. the weather was cr@p, but we had a great time, spoon and all.27 MarchOakura, Jo and Iain leave29 March, see Gran in Orewa, Kerrys in AucklandWe dropped in to Gran at Orewa and wished here a happy belated birthday, and she fed us which was great. We are now in Te Atatu Peninsula sorting out our junk, selling the car today and flying out tomorrow. the next post will be from Buenos Aires, Argentina.love to all and don’t take life to seriously.
posted Wednesday April xxxx