My Life in New Zealand

Category: Hiking

Brewster Hut

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The tramp to Brewster Hut is situated just off the Haast Pass road and only about a half day hike! While the hike is usually around 3 hours, Bessie and I were faced with extreme weather and it took us more like 5 hours, arriving just in time as the sun was setting behind the snow capped mountains. While the hike was very exhausting and challenging – hiking through snow up to our knees – the outcome was more than we could have hoped for as we snuggled into a little red hut all to ourselves.

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Greenstone to Mavora Lakes

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This weekend Bessie and I hiked the Greenstone – Mavora Walk. On Saturday morning at 8AM we took the Info + Track bus from Queenstown, pass Glenorchy and into the Greenstone Carpark where we started the big 50km weekend! The first day we walked through the Greenstone and once reaching the Greenstone Hut made our way into the Passburn Valley. Up and down, over and under through hard ground and soft we eventually made it to the Taipo Hut where we spent Saturday night boiling creek water to drink and playing games.

Sunday morning we headed over a swing bridge and 12 km later reached the Boundary Hut. From here we kept on walking and eventually made it to Mavora Lake which we followed all the way until the end! Our ride had a bit of car troubles back in Queenstown so we hitched our way to Mossburn with two kiwi blokes from Gore – riding in the back of their dairy farm truck!

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Mt. Aspring National Park

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The other weekend Bessie and I headed into Mt. Aspiring National Park and spend Saturday and Sunday exploring the West Matukituki Valley. On Saturday morning we hiked from Rasberry Creek Carpark, past Aspiring Hut, and onto Liverpool Hut. For the last two hours we practiced our rock climbing skills with a steep incline where we clutched onto rocks and roots hurling ourselves one step at a time. The Liverpool Hut was perfection – bright red with six bunks – perfect for a cozy evening with our new friend Georges playing games and drinking bagged wine!

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Snow Farm NZ

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It was one of those perfect early Spring days on the mountain – blue skies, warm breeze, and longer day, perfect conditions for my first weekend of cross country skiing with a few good friends! We decided to make a full weekend of it by cross country skiing into the Bob Lee Hut and staying for a night. We arranged for a snowmobile to deliver our bags of clothes and food for the night and we took our time getting to the hut- about 10km away from the main lodge. The next day I woke up bright and early and caught the perfect sunrise, complete with a pink sky!

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Milford Sound

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Ruyard Kipling called it the eighth Wonder of the World – and well, I would have to agree. Milford Sound is a fiord located in the south west of the South Island and it’s stunning any time of the year and in any weather conditions. We lucked out and had the best of both worlds, earlier in the day it had been pouring which made the falls strong and fierce, but as the day wore on the sun came out and we were blessed with clear skies and stunning views.

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Winter Wonderland in Queenstown

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The day before I left New Zealand to head back home for a 5 week summer holiday I decided to take a little walk up Queenstown Hill to give a proper farewell to Queenstown. I was awed by stunning views and a fresh dusting of new fallen snow! It made my transition into summer a bit jolting – but it was the perfect Queenstown goodbye!

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Muir Woods, California

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Before heading back down South we decided to take a little detour and visit the Muir Woods for the afternoon. Living in New Zealand the Muir woods were a bit of a disappointment due to the massive amount of tourists to the area. I am sure if I had more time to explore and ‘get lost’ a bit I would have been able to get away from the crowds but we were on a tight timeline.

Ignoring the people and looking up was just the ticket – those Redwoods were impressive!

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Big Sur continued, California

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Day #2 in Big Sur was just as fabulous as day #1 … we stayed in this amazing camp site (which thankfully had little cabins) and I had a great morning exploring the site and seeing all it had to offer – next year I want to look into spending a week in Big Sur and camping like the rest of them! We ended our Big Sur trip with a drive over Bixby Bridge and then headed to Carmel by the Sea and had the best pancakes ever at Katy’s Place.

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Mount Aspiring National Park

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Well – to be honest, we didn’t actually make it into Mount Aspiring National Park, and not because we didn’t want to, but because of the huge fords we were unable to pass in our little suburu. The other weekend we decided to take a day trip from Queenstown and head to Wanaka. An hours drive from Wanaka takes you the outskirts of Mt. Aspiring National Park and from here you hike into the park. Already dreaming of summer so I can return!

Due to heavy rain and big winds we¬†only made it half way along the West Branch of the Matukituki (say that out loud!) Valley, but the rain didn’t stop our fun! We enjoyed the misty scenery along the way and stopped for a few photo ops along – mainly with the large and gushing waterfall at the end of our journey.

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Akaroa Heritage Park

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The Heritage Park was established in 1992 and is managed by a local Akaroa Trust. The park was created for people to plant trees to commemorate a special event, if you visit the local library you can see who has planted these trees and the reason for doing so. At the edge of the park, overlooking the Akaroa Harbour lies a Teko-Teko – a carving of Tawhiri-Matea, the God of the Wind which was created by a local.

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