Wednesday, 9 July 2014

The Way back North - Art Déco and Thermal Spas

Could paddocks be any more beautiful? After the rain on the North Island

Napier

The coastal town of Napier is well known among travelers for its unique Art Déco Achitecture. Even though Napier is quite small, there is a lot to see if you are into details. Almost every building shows the style Napier is famous for, most of them newly painted in bright colors and showing off their geometrical ornaments. They also have a cute beach promenade stretching from one end of the town to the other.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Back Home - What's next?

Hey everyone!

We are back from the other end of the world, after 23 hours of flight. Germany has a lot to do for us - jobs, studying and first of all getting all our stuff out of the cellar.
But once we settled a little bit more, there are still some photos left to be published!

I will keep uploading stories and impressions from our way up north again, over Taupo and The Wonders of Rotorua up to good ol' Auckland. Also, I'm planning to give everything a nice overview with a map as navigation, and maybe some general information about traveling in New Zealand.

So keep looking every once in a while!

See you soon,

Lisa

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

A beautiful sunrise



























This time, going back from Picton to Wellington, we had a nighttime Ferry. Luckily, we decided to see more of the Sounds before we left the South Island: we made a “little” detour on the winding roads up to French Pass. Most of it is sealed road, just the last 20km are gravel. An exciting trip with stunning views over the numerous bays an land outcrops stretching into the sea, the road winding along the top of green hills.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Working and Living in Motueka


Motueka is famous for its apples and kiwifruit, bringing workers from all over the world into the orchards and packhouses each season. We worked at the Thomas Brothers Packhouse for two months and got a first hand impression of what seasonal work is like. We also discovered Motueka and its surroundings a bit. Here are a few impressions of what life was like for these two months:

Packing


From early in the year up to April the main fruit to be packed are apples. Everything from Braeburn over Jazz to more exclusive varieties like Koru and Envy grows in Motueka. The apples need to be washed, graded (which means sorting out the bruises, cuts, etc and separating between grade I and grade II), packed into boxes and stacked on pallets to be shipped all around the world.
The same happens to the kiwifruit, coming in from mid to end April until the end of May. There are surprisingly many varieties of kiwifruit as well, not only the best known Green, but also Gold, Charm and other new varieties.

Kay and me were packing the fruit and checking them for any kind of marks, bruises, wrong colours/sizes and so on. Sometimes we had very quiet days with lots of stops in between, sometimes it was really stressful and chaotic. The job itself was rather boring, but with all the people around us (mostly backpackers from Asia, Europe and South America) to talk to it was really a great way to earn money without working too hard. The supervisors were great, too, and took each problem with heaps of patience and a smile on their face.



Sunday, 18 May 2014

Ocean, Beaches and Sunshine











The Abel Tasman National Park is one of the most idyllic places in New Zealand. The Tasman region gets a lot of sunny days, Nelson being the sunniest city in the country. The landscape is made of hills and lush native forest, covering the land up to the ocean, where the trees open up into beautiful beaches. The water has a shimmering green/turquoise color and the quiet bays are perfect for swimming.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Takaka Rocks

Takaka is famous for its rocks and they come in many shapes. Just next to town is Paynes Ford Scenic Reserve, a paradise for rockclimbers with a campsite (The Hangdog camp, 10$ per night. They hire climbing gear as well.) full of motivated climbing folks. No matter how cold, rainy or windy it gets, there are always people on the wall. We have been there a few times, with friends and colleagues from work, and we have only seen a fraction of what Paynes Ford has to offer. It is known for its big variety of grades and many tricky climbs with typical slopy holds.

Just five minutes from Takaka visitors can have a short walk through the Labyrinth Rocks (free entry), a natural maze of rocks with interesting shapes. On every corner you find some old puppets, toy figures, Disney & Cartoon miniatures or similar scurrilous objects. We most appreciated the beheaded Ronald McDonald halfway through the maze – a real artistic message there.
When we rounded one corner, we found ourselves in a graveyard of cattle skulls draped on the rocks. The best time to go there is probably at night to get the real maze feeling :)

Monday, 5 May 2014

The North of the South



























The counterpart to Cape Palliser (where we have been in January) , Cape Farewell is the northern tip of the South Island. To the east, it stretches out into the ocean and forms a 26km long sand spit. Farewell Spit is accessible for short walks and some tour buses go out further towards the narrow tip.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Shimmering waters


Their nickname might not suggest much, but “Pupu” Springs between Takaka and Collingwood are well worth a visit. Their full name is Waikoropupu. The beautiful shimmering waters are one of the clearest springs in the world and you can definitely tell from the look of them.

A pleasant short walk brings you to the main springs, leading through the forest and the maze of small lakes and streams, all filled with the crystal clear water bubbling straight out of the earth.








Friday, 18 April 2014

The Deep Black Hole

The Canaan Downs

North of Motueka the road starts winding in endless curves up the Takaka Hill. Close to the top is a lookout spot with a wide view towards the Abel Tasman National Park. A first glimpse on the place where we planned to go Sea Kayaking very soon!

Right next to the lookout, the Ngarua Caves can be visited (but only with guided tours.)
Just a bit further ahead, a small turnoff leads into the innards of the National Park. At the end of this gravel road lies Canaan Downs Scenic Reserve, a beautiful area filled with yellow grass, amazing blueish rocks sticking out of the plains, and the largest campsite we have ever seen. Entering the plains you see an insignificant sign next to the road, welcoming visitors to the Canaan Downs campsite. Further into the vast landscape, you can barely make out one of the wooden hovels that turn out to be eco toilets at closer view.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Nelson Lakes
















Straight through the Wairau Valley Blenheim is connected to Saint Arnaud and the beautiful Nelson Lakes, Rotoiti and Rotoroa. We stayed a night at a DOC site there and were greeted in the morning by countless sandflies. Oh how we missed them...