Nearly Down Under

Earlier this year, and still fairly close to the start of our relationship, Herb and I decided to take three months away and explore New Zealand. They say that backpacking with somebody is the best way to decide whether or not you can make it work together, and so we figured what the heck, either way we get a Kiwi adventure out of it.  I had never been, he’s got family there, and hey, we had just spent a few months teaching Math and Science at a fly-in community in weather often below -50oC, and we felt like we needed a break.

So at the end of January we flew ourselves nearly down under and proceeded to explore all three islands (North, South and Stewart) via car, ferry and foot…mostly foot. There was walking. A lot of walking. Over 550km total. It was the vacation of our dreams. Actually no, throw in a few paddles and a canoe and then it would be the vacation of our dreams. But it was absolutely amazing: stunning, diverse landscapes, weather of the sort that we would have during a typical Canadian summer, and probably the easiest country to travel in that I have ever experienced.

From a three month expedition, you cannot begin to imagine how many photos I took. I won’t even tell you, I’m ashamed. But these are the best ones to get a feel for the landscape, the country, and the many amazing things we saw along the way. I’m trying to get y’all to take a trip to New Zealand, can you tell?

So here are the different hikes (or tracks, as the Kiwis call ‘em) that we did on each of the three islands. They’re all amazing, and each feels completely different from the last. So go ahead, try them all.

 

NORTH ISLAND

Mt Taranaki, Around the Mountain Track

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Mt Tongariro and Ruapehu Around the Mountain Circuit

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Pinnacles Track

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White Island (not a hike, equally amazing)

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Cape Reinga (we didn’t hike it, but this is what it looks like)

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SOUTH ISLAND

Abel Tasman Coastal Track

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Caples-Greenstone Track

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Hollyford Track

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Kepler Track

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STEWART ISLAND

North West Circuit

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And everything else along the way…

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Convinced yet?

I don’t blame you.

And if you don’t go for me, go for this guy:

You don’t want to say no.

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