Well can you belive it's been 3 months since we started out on our journey!? It has gone so so fast, it's not real. Well another 9 months to go......don't feel too sorry for us
;-) we'll be ok! So we are now in the lovely cold south Island and it is COLD! the further we go South the colder it gets. We arrived in Taupo from Rotorua (North Island) on the 8th July and unfortunetly it was late evening when we arrived, so we had no option but to join straight in with the nights drinking events!! The next day we decided to explore the area around where we were staying and came across 'Pizza Hut' and just in time for the start of the all you can eat buffet lunch! and even better it cost about half price of the UK, so being Backpackers we made the most of this find! The few days we had here were spent just exploring the town and doing a few walks
. A few interesting places were the 'Huka Falls' (in the photos), which are very powerful and impressive. Also the walk around the 'craters of the moon', which has a lot of thermal activity and steam rising out of 'craters' strangley enough!
One of the main reasons we were looking forward to Taupo was that we were planning to walk the Tongariro Crossing,which is home to 'Mount doom' from Lord of the rings.Its real name is 'Mt Ngauruhoe' (if anyone cares) and is a unique cone shape mountain, sticking out of the landscape. The national park offers some spectacular views of the Tongariro mountains and there is reputed to be an amazing 8 hour trek, called the 'Tongariro crossing' (in top ten scenic walks in the world). However!.. due to the rapid change in weather conditions, which can be really extreme, you have to arrange to cover the trek with an experienced guide company. (We were told that a visitor died whilst attempting the trek without a guide in the winter). Dan visited the same area about three years ago and unfortunetly the walk was closed, so we were really excited when we found out that a day had come up,that was looking really good for the go ahead. We booked our guide and stocked up on our days supplies and had an early night ready for the 5:30 get up the next morning. The next morning we were all set and ready to go, only to recieve a phone call to say that it was too dangerous to start the walk, due to weather conditions and the walk was cancelled!!
! Dan was gutted!!! So back to bed it was for us, for a few hours sleep untill we were back on the tour bus to, our next stop, which was pretty close by, called 'Whakapapa village'. It is situated within the boundaries of the Tongariro National Park (where we were due to do our walk) and is a really nice place. The views are truly amazing of the snow capped mountains. It is also the only place in the North Island where the ski slopes are open. One major downside to this however.....It was the school holidays!!! Loads of the little things running about! Boo hiss! We were going to stay there a few days and start practising on the slopes ready for the South Islands! There were two issues, the Kids and also all the accomodation was totally booked, due to the holidays. This changed our plans a little (again) and we ended up heading to Wellington, a couple of days earlier than expected!. Wellington is a pretty nice city. Funny that a capital city, in a Country the size of the UK, has less than half a Million population of people. The less people the better Dan thinks! Wellingon has a nice relaxed feel to it and there are a few fun things to do if the weather is good. Wellington also boasts the largest number of restraunts, per size of area, in the world. We had to sample one of them, to not be rude. We had a great curry. But to give an example of how cheap it is here.. We got 2 curry meals (veggie of course),rice, poppadoms,pickle tray, Naan and 2 beers for under 10 of your English pounds! Can't wait to get back to the UK?!?
! Anyway!!!... The ride up the famous cable car, to the botanical gardens were a nice day also... Christ we must be getting old!!! Next stop/accomadation after Wellington was a very interesting little place in the Abel Tasmin National park. This required the hop from the North Island, across the Cook strait to Picton,on the South Island. The options were a 3 hour ferry ride across renowned rough seas (for $55) or a 20 minute scenic flight across the sea for $61... Gee.... let me think?!?!! What a real nice flight it was and Lou didn't hurl. Hurray! We flew on quite a cool, little 10 seater and we were seated right behind the pilot! It was then Onto the bus and the ride from Picton, to Abel Tasman and our intersting Accomodation.... 'Old Mcdonalds Farm'! Cool name! It was Pretty basic place that was made up for the fact that we were in this amazing coastal National park, which has supposedly one of the best walks in New Zealand, called the 'Abel Tasman costal track'. Its about a 3 day walk, that requires stay overs in huts. Would have loved it, if not for the Winter! We opted for a shorter half day walk, which was equally as great, except for the fact that Lou insisted on singing (and making Dan join in!).. 'Old Mcdonald had a farm..... Eee i eeeh i OOOOOOOOOAAAAHHHHHHH, as lou goes over the cliff edge!! Ha ha. Well the fun at the farm lasted a few days and our travels continued.. We are a tad behind with our updates and we are slightly ahead of where we have written to. We will bring you more of what we have done soon, but you guys will have to keep a little behind, or else these entries will be too long... Enjoy the photos and keep an eye out for the 2 short videos we added on.They are clean don't worry. Take care all and don't be shy make time to reply!!! See ya x x x
Hello There Guys. Hope you are all well and enjoying many vino's in the sun!