New Zealand Day 18 – Palmi to Auckland

Today was exhausting for a completely different reason: We sat on the Bus. The whole day… Altogether 10 hours, including 2 hrs delay. Without a working toilet. Or rather we do not now whether it was working because it was locked and the (driver) did not have the key. But apart from that, and the bus drivers (i think it must have been at least three, but I can’t tell) not saying a single word via the intercom (like ‚good day‘ or ‚we are now arriving at…‘), it got us where we wanted to be: Auckland. With all our good Intercity bus rides, we were somewhat dissappointed by this Nakedbus experience. By the Way, we passed by a lot of places we already visited, like the Tongariro National Park, Taupo and Rotorua. Since there were not many chances to take pictures, here’s two of the Tongariro and one of Auckland just past our arrival.

This concludes our trip through wonderful New Zealand. All in all we spent 3530 km on the road (the last 515 km today by bus).

Tomorrow we will have our final day in Auckland to relax, then we’ll be on our way back. Expect no further updates until we are back home on Sunday. Cheers!

New Zealand Day 16 – Timaru to Picton

Hooray for bad planning! After our brief stay in Timaru we hurried back to Picton to return the car. We hurried past Christchurch along the Highway 1 in mainly bad weather, but especially north of Kaiapoi we were able to get a glimpse of the beautiful coastline. We were even lucky to find a beach that was not only home of a large Seal. We were even able to find some beautiful Paua shells. When we entered the Marlborough Region the weather improved significantly and after we handed over the car we enjoyed the rest of our day in Picton. Tomorrow we’ll be off to the North Island once more.

Trip so far: 2778 km (today 412 km by car)

New Zealand Day 15 – Haast to Tekapo to Timaru

More NZ roads today as we continued on Highway 6 towards Tekapo. We had some nice refreshing roadside snacks at Makarora Country Cafe and continued past Wanaka where we changed onto Highway 8A / 8. We continued towards Tepako. We had a nice break at Omarama and, shortly after that, enjoyed the view at Lake Pukaki, although the famous view to Mt. Cook was blocked by fog. We continued on to  Lake Tekapo and the often photographed Church of the Good Shepherd, but the idyllic view of pictures on the internet was unfortunately blocked by busloads full of asian tourists. Still got some nice pictures though, even a few without tourists 😉 Since Tepako was quite disappointing and all accomodations overrun, we pressed on for Timaru where we stayed the night.

Trip so far: 2366 km (today 433 km by car)

New Zealand Day 14 – Greymouth to Haast

Today we started with breakfast at our motel in Greymouth. Not the nicest town, quite a few drunk and disorderly people on the street at night, unfortunately. And by the (gray and rainy) light of day the city did not appear much more appealing, so we decided to leave early. Back on the road towards our destination, the Franz Joseph and Fox Glaciers. The weather improved a bit, and we tried to check out the Hokitika Glow Worm Dell but unfortunately this free experience will only be interesting if it is actually getting dark. So back to the road, we followed Highway 6, had some nice pictures of the scenery until the weather worsened again. We decided on lunch at Whataroa and had a tasty veggie burger at the White Heron Store and Tearoom. Franz Josef unfortunately greeted us unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, with very rainy and foggy weather conditions. But we were lucky and had a nice, dry hour to enjoy the cloud-cloaked mountains. Close to the glacier the weather unfortunately turned to the worst, and it kept raining for most of our way back as well as for the following drive to Haast were we stayed for the night (we skipped the Fox Glacier due to bad weather).

Trip so far: 1933 km (today 317 km by car)

New Zealand Day 13 -Abel Tasman Trail – Awaroa to Totaranui, back to Marahau and Road Trip to Greymouth

Today we set up on quite a journey: We crossed the low tide track near Awaroa barefoot across (mostly broken) shells, then continued on the 7 km track to Totaranui. Here we took the Water Taxi back to Marahau in the afternoon, had some late lunch / early dinner at Hooked and then picked up our car for a long drive to Greymouth, where we arrived shortly after 11 pm and were lucky to find some last minute accomondations. Which is from where I wrote you these words, and now it’s off to bed. Pictures and more will follow tomorrow. Good night!

Trip so far: 1616,5 km (Today 7 km on foot, 304 km by car)

New Zealand Day 11 – Abel Tasman Trail – Anchorage to Bark Bay

We drove to Marahau from where we took the Water Taxi which dropped us off at Anchorage at early noon. We hiked from there for about 5 hours to Bark Bay Campside, taking the high tide trail and detouring a little bit to include the amazing Cleopatra’s Pool. At the campsite we set up camp between a lot of people, mainly germans as it turned out.

Trip so far: 1292 km (Today 19 km by car, approx 13 km by warer taxi, approx 15 km on foot)


New Zealand Day 10 – Road Trip to Murchison and back again

I am happy to write the first blog entry after the Abel Tasman Trail. Actually we did not start the trail on day 10 but on day 11 due to our sheduled booking, for which we arrived too early. So we stayed two days in Motueka. We stayed at the Fernwood Holiday Park, a lovely place led by two very nice people, with decent housing and facilities. The first night we camped, the second night we stayed in a cozy cabin. Day 10 we basically spend with a road trip, experiencing the surroundings of Nelson. First we drove to Richmond, shopping our last consumables for the Abel Tasman Trail, then continued on Highway 6 past Murchison to experience the Maruia Falls. Here we had our first encounter with the notorious Sandflies but since we came prepared with all kinds of repellents we were kind of left in peace most of the time. Some photos later we started our trop back, but not without checking out the Skyline Walkway near Murchison. We drove back via the Motueka Valley Highway where Alisa met the nicest goat in New Zealand, and returned pretty late at our cabin to spend the last night before the trail in a proper bed.

Total 1245 km (Today 258 km by car)

Pics soon to follow!