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New Zealand

Whiling away some time in Wellington

On my trip home from Tongariro at the beginning of February, I spent 24 hours in Wellington.  What I thought might be a fairly staid small-town capital full of New Zealand bureaucrats turned out to be a great little city. (more…)

Waihohonu to Whakapapa – Day 4 on the Tongariro Northern Circuit

The Waihohonu Traverse is the name of the stretch of track between Waihohonu Hut and Whakapapa Village.  Yes, I know, Whakapapa sounds a bit rude, but it has a big chateau, so it’s really okay to say it out loud. (more…)

Oturere to Waihohonu – Day 3 on the Tongariro Northern Circuit

Day 3 on the Tongariro Northern Circuit (which I think was 31 Jan) was a much shorter day than the first two, of only a few hours’ walk.  Now that we’d left the main Tongariro Crossing track behind, there were less people around, and everyone we met was out tramping for several days.  Even then, the hut was busy overnight, but we were staying with some of the same people, and there were some by now friendly faces on the track. (more…)

Ketetahi to Oturere – Day 2 on the Tongariro Northern Circuit

Day 2 on the Tongariro Northern Circuit  took us from Ketetahi Hut, and the very northern end of the Tongariro Cross, backwards to the top of the Devil’s Staircase, up to the summit of 2,287m Mt Ngauruhoe, then retracing our steps to the Emerald Lakes before dropping down to Oturere Hut. (more…)

Mangatepopo to Ketetahi – Day 1 on the Tongariro Northern Circuit

The Tongariro Northern Circuit circles around Mt Tongariro and Mt Ngauruhoe, right in the middle of the North Island of New Zealand.  It’s a three or four day tramp (Kiwese for hike), depending on how quickly you walk.  The Tongariro Northern Circuit is an extension of the Tongariro Crossing, which is billed as being one of the best day walks in the world.  It probably is, except for all of the people walking it. (more…)

To Taupo on a Beech1900

OK, I’m a bit of a plane nerd.  So instead of catching the highway bus from Auckland to Taupo, I had a bit of fun and caught a flight instead.  The fare was quite reasonable, so I had a 40 minute ride on an Air New Zealand Link Beech 1900 – a 19 seat commuter plane.  (more…)

24 hours in Auckland for Anniversary Weekend

On the way to Taupo and the Tongaririo Northern Circuit a few weeks ago, Mark, Jen & I overnighted in Auckland.  We had no idea that dropping in on Auckland on a Sunday afternoon and Monday morning in late January would mean that our visit coincided with the Auckland Anniversary Day celebrations.  The day celebrates the arrival of the first English governor to New Zealand in the Auckland region in 1840.   (more…)

Descending the volcano – Mt Ngauruhoe

I just got back from a week in New Zealand, where I went tramping (Kiwese for bushwalking) on the Tongariro Northern Circuit.  This is a four day walk around Mt Tongariro and Mt Ngauruhoe, with overnight stops in well-equipped Department of Conservation (DOC) huts.  It’s an extension of the Tongariro Crossing, which is a day walk.  After all, why go all that way just for a day? (more…)

Off for a tramp in Tongariro

A new blog, a new adventure later this month to blog about.  Instead of doing Australia Day holiday in Australia, where better to do it than in New Zealand, and then spend the week tramping around a North Island volcano? (more…)