At the end of 2013 and beginning of 2014 I spent a month on holiday in NZ, and had a great time. Below is a selection of my favorite pictures from that holiday.
The comments are interspersed between the pictures. They belong with the picture above.
The beach at Napier and my rental bike against a piece of driftwood on the beach.
The coastal cycling track north of Napier and pebbles on the beach.
Driftwood on the Napier beach. Unwrapping x-mas presents.
The waters and the redwoods at the Hanurama springs track. In 1919 a grove of redwoods (sequoia sempervirens) native to California was planted by a local farmer. The local climate makes these trees grow much faster than in California. The largest ones are now around 55 meters tall! Luckily for us, this means that the wood is relatively soft and not usable for timber. That means that we can enjoy the beauty of these majestic trees.
The wetland and the Hangarua spring.
The dancing sands spring at Hanurama and rafting on the Kaituna river at Okere Falls.
Pouring rain on the camping in Rotorua. Paul had to dig a trench to keep my tent from flooding! Luckily Paul had chosen his campsite well, and the rest of our site wasn’t flooded. Some others weren’t so lucky. The people running the camping had to do some digging to help the water drain.
Mount Manganui in the distance and a view from the beach in Tauranga.
It was pretty hot even though it had been pouring buckets the day before. So we took the walk around the mountain rather than over it. A redwood tree at Rainbow Springs park.
Native trees along the Tarawera trail. A view from lake Tarawera from the rock between the hot water beach campsite and the water skiing site.
Relaxing on the beach. A biscuit ride.
Weather forecasting, kiwi style. A Bombardier Q300 ready to to take me to Wellington from Rotorua airport.
A short rest during the walk up mount Kaukau. A view of Wellington from mount Kaukau.
The rest of Wellington and the harbor. It sure was windy on top of the lookout; Wellington definitely is a windy city.
A view of the South Island across the Cook strait. Descending from mount Kaukau.
A view of the river from Kowhai Point scenic reserve. The path from our motel to lake Rotoiti.
My favorite picture; A calm lake Rotoiti in the evening with mount Robert in the background. From mount Robert, the lake looks different. The previous photo was taken from the beach in the center of this picture.
Walking up the mountain with the St Arnaud Range in the background. The paths were steeper than they look in the pictures. We were advised to take the Pinchgut Track up from the car park, and then take Paddys Track back down. This was good advice. It was a very nice route!
The sign near the top, and the scenery walking towards Bushline Hut.
Waiting in the Bushline Hut for a rain shower to pass. Descending down Paddys Track. The weather on the mountain was pretty variable; we went from one layer to three and back several times.
Coming up to a small stream. It was small enough to step over.
The swing bridge over the Buller Gorge.
Interesting rock formation on the Buller Gorge peninsula. A seagull on a Māori(inspired?) carving near Punakaiki.
The pancake rocks near Punakaiki. We saw a couple of smell dolphins in the shallow water near the rocks, and a couple of orcas in the deeper water further out.
The beach north of Punakaiki.
The Franz-Jozef glacier is looking less impressive than it used to be. All kinds and sizes of rocks can be found there.
The beach at Nelson on a warm day. Many kite-surfers active in the shallow water. We took a boat from the beach to the Abel Tasman national park.
A view of one of the beaches in the Abel Tasman national park from one of the walking tracks. We were supposed to do a tidal crossing of this bay, but we were running late and the water came rushing in fast.
So they came to pick us up in a barge. By the time we had walked up to the barge (on the far end of the sand bank), we were up to our knees in water! When we arrived at the lodge, I couldn’t resist taking a snapshot of this idyllic scene.
A fern unfurling and another swing bridge.
The swing bridge was built to cross this creek. When I was walking toward the second lodge, I saw some kayaks being hauled across the shallows.