Hiking

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Glaciers and Rocks

Glaciers and Rocks

After Nelson we headed to the tiny village of Franz Josef to check out the famous Franz Josef Glacier. Along with Fox Glacier, the Franz Josef Glacier is one of New Zealand’s top “must-dos”. Every guide book and every local will tell you that you absolutely have to go check out this bit of the country. We spent ten hours on the bus from Nelson to reach the glaciers but the ride was surprisingly fun. We were gifted with amazing scenery our entire journey down the west coast of the country and were even lucky enough to have had our lunch break be in Punakaiki where we had a chance to check out the famous Pancake rocks. They were absolutely spectacular and we wished we had more than half an hour to spend admiring them, but probably not a whole day so it was still a good thing that we decided to skip over spending a night in Punakaiki to head straight to the glaciers.

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Nelson and Abel Tasman

Nelson and Abel Tasman

About a week ago we left Wellington and finally made our way down to New Zealand’s South Island. After a scenic and very comfortable early morning ferry ride across the Cook Straight we arrived in Picton where we caught our bus to our first overnight stop on the South Island, Nelson.

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Tongariro Alpine Crossing (con’t)

As the previous post mentioned, a couple of days ago, Kendall and I hiked a spectacular 19 kilometre trek through alpine terrain in the Tongariro National Park. It was truly an unforgettable experience and a must do for everyone travelling through New Zealand. The Tongariro National Park is an UNESCO World Heritage site and welcomes hundreds of thousands visitors each year. We have been told that in the summer months it is not uncommon to have a few thousand guests visit the park each day. The trail itself is a bit challenging, but any reasonably fit person should be able to complete it – obviously weather conditions and the season add to the difficulty. It is a bit harder in the wintertime as the snow adds a few obstacles; you also need a guide and more gear to do the crossing at that time.

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Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Photos from our amazing day yesterday hiking the 19km Tongariro Alpine Crossing in the Tongariro National Park outside of Taupo/Turangi. Featuring Mt. Doom from Lord of the Rings :) . Stories to come…

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Sea creatures and a volcano

Sea creatures and a volcano

We are now only three days away from our departure from Maui. It’s incredible to think that these six weeks have gone by so quickly, but I guess January and February don’t necessary need to drag on and on when it’s not -35 degrees outside! Beyond enjoying the beautiful tropical weather, we’ve had such a fantastic time exploring as much of what this island has to offer that we possibly could. This past week in particular we were able to check some final must-dos off of our list that really capped off our time here with some unforgettable experiences.

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Above the clouds

Above the clouds

The other day we had the pleasure of being invited on a hike through a normally restricted zone in Haleakala National Park with the National Nature Conservatory. It was a short 3 mile hike through a cloud forest at Hosmer Grove at an elevation of around 6000 feet (1.8km). It was quite an interesting hike as our guide was very knowledgeable and was able to teach us alot about Maui’s forests. It was great to be able to see, and learn about a side of the island that very few people are allowed access to. After the hike we decided to drive up to the summit of Haleakala, which for those of you who don’t know, is a dormant volcano which also happens to be the highest point on Maui (10,000 feet / 3km).

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