Page 4 of AfricaBound Travel Blog Posts

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney April 30th 2011

How time flies, it's been go, go, go since we landed in Oz. Our time in Sydney, was spent doing more or less the same things than any other tourist to Sydney would do. We basically went down a checklist of some things that most travel guide books would suggest as must-do's for Sydney: 1. See the Harbour Bridge and Opera House at sunset...check 2. See the Harbour from the water on a ferry to Manly Beach...check 3. Walk along the beautiful coastline from Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach...check (in the rain) 4. Visit the Sydney Aquarium and wild life park at Darling harbour...check 5. Time permitting, a day tour out to the Hunter Valley wine region...and check. That's pretty much sums up our short visit to Sydney, and we had a fantastic time despite generally ... read more
Opera house
Golden Orb Weaver

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Ninety Mile Beach April 24th 2011

Well, we’ve had a great time exploring New Zealand over the past 3 months and we’ve done a serious amount of tramping along the way. So it seems fitting that we conclude our trip to this fine country with one more multi-day trek, this time at the very northern tip of the island. The Cape Reinga Coastal Walkway is nearly 50 km long and begins at the northern end of Ninety Mile Beach, continues across secluded beaches, dunes and cliffs to the lighthouse and then finishes at Spirits Bay on the Pacific side. There are no huts along the way, which seems to put a lot of people off, but we loved it. Even during Easter school holidays, we only saw 2 other trampers (both going the opposite direction to us) and a couple of day ... read more
looking out over Tapotupotu Bay
twilight beach at sunset
Jordan walking on the dunes

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Coromandel » Whitianga April 13th 2011

The Coromandel Peninsula is the bit that juts out east of Auckland. Most of it is within about 4-5 hours driving from Auckland itself, so there are quite a few towns where Aucklanders have holiday homes etc. that are quiet except during school holidays. We spent about 5 days in the area. Enjoyed taking our time, going for scenic walks to various view points and beaches. We did splash out a bit to celebrate Jordan's birthday and go for a boat cruise to see the coast line from another angle, sadly this is when Kathie lost her hat in the wind. Generally though we had great weather, and it was nice and relaxing. New Chums beach claims to be a top 20 in the world, have to admit, it was pretty nice. Unfortunately developers are looking ... read more
Cathedral Cove
Coromandel walkway 2
Hot water beach

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » New Plymouth April 6th 2011

Imagine preparing for a 5 day back country camping trip. What would you take for meals? Generally the hardest meal to plan for is lunch. Breakfasts are usually oatmeal, and suppers we've defaulted to ready-made prepackaged dehydrated meals (at home we do our own dehydrating so we can be more creative). For the last several back country trips we've done here in NZ, we ate flavoured tuna and crackers for lunch. So by default that's what we planned to do this time around. On Day 1, halfway through his can of tuna, Jordan looked up at Kathie and said, "Ugh, I can't eat this anymore...". Kathie followed that with "me neither..." What do we do now? Thankfully Kathie is a great planner and had a couple of emergency packets of mac and cheese. Yay for hot ... read more
Red Crater and Mt Ngauruhoe
Cape Egmont Lighthouse
Three sisters reflection

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Rotorua March 25th 2011

Our first week on the North Island began with of a lot of driving and a lot of rain (hence the driving). After arriving in Wellington on the ferry we made a bee-line for Napier where we planned to spend a few days wine tasting and such. The rain forced us out of our tent and into a nice motel upgrade where we could dry out. We missed a lot of the scenic spots in the area due to the weather, but on the plus side wine tasting is an all-weather activity! We then headed towards Lake Taupo as that seemed to be a popular place to go, but it wasn't really our cup of tea since it seemed to be all about the adrenaline activities (sky diving, etc). We focused our time on what they ... read more
Champagne pool 3
Orakei Korako 3
Devil's Bath

Our last stop on the south island was the Marlborough/Picton area. First we did some wine tasting near Blenheim. Neither of us are white wine drinkers but we had to try the world renowned Sauvignon Blanc from the region and it was actually pretty good (not that we would know any better anyways). We also treated ourselves to a gourmet lunch at the Allan Scott winery. The green-shelled mussels were huge and delicious! It was really nice because we don’t eat out much since our budget can’t really handle it over here. Hence why we don’t post much for food photos anymore since our cooking isn’t really photo-worthy… After our splurge in Blenheim, it was time to work off all those excess calories on the Queen Charlotte Track. At 71km long, it’s the longest track we’ve ... read more
Jetty at Ship Cove

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Otago » Dunedin March 12th 2011

The Catlins and the Otago Peninsula were a totally different experience to the past couple of weeks in the Fiordland area. Our first stop was Nugget Point which is something we never really planned on doing until Kathie saw a postcard of the lighthouse there and said, “I want to see that.” So we did, and we enjoyed our breakfast watching the sunrise over the lighthouse. On the way to Nugget Point is a hide overlooking a bay where a colony of Yellow-eyed penguins comes ashore every night. Even though you can’t get very close it was fun to see them swim up to the beach and stagger out of the surf and then waddle their way to their nests in the grasslands. The most unexpected surprise was when we decided to go for a drive ... read more
Purakaunui falls
Yellow-eyed penguin

Great Walk #2. Kepler was everything that Routeburn wasn’t. The weather finally turned in our favour and it was fantastic. Kepler is one of the few tracks in New Zealand that is planned in a loop, so you don’t have the transport headaches at the start and finish. Despite this, we did cheat a little bit and took a boat at the start which saved us a couple of hours and 6km of trees. We’re so glad that we did because we arrived at the Luxmore Hut with enough time to summit Mt Luxmore while the weather and views were good. The alpine views were absolutely awesome and we finally felt redeemed after Routeburn. From the top of Luxmore, we could see a storm front blowing towards us so we raced down ahead of it and ... read more
Trail to Mt Luxmore
At the summit of Mt Luxmore

We’re told that Milford Sound gets 200+ days of rain a year. So the odds were certainly in favour of the rain, and that’s what we got for the most part. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though. The drive to Milford Sound in the rain was absolutely spectacular, possibly one of the best drives in the World. The road carves through the mountains and you are surrounded by sheer rock faces that are covered in temporary waterfalls. The rain made taking photos difficult so we didn’t do it justice at all, but we just enjoyed the experience. One afternoon the rain stopped long enough for us to take a cruise out into the Sound. We had a two for one deal through our car rental so it was actually pretty good value. There are also ... read more
Chasm river
Bowen Falls

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Routeburn Track February 28th 2011

From Mt Cook we drove to Queenstown where we began our first attempt at one of New Zealand’s 10 “Great Walks”. The Great Walks aren’t exactly easy on the budget compared to other tracks in the country, but being the hikers that we are we figured we had to see what all the fuss is about. Our first day we had beautiful weather and it was also a fairly short day to get to Routeburn Flats. Unfortunately most of the day was spent hiking in the trees with no views, but the forest and river are quite nice. The next day was a long day where we hiked past Routeburn Falls up and over the Harris Saddle and then back down to Lake Mackenzie. This is meant to be the best part of the track where ... read more
Routeburn flats from above
Lake Harris and waterfall

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