Page 3 of HannahLewis Travel Blog Posts

South America » Argentina » Buenos Aires » Buenos Aires February 26th 2011

During our travels in New Zealand we had hoped to learn a bit of Castillano (Latin American spanish) in order to prepare ourselves for South American travel. With help from our children's spanish book, and our phrasebooks we had a basic grasp by the time we boarded the plane. Over the course of our 9 days in Buenos Aires however our vocabulary and pronunciation progressed significantly. We were ordering beers and bakery goods with ease and chanting with the football fans, however the difficulty came when somebody spoke back to us. Spanish is an enjoyable language to speak and to listen to, but the speed of speach here is dazzling and with dialects and regional accents deviating from our textbook style we struggled to hold a converstaion. We're still having fun with it though and this ... read more
Palermo avenues
panaderia delights

For a small country New Zealand certainly does things big, and so it was no surprise to arrive in the town of Taupo and come across a lake the size of Singapore. The only development on this huge expanse was a floating golf green called 'Hole in one challenge' which we gave a miss en route to the Huka Falls. We had been enticed by the many hot springs the north island had to offer but not by the prices that were charged to enjoy them. So it was with great pleasure that, after a nice walk along the banks of the fast flowing river to Huka Falls, we steamed our bodies under natural, free hot springs that flowed by the cold river. Perfect. Having skipped the Tongariro National Park on the way up due ... read more
Red crater of Mt Tongariro
Beautiful scenes
Chill out time beside Lake Taupo

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » King Country » Waitomo February 25th 2011

In our travels in New Zealand so far we hadn't encountered much of the Maori population, in fact in the South Island we hadn't encountered much of any population at all. But as we headed North the human presence increased, and historical significance of the Maori people became more evident. We left Wellington and drove to Tongariro National Park where we hoped to climb within this volcanic region, perhaps even to the top of Mt Ngurahoe (aka Mt Doom). The land within this National Park was gifted to the New Zealand government by a local iwi (tribe) in 1887, who saw this to be the only way to preserve an area of spiritual significance. We were looking forward to the hiking, but unfortunately over night the weather took a down turn, clouds clogged the sky and ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Wellington February 18th 2011

The sun was making its daily descent over house speckled hills that encompass the city, as we sat high on Mount Victoria with a bird's eye view of prescedings, the softening light offering a chance to reflect on our surrounds. The panorama stretched across the Cook Strait from whence we had come only days before. Aboard the InterIslander ferry, we had seen the faint hues of the sun at the beginning of it's cycle paint the jagged, curving inlets of the Marlborough Sounds a swathe of reds and purples. Reaching the glare of the open sea our eyes fell closed in anticipation of a new island. Nestled in the heart of a glorious harbour, Wellington is on the battered sea fringes of the world but equally at the centre of it too. The South had blessed ... read more
The perfect summer's evening
beach time by the oriental parade
many craft in the harbour

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Marlborough February 17th 2011

This morning there was a sense of anticipation in the air, the last grains of steaming Indonesian coffee scented the camp, and we scruffy travellers attired ourselves to the best of our abilities. We were going to Havelock, a gorgeous little town at the head of the Pelorus Sound, otherwise known as the 'Greenshell Mussel Capital of the World'. 'The Slip-Inn' is a pretty harbour side eatery, it's outdoor terrace and situation nestled within the yachts reminded Lewi and I of 'The Last Anchor'. Perhaps it was this sense of familiarity, or maybe the clever name, but whatever the cause we soon found ourselves very comfortable. With a beer in hand and an order placed for Moule Frites and a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, we sat back to soak up the sun, feeling very lavish. It ... read more
Mussel mania in Havelock
Queen Charlotte Sounds
A bright picture of content

The drive along the west coast of New Zealand's south island, from Greymouth to Westport is said to be one of the most scenic in the world. The road teeters along the edge of the cliff by the thundering Tasman Sea for miles on end and truly lives up to it's billing. After a rainy night we took the first opportunity to stop at a scenic lookout, high above the sea, to air our damp tent. In fact we aired everything including towels and knickers as well as cooking an Asian inspired breakfast of fried eggs on onion fried rice. The sight of a blue tent, red knickers and rice for breakfast lead to an English couple striking up conversation with us. They were anxious to know if we had camped so precariously on the cliff ... read more
Beautiful bays
Me in front of the rocks
Pohara beach

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown February 17th 2011

The beauty of living from our backpacks, back seats, and the flimsy shelter of our Malaysian tent, is the total freedom it affords. We drive where the wind takes us, wear whatever clothes are clean-ish and sleep on the flattest land we can find. So it came to be that we pulled into the adrenaline capital of New Zealand, Queenstown. Not the trashy town full of drunken youths that i half expected to find, this was a beautiful town, full of cobbled lanes set around the glimmering Lake Wakatipu. We weren't here with the intention of throwing ourselves off a bridge, although this is the original and first bungy sight ever created, gastonomic thrills were more the flavour of the day. Wine tasting in the nearby Gibson Valley, followed by a mega pistachio ice-cream from the ... read more
Queenstown foreshore
Grey skies that refuse to budge
Wet Lewi in front of the Franz Joseph Glacier

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Milford Sound February 14th 2011

New Zealand is a place where you are never very far from a scenic wonderland. A right turn here, a wrong turn there, will inevitably lead you to something interesting. It was with this relaxed approach that we tooted north from Invercargail to Te Anau, at the start of Fiordland National Park and home to the renknowned Milford Sound. When renting our 'Jucy' car, the deal had been ripened by a 'two for one' offer they had going for a boat trip on the sound. We checked into Te Anau headquarters and booked our Milford cruise for the next day, praying for sunny skies. Like most things in this country, it is all about the journey. Whether your driving, hiking, padddling or biking, simply going from A to B is not an option. The Milford Road ... read more
Reflections on Lake Gunn
Flying over mountains
Alpine tarns

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Invercargill February 14th 2011

With the sun retreating and the grandeur of the alpine mountains sliding away behind us we drove into the very pleasant rolling hills of the Central Otago Region. Yellowed grasses waved in the breeze and sheep covered every hill. It is beautiful countryside and as we meandered along the small back roads in search of a campsite we came across the so called 'Elephant Rocks'. Tucked into a valley these huge boulders do look as if they are crouching animals huddled together. It was used as a setting for the recent Chronicles of Narnia film, and its easy to see why. No houses in sight for miles and miles, only acres of green green pastures speckled with amazing rock formations, the perfect setting for a fanatsy film. After a few wrong turns where we found ourselves ... read more
Me looking fresh for a change
The sand dune at Sandfly bay
Sealions stretching

From the Banks Peninsular we veered inland towards the brilliant turquoise, Lake Tekapo. Driving across a highland plateau, similar to those we experienced in China, heightened the anticipation as we glimpsed the milky blue expanse of water, given it's colour through sediment created when the lake's basin was gouged out by an advancing glacier. With the sun beaming down and refracting the lake's sediment filled water, our eyes could barely cope. The camera was working overtime as we rolled into town and admired the diminutive, old Church of the Good Shepherd that sat on the lakeside. The old stone building is admired by many and used as a wedding photography spot by all the rest. It was a beautifully hot day, the blue sky matching the lake, in our alpine surounds. Green contoured hills circled us ... read more
Climbing Mt John
Lake Pukaki
Postcard perfect

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