Rowan John Hedgecock

RowanH

Rowan John Hedgecock

Just finished college in Surrey and travelling round NZ and Oz before Uni



Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Bay of Islands November 10th 2012

After an emotional farewell to my flip-flops I'd had for years, I said goodbye to Caro and the Phoebe (the car) and caught the bus up to Paihia, stopping off for 45mins in Auckland, which was plenty long enough to see all there was to see there. Arrived late to the backpacks and crashed soon after, spent the next day exploring the beaches and walked round to a waterfall to fill the time. The next day was an early start to get the bus tour of 90 mile beach and cape rainga, strictly following Mary's instructions not to go north! It was a very fun day sandboarding and seeing where the Pacific meets the Tasman Sea was pretty spectacular, and we body boarded at the most picturesque beach imaginable.... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island November 6th 2012

After thoroughly warming up from the chills of the canoe trip we decided to drive up to see what all the fuss with waitomo was about. Timing the fuel perfectly (of it's still running it's not empty!) we go to Waitomo caves and were ushered straight in to see the famed glow worms. It was very hyped up but still spectacular to see so many hanging from the roof, probably the most touristy activity I did in New Zealand. Then we ate a gourmet lunch of cheese and ham sandwiches and went into the next cave to have a look at some limestone formations, which rocked. In the afternoon we made the long drive down to Toupo, on the edge of the lake, and treated ourselves to "fush'n'chups" with a view of the lake. That evening ... read more
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Set of bright an early for our 3 days paddling down the Whanganui River. It was definitely the most relaxing trip in New Zealand. Didn't see anyone else for the whole day and just basked in the sun while drifting down the river to John Coull Hut. Relaxing evening waiting for the glow worms to appear around the hut. The next day was much of the same, not quite as hot but still nice. Broke up the journey with a stop at the 'Bridge to Nowhere', a massive bridge in the middle of the forest, very bizarre. More slow paddling down to Tieke Hut, but nearly missed it as the jetty had been washed away in recent floods, met my first sandflies of my time in New Zealand, I will meet an awful lot more before ... read more
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Ok so I wasn't kidding when I said I would do it again! Photos aside I really wanted to summit the volcano. Rose early and got dropped at the start of the crossing, Caro went to the end and we will meet in the middle. I raced up the first part, and started the climb to the top. It took just over an hour and a half, roughly as the sign said, and the view was amazing, you could see all around the national park and almost to the coast! Sat on my bum and slid back down the side of the mountain in about 20mins! Met Caro at Blue Lake and headed back to the car in the baking heat, lots of smoke coming out the craters and a hut half way back that had ... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island October 30th 2012

After arriving in Wanganui all ready for our 3 day canoe trip down the river we were told by the DOC site that the previous DOC site had it wrong and we were actually supposed to stay where we were for the trip. Not very amused that we drove all that way for nothing, but never mind. We decided to make the most of it and spent a day getting things done like postcards and shopping in Wanganui before heading over to Mt Egmont for a day or two. Again, very unhelpful DOC staff in Stratford we drove up the mountain for some short walks around to see if we could get a view, low clouds meant we saw nothing but fog. Once back at the car we discovered that the battery had run flat and ... read more
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After a sad departure from the hut at Fay's we drove all the way over to Hastings to drop off Niko at the farm he was to work at, before starting the drive all the way back over to Tongariro NP. After driving for several hours away from Hastings we managed to find a nice clearing to park the car in and go to sleep for the night, despite Caro's fear of axe murderers in the forest park. A fairly cold night in the car but we survived anyone trying to kill us so we headed off towards the volcanoes, arriving around lunch time at the holiday park in Whakapapa where Caro promptly reversed Niko's car into a stone wall. Inquiring at the Doc Site as to whether we would need crampons and ice axes for ... read more
Mt Ruapehu
Snowy
Intrepid Explorer

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Kapiti Coast » Otaki October 21st 2012

So on arriving in Otaki I met Fey, the host, and went back to her property, there was no shower, no heating, no oven, no toilet, and only the tiniest bit of running water for the sink, and it was awesome! When I got there it was just me, Charlotte (Kiwi), Andrew (Yank), Swede (Swede) and Simon (German). We set to work mulching and digging an area to build an earth house on, was nice fun work, only 4 hrs a day and lots of relaxing time. Then Caro (German) and Niko (German) turned up in their car, quickly followed by Gilberto and Wilma (Chilean) and then Felix (German), Tobi (German), Hannah (German), Anna (German) and Alice (German) and finally Jenny from Hampshire. Simon pointed out that since Europe was too difficult to take they thought ... read more
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The COMMUNAL bath ;)
Simon, Swede, Andrew

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Wellington October 9th 2012

Bus to Picton then the beautiful ferry across to windy welly, managed to get the last bed in base backpackers and met some lovely people over the 5 nights spent in the room. Learnt a lot from them about travel in Australia and some of the places in New Zealand as well. Only planned to spend a couple of days seeing the sights of Wellington but a bit too much fun in the first couple of nights meant not very productive days! Helped a girl Chelsea move into her new house in welly after moving over from Brisbane, and then went to the footy to see Wellington Pheonix beat Sydney FC 2-0 with Kieth and Chelsea. The next 3 days were spent exploring the Te Papa museum, writing CV's panicking about what the hell I'm going ... read more
Come on you Pheonix
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Botanical Garden Cable Car

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Kaikoura October 4th 2012

Got the bus from CHCH to Kaikoura with Ruth, nice scenic ride along the coast. Once there we unpacked at a very empty backpackers and went for a walk around the headland in search of seals, were not disappointed! Great wholesome meals of rice and cheese on toast carried us to the next day of swimming with dolphins, was incredible! Splashed out on some fish'n'chips and packed up ready for the bus to Wellington the next day.... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Canterbury » Rangiora October 2nd 2012

Finally arrived at my hosts' lifestyle plot in Rangiora, they have a ewe with 2 lambs, a few goats, 2 cows, lots of chickens and a big vegetable garden, they are almost completely selfsufficient and would be off grid if not for superior internet usage by the 3 sons, all home schooled, called Jochem, Jafeth and Johtam. 10, 16 and 18. The mother, Merel, is a bit of a crazy conspiracy theorist and the father, Jon, works in Christchurch. The work was not very difficult but they wanted 5-6 hrs a day which was fine as there was not a lot else to do in the area. I chopped a lot of wood and dug a lot of holes in the 10 days i spent there. I ate so much at lunch on the first day ... read more
Pizza oven
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