Blogs from Whanganui National Park, North Island, New Zealand, Oceania

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Day 9: Owhango to Whangarei, 160km on (mostly) gorgeous asphalt Before getting into day nine we need to go back to the previous evening. The only other guests in the hotel were a couple of horses travelling on motorbikes. The two horses had matching black tea-shirts on with a dazzling silver logo of a motorbike. The male horse could hardly walk, he shuffled and his legs seem to give away on him with every step. The Donkey put two and two together and asked the lame horse if he had been involved in a motorbike accident, as it very much looked like it. No mate, the horse answered, I walked the Tongariro crossing today and I am bloody sore. The Donkey had walked the crossing once, in fact, he had run it, and it was a ... read more
Mount Ruapehu
Could this be....


Hi People, Today we had a nice breakfast and headed off to Tongariro to do the planned Alpine crossing but the closer we got the worse the weather got, I checked the weather for the day and found it was going to pelt down all day and then snow the next day so we decided to head down to Whanganui and then down to Kapiti for sun set and camp there. The drive down into Whanganui was amazing it’s called the Para-Paras and combines hilly landscape with winding roads. It was spectacular. As we had not paid to stay anywhere it meant we had no 220v power (or showers) so once we got to Whanganui we stopped in the I-sites, which are located all over NZ. We charged up all our stuff and got some blog ... read more
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Well we have been in Nelson for a few days exploring the top of the South Island. On our list was a trip into the Abel Tasman National Park. It is only accessible by boat or plane and is the smallest of NZ national parks. There are 40 residential properties there but no facilities so they have to really fend for themselves in every way. I can't imagine living without what we take for granted as the fundamentals of every day life. Goodness knows what happens if you need to go to the docs or the hospital cos the only way is by boat and then it's a further hour by car once you have got to the little harbour. You really have to be self sufficient, like your own company and enjoy being one with ... read more
Split Apple rock
Sun shines on the righteous
Me on the top of Mt Robert


One by one we arrived at Station Lodge in Ohakune, a small town in Tongariro National Park in the centre of New Zealand's North Island, the evening before the start of our five day Mountain to Sea cycle ride. Station Lodge, where we had booked to stay for two nights, has a variety of accommodation for all pockets from an old station house that has dorms, single rooms all with shared facilities to newly built units that comprise one bedroom ensuite and two bedroom chalets with all mod cons. Mountain Bike Station shares the same location as Station Lodge and as the name suggests it is beside the train station about 11/2 kms from the centre of Ohakune. Both businesses are run separately, but owned by Darren & Jane, whose interest is primarily the Mountain bike ... read more
Before the start of Mountain to Sea
Hope our bikes don't end up like this
Ready, Steady Go from the Turoa ski field car park under Mt Ruapehu


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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Wanganui and the damn Van W.O.F. debacle.. Strolled around Wanganui. Nice little town. Have found a good spot for a full breakfast. Art colleges and very active local art scene. Quite a few arty Craft shops to browse through. Wonder how many craft shops I've been in now?! Van W.O.F. Dropped van into service station station at 8 to get it's TLC. Mechanic has sourced a 2nd hand windscreen (to replace the existing one with its tiny crack), an exhaust pipe and petrol cap. Using these salvaged parts should bring price down loads. Told to come back at 4pm. Walked around Wanganui to waste a bit of time. Got back at 4 expecting to see the van sitting there all ready but found instead a windscreenless chunk of metal sitting in the mechanics yard. What happened ... read more


Napier Gave myself a little Art Deco tour of the city. Napier pics: Napier ... read more


A few more photos from Wanganui...A few from Christmas day with the family we stay with here in the morning, and a few of some other Woofers and housemates. ... read more
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High Country Weather Alone we are born, And die alone. Yet see the red-gold cirrus, Over snow-mountain shine. Upon the upland, Ride easy stranger. Surrender to the sky, Your heart of anger. - James K. Baxter Jerusalem Pilgrimage When planning this journey, I knew one of the places I wanted to visit was the Whanganui River and in particular the tiny settlement of Jerusalem where the poet James K Baxter established a community in the 1960s. When he died in 1972 he was buried there. Baxter was a hugely controversial figure, besides being probably our best poet. I was intrigued to see the place where he’d spent much of the last decade of his life First the Church I arrived in Jerusalem mid-afternoon during a break in the weather. At some point in his life Baxter ... read more
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St Joseph's Church - detail
St Joseph's Church


VITAL STATISTICS Feral Mike's Current Location: Palmerston North Distance Covered So Far: 2,268 Kilometres Average Speed over Last 70 K: 22.4 kilometres per hour (getting faster!) Next Destinations: Pahiatua, Pongaroa, Alfredton, Masterton PREVIOUSLY ON FERAL MIKE'S TRAVELS I spent two days travelling from Raetihi to Wanganui, via the Whanganui River. It's little more than 100 kilometres, but the condition of the road makes it slow going and there was lots to stop and look at.... read more
Mandy at the Raetahi Holiday Park
Whanganui River
River Campsite




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