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


Oldlowes afloat/adrift. ...what could possibly go wrong? Yes yes yes oldlowes are go! The water is low enough to allow canoes on the river and we have been thrown into panic! We’re packing barrels and drybags and trying to decide what to take and are very excited about getting out on the Whanganui at last. We’re limited to the three day trip as the top reaches of the river are still closed but we are very chuffed to be getting out at all. We left early to get out on the river for the final briefing from the people who are renting us the canoes, including how to use the emergency beacon to summon a helicopter (niiice). Pete paddled at the back (apparently the Captain (so he thinks haha)) me in front (Engine haha). After a ... read more
The wonderful Whanganui
The view from the loo.....
Snowy Mount Ruapehu

Crusin' and playing the radio With no particular place to go Chuck Berry After leaving Doubtful Sound, we had to make a long drive to the Fox Glacier area. We planned to see the glacier while we were there, but also had hoped to have great views of the Southern Alps from the western side along the way. We were frustrated in both aspirations. In the more southern part of the trip, we saw some beautiful lakes, such as Lake Wakatipu at Queenstown and the side-by-side lakes Wanaka and Hawea. But as you drive along the western coast of the South Island, you are largely in vegetation-covered foothills, and only rarely catch glimpses of the mountains themselves. We frequently crossed wide snow-fed alluvial streams, with the typical shoals of gravel, now barely flowing at the end ... read more
Lake Wakatipu
Lake Wanaka
Snow-fed alluvial river

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

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

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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