49 day entire NZ experience


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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island
February 14th 2009
Published: February 22nd 2009
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Sailing on classic yachtSailing on classic yachtSailing on classic yacht

Us out 4 a session with 10 on board
Fell out o the sky in Blenheim, but survived & luckily hitched 2 Picton 4 catchup with heaps o' good friends. In the sound with a crew of Outward Bound workers & mates 4 the last "more than a decade"! Went 4 a couple of hikes on the hills to get good views and take lovely shots of it, went kayaking 2 see what was livin in the clean water all around & even went out sailing in the classic yacht that is used in an Outward Bound course.

On NY eve We hitched from Picton to Takaka which we did surprisingly easily. We got short ride to turnoff then with german guy, Hannes, all the way to Paynes Ford. We also made stop in Nelson on the way to stock up on consumption supplies for our intro to a New Year. We caught up with a large crew of climbin friends from all around NZ, Aussie, Asia, Europe, N & S America. Ended up with a bit of guitar, social interactions and countdown to the year 2009.

New Years day was another stunner in the morning with great weather and access to some of NZ’s best climbing in
Foot-restFoot-restFoot-rest

Stewhan takin his break on '1080 & the letter G'
a beautiful scenic zone. Went climbin on the ‘Little Lost Wall’ to give lessons 4 complete beginners on simple top-ropes. Later went up to do ‘1080 & the Letter G’ which was an endurance challenge without a memory of the sequence. It challenged me, but I enjoyed it, especially the upside-down leg-hang, and managed to get up it on my 2nd go at it. Then went to swim hole #2 for a swim to cool off from my workout & enjoyed to challenge of bouldering out with tiny holds. Made that OK then went on slack-line above river from which I took a plunge into pool. Later, after getting back to campsite, I went to swim hole #1 where I swung into water on rope-swing & then out through rapid flow. To end the day I chatted with AKL crew while we had a great meal with Hannes; just a yummy way to finish day 1!

Next day I headed to ‘Fish Wall’ where I caught up with Max & Mayan who were on the climb ‘African Head Charge’. I gave it a go without a warm-up, but got super-pumped as a first action for the day & ended
Scott's beach sunsetScott's beach sunsetScott's beach sunset

End of day 1 of Heaphy hike
up having about 4 rests with another loss of sequence memory. Straight after I got on a 19 on ‘Rhinoceros Wall’ & was still feeling pumped enough to find that challenging as well! After yummy dinner we went out to Muscle Inn with companions and met up with about 20 other climbers; had some snacks and saw a concert by a talented band with great guitar, saxophone & verbal performers. We were playing on crazy tyre-swing which made some great photos! Got a ride back with dude from Chile…

03/01/09 Got up & biked to Takaka for food supply and happened to find ‘Fire-Stick’ 4 dad’s X-mas gift at the market in town. Was a bit of a mission biking home with big heavy load on a mini-bike. Once back we chilled out, slack-lined and practiced ‘Fire-Stick’ for a while. Late avo I played soccer with Hannes & a couple of young kids for a cruisy time. Finally I had a #1 swim again playing in rapid before our great dinner and a following relaxed evening after rest-day.

04/01/09 In morning I went with Andrea (CH) & Dylan 2 the Globe Wall where I played on 23 &
The Heaphy river-mouthThe Heaphy river-mouthThe Heaphy river-mouth

Nice setting with small limestone cliffs & waves
22 which made me feel nicely tired to the point of not just cruising up like I used to on those nice former 'warm-up' routes. In the avo went out to the Pohara cliff by the beach, firstly to Pirate Ship café then climbed on the Beet Pop wall where I led up a 24 & another 23. These were not so difficult for me & I managed several beautiful shots my companions on those routes. We went for a swim at the beach to cool down after, but it turned out to be freezing like crazy! Then to le supermarche 4 some speise & back to camp where we went 2 dunk in the river to clean off salt-water & get cold again… Had a late yummy dinner then tried to share 2 litres of ice-cream with 9 others, but they didn’t really want much so I ended up eating 3 quarters of it!

I headed up to Little Lost Wall 2 set up top-ropes for group of beginners (Australasia, Europe, Asia & S-America). 16’s & 18’s were done before we heard from Doris & Alex who we met at #2 swimming hole. We left our climbing gear
Heaphy alpine settingHeaphy alpine settingHeaphy alpine setting

This is the change from bush to alpine setting after a long walk uphill
at Hangdog camp-ground before getting a ride to Kaiteriteri with beautiful views over the hill once again! Once there we had a chat with Bob & then went for a swim with Alex at the beach. They were staying in a house borrowed from some unknown friend of a friend of a friend… but it was lovely! We went for dinner at Marahau beach which turned out to be yummy again and a guitar concert started up toward the end. One woman seemed to just spin with the music to a point of seeming affected by dizziness or some form of alcoholic infection... I miss guitar!

We headed in the morning on a ferry from Marahau to Barks Bay 2 hike on the Abel Tasman track. We started together, but soon ended up with just Alex & I leading until we got to Cleopatra swim-hole where we waited for the others. I was amazed by the number of leute (people) speakin French, Spanish, Deutsch etc while admiring what they saw.

On one evening we went down to Tahunanui Beach to enjoy dinner with 7 companions.

We hitch-hiked from Wakefield on, getting 4 rides around through Murchison &
Posing by shoe-towerPosing by shoe-towerPosing by shoe-tower

Likin the choices enough to capture the image!
Westport 2 arrive in Karamea where we had a 18:30 start 2 the Heaphy hike. We walked for 2 hrs & got to Scotts Beach where Stewhan climbed on the granite boulder. We then ate yummy Tortilla 4 abend-essen & took several spectacular shots of sunset over the beach. It had been a beautiful day, but we were assaulted at night in SANDFLY HELL!

Next day we walked along the amazing coast, crossing a swing-bridge & at Big Rock Beach I saw a seal surfing on the waves. On Koura Beach I saw two shags resting on the beautiful day. For the day we crossed Crayfish Creek, walked past Twin Beach, Katipo Creek shelter, Nettle Beach, Twenty Minute Beach, where we stopped for lunch. We crossed lovely Wekekura stream and thought it was so clear we went upstream for a nudey swim to clean our clothes and selves…
On arrival at Heaphy Hut I went out for a walk along the beach to see the beautiful cliffs with the nice light conditions. Walking along the beach I had some aggressive Oyster Catchers flyin straight at me to protect their beach chick on the beach as well. Once again there
Good ShepherdGood ShepherdGood Shepherd

Beauty stop at Lake Tekapo on way south
were sand-flies galore, even in the hut, but we managed to keep our tent relatively free of them; by opening it as short as possible & then destroying them once inside.

We hiked up a long hill with great high altitude scenery until, after crossing the Heaphy and Lewis Rivers, we stopped at Lewis Hut for a Tortilla snack for lunch. On the track we were met by a Cuckoo that was intrigued by our gear to a point of having interactions by climbin on it & tasting it! The final section had a wild rock-cave when we emerged into open landscape with great scenery of high altitude tussock growing.

Shortly after Gouland Downs hut we saw a shoe-beam with hiking boots, sandals, gumboots & even climbing shoes! The scenery then changed once again from sparse, open altitude to tall forest trees wide apart, which provided yet another variation on the Heaphy track. We passed the 910 metre point (highest on the track), but shortly afterwards it started raining so we decided to camp at the Aorere Shelter.

We cruised the wide open path down the hill to the little bridge over the clear Brown River that
Fruit-break in CromwellFruit-break in CromwellFruit-break in Cromwell

The 'sweet as' bearded character & cute "Moooooooooo" on display...
I had enjoyed swimming in when I had done that part of the hike with the Zuur’s years ago. We took a little break at the parkin area to celebrate our finish & wait for a potential ride. We asked a lot, but many seemed to say “no”, which is an indicator that it is not the way it used to be. We finally did get a ride out with a family with whom we stopped at NZ’s oldest dairy 4 a piece of cake! We finally made it back to Hangdog campground with Golden Bay locals and couple of Raglan hitchers after a break at the Muscle Inn for drink samples. Once back we were tired and hungry so we hitched into Takaka for dinner at “Dangerous Kitchen” and another supply of speise at le supermarchet. Trying to hitch back didn’t work with many cars just driving past so we walked the whole way back…!

The Heaphy is one of NZ's classic samples of beautiful scenery of almost all good things with coast, dense & sparse bush, open alpine settings, small creeks, big rivers & a nice track the whole way!

Plan is to hitch to Nelson
Mirror LakeMirror LakeMirror Lake

Beautiful source of reflection
to pick up the things we left there. It took quite a while for our ride so we fought and danced a bit before getting picked up by a woman who was driving a temporary vehicle because she wrote off her car while driving over that hill last time. She was doing it crazy fast again, scaring our bits off & made us really glad to get out in Motueka without ourselves being written off!!

Given that we almost been killed by hitching we checked out a couple of vehicles that we could potentially buy to solve our problem & allow us to pick more & more gear 4 he rest of the trip. We checked out a van, gave it a test drive & it passed everythin we tried with it. Result? Let's get it!!

We got the ownership forms signed for the right to own the purple ’92 Nissan Serena 4 our trip.

In Chch we went out body-surfing at New Brighton beach with Moo & Liv, our host, before returning to eat steak, couscous and salad for dinner. Next day we went out to Diamond Harbour to visit good friends at their beautiful home
Scenic Homer SaddleScenic Homer SaddleScenic Homer Saddle

Takin a break on our search 4 boulders to climb on
with nice views. We then went out to Camps bay for a swim & met up with another of my good uni friends also living in Diamond Harbour.

After dinner later in the week another uni mate came around to whom we chatted about recent life action and challenged her with “how many bears & how many caves?” dice challenge.

We left Chch heading down to Q'town 2 see an amigo de France & had a break at Lake Tekapo at the Shepherd stone hall. Arriving in Q'town we visited 2 french amigos at their place & joined them for their first day of group bouldering at Jardines boulder field. We had a yummy dinner at their home followed by games before sleeping. Next day we left Q'town heading to Fiordland & observed the Mirror Lakes, Lake Gunn & ended up sleeping by Marian Lake track after a great day!

We hiked up to Marian Lake which we experienced without being able to see the other side of the lake itself. We then approached Homer Hut, where there were only 3 guys so we went through to Chasm waterfall walkway where many tourists were enjoying the views.
Milford SoundMilford SoundMilford Sound

This shows great shot with Mitre Peak up above the sound itself
Later we descended to Milford bay where we experienced the coastal bush walk & I popped back to Milford Lodge. On return to Homer Hut we walked in to see Babylon which was intensely wet & muddy on approach to it. It looked once again one of the spectacular locations for climbing anywhere in the world.

We went to Homer Tunnel to look for some bouldering rocks, but not developed at all so none done. Happened to bump into 2 friends heading up to Homer Saddle to do some multi-pitch climbing for 3 days while camping up there. Great to finally see one of the expected climbers here!

We then went down to Hollyford trail to walk for the afternoon to see some of the great sites.

Next day we headed back north to Wanaka to do some more climbing at an easier spot. On arrival at Hospital Flat we met a Russian who joined us to climb 4 the avo. We spent the afternoon climbing on a number of pleasant routes in the fine weather. We went to sleep at the Riverside Crag field.

Next day we went to the east end of Hospital Flat
Thirsty!Thirsty!Thirsty!

Moo takes a long drink to ease thirst...
with Alex to climb a 3 pitch classic to help Moo improve her confidence with getting higher.

B4 departure from Russian buddy we did some morning silly jumps to say “adios amigo” to him & head back 2 Chch. 1st day back we went 4 a walk in the morn & got some beauty shots lookin down at the coast in the early light. We bought sunblock & charged natels at café. Saw a Kite-surfin comp in the harbour b4 goin 2 the beach again 4 fun. Saw 5 planes doin amazing air-tricks by flyin in twists around each other!

Went climbin at Britten Crag again. Did 3 easy routes again 4 Moo & then tried classic 23 on which I got immensely pumped and failed!

Went 4 a morning walk around 2 learn areas street names. To cool down a little we went to Jelly pool, but didn’t enjoy the chlorinated water! On return we got a bit more speise from bakery.

Woke early to eat, pack gear & leave early enough to make it to our ferry. We had a food-break in Kaikoura, then went through lots of roadworks & only just made it
Wanaka 3 pitch routeWanaka 3 pitch routeWanaka 3 pitch route

The Russian, Moo & Stew at the top of 60m climb
to our ferry 2 minutes before access closed!

Once in NZ's capital we went out to Zuur’s & baked a couple of loaves of bread upon arrival while we took Annabelle, friendly dog, for a walk on the beach & a ride on the slide in the nearby park. Had a game of Toeggelichaschte & enjoyed a great dinner with our hosts after which we shared a bunch of the best photos with.

Next day we had a spa b4 breakfast & then went 4 a bikeride 2 see 1 o' the hosts play beach volleyball on Waikanae beach. We actually biked there along the beach of which it was helping Doris training for her triathlon in 2 weeks. Right peddle fell off my bike on way back so I ended up running with bike for last 8 or so km. Total of 36.5 km was done! After arriving I happened to spill juice on my pants and get some serious hiccups which added yet another dimension to my summer holiday.

On our last day away I took Annabelle 4 another walk, learnt all 26 CH canton flags, had a yummy lunch with hosts & then departed
Jumpin Mad-StewJumpin Mad-StewJumpin Mad-Stew

Bikin along beach we found my name & Matthew Ridges sea-eagles league team
on our way home to finally finish our summer holiday away from home… We took a break in Bulls 4 Moo's dutch treats and then stopped in Turangi for asian takeaway dinner where a crazy jumping girl ran around screaming. On arrival it was just great for us to finally be home & sleep in a proper normal bed; at least that is good for now…


Additional photos below
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View of Kapiti IslandView of Kapiti Island
View of Kapiti Island

Beautiful day with gathering of seagulls enjoying the view of Kapiti Island on Waikanae Beach


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