New Zealand

A bit of life squeezed between joy and disappointment in the land of intense colors
Tongariro National Park & Taupo Lake, New Zealand

I am in Tongariro National Park in NZ, arrive 3 am to Auckland, get up at 6:30 a, catch an 8 am flight to Taupo, 1. 5 hrs drive to the park just to be back at 6 p.m and after all this effort and determination, I cannot even see the Crater lake!

It takes 6-8 hrs to hike the Tongariro Alpine Crossing track and I have 4.5 hrs! I will do the Taranaki Falls track instead.

In my early days of traveling, I would be more disappointed for the things I missed out, but now I am on the joy side of the scale. I take a deep breath of the crisp air and start taking the incredible scenery and be grateful that I am here. I am in the land of “green is green like no other, blue is a blue like no other”     

As I did a shorter hike today, I had more free time to explore unplanned, around lake Taupo and drove to every scenic view sign on my way. And I have seen one of the most stunning views of my life with the ducks (kugu) on lake taupo with all shades of blue and green mixed together immensely.

Just when you think you miss out on something, life rewards you unexpectedly. You never know what is waiting for you around the corner. Just give it a little chance. Just leave a little space. Just be open to where the road may take you and then go for the hike ahead of you instead of contemplating on the one you missed!

7 November 2017

Tribute to Christchurch

You are sad, broken, left lonely while your beautiful sister Queenstown is shining, smiling, welcoming everyone with joy…It has been years since the earthquake that changed your life, but I am surprised to find out that you are not recovered…you are standing in the middle of nowhere all by yourself, with a deep creek in the middle…as it is all just happened, as if it is all gonna come back any minute…I want to cry for you, I want to caress you and say it is alright…it is gonna be alright.

January 2015

Around Auckland

– Auckland:

Explore the islands of the Hauraki Gulf, sail on an America’s Cup boat or on a luxury launch, visit Waiheke wineries, view endangered native birds on Tiritiri Matangi.
– Day trip: Waitomo Caves and Rotorua, Lord of the Rings Movie set near Matamat
– Waiheke islands- ferry from Auckland, zip lining, wine tasting
– Corumandel: 2hr ferry from Auckland, Pier 4, Ferry Teminal, Quay Street, Auckland or Hannafords Wharf Coromandel
– If you’re roaming the Coromandel, save some energy for the Pauanui Mountain Walking Track – it leads to panoramic views over the Bay of Plenty.
– White Island, off the coast near Whakatane, is one of the most interesting active volcanoes in the world. The best view is from above, in a helicopter.
– Walk to the summit of Rangitoto Island and look across to the buzzing expanse of Auckland City.  The alien landscape of this black lava volcano is softened by beautiful Pohutukawa forest and flittering fantails.

– North of Auckland: Follow the trail of Zane Grey and Ernest Hemmingway and head off into the wild blue Pacific to hook a marlin. Game boats can be chartered in Northland  – head for Whangaroa, Russell or Tutukaka.
– 3 hours South of Auckland, Take your quest for thrills underground.  At Waitomo you can abseil into the Lost World Cave, explore the unbelievable Haggis Honking Holes or float through eerie subterranean tunnels on an inflated inner tube or on a boat.
– Rangitikei, Motu, Tongariro Rivers for rafting
– Whanganui river: Relaxing three day canoe trip along historic Maori waterways, with overnight stay in a traditional Marae.
– 4 hours South of Auckland: Scree run down into the crater of Mt Tarawera, you must first hike up.
– Rotorua: 3 hours from Auckland, Check out the mud pools and geysirs before relaxing in hot pools and mud baths.
– Pacific Coast Highway: Hot water beaches of the Coromandel, volcanic White Island, and explore the wine region of Hawkes’ Bay by bike
– Twin Coast: 20 min from Auckland: Discover New Zealand’s history and Maori culture, while exploring the beautiful beaches and majestic forests of the Northland region.
– Tongariro Crossing: 4 hours from Auckland, Known as the finest one day hike in the world, this walk is not for the faint-hearted but you are rewarded with fantastic views across the North Island, and the turquoise crater lakes are unforgettable.
– Taupo adventures: One of the best places in the world to skydive, you can also bungy, jetboat, white water raft and kayak around New Zealand’s largest lake. For those looking for a more gentle adventure
Taupo is also renowned for its trout fishing.

South Island Around Dunedin:
-for rafting Shotover and Kawarau Rivers

-3.5 hrs from Dunedin: Jet boating gives you a major dose of thrill therapy. Blast through the narrow canyons of the Shotover River in as little as 4 inches of water, rock walls only centimetres from the end of your nose
-Catlins coast, 1 hr 20 from Dunedin: Take the Southern Scenic Route to reach the remote, wild coastline of The Catlins, home to rare species of flora and fauna and a petrified forest.
-3.5 hrs, Queenstown is home to bungy, jet boating, whitewater rafting, canyoning, paragliding, sky diving, fly-by-wire.

Rest of South Island
– Cruise from Manapouri, or include luxury coach transfers from Te Anau or Queenstown
– Milford Sound (from Queenstown)
– Mount Cook (4 hours to Queenstown)

– Franz Josef Glacier
– Glenorchy movie tours (from Queenstown)
– Greymouth trans alpine rail trip, between Christchurch and Greymouth Tranz Alpine Train
– Greymouth – a great base for exploring this unspoiled region with its mighty glaciers, wild rivers and famous Punakaiki pancake rocks.
– Kaiteriteri beach (4 hours from Greymouth by car)

Top Experiences

  • Explore the islands of the Hauraki Gulf
  • Waiheke islands
  • Twin Coast

    Discover New Zealand’s history and Maori culture

  • Franz Josef Glacier
  • Tongariro National Park