For our last full day in Krakow, we booked a tour of the nearby Nazi death camp followed by a trip down a salt mine. I can now appreciate why the government here recently passed a law which forbids these camps being referred to as Polish. Continue reading Auschwitz-Birkenau and Wieliczka Salt Mine
There is no freedom camping around Manapouri, so we parked for the night at a motorcamp in town. I spent the late afternoon catching up on some work while we had good internet. Continue reading Lake Manapouri
Lake Monowai provided us with perfect kayaking conditions today – flat, glassy water with beautiful views of the Fiordland mountains. It was created to supply one of the South Islands first hydro-electric power stations in 1925. Continue reading Lake Monowai
In between the town of Monowai and the South Arm of Lake Manapouri is a 45 km 4WD road across the Hunter Mountains that was built in the late 1960s to install power pylons connecting the Manapouri Power Station to the National Grid. At the far end is a campsite from which we hoped to launch our kayaks. Continue reading Borland Road and Mt Burns
Directly inland from Dunedin is the town of Lawrence, just outside of which is an area known as Gabriels Gully. Nowadays it is a DOC reserve in a pretty tree-lined valley, but its claim to fame is that in 1861 a bloke named Gabriel Read discovered gold there, and the Otago gold rush began. Continue reading Gabriels Gully
At the Glenorchy end of Lake Wakatipu there are a couple of islands that you see from the highway, and we have always wanted to kayak there to explore. When we arrived in Queenstown yesterday and saw that the lake was flat and glassy we decided to take the opportunity. Continue reading Pigeon Island – Lake Wakatipu
At the top of the Matukituki River, which runs into Lake Wanaka, there is a track up to a lookout where visitors can admire the Rob Roy Glacier. The local tourist information center claims it is “one of the best half-day walks in NZ”, and I reckon they are probably right.
Continue reading Albert Town and Rob Roy Glacier
On the southern side of Kawhia Harbour there are some interesting rock formations that we have been wanting to kayak to, and this weekend we thought the conditions might finally be right. Felicity needed to visit the local doctor to discuss student placements, so she arranged to meet him late on Friday afternoon. Continue reading Kawhia Harbour and Lake Ngaroto
In between Pataua and Ngunguru is a river called the Horahora, on the NZ topographical map anyway. On Google Maps it is confusingly named Waitangi, despite the fact that there is much better known river with the same name in the Bay of Islands a bit further north. Continue reading Horahora River
Despite the fact that heavy rain was forecast for Saturday night we decided to spend the weekend kayaking, and the Rotorua area seemed the obvious choice. We left home on Friday morning, and made it as far as Karapiro by lunchtime. Continue reading Dunham Reserve and Blue Lake
This afternoon we hiked down the hill from Chaumont to Neuchâtel, after riding up on a funicular railway. Neuchâtel is a bit under two hours by train south of Zurich in Switzerland. Continue reading Chaumont Funicular – Neuchâtel
After my big mission yesterday I was hoping for an easy day exploring the city, but Felicity was keen to start walking one of the long-distant trails leading out towards the coast, so we spent another exhausting day of touristing. Wherries were barges with large black sails, used to transport goods up rivers to inland towns, and played an important part in the history of Norwich.
Continue reading Wherryman’s Way – Norwich to Surlingham
Although we visited Lake Tutira at the end of 2014, we decided to spend another night there and enjoy a paddle. We noticed signs on the way in warning about low water quality, but it wasn’t until we parked in a prime spot on the lake edge that we realised just how bad toxic algae can get in warm, still water.
Continue reading Toxic Lake Tutira
Our cunning plan for Auckland Anniversary weekend was to leave early on Friday afternoon and try and beat the traffic out of town. Fortunately I took a quick look at the online news before we left, and discovered that due to a car on fire near Papakura there were thousands of other keen holiday-goers already parked on the motorway.
Continue reading Arapuni Landing
As Felicity has an event in Whakatane to attend on Monday, we decided to drive down on Friday and spend the weekend in the area. We were keen on a paddle in our kayaks, but the weather on Friday was looking a bit wild so we headed for Lake Okareka, just to the west of Lake Tarawera, in the hope that it would be relatively sheltered.
Continue reading Powhiri in Whakatane
The English branch of the Potter family is visiting NZ this Christmas, so we took the opportunity to spend a couple of days with them in Kerikeri.
Continue reading Bay of Islands with the Brits
Section three of the Great Lakes Trail is not easy to get to. As it is 31 km long I wasn’t game to do a return trip so I paid a shuttle to drop me off at the start, and pick me up off the beach by boat at the end.
Continue reading Waihaha and Waihora Trails
Stage two of the Great Lake Trail in Taupo (otherwise known as K2K) runs west along the lake shore from Kinloch to Kawakawa Bay, then climbs up a valley to the road far above. It is 19km each way, so I’ve ridden 38 km today going there and back.
Continue reading Kinloch to Whangamata Rd via Kawakawa Bay
This Labour Day holiday we were well-organised – I hadn’t unloaded the kayak gear from last weekend – so we escaped the city late morning on Friday, heading south. By the time we reached Otorahonga we were ready for lunch, so we stopped at the Haurua rest area. This is the start of the King Country, and there is a memorial stone marking the spot where the first Māori king met with the Ngāti Maniapoto chiefs in 1857 to get their support. Europeans could not enter this area for the next quarter of a century. Fortunately for us the locals tolerate pakeha tourists these days.
Continue reading Whakaipo Bay
After abandoning our plans to go away in the camper last week due to the horrible weather, we committed ourselves this weekend no matter what. I loaded the kayaks on Thursday so by late morning Friday we were ready to hit the road south, way before any motorway traffic to slow us down.
The only slight problem was that yet again we were short on cheese. A first-world problem to be sure, but needing to be rectified nonetheless. Continue reading Lake Rerewhakaatiu