We left Port Douglas this morning and drove up to the Atherton Tablelands. After a bit over an hour’s driving we saw a sign pointing to the Mareeba Wetlands, and decided to take a look. While it is only about 30km inland from Cairns this area is over 400 metres higher, so the surroundings are much more like the rest of Australia than the steamy rain-forest on the coast.
Continue reading Mareeba
While Felicity is in Mexico, and the autumn weather is still benign, I decided to head south in the van for a few days to explore some new trails. I had to meet a client on Monday morning, so I didn’t leave Albany till mid afternoon, but I was early enough to be ahead of the rush hour traffic and arrived on the outskirts of Hamilton just before 5.00pm.
I grabbed my tablet to check the Campermate App for parking spots, and discovered to my horror that the charging lead was missing. This device is not only my main navigator, but also what I intended to watch movies on at night so this was a minor disaster.
Continue reading Waikato River Trails
This weekend Felicity flew to Minneapolis for a meeting, and since I had to pick up a kayak in Hamilton, I decided to stay down in the Waikato and do some mountain-biking.
Continue reading Pirongia and Te Miro
A friend of ours rented a holiday house located right on the shore of Lake Rotoiti over Easter, and invited a dozen of us to celebrate her forthcoming 75th birthday. We loaded our kayaks on the roof of the campervan and left early on Good Friday morning to beat the traffic. As we had hoped, the motorway was clear, so exactly an hour after leaving home we were stopped on the bank of the Waikato at Mercer eating breakfast.
Continue reading Easter at Rotoiti
Out trip across Cook Strait was quite a bit rougher than the previous trip, but the combination of a sea-sick prevention pill and finding a strategic position in the centre of the boat meant that I didn’t suffer unduly. Because of the wind, the captain was forced to take a longer course and we were an hour and a half late docking in Wellington, but this gave me the opportunity to watch two complete movies, which distracted me from the sight of the horizon moving up and down alarmingly.
Continue reading Lake Maraetai
I drove into Christchurch city on Monday morning to catch up with a long-time associate from a father’s support group I am involved with. I was a bit concerned about rush-hour traffic, but by Auckland standards the streets were practically deserted.
Continue reading Mt Grey
All the way across the Haast Pass it continued to pour with rain, so although there were numerous interesting-looking places to explore, we didn’t stop. When we arrived in Hawea, we finally had cell-phone reception and internet again so while we ate lunch at the edge of the lake we caught up on emails and blog updating.
Continue reading Cromwell
By the time we re-joined the highway at Fox Glacier we were ready for lunch, so we sat in the hotel carpark eating and doing a bit of work while we had internet available. There is no cellphone coverage south of Fox until you reach Hawea on the other side of the Southern Alps.
Continue reading Lake Paringa
There was a little bit of rain overnight, but by breakfast time the sun was shining and the sky overhead was mostly blue. We spent the night at a DOC campground at the north end of the lake, and were parked close enough to the boat ramp to be able to unload the kayaks without moving the van.
Continue reading Lake Mapourika
Lake Mahinapua is just back from the coast about 10km south of Hokitika. Before there were any roads in this area, there used to be a couple of paddle steamers travelling up the Mahinapua Creek and across the lake transporting gold miners to Ross, the next town south.
Continue reading Lake Mahinapua
After a stop in Takaka to stock up on food and diesel, and for me to do a couple of urgent web update jobs for clients, we drove out past Collingwood to the west coast.
Continue reading Lake Otuhie
After breakfast this morning our host drove us back to Gairlochy where we had left the Great Glen Way yesterday. The hot summer sun has been replaced by cloud and mist, and the temperature seems to have dropped about 10 degrees. It didn’t rain, but we needed our coats on to keep out the cold wind. No swimming in the loch today!
Continue reading South Laggan
With conferencing over, we spent Friday night at a DOC camp ground on the shore of Lake Okareka, off the road out to Tarawera,
Continue reading Lake Okareka
On Thursday and Friday last week Felicity was speaking at a rural doctors’ conference in Rotorua, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to have a few days away with her in the camper-van.
Continue reading GP Conference in Rotorua
The last day of our summer holiday turned out to be the best adventure of the trip, despite being immediately followed by the biggest hassle.
Continue reading Lake Maraetai and Mangakino Creek
When our host at the Bryn Llewelyn guest house Mick Figg heard that we were keen hikers, he gave us a photocopied map with a suggested route that would take us on a five lake circuit. There are lots of shorter walks around the village, but we are obviously more hard core than your average tourist.
Continue reading Llanrhychwyn Church
When we looked at the weather map, the central North Island looked like the place to be over Anniversary weekend, so we’ve been exploring one of the hydro lakes on the Waikato river.
Continue reading Lake Ohakuri