For what is probably our last kayaking trip for the summer, we decided to take advantage of relatively windless conditions and make another attempt to explore Kawhia Harbour. Last time we were here the waves were just too big for us to feel safe, but today the conditions were perfect. Continue reading Kawhia Harbour South Coast Kayak
Akaroa is a famous French settlement on a harbour at the southern side of Banks Peninsular near Christchurch. We parked for the night at the boat ramp, planning to go for a paddle first thing in the morning. Continue reading Akaroa Harbour
Because I wanted to visit my aunt in Alexandra we decided to stay for the night at a place just south of Roxburgh called Pinders Pond. To our astonishment there were already two Explorer Navigator motorhomes parked there side-by-side so we joined them. Continue reading Pinders Pond and Waihao Box
A few kilometers down the Clutha River from Millers Flat there is an old ghost town named Horseshoe Bend. At the height of the gold rush in 1863 it had a population of several hundred people. Today there are only a few signboards to mark its existance. Continue reading Horseshoe Bend
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
A little way south of the Catlins River is a place named Jacks Bay, which has a spectacular blowhole. We set off to visit it straight after breakfast while the tide was high. Continue reading Jacks Bay and Nugget Point
Because the weather was forecast to be wet, we planned to head out for a day trip and return to Curio Bay, but we changed our minds about mid-afternoon and ended up at Pounawea instead. The motor camp is on the edge of the Catlins River surrounded by mature bush, and there is more bird song than we have heard anywhere on our trip so far. Continue reading Catlins Coast to Owaka
If I had been asked a week ago where the southernmost point of the South Island was, I would have guessed Bluff, but in fact it is a place called Slope Point, a bit further east on the edge of the Catlins. Continue reading Waipapa Point and Curio Bay
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
As Felicity managed to have her two weeks annual leave scheduled just before Easter, we took the opportunity to head for the South Island with our kayaks on the roof of the motorhome.
Continue reading Auckland to Christchurch
If you travel north from Kaukapakapa on SH16 heading towards Wellsford, you pass some huge and unusual structures on the coastal hills that form part of Allan Gibbs’ collection of super-size sculptures. As it is on private property, you can’t just turn up when you want, but this weekend was a fundraiser for the Auckland Art Gallery so we purchased a couple of tickets. Continue reading Gibbs Farm Kaipara Harbour
On both Thursday and Friday I noticed that the sea down at Long Bay Beach was absolutely flat, so I thought conditions might be right for a kayak trip to Kawau Island in the weekend. We looked for the closest place to camp, and discovered that self contained vehicles can stay overnight at Scandrett Regional Park, so we drove up late Friday afternoon.
Continue reading Scandrett Regional Park and Brick Bay
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
It was Auckland Anniversary Weekend, and the weather looked good, so on Friday morning we headed down to Coromandel with our kayaks on the racks. We had hoped to stay on the edge of Whangapoua Harbour, but we weren’t the only ones to have this idea and all the freedom camping spots were taken. In the late afternoon, and desperate to get in the water for a swim, we called in at the Kuaotunu Motor Camp and found they had a site vacant.
Continue reading New Chum Beach and Kirita Bay
As the weather didn’t look too flash with regards to kayaking, we decided to explore the North Head of the Kaipara instead. After lunch on Friday we drove north to Dargaville then turned south again after crossing the Wairoa River. Continue reading Pouto Point and Ripiro Beach
I’ve never visited Ahipara, so we took the car ferry from Rawene across to Kohukohu and drove north along the Mangamuka river instead of returning to Kaikohe. The south end of Ninety Mile Beach is quite pretty, but somewhat spoiled by constant traffic driving at speed up and down the beach. Continue reading Houhora at New Year