See the Glowworms in Waitomo Caves
See the Glowworms in Waitomo Caves ...................................................................................................................................................................................Related to:
- National/State Park
make your own hot spa at the edge of Lake Taupo
We found most of the natural hot springs around Taupo were all concreted in like normal swimming pools, and we wanted something a la naturale.... so we asked around and were told about a hot spring that trickles and gushes up through the sand near rocks at the edge of Lake Taupo.
You walk down from town to the Lake, and turn left toward the boat sheds, and wander down to the rocks nearby. Look around - there won't be any signs to indicate anything. We found the small gusher, and dug out a big bowl of sand with our hands, letting the freezing lake water (it was mid winter, with snow on the mountains across the lake) into our sand bowl, to mix with the boiling hot bubbling water....and had ourselves a lovely steamy sand spa, right on the edge of the lake, all to ourselves. Bliss!!
Went down the lake again the next morning and all had washed away. Noone would ever know!!Related to:
There are many vesrions as to how these boulders were created, legend states that they aree food basked which were washed ashore when a canoe shipwrecked off shore on its search for prized greenstones.
Eric von Daneken attributes the stones to space men.
Some scientists say that they were eroded from the mudstone cliffs behind and got their shape when pounded by the surf.
Others claim that they started as lime crystals, which then attracted other minerals around it to make the round shape.
Whichever is the truth, they are more impressive than they sound, and worth the trouble to find them.Related to:
Wanaka is 100 km from Queenstown, located at the southern end of Lake Wanaka.
There is a lot of trekking available here, as well as skiing in the winter, with Mt Aspiring National Park and the Cardrona Harris Mountains and Pisa Range being easily accessible.
Activities are also available on the lake - hovercraft, jet boats, fishing, wind surfing, water skiing, jet skiing and boat trips.
Also available is: paragliding, rock climbing, cycling, kayaking, rafting, horse riding and various aerial sightseeing tours.
Stuart Lansborough's Puzzling World
“The Leaning Tower of Wanaka” is the first you notice. The leans a remarkable fifty-three degrees and balances on one corner!
The large clock on the tower actually runs backwards. It was started on the stroke of the millennium and is ticking backwards into the 20th century!
The main building called “The Four Leaning Towers”. These four towers are all balanced at different angles.
This was the original maze in New Zealand, since then they have become very popular, so much so that New Zealand are actually exporting them!
The maze is incredibly frustrating! You have to visit the four corner towers before making your way to the centre. After finding two nad walking up and down the same passage and round and round 15 times at least, I give up. I get easily bored, and this place frustrates me.
The illusion rooms have to be seen to be believed. The first is a room full of holograms, certainly the best and most interesting holograms I have ever seen.
Next is the Hall of Following Faces, where pictures of famous faces have that annoying habit that their faces seem to follow you around the room. Very impressive! How do they do that?
Lastly, in the perspective room, people look unnaturally tall or short with the help of clever mirrors. Weird.
The floor and walls of the Tilted House has been built at an angle of 15 degrees. When you stan dup straight, it gives the impression that you are in fact leaning. It is a really strange sensation!Add to your Trip Planner
Caravan parking in farms
Do you know that you can park your caravan at a farm while travelling in NZ? My friend whom I visited last Christmas/New Year allows caravans to park overnight at her farm in Mossburn, South Island at no charge!Add to your Trip Planner
Mt. Cook - Hooker Valley Walk
Trail leaves from Mount Cook Village Campsite. Appx. 60-90 minutes walk up to Hooker Lake. Fantastic view of Mount Cook and the Hooker Glacier.
Stay the night at the campsite, then get up early to beat the crowds!Related to:
- Adventure Travel
- National/State Park
This is a summer holiday place for mainly Aucklanders.
I have been holidaying here since I was very little and my family has a caravan here at the
MANGAWHAI BEACH HIDEAWAY PARK
Tent sites, powered sites & tourist cabins.
Owners: Harold, Hazel and Neal, Moir Pt Rd.
Ph: (09) 431 4251.
This is the Ocean Beach and this shot was taken on the first sunrise of the new millenium.
For more information on Mangawhai click on the links
Rhianon's Mangawhai VT page
This link includes information on Bay of Islands, Mangawhai, Whangarei and the Far North.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
Waikato Region - Morrinsville
Morrinsville is a farming community located in the Waikato region near Hamilton.
When I was a young girl I had a farm stay here and helped milk the cows and watched them shear sheep.
Most of rural New Zealand contains farms just like this one.Related to:
- Farm Stay
- Study Abroad
The car journey from Queenstown toward Wanaka takes in the Lindis Pass. This is the most exquisite scenery i've seen in a long time. We saw it in summer and it was fabo then - I imagine in Spring it would be even more breathtaking. A MUST SEE drive.Add to your Trip Planner
90 Mile Beach
Using Kaitaia as a home base, 90 Mile Beach is very accessible and an interesting place to visit. The beach isn't really 90 miles long, it's 60 miles or 96km. The name comes from the time it used to take a horse to get from one end to the other. Way back when, the average distance a horse could walk in one day was 30 miles. The locals didn't allow for the extra time it takes a horse to walk on sand, so when it took 3 days to get from one end to the other they figured it was 90 miles long and the name stuck!!
In calling this an off the beaten path tip one would expect the beach to be a quiet place to visit. Last time I was here I saw several different buses taking people out for a look so don't be too surprised or taken back if you hit plenty of traffic.
The beach curves its way around at the top toward Cape Reinga, the most northerly point of New Zealand and the places where Maori souls leave for their visit home to Hawaiiki. It is two stretches of beach broken up by a rocky outcropping that locals use to fish for Snapper.
If you get here at the right time of year you may also see locals digging in the sand for the prized Toheroa - part of the clam family and native to New Zealand. Very tasty!!Related to:
- Adventure Travel
Rob Roy Glacier Hike
I've driven the road and did the Rob Roy Glacier Hike twice. I think it's a perfect day hike if you're in the Wanaka area. I had a small campervan both times (in November) and had no problems on the road to the parking area. It is a bit dodgy though. Just watch the weather a few days ahead (not raining, then fords may be smaller) and check with the tourist center (located at the waterfront). The drive is spectacular! The valley is absolutely gorgeous and the wildlife - sheep and cows - are entertaining.
From the parking area, walk through the gates and follow the dirt trail through the sheep field. This is about a 20 minute walk to the bridge. After the bridge the hike is mild, meaning not overly strenuous or steep, and takes about 2-3hours from the bridge to the Glacier viewing area. The Rob Roy is a hanging glacier and if you've never seen one - it is definitely a sight to see! Watch out for the cheeky Keas! The birds will nab your snacks if your not watching - but they're mostly just fun to watch. At the end, the trail opens up to a valley in which you're on one side sitting on large boulders taking in the afternoon sun and you look across to the other side at the massive glacier. Every so often a ice fall will occur - typically you'll hear it before you see it. It's eerie and spectacular. Again, I would highly recommend the hike. I would do it a 3rd time if I find myself in Wanaka again. After the hike, visit one of the bar terraces and enjoy a nice beer while watching the sunset over Lake Wanaka. Enjoy!Related to:
- National/State Park
- Adventure Travel
- Hiking and Walking
Milford Sound is beautiful but I think Doubtful Sound is even more so. It is less travelled by the tourist (people normally run out of time and go to Milford sound as it is the better known). Apart from the beautiful, dramatic scenery, you also get to visit an underground, hydro electric power station. Doubtful Sound is further south than Milford Sound, is the second largest of the 14 fiords in Fiordland National Park and it is three times longer and 10 times larger than Milford Sound. Really worth making the effort.Add to your Trip Planner
Here be dragons
We didn't see any dragons but we did see evidence of very poor living conditions and we saw locals travelling to town on horseback.
The East Cape is the most remote of NZ's North Island destinations but the journey from Opotiki to Gisborne on the Pacific Coast Highway should not be missed. There seems to be a fear among some New Zealanders that the East Cape is too remote and too sparsely populated to make it a safe place to travel. We received various warnings about keeping the car locked etc. Just be your usual sensible travelling self and enjoy a wonderful, uncrowded part of North Island with fantastic beaches.
If you fish you could take weeks to do the journey with opportunities at almost every bay for the illusive "one that got away" but you can do the drive in a day - make sure you fill the tank with petrol though, there aren't many facilities en route!Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Road Trip
For the most interesting "comfort stop" in NZ head for Kawakawa in Northland. Heading north of SH1 the Hundertwasser toilets are on the right hand side of the road - you'll spot the columns, the roof garden and a group of tourists with cameras in hand!
Friedrich Hundertwasser was an architect, painter, ecologist and philosopher who was born in Austria in 1928, came to NZ in the early 1970s and settled near Kawakawa in 1975. The people of Kawakawa took him to their hearts, declaring him a Living Treasure, and he was asked to design the town's public toilets in 1997. Using local labour and skills and developing strong ties with the local Maori community, Hundertwasser completed the toilets in 1999 and in 2000 they were awarded the Premiere Award in Urban and Landscape Design by Creative New Zealand.
The design includes ceramic columns, old bottles, local bricks and tiles made by students in Kawakawa schools and is a delight of colour, texture and reflections. Well worth a few minutes of your time as you travel "up north" or back!!Related to:
- Road Trip
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
There is quite a few this type of farm located around Auckland, and sheep world is probably the best known farm among them. It is about an hour drive north from Auckland, with good parking space. It provides natural tracks, animal show, hand feedings, sheepdog actions and sheep shearing, plus a number of locally produced products. Kids can feed the baby sheep with bottles, and they love it.Related to:
- Family Travel
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