New Zealand

Top of the world!

After Kaikoura I went to pick up Kelsey again. She had spent her time at a farm in the southern part of the island, doing some work there. I stayed with her there during her last two days, pretty much watching other people do work and realizing I really didn’t want to do any work on a farm. It’s not even the work that bothered me, but you had to get up so early… Our plan was to go to the North Island after this, and that’s what we were going to do.
New Zealand

Whale watching in Kaikoura

One of those things you’re supposed to do when visiting New Zealand is to go whale watching. Of course, you don’t have to, but it is an interesting experience nonetheless and the best place to do it is Kaikoura. So, that was my next stop after Abel Tasman. I didn’t go alone either, as Laura decided to come along before she was going to visit the North Island. Jeroen decided to go there immediately, so it was just the two of us.
New Zealand

Camping in Abel Tasman

As explained in my post about the glaciers, I met a couple of people there who were willing to join me in doing the Abel Tasman coastal track. So, after we had finished doing what we wanted to do at the glaciers, Jeroen, Laura, and I got into my car and drove North. Pancake rocks at Punakaiki For the first part of the trip however, the weather from the glaciers seemed to have followed us and we spent that time in the rain.
New Zealand

Fact of the day: Glaciers are cold

19-01-2012 until 21-01-2012 So, let’s talk about glaciers. On the South Island the two most famous and accessible glaciers are the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers. As I already had my car and they are located about 20 km from each other it was easy to visit both before I made up my mind about which one I was actually going to visit. Yes, unfortunately this was an I as Kelsey was not with me for this part of my trip.
New Zealand

Driving through the Catlins

The Catlins are an area stretching pretty much between Dunedin and Invercargill, and is supposed to be one of the most beautiful areas to travel through in New Zealand. Of course, by now I’ve come to suspect that pretty much every area in the country is described as that, and it’s hard to say if those claims are true because it’s all very nice. Anyway, the Catlins are best travelled by car as that gives you the time to stop where you want and just take your time admiring the scenery without being on a specific schedule.
New Zealand

The TranzAlpine experience

In the beginning of January Kelsey and I ended up in Greymouth, a small city on the west coast of the South Island. Actually, we came here on purpose as we wanted to go Christchurch as that was the place where I wanted to look for (and ended up buying) a car. So, why go to the other side of the country for that? TranzAlpine Express route The answer is pretty simple actually.
New Zealand

Gravity and water are your friends

Well, as promised, the first post detailing some of the things I’ve done in the last couple of months. First up, all the stuff my mom didn’t want to know about in advance. Bungy Jump Bungy Jump Kawarua Bridge Bungy jumping was an interesting experience. I did it from the Kawarau bridge near Queenstown which was the first commercial bungy jumping place in the world. Strangely enough I wasn’t really nervous about doing it until I was actually on the ledge and looking down.
New Zealand

100 days on the South Island

Wow, it’s been a while since I updated this. A lot has happened since my last real post (not counting the merry christmas one, or actually even including that one) and I won’t go into detail with all of that as I’ll write some separate posts for all of that. The places where I’ve take pictures on the South Island Anyway, tomorrow I’ll be taking the ferry to the North Island, leaving the South Island behind me.
New Zealand

Merry Christmas

Merry Hawaiian Christmas So, finally an update and it’s only something in which I wish you a merry Christmas. Well, unfortunately you can’t have everything. A lot of stuff has happened in the past weeks, including bungy jumping, skydiving, rafting, jetboats, canyoning, even renting a car (don’t worry, New Zealand survived that), and even earthquakes (luckily no casualties). All of this (or at least the interesting parts about it) will be mentioned in some blog posts that I’ll write once I actually take the time to do so.
New Zealand

Milford Sound

02-12 until 05-12 Milford Sound, New Zealand’s most famous tourist destination. It’s supposedly the most beautiful fjord in the country, and with a population of about 170 people (who are pretty much all working in the tourist trade) and up to a million visitors a year I don’t think there are many places in the world with a higher native to tourist ratio. Mirror Lakes Anyway, I too wanted to go here to see how beautiful it actually is.
New Zealand

Doing the Kepler track

25-11 until 28-11 The Kepler track is a 60 km circular track near Te Anau. It goes over a wide variety of landscapes; from mountains to marshes. Not having learned my lesson from Stewart Island, I pretty much believed the walking times that were stated by the DOC (Department Of Conservation) and so booked a night in each of the three available huts. So I was going to do the track in 4 days.
New Zealand

Doubtful Sound

Doubtful Sound is a fjord in Fiordland, New Zealand, named Doubtful by captain Cook who doubted he could sail in it. Of course, all of that and more can be read on Wikipedia so I’m not going to repeat it here. I’ll just say what I did while there. In order to get some luxury for a change, or at least luxury compared to staying in hostels, I went on an overnight cruise.
New Zealand

Stewart Island, New Zealand's third island

12-11-2011 until 17-11-2011 As there isn’t much to say about the first two days I spent in Invercargill (the first day I enjoyed the sun in the park, and the second day I did laundry and other stuff while it was raining), this post is about my time on Stewart Island. Stewart Island, or Rakiura, is seen by many as New Zealand’s third island as it’s the biggest island outside of the North Island and South Island.
New Zealand

Dunedin and the Otega Peninsula

03-11-2011 - 09-11-2011 Finally another blog post! It’s been a while since I last wrote something, so I’ll just get straight to it. This is about the time I spent in Dunedin. I actually didn’t do much there, mostly some relaxing, as the weather wasn’t all that great. Of course, it’s also more to the south so that makes sense. Anyway, I took the bus from Christchurch (had to walk really fast to catch it as I was a bit late) and after about 6 hours I ended up in Dunedin.
New Zealand

Akaroa

After I’d decided that enough time had been spent in Christchurch for now, I looked where I wanted to go and decided that Akaroa would be a good start. I didn’t know much about it except that there was some nice nature there and you could see/swim with dolphins. All in all, interesting enough to try. So, the evening before I left I booked a seat on the shuttle there and was ready the next morning to be picked up.
New Zealand

Christchurch, the beginning

Well, it’s been a week since I actually arrived here in Kiwi-land so I probably should post something about it. As could be seen in the flight plan I started my journey in Christchurch. The flight from Singapore itself was pretty much ok. I talked a bit with the couple sitting next to me in the plane, read, watched a movie, and tried to sleep. Unfortunately, that last part remained mostly at tried.
New Zealand

Flight plan

1962 Flight plan With less than 48 hours before I’m leaving on my trip, I’ve had requests for my flight plan. Therefore, it seems useful to actually post that flight plan online. All times are the times at the location mentioned. First flight - Amsterdam to Singapore Singapore Airlines SQ323 From: Amsterdam, Schiphol Arpt Tu 25 Oct 2011, 11:15 To: Singapore, Changi Intl Arpt We 26 Oct 2011, 5:45 Travel
New Zealand

How to prepare a kiwi

While not exactly new or original, whenever I think about going to New Zealand I have to think about this picture. About a year ago, Wouter, a (now former) colleague and friend of mine went to live in New Zealand with his girlfriend and we opened the presentation for the last project he was a part of with this image, all in good fun of course. How to prepare a
New Zealand

42 days and counting

Well, the time for leaving is starting to get closer and closer. With only about 42 days left until my flight leaves from Amsterdam so that I might be introduced to what is supposed to be a country nearly as beautiful as the Netherlands. Okay, admittedly New Zealand has some nice features that aren’t here, but on the other side it doesn’t have Amsterdam. Seriously though, I’m looking forward to going there and seeing with my own eyes the beauty of the country that so far I’ve only heard of or seen on the TV.