New Zealand

Trip Start Sep 23, 2005
Trip End Jul 31, 2006

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Sunday, October 23, 2005

Hello from New Zealand!

Sue and I arrived into Auckland back on October 8th to rainy weather and cold temperatures. We stayed downtown for a night and then bought a sweet old school Toyota van from the car market the next morning and headed out. Our van has a full size boxspring/mattress built up onto wood in the back so that we can sleep very comfortably at nights and store our gear below; so far she rides like a charm.

First stop was the Waitomo region were we did some hiking through rolling green hills & lush farm land followed by checking out the glow worm caves. More rainy weather and unpredictable temperatures followed, since it is spring time here, but we managed to have a great time nonetheless. From there we headed to Tongariro NP and encountered snow (at the higher elevations) and cold temps. Hmmmmmm. The weather was showing nothing but rain and cold in the North Island for the next week and change so we decided to make a break for the South Island and would catch up with the North Island on the flip side.

We arrived in Wellington in time for my 28th birthday and spent a couple days checking out town before we took the ferry across to Picton. We both dug Wellington, although it is a big city, because it's super chill and the suburbs were all built up on the rolling hills surrounding town. It reminded us a lot of Seattle. While in Wellington we hiked out the Red Rocks Coastal Track and checked out a seal colony. We managed to get very close to several of them and that was a cool experience.

After our arrival on the South Island we backpacked the 71km Queen Charlotte Track, amongst blue skies and lots of sunshine! Headed to Nelson for a couple days, which we both loved, and then made our way across the northern coast towards Abel Tasman NP. There we rented kayaks and paddled along the coastline. The water was amazingly clear and the beeches, 98 of them in low tide, were secluded & golden sand! Unfortunetly we only lasted 1 day at Abel Tasman because the clouds rolled in & began to dump on us so we continued moving south. Nelson Lakes NP was next up and we did a few sweet hikes through beech forests and alpine peaks to views of snowcaps in the distance as well as green farmland below.

We are now in Christchurch for a few days until we decide where to head next. Things are going great, we are having tons of fun, our van rocks & New Zealand has been amazing so far! Attached are pics, enjoy.

~Hope all is well, Timbo & Sue.
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