These are my photos of my journey to New Zealand’s third island. Rakiura or Stewart Island is an ancient land that reminded us of ‘old New Zealand’. This island’s history is in timber, whaling and hunting by early Maori. Today, with 85% reserve, it is a wonderland of native forest, stunning beaches and bays, fishing, wildlife and hiking. It is also a place to experience the magnetic night sky (milky way) and to occasionally witness the erratic Aurora Australis (Southern Lights). The highlight may be, with a lot of hope, to see the elusive and iconic Kiwi bird in the wild.
This are my photos of the 3 -days Rakiura Track (March 2021) in Stewart Island, New Zealand. Please read Hiking Rakiura Track.
These are my photos of Hiking the Northern Tongariro Circuit, New Zealand in early December 2020. This is one of the best hikes in New Zealand as the track is located in an active volcanic area complete with craters, solidified waves of ancient lava flows, unique alpine flora and landscape, fuming fumaroles and ice covered scared mountains.
These are photos of our July 2020 New Plymouth journey. This is my first travel to Taranaki. My image of this city is farmland, dairy cows and Mt Taranaki. I managed to see this image after descending from our Puoakai Crossing hike in glorious sunset light.
Please read my Things to do in New Plymouth
In mid-July , my family and I did the Pouakai Crossing in Egmont National Park in New Plymouth. It was an epic 9 hours walk through refreshing temperate forest, alpine swamps, volcanic formations, alpine tarns and ‘Goblin Forest’. All in the shadow of the mighty Mt Taranaki. These are my photos of that one day hike.
Please read my Hiking the Pouakai Crossing Track.
One of New Zealand’s most scenic drives – the 155km long Forgotten World Highway (state highway 43), from Taumarunui to Stratford. This scenic route winds over mountain saddles, spectacular gorges with lush native vegetation and refreshing rivers; a rock-cut tunnel; undulating hills and mountains with mainly sheep farming and historic settlements……….. read more
In mid-March this year, I hiked the Milford Track. Not exactly Milford Track but the DOC modified The Southern – Mackinnon Experience. The reason – exceptionally high rainfall in February had caused heavy damage to the track and washed away bridges. On the Routeburn Track, a hut was completely crushed. The only road in and out of Milford Sound was not spared either. This resulted in completely closure of the road. Furthermore, Covid 19 was spreading around the world. A week after we completed this track, New Zealand went into total lock-down (Level 4)and closed its businesses, schools and borders.
However, with repairs and maintenance, we had an opportunity to experience this track, albeit partially. These are my photos of that hike. Please read my Hiking the Milford Track story in the next post.
I recently explored Tiritiri Matangi Island, about 30km (an hours ferry ride) from Central Auckland. It is a rehabilitated island and restored into a bird sanctuary. A birder’s paradise. A compact island packed with over 70 species of primarily native birds. This includes the rare Takahe, Kokako, Mopoke, Tui, Wood Pigeon, Saddleback and Hihi. There are wonderful beaches to swim. Numerous tracks and walkways make exploring easy. On an overnight stay, try spotting the elusive Kiwi bird in the evening. An amazing New Zealand paradise.
I had recently (early November) hiked the 32km Routeburn Track in New Zealand’s South Island. This track located in the Fiorldands, a unique heritage site. Please read details of my track in the next posts.
My family and I had just returned travelling in Japan. This time we traveled to another part of Japan – it was a a journey through the Northern Japanese Alps and Onsens. The weather was as expected rainy (late June through to mid-July). These are our photos.