The World is my Travelogue

Entries from August 2008

Mt Ruapehu Pictures

August 3rd, 2008 · No Comments

Some random pictures I have taken of Mt Ruapehu over the past few years :)

What are you waiting for? You know you want to come to NZ, go to Ruapehu & have a TPunk meetup :P  

Tobogganing on Ruapehu Learner Skiers on Ruapehu

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Ruapehu

Tags: Mt Ruapehu · New Zealand

C’est Akaroa

August 3rd, 2008 · No Comments

Whilst on the topic of doing random blog entries I thought I might do one about Akaroa – yep the tiny French settlement near Christchurch.  

On our second visit to Christchurch I decided that I really wanted to make it to Akaroa since we didn’t go the first time, so we asked at our hostels reception and managed to secure a booking for a bus to take us over the following day – if you have a BBH card make sure you mention it cas I saved $5 just for my bus fare alone, regular fares are around $35 return trip and stop off at a few places on the way - we stopped at a really pretty beach (I can’t remember the name) but the beach was incredibly flat and it didn’t have sand but had heaps of flat stones instead! Apparently it can get pretty rough there though, but it was pretty nevertheless. We stopped at a gem factory (?) not really a factory, more like some guys workshop, but it is quiet interesting, we also stopped at the cheese factory and got some free samples on the way home.

Beach Before Akaroa 

We made it to Akaroa after about 1.5hours I think I was – found a bakery to eat lunch and then began wandering around to see what the town had to offer. If you have come by bus it is likely that you will get picked up around 3-4PM, I advise you to take your time looking around as we went around and saw everything we wanted to see and then found ourselves waiting for the bus for nearly an hour, admittedly we didn’t do any of the longer walks which I would have liked to have done if we were staying overnight and didn’t have to catch the bus, and we also only had quick looks in the shops as we didn’t really feel the need to purchase anything.  

We managed a few of the quick walks which were mentioned in one of the brochures at the Information Centre, including walking out past the Lighthouse and to an old French Cemetery, both of which were nice easy walks.  

Akaroa View

On our way back from the walk to the Lighthouse we noticed a small boat which was being pulled out of the water, it appears that the boat got a hole in it and started to sink whilst it was tied up to the wharf. This appeared to be an exciting event in sleepy Akaroa as all the locals and tourists gathered around to see what was going on. 

All in all I really enjoyed our time in Akaroa although I do think we should have stayed a night and gone swimming with the dolphins, done a jet boat ride and done some of the longer walks – if your pressed for time definitely try to make it to Akaroa for at least a few hours, grab some lunch have a quick stroll around carry on to your next destination…

Akaroa NZ

Next up we may be lucky enough to get an entry about Christchurch…      

Tags: Akaroa · Christchurch · New Zealand

Lake Taupo Pics

August 1st, 2008 · No Comments

Pretty Self Explanatory really, just thought i’d add some pics of Lake Taupo - these are taken from Kuratau which is round the other side of the lake than Taupo Town, about 5 minutes away from Turangi and 2-3Mins from Tokaanu.

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Tags: New Zealand · Taupo

Wangavegas….

August 1st, 2008 · No Comments

Since I’ve had nothing exciting to add by the way of trips lately I thought I would write a little ditty about Wanganui, my hometown.  

Wanganui has gotten a bad reputation in the media recently due to a lot of violence – mainly gang related, but don’t get me wrong it is a lovely town even though most young people say they want to get out of here more than anything, I guess they don’t understand that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side! 

I wouldn’t suggest spending a week here if you are wandering our lovely country, although it is definitely worth having a look around for a few hours or even stopping overnight to breakup your journey in the North Island.  

The photo’s throughout this entry are ones I took on my walk to work one day last year;  

Queens Park

So what can you do in Wanganui?  

Take a stroll around Virginia Lake, set in the trees a walk around the lake will take you under half an hour – take some bread to feed the ducks, geese and swans.  There is also a small walk-through bird aviary, the winter gardens and a café.  

Poke around at Queens Park, a lot of history resides here – as does our local Library, Museum, Sergeant Gallery and War Memorial Hall, to be honest I have only been to the Library so I can’t comment on any of the other stuff, one day I will make it to the other places! Give me a buzz and let me know what the other places are like if you’ve visited.  

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Take a ride on the Waimarie, a restored paddle steamer. The Waimarie takes you on a return journey on the Whanganui River to Upokongaro and back – check their website for times, there is generally at least one sailing per day and the return trip takes around 1 hour. There is a bar on board, and some sailings serve meals as well.  

Cooks Gardens hosts a number of sporting events throughout the year, including, athletics, rugby and motocross (yep the trucked in a lot of dirt to host this!) –there are also concerts occasionally held here.   Just down the road from Cooks Gardens is the Royal Wanganui Opera House, it’s a nice building, and usually is advertising some event or another which is to be held there – I still don’t like the place from having Ballet performances there when I was a little tike, hmmm.

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Kowhai Park is over the bridge from the central city, a nice place to rest for a while, release your inner child on the playground – or if you have kids let them burn some energy. There are free BBQ’s in the park so bring along some sausages and bread, send me an invite and have a BBQ lunch or dinner.  Everything in the park is free except the kid’s train which goes around; last I heard it was about 50cents to have a go. Next to Kowhai park is Riverlands Fun park, which has mini golf, go karts and bumper karts – all of these do cost, so if your penny pinching I would give it a miss and just spend some time at Kowhai Park.  

Durie Hill – Boasts two towers, the main Durie Hill Tower gives great views over Wanganui. It is a must see in Wanganui, take your camera and count the steps on the way up. You can get to the top of Durie Hill by driving, walking up the stairs or walking through a tunnel and taking a very old elevator to the top. (Costs around $1 each I believe). Up the top of Durie Hill is a smaller lookout tower is not enclosed on the walk up – take it from experience, if heights scare the bejebus out of you, just go up the main tower, the views are no better from the smaller one, and there’s something about the comfort of being enclosed while climbing a tower!  

Well that is properly about the excitement which is my hometown of Wanganui! So get yourself to the River City, it’s a great gateway to a number of amazing locations in NZ – 2-2.5 Hours from Wellington, the capital city, 2 hours from New Plymouth – less to Mt Egmont, 1-1.5 Hours from Mt Ruapehu, 2.5Hours to Taupo, 3.5 Hours to Rotorua. What are you waiting for? Come hit me up for a Beverage or two! :)

Tags: New Zealand · Wanganui