NZ is definitely a paradise for trampers and birdlovers !

February 21st, Tuesday,library of Wellington. Tomorrow we will take the 9AM ferry to the South Island. We arrived here after spending some time in Napier with an ex-colleague from Stefan. It was great to spend some time in a nice house with all the luxuries :-)) and not have to worry about the next camping spot.

Before arriving in Napier we did the Tongariro Alpine Crossing walk. Really wonderful ! Tongariro National Park is the oldest National Park in NZ and UNESCO world heritage since 1991. In order to prevent the selling off to European settlers  several Maori chiefs (Iwi) decided in 1887 to give the grounds to the Crown under the condition that it would remain a protected area. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is widely regarded as one of the world’s best one-day hikes.(19.4KM) We started walkig at 8 AM and arrived at the car park at 1.15PM with a short stop to eat our lunch. We did not have any rain that day but the next 4 days it would rain off and on.

We were not alone on the crossing, about 700 people during a WE day do the crossing.
Stefan on top of the world 🙂
Almost blown away…

Descent to the Emerald Lakes
Finally the sun came out and we could enjoy our lunch at the Emerald Lakes.
The sun makes everything so much prettier.
The snow capped moutain is Mount Ruapehu, the one with the reddish colour is Mt. Ngauruhoe. You can see the path along which we walked.
On the other side, almost there…
Mahuia River in Tongariro National Park.

Our visit to Napier was a little rained out but we enjoyed the Art Deco WE, the old cars in town and all the people dressed up in Gatsby style ! We walked to Cape Kidnapper’s (20KM along the beach) and had a beautiful (rainy) view of the Black Reef Gannet colony.

The gannet (Jan Van Gent) colony on Cape Kidnapper’s.
The grey ones are the chicks. They will all fly to Australia in April.
Wet but happy to have reached the colony and view the birds so close.

The views were really beautiful too bad the sun was not there. The reality is soooo much better than the pictures.
It was named by Captain Cook after an attempt by local Mäori to abduct one of his crew.The cape is home to the largest and most accessible gannet colony in the world.
The NZ pigeon or Kereru.
Napier in the back, Hawke’s Bay
Now, we are definitely in sheep country.

…and wine country!
Mission Estate Winery was established in 1851 and one of the oldest wineries in New Zealand. It was started by french missionairies.
Napier black sand beach.
Napier has a lot of art deco architecture constructed after most of the town was destroyed with the Hawke’s Bay earthquake on February 3 in 1931(7.8 on Richter Scale)
During the Art Deco WE people dress up in 1930’s costume and vintage cars are everywhere.

More pictures from Art Deco WE in the next blog.

2 gedachten over “NZ is definitely a paradise for trampers and birdlovers !

  1. Fun fact: Mt. Ngauruhoe was used as “Mount Doom” in Lord of the Rings (although it was digitally altered…)

  2. Looks wonderful …. enjoy the rest of your stay in New Zealand, en groetjes van hier in een neerslachtig belgiekske!

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