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New Zealand

Hiking on a “third-rate” trail

OMAU, NEW ZEALAND — Thanks to Marion, the friendly DOC ranger in Nelson, we had a lot of choices for hikes around Westport. The problem was choosing one. Continue reading “Hiking on a “third-rate” trail”


OMAU, NEW ZEALAND — Another long day in the car awaited us, as we left Abel Tasman and drove 250 kilometers to Westport on New Zealand’s west coast, passing the northern edge of the Southern Alps. Continue reading “Westward!”

By land and sea in Abel Tasman

ABEL TASMAN NATIONAL PARK, NEW ZEALAND — Nearly every tourist itinerary has to include a stop in Abel Tasman, but we weren’t sure how long we wanted to spend there.

Continue reading “By land and sea in Abel Tasman”

From one kayak paradise to another

QUEEN CHARLOTTE SOUND, NEW ZEALAND — We started this day, as we have many others, talking about how much we like Kiwis. They’re friendly, always pleasant, and straightforward but polite. Continue reading “From one kayak paradise to another”

Kayaking bliss, hiking heaven

MOMORANGI BAY, NEW ZEALAND — Some days, everything just falls into place. We didn’t have plans for today, but ended up with a full day of activity in beautiful Queen Charlotte Sound. Continue reading “Kayaking bliss, hiking heaven”

Across Cook Strait to the South Island

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND — We had an 8:45 a.m. ferry to catch, and of course we picked the ferry company that was farthest from our place, so walking with all of our gear was out of the question. Continue reading “Across Cook Strait to the South Island”

On the road to Wellington

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND – Clouds rolled in for our driving day to Wellington, which suited us fine. New Zealand tourism’s treacherous Travel Time and Distance Calculator had told us to expect a 3:47 drive, so we added two hours to that, and it came out just about right. Continue reading “On the road to Wellington”

A perfect day in Hastings

CLIVE, NEW ZEALAND — On the North Island’s sun-splashed Hawkes Bay, Napier is the main attraction.

We’d made vague plans to backtrack from our cottage in Clive, to visit the National Aquarium of New Zealand or go on a historic walking tour of the famous art-deco buildings. But we hadn’t really warmed to Napier, and we weren’t feeling very ambitious.

Continue reading “A perfect day in Hastings”

Tourist hotspots: Taupo and Napier

CLIVE, NEW ZEALAND — Sometimes, things look better on paper than in reality, as we discovered today as we explored Taupo and Napier, two famous tourist destinations on the North Island. Continue reading “Tourist hotspots: Taupo and Napier”

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