On my past trips I’d never made it to the Coromandel Peninsula and since everyone who had been there was raving about it, I made it my chosen destination on our recent journey (everything else I let Mr A pick). There were two places I wanted to visit: Cathedral Cove (a beach best known from the last scene in The Narnia Chronicles: Prince Caspian) and Hot Water Beach, where at low tide you can dig out your spa due to thermal springs underneath the sand. Continue reading Alicioustravels: Coromandel
On the volcanoes we’d gotten our noseful of rotten eggs but since we were in New Zealand we wanted to go all the way – especially as we were currently in an area with an extremely high thermal activity. Continue reading Alicioustravels: Steam and stink
The Tongariro Crossing had been in my head since we contemplated travelling to New Zealand. I completed what’s allegedly “New Zealand’s finest day walk” on my first trip in 2003 and was mesmerized by the surreal landscape. You walk between two – sometimes more, sometimes less – active volcanoes, pass beautiful lakes, almost accompanied by the smell of sulphur. Continue reading Alicioustravels: Tongariro Winter Crossing
The Cook Strait is notorious for being one of the bumpier crossings in the world – similar to the Tasman Sea, the Cape of Good Hope and the Bass and Foveaux Straits, however, our crossing was relatively pleasant. For myself, because I’d taken my sea sickness tablets, not so much for others that kept the ever-patient staff busy handing out and collecting paper bags. Continue reading Alicioustravels: Northbound
I had planned on covering Abel Tasman National Park and Marlborough Sound in one post, however, when drooling over the beauty of ATNP I quickly realized that one of the few “real” sounds of New Zealand would deserve a separate entry. Continue reading Alicioustravels: Marlborough Sound
Getting more sun hours than pretty much any other part of New Zealand, the Nelson area is always busy. Or so we thought. In winter, we found out, it’s as laid back and quiet as any other place we went to.
Mr A had specifically wanted to go kayaking in Abel Tasman National Park and because I had such fond memories of doing this on my very first trip to NZL back in 2003, I immediately agreed to make it a priority on our (mental) to do list. Continue reading Alicioustravels: Abel Tasman National Park
From Franz Josef village it was another beautiful and scenic drive towards Punakaiki where we were to spend the night. On the way, Hokitika turned out to be even less charming than I remembered, Mr A considered the entry fee at Shantytown Heritage Park too high to simply have a look around and then we were already at Greymouth where we stocked up on groceries before continuing to our final destination for the day. Continue reading Alicioustravels: Pancakes & blowholes
Excited about our first kayaking adventure in the Okarito lagoon we showed up at the operator’s site in the morning just like the website had advised – only to discover they were closed for the day. Unhappy we’d gotten up extra early and taken a significant detour to get there, we still decided to not let them ruin our day and turned back towards Lake Matheson to complete a loop around the lake, the highlight of which is the alleged “View of Views” when Aoraki/ Mt Cook and Mt Tasman are mirrored on the tannin-saturated waters of the lake. Continue reading Alicioustravels: Glacier country
From Te Anau we (read: I) drove to Wanaka via a lunch stop and a leg-stretch in Queenstown and a quick look around Arrowtown. Deciding we wouldn’t go skiing (too expensive – especially considering how ridiculously small even the “bigger” ski fields are) we continued towards Franz Joseph glacier the next day. Continue reading Alicioustravels: Road trippin’
Mr A and I had been unable to decide whether to visit Doubtful Sound or Milford Sound. In a moment of decadence we decided to just visit both. Fiords, by the way. They are actually fiords, not sounds (dug out by glaciers, not rivers). Continue reading Alicioustravels: Does this Sound like a Fiord?