Slow It Down

Moeraki Boulders

Moeraki Boulders

Hiking the Milford Track on the spur of the moment had required a tight schedule to coordinate driving, trekking, gear shopping, and finding last minute places to stay.  But once we set foot on the trail, our minds were freed from planning and organizing.  Instead of focusing on the future, we were back to living in the moment.  Here.  Now.  New Zealand.  And after we finished the hike, that meant we had three days to chill, starting in Queenstown. Continue reading

Advertisements

The Milford Track

hiking in the clouds: the last stretch up to the pass

Mandy hikes through the clouds on the way up to Mackinnon Pass

The Milford Track is one of the world’s legendary hikes.  The four-day backcountry trek is limited to forty hikers per day and the slots generally fill one year in advance.  A year ago we hoped that we’d make it to New Zealand, but that’s about as concrete as our plans get.  Now that we were here, though, the Milford Track was clearly something we couldn’t miss.  Unfortunately, with all available places already reserved, there was only one way that we’d be able to experience it for ourselves–get lucky.  We checked the NZ Parks website religiously.  About ten days after we arrived in NZ, two spots opened up and we booked them immediately.  A few days later, we finished off our South Island Motorhome Tour.  It was time. Continue reading

Birthday Celebration!

Birthday Girl!

Birthday Girl!

It was Mandy’s birthday, so the day needed to be special.  We woke up early and drove thirty minutes to Abel Tasman National Park, where we rented a sea kayak and paddled out into a beautiful morning at Tasman Bay.  As the sun rose over the ocean, it warmed the lush forest, sandy white beaches, and pure blue waters surrounding us. Continue reading

The North Island (in Pictures)

Hobbiton!

Hobbiton!

We made the conscious decision to split New Zealand into two separate trips.  On the South Island, which is more rugged and untamed, we would take it slower.  In contrast, the North Island was going to be busy.

We needed to roll up our sleeves and get serious if we had any hope of covering the North Island in the eight days we had allotted.  I’m happy to report that we were successful — so successful that writing about it in detail would leave me with too much to say.  Instead, here’s the abridged version to try and tell our story. Continue reading