Archive for March, 2009


New Zealand – Steward Island and East Coast

As I started to like driving around, I had to return the car. Well, finally after 23 days (three more in exchange for the battery-problems). Driving here is great fun. You got less traffic and lots of awesome roads. I got used to changing the gears with the left hand soon and the others got used to driving on the right side of the road. Alright, I admit, eventually I also used the left side.
What I also really like are the speed advices at almost all turns and corners and the little bumps in the middle of the road which are so annoying to drive on that people usually just stay on their side of the road.

So for the record, I went to Steward Island and did a bit of walking there, saw lots of birds and enjoyed my favourite spot so far. Afterwards I drove up the east coast and landed now in Picton (the start of the South Island tour) again.
The photos will follow as “new zealand IV”. For now enjoy my two latest jumps:
moeraki boulders elephant rocks

Now, I’m going to stay and relax a bit here in Picton before I’ll do some final walks in the South Island. Problem is just ..I’m a bit sick of fish and chips now.


March 13, 2009 at 8:17 am Leave a comment

Week V – VI

New Zealand – Picton to Invercargill

Right, I rent a small car in Picton and went up to the northernmost part of the South Island (Abel Tasman Park, Golden Bay, Cape Farewell). I did an awesome track at the top of the Abel Tasman Great Walk and earned sunburns on my legs. The weather changed from the best to the worst and it was mostly just rain and clouds. So I headed on to the west coast and downwards. In between in the middle of nowhere I got a dead car battery. Thanks to the couple of Switzerland who helped push-starting the car again.
Then I had my failed river-crossing and another track I could not do caused by too much water and too strong currents. I saw closed roads at the glaciers and not much else. But, you know – tell an Austrian about glaciers. When the weather changed again for a few days, I did one of my best walks into the Mt Aspiring national park. Awesome valley, nature, climbs, mountains, huts and people.
Afterwards I drove over to Milford Sound. Interesting roads, but when I finally got there on a boat it started raining again. So I didn’t get a very good sight and mostly pictures of raindrops. I headed further south on the west coast and did a track at the Green Lake, which got me into pretty deep mud and a night-walking experience that was quite dangerous and stupid I guess. Well, no achievements without risks ..and don’t ask me what the achievements were!

So to summarize..
~ walking at beaches I had all for myself – check
~ driving with no traffic along stunning roads – check
~ river crossings – check (failed only once)
~ walk through deep mud – check
~ stay in a hut surrounded by awesome mountains and glaciers – check
~ do a night search-the-track – check (although unintentionally)
~ tramp alone through the bush – check
~ get bitten by sandflys – check, check,.. (at least 200 times)
~ do something really stupid and dangerous – check, check and definitely check (not what you might think – mac)

But it’s best I’ll describe the South Island with some pictures.
able tasman national park french ridge

Then February suddenly ended (totally true, on the 28th to be specific!) and it got Autumn. My next stop was Steward Island.

March 10, 2009 at 7:00 am Leave a comment

Week IV

New Zealand – Taupo to Wellington

Alright, in the end everything is different. The first excursion was more a walking with a huge backbag on the side of the street than tramping on a track in the backcountry. Although, I left the small day bag with stuff I wouldn’t need in the bush in the lodge in Auckland, the backbag was still heavy. Also, it was hot like, well, you know where.
Nevertheless it was a good test for me and my equipment. I got to use my tent, went to a nice lake at the end of a long walking day and got into the luxury of a hitchhike possibility by an retired farmer who just got back from hunting with his dogs. I stayed a bit in Turangi, a small little town along a nice river – with a Burgerking but not more else. I planned to head south along the east route of the famous volcano crossing there. Then it started to rain.
The weather forecast was quite uncomfortable. That’s why I decided to forget about the three to four days in the mountains and head directly towards Wellington. Now I know, Wellington is touristy and you can go out till late possibly every day but Auckland seems really sleepy in comparison in my opinion. I went to stay a bit at a friends of a friend of my mother further in the north of the city which was a very welcome experience. Unfortunately the days of sunshine were few and it started pouring down again. I decided to use the next fine day to take the ferry and head over to the South Island and to rent a car for some time. The advantage would not only be the less time it would take me to go to the places I wanted to, but also as I could leave as much of my stuff as I wanted in the car. Quite handy when you’re just planning a one- or two-day trip.

Around Turangi and my latest jump-pic at 1500 meters:
turangi riverside mt aspiring french ridge jump

Next is something about the South Island and Steward Island ..although the jump pic is already from down here..

March 5, 2009 at 2:47 am Leave a comment

March 2009
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~ Qui Tacet Consentit


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