• Destinations

    Diving The Rainbow Warrior

    For a long time before I had even planned on coming to New Zealand I have wanted to dive the wreck of the Rainbow Warrior. Its not often that a shipwreck can claim to have such a rich story associated with it. Built in 1955 Hall, Russell & Company in Aberdeen, Scotland. The Rainbow Warrior started life as a fishing trawler UK Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. She worked at this until 1977 when she was brought by the conservation group Greenpeace. At the time of purchase the Rainbow Warrior underwent a refurbishment in preparation for her new job protecting the seas. In 1985 the ship was active protesting…

  • Looking toward the stern from the Helicopter hangar.

    Diving the HMNZS Canterbury F421

    When thinking of the world’s naval superpowers, the Royal New Zealand Navy is unlikely to spring to mind. With ~2000 personnel and a handful of ships they may not be taking over the world but they do play an important role in protecting the small Island nation and helping their neighbours. The HMNZS Canterbury F421 was a Leander-class frigate that served in the New Zealand Navy from 1971 – 2005. She had a distinguished career at sea and was sent to Moruroa Atoll in 1973 as a symbolic protest of New Zealand against French nuclear testing. Which provides a fitting connection to the wreck of the Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior that…

  • Looking at Lake Te Anau from Mt Luxmore

    Kepler Track: Control Gates to Luxmore Hut

    It’s a little after 8am and the sun is just starting to send some light over the mountains to the East. I am wearing a borrowed pack and my back is letting me know its not a big fan. I would be lying if I had claimed didn’t started to experience some second thoughts. From the car park, the walk to Luxmore Hut is just under 14km and the mountain casts an impressive shadow over the South Island town of Te Anau. So I am expecting the track to make me earn my way in the form of some hard work. The first 5km is easy I have been told…

  • Destinations

    Kepler Track: Rainbow Reach to Moturau Hut

    First opened in 1984 the Kepler Track is one of the “Great Walks” in New Zealand. Located in Fiordland National Park, the track is 60km long and crosses a number of different environments near the town of Te Anau. Ideally the Kepler Track is done as a multi-day hike ( most people take 4 days ). But time constraints have forced us to experience the Kepler as a series of day hikes rather that one long event. The majority of hikers tend to walk the Kepler in an anti clockwise direction with Moturau Hut often the last sleep over point before heading to the control gates and finishing the track.…

  • Overlooking the Waitaki River

    Kurow Hill Climb

    The township of Kurow sits beside the Waitaki River on the mountainous South island of New Zealand. Boasting a population of 312 ( according to wikipedia ) there is a pub, a foursquare supermarket and a few cafes in the main street. Most visitors to the area come to visit the river and the nearby lakes. With the local limestone soils adding in a few local orchards and wineries to the mix. But on our particular visit there was no time for any of that! We had come to town for groceries and to conquer the Kurow Hill Walking track. Starting from the end of Grey St in, the walkway…

  • Driving toward Mt Cook Village

    Hooker Valley Track

    Located in the Mt Cook National Park the Hooker Valley Track is one of the most popular walking trails on the New Zealand South Island. As a visitor its impossible to not be left in awe of the towering mountains surrounding wide flat valleys created by glaciers moving across the landscape. The beginning of Hooker Valley Track starts at the White Hill Campground a couple of kilometres away from the Mount Cook village. The walk offers a diverse range of Alpine scenery with views of Mount Cook itself and a number of surrounding mountains. The walking trail crosses the Hooker River a number of times, offering views of Mueller Lake…

  • Destinations

    Rakaia Gorge Walk

    75 km west of Christchurch, where the Canterbury Plains meet the mountains. The mighty Rakaia River has spent the eons carving a path through the surrounding hills on its journey toward the ocean The walk itself starts at a car park next to the river itself. Jet boat tours departing from the area combined with people launching their own boats can make the place pretty busy. So I would recommend arriving early in the day if possible. Near the car park a historic bridge crosses the river in two parts. The beginning of walking trail itself can be found near the start of the first bridge span. While the track…

  • Gebbies Pass

    Gebbies Pass to Packhorse Hut

    Covid19 restrictions were recently down graded to level 2 in New Zealand. Offering a return to normalcy for most of the population after an extended confinement in their homes. So what better way to celebrate than heading outdoors for a hike? Located an easy 30 – 40 minutes drive South of Christchurch we arrived to a full parking area. Getting some time outdoors was not an original thought it seems, so we had to park a bit further up the road. Not sure if the hike is normally this popular, or if it was just the timing of events that had half of the Canterbury keen to escape their houses.…

  • Dreamtime Ute

    Buying a Car for Travel

    So you have landed in a new country, and a car is needed to explore your new temporary homeland. But funds are limited so you will need to avoid getting ripped off while also minimising the risk of breakdown and expensive repairs in the future. This guide will walk you through some of the finer points of the pre purchase car inspection. Cars are an expensive part of any budget and while you cannot completely eliminate the risk associated with a purchase you can at least try and tip the odds in your favour! Define the Search Scope First up you need to look at your needs and decide what…

  • Bumble Bees gethering pollen

    Akatarawa Forest Park

    The Hutt Valley on New Zealand’s North Island is a great base point for those that enjoy the great outdoors. Surrounded by forest parks and reserves, with the Hutt River river running through the centre. Close enough to the coast and a stones throw from the mountain ranges and hiking trails in the Wairarapa. All while still being located a handy 40 minutes from the centre of Wellington by train. The Akatarawa Forest is located a short drive from Upper Hutt with numerous entry points, some more accessible than others…. We chose to enter from the car park at the end of Karapoti Road. This is also the entry point…