This is the shortest walk I’ve written about so far – less than a kilometre. So you’re probably wondering why on earth is it worth writing about then? Well, the answer to that is that while it’s a short walk, 600 metres of it is in a river, in a cave.
This walk is a great one to do if you have a couple of hours spare as it’s super easy to do and you don’t need any special gear. It’s a gentle flat walk, and if you time it right with the tide, half way through you can explore an old rusted, abandoned, full-of-holes boat that is shipwrecked on the shore!
The Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve is a stunning spot on the main road between Picton + Nelson. It’s a well provisioned campground, with lots of shade and flat spots for tents and campervans, hot showers, a gorgeous clear river for swimming, and numerous walks. Plus a cafe for those who urgently need their caffeine or ice cream fix each day!
This was my first time in Kaikoura since the earthquakes that rocked the area in November 2016. I’m sure many of you saw the images of cows floating on islands of grass, twisted train tracks, and the coastal roads covered in debris from landslides. So I was interested to see what it was like now, and *spoiler alert*, Kaikoura is quite possibly my new favourite place in Aotearoa.
You can have a pre and post-walk swim on this walk, as it starts and ends at a beautiful, calm, sandy beach – Whites Bay, near Blenheim. The loop track heads up into the hills, along the ridgeline and then back down to the beach, giving glorious views towards Blenheim and back up towards to the Marlborough Sounds.
Kaitoke Regional Park is north of Upper Hutt, just before the road heads over the Rimutaka Ranges. Taking a sharp turnoff, the road ends at a massive campground, and is also the starting point for several short walks around the hills here. For the past 20+ years, it has also been a stopping point for Lord of The Rings (LOTR) fans, as some filming took place here.
This was an unplanned walk – we had to drop our van in Waipukurau to have some work done, and it was a beautiful spring day so we decided to go for a walk! The Tukituki trail can either be walked or biked, with multiple options to start and stop the walk at various points along the trail.
This was the stage I was totally unprepared for. I knew we’d have to do some fixing but I underestimated just how much there would be to do, how long it would take, how everything needed to be cleaned of 20+ years of grime, and how it never, ever seemed to be done.
If you missed the first blog about our van build, I talk about What made us choose to build a van + experience van life Now it’s all about Stage One: buying a campervan and then demolishing the interior of it!
If you’ve been following Where to Walk on Instagram, you’ll know that we bought a campervan and are currently in the progress of renovating it with the aim of taking it on the road around New Zealand for a year.
I’m going to blog about the process, which I’ve broken down into four stages:
The Whirinaki Track is a one way, 26km track, so it’s best to do it with two vehicles with one parking at the north end and the other at the south end. Those who park at the northern end have the slightly harder job with walking uphill (nothing too intense) and a longer first day. Those who start at the southern end have an easy job with an amble downhill, and a short first day. But it’s pretty neat being able to meet up at the hut in the middle (just make sure you remember to swap car keys at the hut!)
I’d heard a lot about the ‘walk with hot springs’ over the last few months, it seemed that nearly everyone I’d talked to had spent a night there over the summer. We waited until winter until we visited and it was well worth it to fully soak (pun intended) in the hot springs.
Last year I walked the inaugural Stage One of Trek for Life. This year was Stage Two as we continued our trek down the country, this year we started in Rawene, Hokianga and ended all the way down at Pouto. Approximately 200km of walking, much of it on the beach, spread over six days of walking.
I’ve written about the giant icecreams at the Tutira Dairy before (we had one after we walked Bell Rock) but this time I changed it up and had an ice cream prior to walking. In hindsight, not the greatest idea and I wouldn’t recommend it. However, the Lake Tutira track is a good one to do on a beautiful still Hawke’s Bay day, maybe just save the ice cream for after!
I’m highly tempted to suggest that this is the most well-known walk in New Zealand, and the one that almost without fail will have people saying one of two things: either 1)” I’ve done that and absolutely adored it” and they will then tell you all about their experience or 2) “I so want to do that walk but I’ve never had the time/been able to book it.
While this hut was very cool, I will forever associate it with the natural hot pools on Spa Road in Taupō that we went to after doing an overnight trip to this hut – exactly what our bodies needed!
Looking at the photos on the information boards of what Franz Josef Glacier looked like 50 years ago, 20 years ago and today is a sad yet surreal moment. To see how much of the glacier has retreated/melted during that time and to know that within another 20 years (if that ) it will likely no longer exist made me incredibly glad I was able to see it now but also sad for those who would only see it through photos and videos in the future.
I think most people have seen the famous images of Punakaiki, or Pancake Rocks. These unique rock creations towering at the edge of the Tasman Sea are an incredible sight.
While this entire route is fill with incredible views, walks, lakes and ski fields, it can be tough to choose which one to do if you have limited time!
The Putangirua Pinnacles are incredible – in fact, they are so awe-inspiring that they were used as part of the scenery in the Lord of the Rings trilogy (please don’t ask me in what film or what location they were, I have no idea!)