It’s been a while since I last blogged with all the uncertainty around Covid and no travel. But now we’ve settled into Level One I’m enthused about all the holidays in New Zealand I’ve got planned.
Like many of you, we had plans to travel to the northern hemisphere and were supposed to be in Italy now. We’d also planned to explore parts of Ethiopia. However, I’m sure we will get there one day, but I don’t think it will be before 2022 at the earliest with much of the world still in turmoil as Covid blazes out of control in the USA and parts of Africa.
I thought I would share the holidays in New Zealand I have scheduled. I hope my ideas ignite a spark within you to embark on a New Zealand getaway too. As we are in the midst of winter, some of these activities need to wait until the weather is warmer, so my little calendar stretches into 2021.
Exploring The Lindis, a luxury lodge near Mount Cook
In early August we are planning a three-day roadie from Queenstown to Mount Cook/Aoraki. The inspiration behind choosing this destination was The Lindis, a truly magnificent luxury lodge, set in the dramatic landscape of the Ahuriri Valley, on Ben Avon Station.
The architecturally designed, contemporary building mimics the natural undulation of the land, with a stunning rolling roofline.
We are planning to base ourselves here for two nights, enjoy the solitude of the environment, the cuisine and hiking the backcountry.
We are also heading up to Aoraki /Mount Cook for a day trip to walk the Hooker Valley Track. If the weather is good I’d like to start the 10-kilometre walk early so I can see the first rays of the sun creep over the Southern Alps and Mount Cook. After crossing several swing bridges, viewing the Mueller Lake and listening for the rumbling avalanches from Mount Sefton, the track ends overlooking the Hooker Lake with great views up to Mt Cook.
The basic all-inclusive cost of $770 pp per night at The Lindis includes pre-dinner drinks, dinner and breakfast. However, depending on whether you purchase a stay and play package, there are a number of activities included; guided walks, horse riding, clay-bird shooting, farm tours and more. In addition, heli-skiing, back county fly fishing and almost anything you want can be organised. The $770 pp per night is available from July through November 2020.
Cycling the Twin Coast Trail – Northland
In October my sister and I will cycle the Twin Coast Cycle Trail. It’s a cycle track approximately 80 kilometres between the east and west coast of Northland. We’ll overnight in Paihia in the Bay of Islands before starting the ride. Day one, we’ll cycle from Opua on the East Coast to Kaikohe where we will stay the night. The following day we will ride to Horeke on the West Coast.
We have planned our trip with help from the Russell Booking and Information Centre who have organised our accommodation in Paihia, Kaikohe and Hokeke. They will also transfer our luggage daily and shuttle us back to our car in Opua.
The scenery is apparently spectacular with the longest cycle trail boardwalk in NZ, two suspension bridges and stunning water views.
Overnight Kiwi Spotting Tour – Kapiti Island
A trip to Kapiti Island has long been on my bucket list. In fact, I booked to go many years ago, but the weather was bad and the sea too rough for the ferry. I’ve got my fingers crossed for better weather this time.
The ferry departs from Paraparaumu taking us to the island where we will overnight, spending the evening looking for kiwis. Kapiti Island has the most prolific population of Little Spotted Kiwis in the county with about 1,200 birds. On our first day, we will spend the majority of our time in the middle of the island in Rangatira, glamping overnight and spending the second day at the North end of the island. All our meals will be prepared by the chef at the lodge.
Watch the space and I will blog after the trip, hopefully with some great photos of kiwis.
If you are interested in going, take a look at this website, Kapiti Island Nature Tours which has all the information you need.
Heli-hiking expedition – Franz Joseph Glacier
A friend recently told me the heli-hike glacier experience at Franz Josef was the best New Zealand tourism experience he had ever done. Franz Josef Glacier Guides and The Helicopter Line on the West Coast have partnered to provide this unique glacier experience.
The three-hour trip is a combination of an exhilarating helicopter ride, jaw-dropping scenery with a two-hour hike through the glacier.
As we will be travelling from Queenstown to Franz Josef we will enjoy the spectacular drive through the Haast Pass and onto Lake Matheson near Fox Glacier. Lake Matheson is a small lake, famous for its reflected views of Mount Cook and Mount Tasman.
Welcome Rock – Hiking Blackmore Station out of Queenstown
A couple of months back I saw something on social media about Welcome Rock and thought I would investigate this beautiful high country station, just out of Queenstown.
I discovered Welcome Rock is home to Tom, a fourth-generation farmer and his wife Katie and their family. Their nationally-protected 2,000-hectare high country station, Blackmore Station is just 5 minutes from Garston.