Everything we should have been writing about over the last few weeks but haven't
03.18.2009 - 04.05.2009
We know this page has been a bit lacking so here’s this last month in a nutshell :o)
After an awesome St. Patricks in Dunnedin we slept in, put on some dark shades, and managed to drive southwest to the Catlins. We found pretty much the most amazing campsite ever out on this beach in one of the countless gorgeous coves that make up the area.
and spent four nights hanging out with the sea lions who were also calling our little paradise home. We did the whole scenic drive of the area out to the many waterfalls and this one really cool chasm
and did a little hiking/fishing on the side. Really cool area, really relaxing time…
After the Catlins we went to Gore “Trout fishing capital of the world”, which is a dirty dirty lie, there were a few trout… but they were fat lazy bastards who wouldn’t bite at the bait at all. Total jerks, so Nicole left Gore, her dreams of a delicious trout dinner left wanting. Also she blew out here bike tire 15 Km out of town. So for all intents and purposes Gore was a complete bust.
From Gore it was on to Stewart Island, a pretty awesome place. Most of the island is a national park, half of that swamp, but the other half is gorgeous with all sorts of birds and marine life (albeit very very muddy) We tramped about 4 days on the Northwest Circuit track… its super remote and SUPER MUDDY but it was the most badass either of us have felt in awhile. To begin with we got dropped off by water taxi on a rock outcrop a bit from the first hut, that’s right the boat pulled up to the rocks, tossed us out, tossed out our bags and just left. No ramp, no dock, just a rock.
Then immediately we had to ford a stream and search out the trailhead, and that was before we even started the track.
There was ankle to thigh-deep mud throughout the “trail” and it regularly climbing into and straight up out of some crazy ravines. And when we say up, we mean straight up and out, like rock-climbing only made of mud and tree roots. Nicole was DONE after the first day but we met some funny guys out hunting at the first hut who fed us venison chops and onions, so she dealt with it and the next few days proved to be a bit better (not less muddy, just a better pace) We ended up getting a helicopter out when a phone message to the i-site asking to reschedule our other water taxi got garbled, but it was free so pretty awesome. All and all Stewart Island was a beautiful place, we highly recommend it :o)
On from there we headed to Te Anua briefly before exploring a bit of Lake Monowai and Manapouri. At Lake Manapouri we took a guided kayak out to the Doubtful Sound (BEAUTIFUL)
It was an amazing day, perfect weather and super calm water, not to mention an awesome guide and really fun group of people .
That night we got dropped off on an island in the lake and left with a kayak, we got the whole beach to ourselves and in the morning we took a nice paddle out to some islands before coming back into town.
So now we are camping out in Glenorchy, although at the moment we are enjoying nearby Queenstown. Its right on Lake Wakatipu (longest in NZ) and seems to be a lot like Vail (or so Everett says). There are a bunch of tramping tracks around so that seems to be the plan for the moment.
Hope all is well with everyone, drop us a line and say hello!
Lots of love,
Nicole and Everett