New Zealand: Kaikoura sunrise

Our campsite in Kaikoura was little more than a strip of gravel next to the beach so not much in terms of facilities but absolutely unbeatable for dramatic and atmospheric views, our favourites of which are posted here, hope you like them as much as we do!

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We only realised after they were taken that the first and last shots managed to capture birds in flight. We thought they added something to the scene :)

Ben and Jess :)

New Zealand: Hokitika and Geraldine

Hokitika is famous for it’s driftwood beach and as you can see the locals used this abundance of resources to make a pretty cool signpost for their town right on the beach.

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This picture we just really liked for reasons we’re not quite sure of but something about the camper and the mountains really speaks to a sense of adventure. Oh and to explain the second half of the post title, we named our van Geraldine :)

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Ben and Jess :)

New Zealand: Auckland skyline

These photos were taken from the top of One Tree Hill which is one of the 50 odd volcanos on and around which the city of Auckland is built (you have to wonder about their choice of location!). This was, we think, the second highest natural point in the city and had some pretty amazing views!

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The Sky Tower.

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The whole landscape was dotted with small volcanos like this one.

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The Auckland Volcanic Field’s largest volcano.

Ben and Jess :)

New Zealand: Lake Mahinapua

This was a campsite we stayed at just south of Hokitika in the South Island which sits next to Lake Mahinapua. The afternoon we arrived the weather was so calm and still and quiet that the surface of the lake was literally like a mirror with not a ripple in sight. We’d never seen anything like it and it was one of the most stunning sights we saw on our trip so thought we’d share a couple of shots, enjoy!

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Ben and Jess :)

Home :)

Our New Zealand adventure has now sadly come to an end…and we’re certainly going to miss views like this..

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We’ve been home for about 2 weeks now but will continue to publish our backlog of New Zealand photos for a little while yet (since we took over 2500 of them we’ve still got a fair few to pick from!) 

We hope you all enjoyed being kept up to date with our wanderings and ramblings as we explored the other side of the world but since we are now settling into the somewhat less nomadic lifestyle of the working world back in England (an entirely different type of adventure), we’ll have to attempt to write some posts of a different theme for a while. Not sure if we’ll be able to pull this off in a way that’s enjoyable for us and at the same time entertaining for you but we’ll give it our best go ;)

It is always a bit of a downer coming home from a holiday or whatever kind of foreign adventure it is you embarked upon but despite that we have to say it was absolutely lovely see our families and be in the much-loved, familiar surroundings of England once more (not to mention sleeping in an actual bed, you know, with a mattress and everything!).

Well that’s about all from us, keeping it short and sweet today, keep your eyes peeled for more photos from New Zealand over the coming weeks and we will speak to you again soon.

Ben and Jess :)

New Zealand: Feed the birds…

New Zealand is generally quite famous for it’s nature, scenery and wildlife and not least of all due to it’s large number of diverse bird species. We won’t pretend to know what species all of these are but it would be rude to leave any out so maybe you guys might be able to identify one for us! :)

New Zealand Fan Tail

These guys were incredibly confident little birds who would happily swoop down the from the trees and fly in circles around us within arms reach!

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The New Zealand Weka

Often mistaken for Kiwis, these are another, more common, heavyweight flightless bird native to New Zealand. The pictures aren’t so good of this one simply because we came across it in the middle of the night and were trying to get a photo of it as it wandered around our camper!

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Kingfisher 

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Kea

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New Zealand Oyster Catcher

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Gonna need some help with this one!

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Moments away from making a catch!

Wandering Albatross (assuming we heard the boat driver correctly over the noise of the sea and Ben vomiting into a bucket)

What we did hear though was that it had a wing span of about 3 metres!

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Ben and Jess :)

New Zealand: Nature’s giants

Kauri trees are native to New Zealand and whilst the majority of the oldest trees were destroyed by settlers from Europe, a few of these giants remain and we just had to take a trip out to Waipoua Forest on the ‘Kauri Coast’ to have a look.

The precise age of these trees is unknown but estimates put them at 2000 – 2500 years old! The first Kauri in these pictures, called ‘The Lord of the Forest’, is the largest measuring at 51.2 metres in height and with a diameter of 4.4 metres. The second, ‘The Father of the Forest’, is shorter but wider with a diameter of 5.2 metres…that’s pretty damn big!

The last tree is actually four separate Kauri trees growing from a shared root which makes for a pretty impressive and unique sight in itself named ‘The Four Sisters’. 

 ‘The Lord of the Forest’

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Can you spot Jess’ head?

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There she is! It’s shocking how small a human looks next to these ancient giants!

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 ‘The Father of the Forest’

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 ‘The Four Sisters’

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We were blown away by the size of these marvels of nature and hope the pictures do them some kind of justice! 

Ben and Jess :)