Blue Springs Afternoon Stroll

Te Waihou Walkway, Putaruru

Today I went with a mate to tick another walk off the list down in Putaruru. There are a couple of options for this walk. Either start on Whites Road where it is 1hr 1/2 each way, or go down Lesley Road where you can do the same, or its only 15 minutes walk to the Blue Springs. We had time and wanted more than a 15min walk so we started at Whites Road and did the 1hr 1/2.

Te Waihou Walkway, Putaruru

It is a walk for all levels, there are a couple of sets of stairs and a little bit of an incline but otherwise it is pretty easy and not too strenuous. The walk takes you through a little farmland, boardwalks as well as a bush track. The track goes along the river where there are multiple points you will want to stop and take some pictures!

Te Waihou Walkway, Putaruru

At the Blue Springs it is quite hard to see the spring itself as it is on the other side of the river from where the viewpoint is and it is shaded so the blue is not as obvious. There was a staircase that gave you a more birds eye view over the river which was good.

Blue Springs, Putaruru

Although the spring itself probably wasn’t as spectacular as I had thought it would be, the river itself along the walk was so beautiful! The water is really clear and you can see all the moss growing in the water which makes for a gorgeous view. I also may have taken a dip and it is as cold as the signs say, a mere 11 degrees. I could barely breathe!

 

Until next time x

One of the Best 1 Day Walks in the World – Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Mount Ngauruhoe, New Zealand

I finally made it down to National Park for the weekend and did the Tongariro Alpine Crossing! We were meant to do it halfway through February but the weather wasn’t any good, so we had to wait another month. I went down on a Friday afternoon with my friend and her mum. It is about a 3 hour drive down to National Park from Hamilton so we wanted to leave before the after work traffic and get there earlyish so we could get an early night and so we were fresh for our early start on Saturday morning!

We stayed at Discovery Lodge which is about a 10min drive from the start of the crossing, and they have a shuttle to drop you off and pick you up after the walk. My friend and I stayed in a room that had a bathroom, small fridge, kettle and a tv. My friends mum stayed in a studio that also had a living area and kitchen. The beds were really comfy and everything was clean and good value for money. We booked into the restaurant both nights as you are kinda in the middle of nowhere and we didn’t want to bother with bringing food to make dinners. The menu was really good, a little on the expensive side but you got alot for your money. The staff were really friendly and easygoing. They even provided people with raincoats that didn’t have one or their ones were not going to keep them dry for 8 hours.

We had dinner at the restaurant at 6pm then headed to our rooms to turn in for the night. We didn’t get through a full episode of Graham Norton before we were falling asleep, it wasn’t even 8.30pm! After an okay sleep, our alarms were going off at 5am. We had enough time to get dressed and have a quick snack before we got aboard the shuttle. We got offered a get out of jail card free as it was raining and scheduled to be occasional showers but there was no way we were going to turn back now after having to wait a month already!

Tongariro Alpine Crossing, National Park, New Zealand

It was pitch black and not too cold as we had a few layers on as the low at times was to be 3 degrees. As we got going my hand was cold from holding a torch and we were dodging puddles constantly – not always, sometimes they got the better of us. Since it was so dark there wasn’t much to look at and since there were so many puddles it was not wise to anyway unless you wanted soaked feet.

After about an hour and a half we started to see light which was nice, and the rain died off. The scenery on the crossing was like being on Mars. It was so desolate.

Red Crater, Tongariro Alpine Crossing, National Park, New Zealand

The clouds/mist was quite low so we didn’t get massive views across the country. We had good views in and out over the emerald lakes, where we stopped for lunch and got some good pics. Then it was back to it. The walk overall was very long, 19.4km to be exact. Once we got past the emerald lakes and started on the descent, the walk seemed to drag. It was a slow decline and the track just seemed to go on and on, and the last 6kms took about 1hr 1/2. By that stage I was ready for the walk to be over, there wasn’t much of a view until we got about halfway down below the clouds and we could see out to Lake Rotoaira. My feet were starting to rub between my toes, and it didn’t help that I had scoria sand in my shoes from coming down the side of red crater to the emerald lakes.

Emerald Lakes, Tongariro Alpine Crossing, National Park, New Zealand

We were finally starting to see light at the end of the tunnel when the trees were looking a bit more sparse, and we came to the carpark where there was alot of seating where we could sit down – best feeling ever!

My body has not felt this tired in a long time. When we got back in the shuttle about half an hour after finishing I was nearly falling asleep, and my whole body just felt heavy and needed rest.

Overall I would recommend the walk to anyone who has a generally good fitness level, there is a couple of really hard sections where there is alot of stairs and then no stairs but a steep incline. On the way down there were a few stairs, but mostly it was just a long winding slope down.

Emerald Lakes, Tongariro Alpine Crossing, National Park, New Zealand

I was sore for a couple of days afterwards then I was fine, although my friends mum was sore until Wednesday. I definitely want to do it again when the weather is clearer so I can get better views as we missed out on so much, at the same time we were lucky that we didn’t have worse weather.

Let me know down below your favourite walks around NZ!

 

Until next time x

Celebrations in Hawkes Bay

Mister D, Napier, New Zealand

I wasn’t sure whether to post this blog or not as I only took a couple of photos as the weather was the pits! It was raining most of the time I was there and so the scenery wasn’t exactly photogenic. But I did want to comment on my time down there as I have a couple of reviews.

I left on Friday night to head down to Napier for a friends 30th and Engagement party in Hastings on Saturday. Accommodation was hard to come by in Hastings so I booked in Napier as it is not too far away and I have only been to the Hawkes Bay once, and I thought it would be nice to check out both. I booked at the YHA in Napier as it had good reviews and was right on the waterfront! I got there just after 8.30pm and the reception was closed. There was a sign on the door saying not to let anyone in without a key and when I rang their phone number it went straight to voicemail. I banged on the door until someone kindly let me in and I saw my room key was left out on the bench at reception. That was fine as there was a piece of paper with my room number and rules etc.

Later on in the evening after I had had dinner, I went back up to my room to turn in for the night and an old in lady in her 70’s or 80’s was sitting on a chair in our room and the room stunk. She had made herself up to our room, and let herself in with no key or anything. We asked if she was meant to be saying here and she said yes but didn’t know which room. From my perspective as a guest, I was not happy about there being no reception and that this lady had managed to book into a dorm room at a backpackers who clearly had incontinence problems. I think it is not fair on guests who have to endure their room smelling of piss all night. Luckily she was in a room a couple of doors down otherwise I wouldn’t of stayed there.

The next morning I googled some places for breakfast, and found one called Mister D. It was so good, I got avocado on toast with dukkah. Definitely find your way there if you are in Napier. It was then back to the car to drive to Hastings for the festivities. We were going to do some wine tasting then party on later back at their house.

If you are into wine and want to take the long drive out to Hawkes Bay, then this is the place for you. There were multiple wineries just outside Hastings, and we got a few tasters at each place. It cost $5 for the tastings which included about 4 different types of wines. Our last stop was Abbey Estate where the weather finally cleared and I could get in a couple of snaps.

Abbey Estate, Hastings, New Zealand

The next morning with a slight hangover, I made the long drive back to Hamilton (4 hrs).

 

Until next time x