Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Finally a couple of days with late mornings and not zoo busy schedules :) We're at the west coast on the south island of New Zealand. Amazing coastline here. Waves, rock formations, and lot's of sand. I could probably stay for a week exploring the beaches for just a couple of miles.

Unfortunately the bad weather has caught up with us again. Looks like the rain will start any minute now. We're heading down for the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers today. If the conditions are not too bad, we will take a guided tour on one of them.

Now it's check-out time from Greymouth!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas on the beach

Phew, it's been quite busy traveling the last week. Since we got the car we've been doing so much and squeezed in as much as possible.

Christmas wasn't crowded as we had hoped for. The beach parties and barbecues were quite absent both Dec 24 and Dec 25 i Whitianga. Anyway, we spent a lot of time on the beaches enjoying the sun and waves. We finished off with some food and wine close to the beach yesterday.

Today we spent many hours in the car in the ride down to Wellington. 731 km. Tomorrow the ferry will take us over to Picton on the South Island for further adventures.

Friday, December 16, 2011


I've been in Coromandel town now for a few nights. Heavy rains but also more sun than expected. Me (Swede), Rob (Dutch), and Tessy (Luxembourgish) joined international forces for an extra good time around town. We did a walk for about 3 hours going up, down, up, down, up, down, and so on. We certainly saw some lovely views and climbed lot's of stairs. I really hope we'll get together again somewhere on the south island later on for more adventures and laughs! Cheers mates!!

Major milestone today: Peter arrived! With a car! Happy times :) He made it here from Auckland in record time. And he's stayed awake until now. We did some car-seeing today, and tomorrow we'll continue to Rotorua and smell the hot springs.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Paihia, rainy days 2-4

My plans to relax on the beach here got completely obliterated... Strong winds and rain is what I get. But still, there are nice walks and other stuff to do. The weather's just not very nice to my photo gear.

Yesterday I got on the ferry to Russel and did some walking there. The trail up to Tapeka Point is my favorite. Amazing views! And the rain stopped to let me snap a few shots up there too.

I walked the coastline back to Russel from there. The tide was low, so it was possible but still an adventure. It took some rock climbing, a few water steps, some seagull attacks, and about 1h before I got back to Russel. I passed about 4 nice secluded beaches on the way. Would be perfect for a sunny day.

Then I got a burger in Russel, and then checked out a windy and wavy Long Beach on the other side of Russel.

Today I'm joining a tour to Kerikeri for some history, wine, and chocolate :)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Swimming Competetion

This morning I got up at 7 to have breakfast before watching the Russel-Paihia swim. An open water swim for about 3 km. The winds were quite strong, but so were the competitors. The winner was for the first time a woman (sorry forgot the name, but I think she's qualified for the olympics).

After that I decided not to get on a cruise. The weather was too bad. But I got on the ferry over to Russel and checked out the shorelines there. A quite cool place.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Paihia, day 1

Today I jumped on board the Naked Bus. "You don't have to be nude to go with Naked Bus" is their slogan. Too bad I didn't know that before I got on...

After a four hour bus ride I arrived in a rather cloudy and windy Paihia. Anyway, I found some fun with a christmas parade and some beach walking.

I'm hoping the weather will be good enough for a boat ride out to one of the islands tomorrow. After all, the area is called "Bay of Islands".

A trip to Waiheke

Today I got on a ferry to Waiheke Island. It's a narrow island about 35 km long. The island has many beaches, hills, and  vineyards. I went on a guided bus ride for about 90 minutes, then I got off at the main village Oneroa and spent  a couple of hours on Oneroa beach that is right beneath the village. A beautiful place! The beach is very long, and at one side there are really cool rock formations (my favorite part…). This was the first time I got my feet into the ocean  :) A very nice feeling, even though it was a bit cold… Unfortunately I didn't have time to visit a vineyard.

While walking back up Queen Street in Auckland, I saw some more weird stuff (see yesterdays post). This time it was three giant seagulls… Too bad I'm leaving tomorrow morning. Who knows what I could have seen otherwise?

The destination for tomorrow is Paihia in Bay of Islands. a 4-5 hour bus ride. I expect to see even more beaches and nice islands up there.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A day in Auckland

Today has been a good day: Got my clothes laundered, booked some 4 nights in Paihia and a bus ride there on Friday, and spent some time in town. I ran to a couple of weird things. Red people handing out pieces of a big puzzle. Giant people walking around making normal people scared and happy. And about 1000 Santa Clauses running a race in the Harbor. Bag Pipe practice alongside cricket practice seemed quite normal after that. Oh, and I bought me a pair of hiking shorts!! Soooo much nicer than my jeans...

The weather is very changing with fast moving clouds with occasional light rain showers. Sometimes a bit too warm, and sometimes a bit too cold. Perfect.

I have also got lot's of good information from a german couple who live in my dorm. They have been in New Zealand since August, and are leaving for home tomorrow. Lot's of pictures with good intel for me :)

Tomorrow I think I'll catch a boat to Waiheke Island just outside Auckland. Looks like a beautiful place.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Nan Lian Garden and Stanley

Today I first went north on Kowloon to visit Nan Lian Garden, and then I went south on Hong Kong Island to Stanley.

Nan Lian Garden is a kept in perfect condition to the smallest detail. From what I understand, it is the Chi Lin Nunnery that's responsible for that. My favorite is a house on a small island with wild orange bridges leading to it.
Taking the subway here is perfect. Just get off at Diamond Hill and walk 200m.

Stanley is more like a "regular" town. It is known for it's market and long beach promenade and nice sunsets. An extra bonus is the bus ride to get there. The route takes you up and down on winding roads with amazing views. I stayed until sunset, and then hopped on a bus back to Central.

Finally, I took some shots of people taking shots of the Hong Kong skyline. I wonder how many shots are taken each day in Hong Kong…

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Hong Kong Park

Today's highlight was Hong Kong Park. Lot's of plants and animals. Also artificial lakes that almost always make beautiful photo subjects.

It was really fun to walk among the birds. They were not shy at all. Almost begging the onlookers to come closer. In one lake there were 15-20 turtles that just loved to doze off on the rocks. Very cute.

At night I went back again to the Pier to watch the light show. I was hoping for more than last time, but Saturday night was just like any other night.

My feet and legs are beginning to pay now. All walking is making them ache. But they'll get used to it... :)

Check some of today's photos here:

Some examples:

Friday, December 2, 2011

Long Day

Went up early to get the sunrise which turned out OK (see picture), then had breakfast. After that I went to The Peak with the Peak Tram. I spent 7 hours at The Peak. A really nice place. The main attraction is the skyscraper view, but you can also walk various trails with lot's of nice views in other directions too.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

First Hong Kong morning

The time difference made me wake up early. Decided to go to the pier and check out the sunrise. I don't think it was one of the suns best performances, but it was quite nice anyway. Here's a shot of my IR camera at work just before the suns rays reached Hong Kong Island.

Arrival Day :)

After an uneventful flight via London, I'm now in Hong Kong. The plane started one hour late, but arrived one hour early. Nice winds enna! (sorry, used some Gothenburgska there)

Now I'm chilling in my room in the Kowloon Hotel. I haven't taken any photos yet. I just took a walk around in the closest blocks and saw plenty of night photo subjects :) I'll stay here for 5 nights, so there are plenty of time to play around.

Now I'll do some research to find out what and where to go tomorrow. Cheers.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Departure day!!

Well, now I hope I've got everything under control for my adventure. Will be leaving for the airport in a few hours. The flight is to Hong Kong via London. There will be a strike on all London airports tomorrow, but it might start in small scale tonight. My plane leaves 22:30 from London, so I hope I'll make it and lands tomorrow night in Hong Kong after 13 hours in the air.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Starting up

Well, let's see how this will work. First post, and I don't even know what the blog looks like yet... But in a few hours I hope it will be OK.