I’ve been living in New Zealand for five years now and at last I have seen Mount Ruapehu in her full glory. Every time I have passed by on the road or in the sky previously, she has been shrouded in cloud and mystery…but at long last the skirt has been lifted and I thought I’d share this with you…
Majestic! You can also see Mount Ngauruhoe (another volcano) to the right.
Mount Ruapehu is the highest point of the North Island and is also an active volcano and winter skiing destination…nothing like having mutliple uses is there?
While in the Wairarapa, I had the pleasure of staying in a bach (a kiwi term for a cottage, as close as I can get it) which was a shepherd’s house at one time. No TV, no internet, no mobile phone coverage and about 5kms from a main road. Waking up to the sight and sound of cows, sheep, horses or even donkeys wandering around just outside. What could be better?
While visiting the Wairarapa region of New Zealand, I went to the Pukaha Mount Bruce national wildlife centre. This is primarily a location where they assist with the conservation of native species, including many of NZ’s birds.
One of the highlights is undoubtedly the native Kaka, a woodland parrot. They sure know when feeding time is and queue up in the trees for 3pm. Clever, and beautiful, birds. Hopefully one day they (and others) will be able to spread out across NZ once more as mammalian pests are brought under closer control. These Kaka are wild but sure know where they are best to hang out!
On the east side of the north island of New Zealand, within the Wairarapa district, lies Castlepoint. It is noteworthy because of the majestic lighthouse which stands proudly overlooking the Pacific Ocean, lovely beaches and a large sheltered lagoon – complete with baby fish swimming along the shore in the shallows.
It is fair to say that with pretty reliable summer weather, camping in New Zealand is big business. At holiday times, large numbers pack up their campers, vans, trucks and SUVs and head off with their tent (and often their boats!)
Some of the equipment people have is amazing. From their own toilets, barbecues, furniture, outdoor living spaces to leisure pursuit items…the range seems pretty endless. I’m not a very advanced camper by any means (I still like to go to eateries nearby) but I was thinking about how wonderful it is to be closer to nature and be awoken by the cacophony of birdsong in a morning…sure you also hear people snoring in nearby tents and have to share facilities but it seems a minor thing compared to the pleasure of turning your back on hotels and television (and maybe the internet too).
If you are really adventurous, some of the locations you can wake up to are quite amazing, from high in the mountains to small beachs on islands.