Tuesday, 26 January 2010

On the beautiful South Island

It feels like a long time, but I have arrived only less then a week
ago on New Zealand's South Island.

If you followed my tweets on http://twitter.com/eddokloosterman you
would have seen that I followed the very scenic, beautiful Queen
Charlotte Drive from Picton to Havelock. It was a great road, though a
bit hilly heading from cliffs to bays & beaches continuously. From
Havelock it took me a day to get to Nelson over Rai Saddle and
Whangamoa Saddle, quite steep climbs, but the last one had a splendid
This road is usually known, or infamous, for being used by a lot of
log trucks; as it was a sunday, I was lucky as I didn't see a single
truck :).

After Nelson I went up North to Marahau, the entrance to the Abel
Tasman National Park. Kayaking here is fairly expensive, and they
don't allow a single traveler to 'freedom kayak' on his own. So I
decided to hike a part of the Coastal track, with a water taxi
dropping me of at a beach in the morning and then walking back. It was
great fun, and the beaches are like you would expect them to be on a
tropical island, gold coloured sand and azur blue sea! Just stunning!

From now on I'll be heading west and south, following the Westcoast
of the South Island. Hope the weather will be a bit cooler, as it is
fairly warm to cycle here with 20C. I know, I shouldn't complain, it's
a lot colder back home in NL ;). But hills are pretty tough to climb
when it's hot..

@PioneerPeter: helaas nog geen Grolsch hier kunnen ontdekken in de
supermarkten, wel dat andere, bekende Nederlandse biermerk. Maar
lokale bier smaakt ook wel goed ;).
Mvg, Eddo

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Wellington :)

And thus I have it so far down as Wellington, a beautiful city but very busy. Yesterday afternoon I spent at the Te Papa Museum, which was freely accessible :).
But some more info on how I got here... my route took me from Taupo down to National Park Village. I stayed at campsite near the crossing of SH46 & SH47, known as the Tongariro Holiday Park and from the road the Tongariro Base Camp Cafe is the thing that catches the eye. From here I took a shuttle bus to the start of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, and a day later rode on to Ohakune (previous post, which I couldn't send before time on PC was gone).

From there I took the Parapara Highway down to Wanganui, which was definitely a long cycle, but made it eventually (about a 100km). I then decided to push on to Wellington, taking me a few days to reach. The campsite near the beach in Otaki wasn't that good, as the receptionist wasn't that friendly when I turned up, and the price was pretty high (Top 10 Holiday Park are usually also pretty high priced, but def. worth it). Must be the location near the beach that drives up the price here ... but spent the late afternoon at the beach watching the sunset into the Tasman Sea. The day after picked up my stuff again and set my mind on reaching Wellington, taking the train from Paraparaumu. But the line was closed, so had to cycle another 10k along a busy highway, felt like I was cycling along the A35 from Enschede to Hengelo, with only a different scenery. Those parts of the route are not that much fun.

So today I am setting out to view Wellington a bit more, besides the Te Papa museum. Have my mind set on the cable-car and maybe Mt. Victoria .. ah well, have a whole day to amuse myself.

Tomorrow morning at 10:25am I am leaving the North Island by InterIslander ferry and heading over to the South Island, where I will be staying the remainder of my trip. Everybody keeps telling me that the South Island is way more beautiful than the North. Let's find out!

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Update from Ohakune

Currently staying in Ohakune, a small town just south of Mt. Ruapehu. With only a couple minutes on the clock of my Internet-access-time-quota I am trying to give you an update to how it has been so far.
First of all the weather has been fantastic, I here it has been snowing quite heavily back home, but out here the sun in baking hot. Almost too hot to cycle in, with the exception of today of course, drizzle and cloudy. Have made my way across Tongariro National Park, and did the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. This was without a doubt a great dayhike, too bad the weather up on the mountain ridges wasn't too good (misty and terrific wind), but it was quite good fun and had a blast of a day.
Unfortunately the computer here doesn't allow me to view the RAW-images I have made with my camera, so uploading a few just to let u have a small insight to what NZ looks like will have to wait.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

A roadside report

After being a couple of days on the road it finally starts to settle
in that the distances I can manage in a single day riding are not that
large (approx. 75km). The roads continually go up and down, where it
sometimes climbs for a couple kilometers.
Aside of that I managed to cycle the first part of my planned route
from Auckland to Hamilton and today to Matamata. Hamilton was nice,
lots of shops and quite a few pubs & restaurants.
If u btw gonna think that when in Matamata u want to visit the
Hobbiton filmset, it's nice, but don't think its worth the dollars.
For now I'm going back to reading a book and will give u more updates
as they come ... Sweet as bro'

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Travelling to the other side of the world

Air New Zealand
"Air New Zealand", by Chuck Johnson, on Flickr

Woohoo, in just a day I am flying from Schiphol (NL) to Auckland (NZ), with a transfer in Shanghai (CN). Finally my grand adventure in NZ can begin! It has taken me about a year longer to be at this point, but that's all behind me now. Through this blog I will try to post updates about my travel and what I've done/encountered/experienced/explored, possibly with some photos.

Via my Twitter (@eddokloosterman) I will post some smaller messages that are coming more frequently and more random, as I don't need to find an Internet café to post messages. And no, I am not taking my laptop with me, way to heavy, and my iPhone will have to do in the two months that I'm there.

The next time I will post something on this blog will be from Kiwi-soil. See you on the other side of the world!