Tag: South Island

Kepler Track, Day 2: Moturau Hut to Iris Burn Campsite

Kepler Track, Day 2

I wake up to a swollen eye and wonder if one of New Zealand’s pesky sand flies chomped on me during the night. Hopefully, it will go away before too long, but I feel a little dread as I have had such bad reactions to bug bites lately. Ughh…

We have a lazy 9 am departure and begin our day back at the beach of Shallow Bay. The skies look a little dark and moody as we set off, and we wonder if we have some rain in store ahead. From the beach, we follow the lakeshore for a bit before ducking back  into the mossy beech forest carpeted in lush green ferns for the 16.2-kilometer relatively flat tramp to the Iris Burn campsite. (more…)

New Zealand or Bust!!!

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After more than a year of planning we finally set off for New Zealand on December 16, a Friday. This is actually a day earlier than planned, but, with a nasty winter storm forecasted for Saturday in Chicago, United has encouraged us to fly to San Francisco a day early to avoid it. We jump on the opportunity and pack up in a rush, but we don’t mind. There’s no way we are going to miss out on our dream trip to Middle Earth for anything. No way. New Zealand or bust!!! (more…)

New Zealand Dreamin’

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For as long as we can remember, New Zealand has been at the very, very top of our travel wishlist. This rugged island nation tucked far away in the southern Pacific has long captured our imagination, and, after seeing Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films, we knew we would have to visit the land of Middle Earth at least once in our lifetimes. With its majestic snow-capped mountains, lush-green forests, ice-blue rivers and fiery volcanoes all on full display in the movies, our desire to photograph and hike in these stunning landscapes only grew more intense with the release of each subsequent film. Yet, for one reason or another, we never pulled the trigger. (more…)