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New Zealand-2013. Finale. Days 15-17. Mistakes, breakfasts, and conclusions.

NZ-2013. Day 15. Mistakes.

Those of you who’ve been following me around NZ with this travelogue will already know how unexpected torrential rain ruined our plans several times. Despite our heroic efforts to see everything, multiple shuffling of the route, and the extra hundreds of miles on the road – some must-sees remained inaccessible and thus unseen. They’ll just have to wait till next time…

Anyway, today I’ll be telling you a little about what we missed, just to make this travelogue exhaustive in terms of its covering all the must-sees of NZ – given good weather.

There were five must-check-outs we missed, as follows:

1. State Highway 6 – along the west coast of the South Island. We got to see only its northern section, but if the southern part is as beautiful – a leisurely drive along it is mandatory. Especially for lovers of hairpin bends :).

New Zealand

More: New Zealand vs Kamchatka – the final encounter…

New Zealand-2013. Days 12-14. Lakes, glaciers, and the ultimate NZ must-see.

NZ-2013. Day 12. Lakes beyond compare.

It would be unthinkable not to mention NZ’s spectacular lakes in this travelogue – even though we didn’t actually have time to study many of them in any great detail.

NZ’s lakes are simply magical – huge, turquoise, surrounded by lush mountain ranges and other pulchritudinous paysages… and that’s on both islands. Alas, we mostly just drove past them – sometimes several lakes a day, occasionally lunching on their shores, and some of us even swimming in them. But unfortunately we simply didn’t have the time to study them closely and get to learn all about them. We did however manage to pull off quite a few photographic masterpieces for your viewing pleasure:

New Zealand Lakes

More: 8001 more pictures of NZ lakes…

New Zealand-2013. Days 9-11. The three R’s: route, rain and rarity.

NZ-2013. Day 9. Route.

On the ninth day in NZ we simply tramped back along the path we’d already walked along (see Day 7), so spent most of the day checking out scenery we’d already seen. On various websites they write that this tourist track is one of the most beautiful in the world (among the not so difficult ones). I agree – this is one example of the Internet not lying. It really is “wow”!

New Zealand Routeburn Track

Reminiscent of the Isle of Skye

New Zealand Routeburn Track

Blofeld’s back

More: the route of our expedition…

New Zealand-2013. Days 6-8. Floods, euro-tracks, Hobbitywood, and mad-hatter in-flight shuffles…

Day 6. Tales of the unexpected.

No expedition can be insured against unexpected surprises – be they unpleasant or otherwise.

And the South Island of New Zealand had quite a few in store for us. The first of these was announced to us while waiting to board the ferry at the car rental place. It turned out that getting to where we were headed and were to spend the night was totally out of the question. There’d been some torrential rain (more torrential than the norm, that is) causing villages to be washed away and a bridge brought down, while the road we needed to take was closed and was to remain so for several days. As a result we didn’t make it to the Franz Josef Glacier, which is where we were highly recommended to get to.

New Zealand

More: treks, floods and falls…

New Zealand-2013. Days 3-5. Geysers, volcanoes, a frying pan lake, and pancake rocks.

Day 3. Geothermality.

At last! The time has come to move onto the most interesting bit (at least, for me!) of NZ – of which there happens to be plenty.

Our route was planned thus: from underwhelm-ness, via mid-whelmness, and on to overwhelm-ness, along hundreds of miles of road surrounded on both sides by luxurious landscapes and a continuation of the inevitable – scads of sheep.

Our third day in NZ served up the following for our touristic pleasure: geysers, hot springs, cauldrons, pot holes, fumaroles, and other assorted volcanisms and geothermality – all unconditionally mandatory for visiting and studying more closely.

New Zealand, Geyser Pohutu

More: Geysers, volcanoes, a frying pan lake, and pancake rocks…

New Zealand-2013. Days 0-2. First NZ (notably zazzy) impressions.

Hi all!

Here’s the main course (actually the first of five main courses, followed by the desert :), to logically follow the starter (for those who missed it – here!).

New Zealand, Piha

More: getting there, fighting jetlag, caves, Middle-Earth & roads…

New Zealand: The Kamchatka Challenger. Introduction.

Towards the back end of last year, a group of like-minded souls – yours truly included – suddenly decided to drop everything – well, most things – and carefully study the country that calls itself New Zealand. But why? And who are these like-minded souls? These questions, and others, will be answered real soon…

More: New Zealand: The Kamchatka Challenger. Introduction.. . .