After spending more than two weeks in New Zealand, I can definitively say that the best way to experience the pure nature of this country is through hiking. There are a network of well developed trails spread over the North and the South islands. From the volcanic terrain of Tongariro National Park, to the mountainous Rob Roy glacier, to the lush forests of Fiordland National Park; New Zealand has almost every type of hiking trail with picturesque and jaw dropping scenery. It was here that I developed a new found love for hiking. So it was bittersweet to know that these would be our last hikes in New Zealand. After 2 weeks of camping and hiking, I have to admit, I was ready to check into a hotel and relax at a spa, but the experience has taught me so many things and my appreciation for nature increased each time I pushed my body to the limit. Here are two of my favorite hikes in Fiordland National Park:
I’ve never been an avid hiker; I have attempted a few short and long hikes over the years, but it wasn’t until I got to New Zealand that I realized how much I enjoy hiking. The South Island is known for its incredible trails with captivating scenery. Wanaka in particular has many must-do hikes, one of which is the popular Roy’s Peak, a rigorous uphill climb with breathtaking views of Lake Wanaka, Mount Aspiring, and the surrounding mountain peaks. The exertion and pain is rewarded when you’re standing on a trail overlooking the the best views in New Zealand.
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is often promoted as New Zealand’s greatest single-day hike – maybe even the world’s. The spectacular 19.4 km track winds its way through the country’s oldest National Park and a dual World Heritage Area. The hike passes through alpine landscape, old lava fields, and even past a steaming volcano that erupted just three years ago. The place was made even more famous by its appearance in the Lord of the Ring movies as the setting for Mount Doom. Continue reading
Today we left the Whitsundays behind and headed up north to Cairns. Upon leaving the airport, the first thing we noticed is how unbearably hot it is with the sun beating down on you relentlessly. Driving towards Port Douglas, the landscape was a mix of rainforest and sandy beaches, separated by a road in the middle. With the mountain ranges in the distance, it made me feel like I was in Hawaii again.
We spent the afternoon hiking around the Daintree rainforest. This is my favorite picture of the day because of the soft glow created by the afternoon sun filtering through the forest canopy. The ferns growing on the vine almost looks like hairs standing on end.