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Old 12-22-2003, 10:47 PM   #1
Emily
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New Zealand

I highly recommend hiking (tramping) in New Zealand. The views are amazing everywhere (except in the cities). I just got back Wed. and would recommend the Tongariro Crossing, advertised as the best day hike in New Zealand. It was great hiking through the volcanos in "Mordor" but even in there late spring there was plenty of ice on top and a stiff wind with rain. The views were other-worldly with the crater lakes and volcanic rock. It was 10 miles and we did it in 6.5 hours with a 45 minute stop at the hut. It wasn't a difficult hike or technically challenging (more of a walk with significant uphill) similar to an easy high peak hike. The trails were impeccably maintained. After the summits, the weather cleared and was sunny for the trek down. Definately bring gloves and winter clothes. There are buses that leave from Lake Taupo or you can stay at Tongariro National Park.

I did another even more wonderful hike that was not well publisized at all (visit the DOC in Queenstown to find out more). It was a mountain called Ben Lomond and the trail started in Queenstown at the base of the gondola. I got 360 views of the southern alps and an expansive view of Lake Wakatipu at the top of this 1748m (5735') mountain. The trail was easy to follow as most of it was above treeline (sunscreen and a hat were life-savers). It was up the entire way with no leveling off at all. There were many switch backs but it was still walking - no climbing and nothing technical (wear hiking boots though). I met people from all over on this hike: Switzerland, England, Korea, South Africa, Ontario, and France. Go early if you want to avoid a lot of people. It was never crowded but there were a bunch of people on the trail especially when I was coming down. If you want to be a good samaritan, bring extra water and food. Most people that I ran into were not prepared and ran out of water and didn't bring much if any food. I saw people in leather jackets, flip-flops, and those with no water. I gave away food and water. There wasn't any snow on the trail in late November/early December. I did it in seven hours but spent a lot of time on top and talking with people and I'm a slow hiker so those with a moderate pace could easily do it in much less. Remember to savor the views...

Another great place with amazing views was Mt. Cook National Park. I stayed in Glentanner down the road about 20 minutes with a wonderful view of Mt. Cook. There were glacier walks and other interesting walks including Sealy Tarns which is short but quite steep. Most of the serious stuff required climbing experience and possibly a guide so I didn't do them but I was happy with my walks (since I had a cold when I was there).

E-mail me if you're considering going to New Zealand or would like to know more... Remember their summer is our winter.
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Old 12-22-2003, 11:35 PM   #2
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Emily sounds like you had an awesome time. I am so envious

Thanks for sharing your awesome expierence!
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Old 12-23-2003, 12:37 AM   #3
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You're welcome. Yes it was awsome! I made the most of it and hope to go back to discover the places I didn't get to...

Galloping on horseback along the beach outside of Christchurch was phenominal too...not to mention the cruises on Milford Sound (amazing views), Lake Taupo (views and rainbow trout fishing), and Littleton Harbor (Hector Dolphins, Spotted Cormorants, and Great Northern Petrols).
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Old 12-23-2003, 08:13 AM   #4
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pictures

Emily when you get your pictures developed I want to see them!

Thanks,
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Old 01-24-2004, 08:38 PM   #5
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Pictures

Well, I don't have time to create a web page right now because of classes but I do have a strange way you can view some of my favorite New Zealand pictures. You can view my profile on www.match.com my member name is "HiTecHickChic". The photos are at the bottom of the profile, click to make them bigger. It has some of my Adirondack, Petersburgh Pass, and New Zealand photos. I doubt you'll have problems telling which are the NZ ones... I can also e-mail them.

Emily

Hang on, maybe this will work... this is Mt. Cook (the highest peak in New Zealand) and Lake Wakatipu

Last edited by Wildernessphoto; 02-21-2004 at 08:11 PM..
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Old 01-24-2004, 08:52 PM   #6
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This is the picture I mentioned above... Mt. Cook and Lake Wakatipu.
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Old 01-24-2004, 08:53 PM   #7
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This is the reflection of Mt. Cook in Lake Matheson at sunrise.
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Old 01-24-2004, 09:00 PM   #8
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This is a view from the summit of Ben Lomond Mountain - a hike I highly recommend in Queenstown.
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Old 01-24-2004, 09:01 PM   #9
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These are the Pancake Rocks...
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Old 01-24-2004, 09:09 PM   #10
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Fox Glacier
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Old 01-24-2004, 09:11 PM   #11
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Fox Glacier Close Up with some crazy kids on top of it despite the danger signs...
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Old 01-24-2004, 09:50 PM   #12
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Wow
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Old 01-25-2004, 10:23 AM   #13
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AWESOME

Emily those are some awesome pics. I wish I was there hiking with you. We definately have to hook up for a hike this spring and summer.

ADAM
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Old 01-25-2004, 11:57 AM   #14
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Thanks Adam.

Hiking always sounds good to me - whatever the country!
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Old 02-11-2004, 11:21 PM   #15
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Emily those pictures are breathtaking. You are so lucky to have seen such beauty. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 02-12-2004, 10:58 PM   #16
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Thank you. I enjoy sharing and wish more people would.
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Old 02-20-2004, 08:13 PM   #17
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WOW!!

WOW Emily!
Makes me want to jump a plane right now! Beautiful Stuff! Thanks for sharing.
-Gary-


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Old 02-21-2004, 10:00 AM   #18
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Right on! Those are awesome pics Emily! See ya outdoors!

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Old 02-21-2004, 12:45 PM   #19
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Yeh But....

Beautiful shots Emily but didn't ya see any hobbits?

I understand that "the Shire" is still there, complete.

Yes New Zealand is beautiful, those who get stationed there at Christchurch involved in "Operation Deepfreeze" are indeed lucky. Is that still going on do you know? I believe it is.

New Zealand is much nicer that Australia if you like mountains. I have some Maori friends.

Your shots are breathtaking, Great Photography!!

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Old 02-22-2004, 06:17 PM   #20
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I didn't see any hobbits but the countryside of the North Island looked like the shire everywhere with all the rolling hills and green everywhere. The mountains (southern alps) were on the South Island. Hike the Tongariro Crossing, on the North Island near Taupo, to travel through Mordor and active New Zealand volcanos.

I don't know if "Operation Deep Freeze" is still going on.

The Maori culture is interesting - very connected to the land and water. Unfortunately many Maori are turning to gangs and not keeping their culture alive.
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