Posts Tagged With: hiking

Straying into the Deep South of New Zealand!

Kayla on Canyon Fox

“These are the good old days.”

I saw this quote illuminated in neon pink lights in a bar in Queenstown, New Zealand surrounded by strangers I just met the night before who I would spend the next seven days with. That quote immediately resonated with me because it’s a feeling I often have while traveling. I knew this group of strangers were going to become my friends and we would create a bond forever forged by our adventures together. I remember sitting at the table looking around at these new faces and that neon pink quote above us and thinking I don’t want this trip to ever end. I often become nostalgic during a trip and  saddened that I can never recreate a precise moment with friends. I reminisce for a memory that is still being created. It’s a blessing and a curse to feel nostalgic for a time that hasn’t even finished yet. I’m thankful I realize in the moment that I need to be grateful for the experience and the bond, but then I feel like it’s a curse to recognize that because I can’t just live in the moment. I find myself getting wrapped up in thinking “these are the good old days aren’t they?”

The point to my ramblings is don’t be like me and get wrapped up in reminiscing for the past. Enjoy life always and be present in every aspect of your life. Because every new moment can be the good old days!

Kayla in Mount Cook

So before I get anymore wistful here, let me take you back to “the good old days” on my seven day trip with this incredible group of people that became my friends as we traversed the deep south of New Zealand and created adventures of a lifetime together.

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Wintering in Wanaka

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“The mountains are calling and I must go” said John Muir. I always feel this pull, a curiosity and desire, to explore the mountains which is a huge reason I find myself in New Zealand right now. There’s something about the the wildness of forests and mountains that makes me feel more free and full of life. So I knew I had to venture to the South Island in winter to witness the majestic Southern Alps coated in snow.

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Some Rocks and a Lighthouse

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For my birthday weekend I needed to stay within a day’s trip of Wellington but I wanted to go somewhere epic! I mean a birthday only comes once a year and how many birthdays will I have in a foreign country?? Probably not many and this is my first! A friend told my flatmates and I about Putangirua Pinnacles, just a couple hours drive from Wellington along the eastern coast. The Pinnacles are also near the striking red striped Cape Palliser lighthouse so seeing some rocks and a lighthouse sounded like a great enough birthday adventure for me!

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Running around Rivendell!

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Rivendell is the fictional Elven outpost in Middle-earth, created by J.R.R. Tolkien and brought to life by Peter Jackson in his Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films. Peter Jackson filmed his Rivendell scenes in the picturesque Kaitoke Regional Park just 45 minute drive north of Wellington, New Zealand. It’s a popular site to visit in Wellington so I of course had to visit as well! I can see why Peter Jackson choice Kaitoke Regional Park for his Rivendell because it is incredibly peaceful and beautiful there. The lush green fields, vibrant rain forest, and rushing streams are the perfect home for Elves and a wonderful place to spend the day for us mere humans as well. 🙂

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To Taupo We Go!

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My first New Zealand road trip is in the books! Our group drove the four hours north to the resort town of Taupo, an adventurers paradise located on the shore of Lake Taupo. We spent Saturday and Sunday exploring the lake, waterfalls, geothermal fields and hot springs! Lake Taupo is New Zealand’s largest lake and feeds the Waikato River which flows over Huka Falls. We were also treated views of the active volcanoes of Mount Tongariro and Mount Ngauruhoe (aka Mount Doom from the Lord of the Rings films) from the lake and we had beautiful Autumn weather all weekend. The most popular thing to do in the area is the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, but I’m still working up to be in shape for that all day hike!

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Categories: New Zealand | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Wellington: Weekend 1

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Technically this is my second weekend in Wellington but I’m not counting the first weekend since I flew in, battled jet lag and got all settled into my new home. Not much of interest happened those couple days haha. Unless napping is of great interest; which come to think of it napping is probably my favorite hobby! lol

On Saturday I braved my first solo outing in New Zealand! The first trip is always the hardest right? And not that I’ve conquered that I’m looking forward to more adventures even if they are solo ones. I can’t ever remember using public transportation on my own before, I’ve always been grateful to have my own car or relied on my friends to figure out the public transportation when traveling haha. But finally at the age of 27 I used all those past experiences learning from friends to conquer the buses and trains all by myself! And it helps that Wellington has a pretty easy public transportation system too. 🙂

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NorCal in One Awesome Weekend!

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It wouldn’t be a Kayla trip without cramming in as many activities as possible in a short time frame. I’ll sleep when I’m dead! Seize the day! You only live once! These cliched phrases are my mottoes when I travel. I never know when I’ll be back to a certain place so I want to see as much of it as possible while I’m there. And my recent trip to San Francisco was no exception to my rule.

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Off the Paved Path

If you had asked me six years ago if I enjoyed hiking I probably would’ve given you a “are you serious?” look. Honestly I’m not even sure I went on a legitimate hike until my first true camping vacation in the great outdoors in the summer of 2008. I spent six days rafting down the Green River and Colorado River in Cataract Canyon and experienced my first challenging 1200 foot hike up to the Dollhouse. That hike was an incredible experience, full of rookie mistakes such as awful blisters and not bringing enough water, but I think it was a subtle turning point in my life where I connected more with nature. From then on I visited several Missouri State Parks and walked/hiked to some great sites, and my interest in hiking has only risen since my move to the beautiful state of California.

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