Point Reyes

Today is rainy day in San Francisco, so why not relax at home and get another blog post up?

Last weekend we had some amazing weather so we decided to take a short drive north to go hiking at Point Reyes. We had picked out a (12 mile trail ūüė∂), packed our backpack with multiple bottles of water (we made the mistake in Abel Tasman of running out of water), a few snacks, my camera and 300mm lens.

Once we arrived to the parking lot, we ran into a couple of locals and their horses who recommend another trail to us. It’s pretty easy to change our minds when all the trails around here are so amazing.

First we hiked down to an amazing beach. It was still early, desolate, and incredibly peaceful. We threw down our towel and just r-e-l-a-x-e-d.

The trail we picked was called Muddy Hollow trail. After all of the rain the area has been getting, the name of the trail defiantly fit. I can’t count the amount of times that I got water and mud in my shoes. Needless to say, we need to invest in some hiking boots.

The locals told us that the trail lead to an area where Elk were typically seen. Ironically, on our drive up Chad was talking about how neat Elk’s are. So of course he wanted to go that way. We head in the direction where the Elk were suppose to be, slowly winding up the steep hill. We got to the top, took in the views, and starting making our way down the other side of the hill. We were reallyyyyy hoping to see some Elk, but no luck. At this point it was getting late (and we were running out of snacks.) We turned around and head back. We will try for the 12 mile hike next time when we got some proper shoes.

7.5miles later, one sock change, a few blisters, and a few splinters later… we were back at the car. I never said I was a great hiker, I just said it was beautiful ūüėČ.

 

Hey, have you checked out Lake Taupo?

Our first experience with Taupo (pronounced Tow-Paw in Maori) was when we were driving back from Wellington to Auckland. On the 8 hour drive home, we drove by the lake and pulled over to admire how scenic it was.

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Can you tell we were getting tiered of the driving?

We were fortunate enough¬†to have the¬†opportunity to go back to lake Taupo with Chads Parents. Normally we are huge beach people, and we weren’t expecting the lake to be as awesome as it was.

Huka Falls

Huka Falls are a set of waterfalls that drain lake Taupo. This is one of the prettiest sights in New Zealand. The water is a spectacular aqua color. If you wanna kick it up a notch, you can do the Huka Falls Jet and whip around on the water.

Maori Rock Carvings

Another big attraction in this area is the Maori Rock Carvings. These carvings are the remains of an ancient Maori village and they are only accessible by water. We did a 5pm pizza and beer cruise with Sail Barbary. We highly recommend it. The sail was very tranquil and the mountains in the backdrop created a wonder ambiance.

After the sail we picked up some dinner and watched the sunset. Can you think of a better day? I can’t. Spending time on the water with family, this is my idea of¬†a perfect day.

 

Thermal Springs (Otumuheke Stream)

We drove out to the Spa Park and took a short walk to the stream. There we saw an abundance of people relaxing in the water and steam rising from a few areas. One of the most unique things about New Zealand is the thermal activity. There are many man made pools throughout the island that are naturally heated by the earth and a few nature made springs which have thermal activity. This was one of them. The temperature and levels of water vary according on rainfall, but trust me, it gets H O T!

 

Recommendations:

  • Don’t miss out on Taupo.
  • Huka Falls is absolutely beautiful, worth seeing.
  • Thermal springs, also worth seeing.
  • The Maori rock carvings were really neat, but we enjoyed the Sail itself the most. We would recommend¬†Sail Barbary¬†a hundred times over.

 

Thanks for tuning in to check out our latest adventure!

Surf trip to Raglan

Raglan has been on our to do list for EVER!

We are so thankful that we got the opportunity to go down to Raglan for the weekend. Raglan is a beautiful little surf town on the west coast of the north island of New Zealand. Raglan is world know for three surf spots: Ngarunui Beach, Manu Bay, and Whale Bay. Although the surf was a little bit on the small side when we went, my surfer boy had to get his toes wet regardless.

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Photo credit: Google

The town itself was a little strip of surf stores, art galleries, coffee shops, an ice cream hut, and a few little restaurants. Every time we drove into town, it was always populated.

The first thing that caught your eye when you walked onto the beach was the sunlight glittering off of the sand.  It was beyond majestic.  The whole west coast of New Zealand has black sand beaches and we are enjoying the opportunity to explore as many of them as possible.

Whale Bay

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We started our trip by finding the campground we were staying in, checking in, and immediately heading down the road to check out the surf. The first place we went was Whale Bay. We walked down the steep hill and onto the charcoal rocks. The surf wasn’t to impressive at the moment, so we just wandered around the rocks and explored the shoreline. Out of nowhere, wandered over this old dog. He was well traversed in the ¬†landscape and showed us the way around the rocks. He followed us around, and at times took the lead and showed us where to go. We named him “Melvin the mooch.” For a minute, we were concerned he might not have a home until¬†he followed us to the end of the rocks and then said goodbye! There was no doubt that¬†he was a very loved local dog.

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Ngarunui Beach

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We then head to the biggest sandy swimming beach in the area, Ngarunui Beach. The waves here were a little bit better, so Chad grabbed his board and I grabbed the beach chair. Once again, to get to the beach we needed to hike down the massive incline. The hills are always worth it though.

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After a little surfing, a little sunshine, and a little grub… we head back to the campsite to shower and get ready for dinner.

One of the local restaurants was having a Christmas party that night, so we head there for dinner. This was our meal at Rock-it Kitchen:

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I was a little taken aback when this guy came out, but it was so delicious that I got over the fact that my flounder was looking back at me. After dinner, we head back to the campsite and head straight to bed.

Manu Bay

The next morning we were awoken by the extremely load snoring  of our neighbor. We got a nice early start to the day, made some eggs for breakfast, packed up our tent, and head into town. We did a little shopping at the adorable surf shops, and picked up a cappuccino. Once we were caffeinated, we head to Manu Bay. The tide was receding, so we just hung out at the top of the hill and absorbed as much vitamin D we possibly could. Once the waves picked up a little bit, my man friend jumped at the opportunity to surf at a world famous spot.

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Post surf, we packed up our towels and cooler then head back into town for some ice cream and fresh cold water. Shortly after, we embarked on our two hour journey home up the famous windy New Zealand roads.

 

As always, below are the bonus pictures:

 

Cheers!

 

Hiking on a Volcano

This past Sunday we were craving a really good hike. We woke up with a ton on energy, opened the blinds, and it was pouring rain! Boo!

We kept ourselves busy while it was raining by going to the maritime museum. Once we were done with the exhibits at the museum, the weather had completely cleared up. Therefore, we grabbed an early lunch and the next ferry to Rangitoto Island!

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Rangitoto is a 5.5km wide Island visible off the coast of Auckland. It is the most recent volcano on the Hauraki Gulf, as well as the largest. The island was formed by a serious of eruptions, with the most recent eruptions being approximately 550 years ago. The hike up to the summit was 1 hour and 45 minutes. AGH! We are fairly new to hiking, so it was a little bit of a challenge.

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What I learned about New Zealand: the steeper the hill, the more it’s going to be worth it! The views are incredible.

(Another fact I learned about New Zealand: all the hills around the island are actually extinct volcanos.)

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After about an hour and a half, we made it up to the summit!

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We had a couple of protein bars at the top and took the opportunity to rehydrate. As we hiked back down the volcano, we digressed off the path and took the longer trail to explore the lava caves. I don’t know what more to say about that besides that the name is self explanatory. These are caves that were formed by the cooling lava.

I climbed down into one of the caves. It was a little claustrophobic the further in you went. Eventually the tight tunnel opened up into an area where you could stand up. A flashlight was defiantly required!

We then head back to port to catch the last ferry back to Auckland. After 4 hours & 9.5 miles of hiking, we were spent!

*Sorry it has taken us so long to post about this past weeks adventure. We came home from our hike on Sunday and our internet wasn’t working. It took a couple of days to get it back up.

Here is a few extra bonus photos from our hike:

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