Mount Taranaki

Today we drove up to Taranaki which is about a 4-5 hour drive from Wellington. The Mount Taranaki, which
the area is named after, is 2500m high volcano and quite impressive. The surrounding area is totally flat
and there is just this massive volcano, really surreal.

We drove up as far as possible to the visitor centre which is on 1000m and to a hike from there to the antenna
which is on 1500m. Even though 500m doesn’t sound that much I still felt like I’ve went up the Mount Everest.
It went up very steep, up to 19 degree for 2,5 hours, I think I literally stopped every 30m to breath and get
some rest - I mean take a picture of the incredible view. It was really beautiful, the hike went up through jungle
like forrest and then the vegetation got less and less.

When we reached the top I was proud of myself and quite happy I made it up there without needing oxygen or
an ambulance. The view from up there was spectacular, looking down on the clouds seeing the Pacific Ocean
in the back. Wow! After having some food and a litre of water I went back down, which was not as painful as
the way up but still really hard. My knees were complaining a lot and I think my muscles will be sour for a few
days. Still it was totally worth it. On my way down I made a break on a bench and heard some kind of rumble
and thought it sounded a bit like a heavy motorbike or something and didn’t give it much thought. Further down
the path I then realised what the rumble was all about. There was a half metre rock sitting on the path that
wasn’t there when I came by on my way up. Lucky I took my breaks otherwise I would have had to go all
Muhammad Ali on the rock and had to murder it.

We then checked in to our Motel in New Plymouth and then headed to Burger Fuel right away to get some
nice burgers and sat on the waterfront for a while and watched the ocean. Was a really nice trip!

Earthquake III / Orca

Here we go again! Today another earthquake hit Wellington, first time for 2014, this time it was 6.3 but
not located in the Cook Straight as last years but 150km up north west. Was a good shake and quite long
with 30sec but all good nothing happened just one of the Hobbit eagles at the Airport came crashing down
but nobody was hurt.

If I had paid closer attention I would have been outside while the quake hit cause there were some Ocra in
the Wellington bay and some friends of mine went there to check them out. Unfortunately I missed them
leaving and also missed the Orca. I hope I get to see some whales or dolphins while I’m here.

South Island Journey - Day #12

01.01.2014 - Picton

Rain. Rain. Rain. Rain in all kinds of variations. Luckily we could hop on an earlier ferry back to Wellington
so we didn’t have to wait for 3 hours in Picton for our ferry. The sail took 3 hours and we had some 2m
waves on the way over and lots of rain. Rain. Rain. Rain.

All in all the trip was really cool, I saw a lot of really beautiful things and had a good time.

If you ever get the chance of going there, do it! It’s worth the money and the time you need to invest for it.
In return you’ll get some of the most beautiful sights on earth!

I think I saw / experienced what New Zealand is about.