The translation for Kaikoura is eating crayfish. It used to be a town where people go whaling. It is now a quaint little town where tourist packed onto boats for whale and dolphin watching, walked the amazing kaikoura peninsula walkway and watched the seals busk in the sun at the seal colony.
Kaikoura have been the most picturesque location I’ve been to in New Zealand till now, magnificent snow capped mountains as a backdrop, beautiful nook beach. The beach is not a sandy beach as the sea level drops really deep about 5-10 meters from shoreline, there is not enough distance for the waves to break the stones to sand. Hence, the abundance of huge marine life can be viewed not too far from the town.
I stayed at the Albatross backpackers which is nice and cosy, they also have great communal spaces. I had a wonderful time hanging out with the other travelers, having company for the peninsula walk was great! Was also asked to join for a fish and chips hunt in town, where I’ve had very fresh and yummy fish and chips from Don’s Asian Kitchen, apart from the freshness of Don’s seafood, this is the first and ONLY fish and chips shop in NZ that a wide variety of sauce are at the counter for you to enjoy your meal with, Free Of Charge!!!!!! Yes, most of the time you will need to pay a few dollars for even vinegar, tomato sauce or tartar sauce. I would stay at Albatross backpackers and visit Don whenever I am in Kaikoura!
Nuhaka, a small town south of Gisborne. There’s only a general store and a fish & chip shop, you judge for yourself how small it is.
I was wwoofing with Bob and Shirley Osgood for a week. During the same week they also had a wwoofer, Aurélie (pronounce as “Oh!Really?!”, :)) from France! She is a very experience wwoofer, have wwoofed with 20hosts through out New Zealand! We fed the pigs and chooks in the morning and work in the farm on various works. In the afternoon, Bob have brought us to the Morere hot springs and also to Mangaone Limestone cave. We have also visited Maihi Beach and Wairoa which are near to Nuhaka.
We had accommodation in the bus, but it’s kinda cold to sleep in… Brrrr~ The experience wouldn’t have been as good without Aurélie.
I arrived at Tauranga after spending the night in Thames at Esther’s by Ruby’s van, we had an amazing time driving and also stopped for fish and chips! Esther and Ruby are the daughter of my host in Karuna, it’s great that we worked out to travel the few days together.
A relaxing day spent walking around Mount Maunganui and Moturiki Island. I was told that whales can be spotted on occasion, but I did not see any, infact while trying to do so with my camera, I dropped it and crashed it. :( No digital camera for the rest of my trip till my sister arrives.
Today, I travelled a total of 10hours by bus to arrive in Gisborne. While the bus was driving thru Hamilton this morning I experienced my first frosty morning! It looked really beautiful, frost and mist were near the ground, very mystical. Then we arrived in Rotorua in the afternoon, it’s lake is breath-taking, I’m glad that I’ll be coming back with my sister. And we drove for 5hours thru mountains and ridges, the bus driver stopped by a waterfall and we collected spring water! How amazing that a boring day spent in the bus could just turn out to be full of surprises?
Missing in action for a month! Phew! I did not vanished from the surface of the earth. I was wwoofing in Karuna Falls, Coromandel Peninsular in the North Island of New Zealand. Karuna Falls is a community where people live on the land together.
It’s an amazing place and I have learnt so much from everybody in the community. I am also inspired to do community gardening when I am back in Singapore!
It’s like going back to living with Nature when I was in Karuna Falls. Having outdoor showers under the stars next to the chickens and ducks everyday, going for bush walks, gardening, abseiling down Karuna Falls, fishing at the beach, eating oysters from the rocks, climbing trees! It was an experience of a lifetime. Plus everybody uses compost toilets, which basically means that you pee and poo into a hole and cover with some sawdust, after a few months you can use this as compost for your gardens!
Apart from all these, I joined the community and went for a music festival in coville where local bands played all night long. There were also many dinner parties and luncheons and teas where I meet many locals. So many amazing people that opened up their daily lives and shared them with me, I’m really blessed to have wwoof in Karuna Falls. I do not know if I have made an impact in their lives but every single person in Karuna Falls certainly made an impact in mine.
Finally!!!! I am up to date with where I am! LOL! That’s right! I am currently in Auckland, which is situated on the North Island of New Zealand.
Weather is not much different then Melbourne which I flew in on an early morning flight. The city is really really small but has steeper then steep roads! And guessed what?! My hostel (YHA Auckland City) is situated on top of a 70degrees slope! Can anyone ever imagine how hard it is to drag ur luggage up that slope? My verdict, spend a few more dollars a night and stay in YHA International, which is one block down, on a flat road. Apart from the killer slope, I’ve met two roomies, Zoe from Taiwan and Johana from Germany, and have made good friends, both of them have been traveling for a year! Zoe in Australia and Johana in New Zealand, they have gave me valuable advice.
I have went on short trips to islands near Auckland, can’t wait to get to Coromandel Peninsular tomorrow where I will be staying with Simon and Jane in Karuna Falls, a co-op community of several creative families. It will be fun!