Saturday, January 2, 2016

6. Day in New Zealand: Rain, rain, rain and Kiwis :)

Unfortunately we had to postpone another trip on our list. We planned to do the Tongariro Crossing today, but the weather just told us a big ‘you shall not pass’! So we postponed it to the day after tomorrow. Tomorrow will hopefully be the already postponed trip to the White Island Volcano.

At first in the morning, we packed our cameras and I shouldered my Peak Design Ultimate Messenger Bag, which I successfully funded in Kickstarter and actually just arrived in time on the 24th of December. Well, the bag is great and I will write a review about it, but it has one major design flaw which I noticed today. Most of the hooks have a security mechanism so it cannot loosen itself, but the one hook that attaches to the shoulder strap doesn’t have one and as I was shouldering the bag it loosend and fell to the ground with the camera, lenses and laptop inside. I had a little flashback to our last Scotland trip and quickly checked the gear. Everything looked fine, but still, the lenses are fragile and even the slightest bump can break the internal image stabilization. So, I just hope that it’s still ok and double check the shoulder strap.

Now we used plan B again. We decided to do the tour in the Glowworm Caves in Waitomo. The glowworms actually need a dark place with no wind and a river for the insects to feed on. The glowworms can actually only feed on insects in their early stages. After growing into the real glowworm, it can no longer feed and it’s only purpose is to reproduce or get eaten by other glowworms – great life.

Unfortunately I cannot post any photos of the cave as taking pictures was not allowed inside the cave. So you have to actually read the text and not just look at the pictures. ;)

As the tour was ending rather quickly, we were looking for something to do and found the Otorohanga Kiwi House near Waitomo. So finally, we saw our first Kiwi and here you can see the first photo, but it was very dark and therefore it will not make the cover of the National Geographic. There are actually six diferent species in NZ: Haast Tokoeka, Great Spotted Kiwi, Northern Brown Kiwi, Little Spotted Kiwi, Okarito Brown Kiwi and Southern Tokoeka.

After this we drove to Mount Egmont. We already checked the webcams and it just looked grey. No Mount Egmont to see, but we went anyway. Maybe we would be lucky and the weather would clear a bit. And otherwise we would just have dinner there and drive back to Kuratau. As you can see in the photo, we couldn’t see Mount Egmont at all. So we decided to consult TripAdvisor to look for a nice restaurant. The only one near Mount Egmont is Dawson Falls. So we drove there 45 minutes and they told us that it is only for guests of Dawson Falls. So definitely no recommendation from our side.

Driving back to Kuratau, we took the so called Forgotten World Highway. Well, it not only sounds like Jurassic Park, it is Jurassic Park. The only thing missing was the T-Rex coming out of the woods. And the ‘highway’ or should we say gravel road has also a own Ghost Town. Driving this highway was adventurous to say the least. They not only have rain coming from the sky, but also goats jumping down from 3 meters high on the road. Basically we had the following animals jumping in front of our car today and survived:
  • Goats
  • Birds (most often Common Mynas)
  • Hedgehogs
  • Rabbits
  • Frogs (maybe survived)
  • Cows
  • Sheep

So, after this long day there comes the time for another ‘emergency dinner’:

GPS of today:

Btw, Facebook deactivated my account because of suspicious behaviour. I guess I’m not allowed to login from that many different places…


1 comment:

  1. Hopefully you won't start feeling any ill effects of just TimTams and kiwi fruit... ;)
    I'll have to take a closer look at the Messenger bag strap situation -- I'm not sure I follow your description of what loosened up; I have yet to take my bag out on a full-day photo excursion, but will definitely try to monitor for this situation! Thanks!