Routeburn Track (plus Greenstone-Caples) 

After a week of farming followed by a week of sitting on our butts, K and I were itching for a nice long a tramp in the park. Conveniently, the Routeburn Track runs right into the Greenstone Valley and Caples Valley Tracks, so we decided to link up the reputable Routeburn with a lesser known…

Taking a Break from Tramping to Hoe

Warning: This post has nothing to do with hiking. We had traveled to New Zealand to tramp, but after 6 weeks of mostly walking up, down, and around things, it was time to engage in another popular local activity: farming. Months prior, I had joined an online community of NZ WWOOFers (World Wide Opportunites on…

Aoraki/Mt. Cook and Mueller Hut

Mount Cook (aka Aoraki) may not be the deadliest peak in New Zealand, but it is the tallest and has claimed the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of climbers. Tucked at the tip of Lake Pukaki, this 12,218-foot giant stands at the physical and metaphorical epicenter of New Zealand’s mountaineering culture. In this small…

Welcome Flats Hot Springs

Four days of beach hiking had left us sunburned and sore. Naturally, a soak in some mountain hot pools was in order.  So the five of us (two over 6-feet) crammed into a Toyota RAV4 for the 8-hour drive from Nelson, down the western coast of New Zealand’s South Island, to Fox Glacier. Welcome Flats…

Roy Peak, Wanaka 

Roy Peak is short half-day hike just outside the small town of Wanaka on New Zealand’s South Island. Best enjoyed at sun up or sun down, this exposed trail of switchbacks offers killer views in all directions. We opted for the sunrise version, beginning our hike in the early morning darkness. I believe the photos speak…

Abel Tasman Coastal Track

No shirt, no shoes, no problem is the mantra for most New Zealand shops, restaurants, and supermarkets. It is also the most fitting motto for trampers on the Abel Tasman track. Touted as New Zealand’s best beach tramp–with sea kayaking, fur seals, and little blue penguins abound–the Abel Tasman attracts every type of beach lover,…