Happy Tihar!!!

Today we start the second biggest festival, after Dashain, for Hindu from Nepal.

Tihar

This festival is celebrated in five days starting from the thirteenth day of the waning moon in October.

 The five days are called

Mha Puja (10)

Hope all of you are enjoying with lots of yummy food like Selroti, Lal mohan, Besan ko ladoo and other sweets.

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With gleam of Diyos
And the Echo of the Chants
May Happiness and Contentment Fill Your life
Wishing you and your family
Happy and Prosperous Tihar!!

Take care everyone,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

P.S: Do not forget to nominate  your favorite blog .

Nominations open for NEPALIAUSTRALIAN’s Blog Award 2014

NEPALIAUSTRALIAN’s Blog Award 2014

Thank you everyone who have already  nominated for  Nepaliaustralian’s Blog Awards.

2014 blog awardOnly 2 weeks left to nominate your favourite blog.

Make sure your blog and the blogs you read are nominated so they can win the title.

Good luck everyone!!!

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Our trip to New Zealand : Glenorchy

The day we went to Glenorchy was one of our our absolute favourites and truly made us want to stay longer and explore the spectacular south island even further. It felt like another world altogether. Low-lying clouds obscured the peaks of the mountains that rose dramatically from the edge of an impossibly blue lake, pretty wildflowers grew alongside winding roads and there was a photo opportunity at every turn. It really is just the most breathtakingly beautiful place.

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The Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed in the land from Glenorchy north and it was easy to see why. AS being a big fan of the movie, we decided to do a guided tour instead of us driving on our own. We had previously been to Hobbiton on North Island and he loved it.

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Glenorchy is a small town set against a background of lush beech forest and rugged mountain ranges 45 km from Queenstown. It is nestled between the Richardson and Humboltd Mountain Ranges and overlooked by the mighty snow-capped Mount Earnslaw in the North. From Glenorchy you can travel on to the Rees Valley, Paradise and the Dart Valley, Kinloch township, Routeburn Valley and Greenstone/Caples Valleys which boarder both Mount Aspiring and Fiordland National Parks.

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We were picked up in a 4WD vehicle and we went off-roading around the Glenorchy area as our guide pointed out various filming locations for the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit (and the Wolverine film and also Narnia). We left Queenstown early in the morning and drove up along the lake to Glenorchy.

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The road from Queenstown to Glenorchy is considered to be one of the most scenic drives in New Zealand and I absolutely agreed. With majestic mountains and the beautiful waters of Lake Wakatipu, it is no wonder we fell in love with the place every day. We were lucky to have a sunny day with clear blue sky. Wherever you look, you get magnificent mountain views.

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Our guide had good insight and knowledge about the area and the films.

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We stopped at a few lookouts along the way to take it all in. We stopped at Wilson Lake on the way – a filming location for the Lord of the Rings where they filmed the Ithilien camp scenes. The tour guide had an iPad so when we stopped at a location, he would play a few minutes of the clips from the movie shot at the location we were parked at and it was a great idea. For someone like me who does not remember a lot from the movie, good vision to compare with and for someone like AS, it was a treat.

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From there, we went to a place called Paradise and I have to agree that it was. The Glenorchy to Paradise road travels through at patches of red beech forest. These beautiful areas were used as filming locations for Lothlorien in the Lord of the Rings.

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We stopped at the forest where they filmed Boromir’s death (very scary for me) and scenes of Lothlorien. We also saw the trees that inspired Peter Jackson to film scenes here, and looked across to the snowy mountains where they filmed the Misty Mountains scenes.

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Then, we travelled past the location for Hobbiton for the Hobbit film, and also entered a forest they used to film a scene in the new film. Visiting the landscape used for the opening to the Two Towers was also spectacular – as we looked out over the land where Gandalf rides Shadowfax.

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From there, we stopped at Glenorchy Lagoon Walkway and it was a beautiful remote area and we hardly saw anyone else. From time to time, we saw a jet boat but apart from that it was absolutely quite with beautiful snow-capped mountains, nice green hills and us, just spectacular.

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After enjoying the great place, we came back into Glenorchy and it was a little busier with a few people wandering around. We spent time down at the lake and exploring the Glenorchy shed. It was demolished back in 1999 when there was a big flood and the Lord of the Rings crew helped rebuild this after this happened.

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Our guide prepared tea and coffee while we explore and we had tea with sandwich and biscuits with the great view in the background.

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We really didn’t want to leave the area but we had no choice but go back to Queensland as it was almost the end of our tour.

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I highly recommend anyone going to Queenstown, especially those into the Lord of the Rings movies and books to visit Glenorchy as it will bring lots of things from the movie into reality. Even if you are not a fan, you will absolutely love the spectacular view and breathtaking scenery.

Interesting facts about Lord of the Rings

  • The Lord of the Rings franchise is the sixth highest-grossing in movie history behind James Bond, Harry Potter, Shrek, Star Wars and Pirates of the Caribbean.
  • Peter Jackson began the process of sourcing locations for his cinematic masterpiece his team embarked on a worldwide search to find a beautifully haunting landscape

I will be writing more about our New Zealand trip so come back for more. Till then take care.

M from nepaliaustralian XOXO P.S: Do not forget to nominate  your favorite blog . Nominations open for NEPALIAUSTRALIAN’s Blog Award 2014

Our trip to New Zealand: Cromwell

Our next stop was Cromwell from Wanaka. It was a lovely drive through wineries to Cromwell.

Cromwell is another historic town that has a history in the 19th century gold rush days. The town is located right on the banks of the Lake Dunstan, where you can enjoy boating, swimming or kayaking. There are plenty of contemporary restaurants, accommodation choices and shops in Cromwell, but the heart of the town is Old Cromwell Town, which is full of restored buildings and even 150-year old miner’s cottages.

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As we were driving, we knew we had reached Cromwell when we saw some giant fruits.

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We stopped there, had coffee and cake, took few photos in front of the giant fruits and drove on to Old Cromwell Town.

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The story is that when Lake Dunstan was being constructed (it is a dam) the locals knew that the original Cromwell was going to be drowned. The citizens of Old Cromwell, knowing the town was going to be drowned decided to move some of the buildings to higher ground.

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Initially, eight buildings were chosen from the old commercial area due to be submerged by the advent of the new hydro lake. These buildings were to be relocated further up the main street to a site above the new lake level – and so began ‘Old Cromwell Town’.

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Now Old Cromwell has a superb cafe called the Grain and Seed café, which serves excellent coffee and homemade food, as well as other shops and art gallery.

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As we walked around the area, we saw a small area of residential dwellings of the 1880’s period and the preserved ruins of some of Cromwell’s original buildings. It was really awesome to see all the old things and imagine how people used to live in those days.

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Some of the things are so old that I had almost forgotten that there existed such old ways of printing newspaper or the manual workings of blacksmith with coal fire and all.

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After enjoying the great place, we headed back to the hotel at Queenstown. We had another big day planned for the following day which involved a trip to Glenorchy. Will be writing about that in my next post.

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Take care everyone,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

P.S: Do not forget to nominate  your favorite blog .

Nominations open for NEPALIAUSTRALIAN’s Blog Award 2014

Our trip to New Zealand: Wanaka

While we were in New Zealand, we rented a car and decided to go for a drive. Our first stop was Wanaka.

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Wanaka is a town in the Otago region of the South Island of New Zealand. It is situated at the southern end of Lake Wanaka, adjacent to the outflow of the lake to the Clutha River. It is the gateway to Mount Aspiring National Park.

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Wanaka is just over an hour’s drive from Queenstown and it’s simply stunning. Driving over the hills on he winding mountain route – Crown Range Road – via Cardrona will take you on the steepest gradient on a highway in NZ. It was really scary as the road was zigzag and you could not see anything coming from the other side. I think I would not have gone that way if I had known that the road was so dangerous because to drive on that road , not only do you need to drive carefully but you pray that anyone coming from the other side is awake and careful as well.

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But the drive was worth the trouble as on the top of the hills, we saw snow. We parked the car and it was really windy but we still managed to walk for a while and enjoy the place before running back to the car.

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After that we drove by some beautiful small farms and ended up on the shores of Lake Wanaka at a lakeside cafe and just sat and enjoyed the view.

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Lake Wanaka is not as deep as Lake Wakatipu in Queenstown so it is possible to swim in it during summer without freezing your bits off. There are a number of ways to enjoy the lake with a host of kayaking and boating options available. We just decided to walk around and enjoy the place though before deciding to go for lunch.

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We were not sure what to eat and finally found a nice Korean place where we enjoyed noodle soup and stir-fried chicken.

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After lunch we drove to The Anzac Memorial Cenotaph which is a very short quick drive from town.

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From here we saw the marvellous view beyond the town and straight down the lake.

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We spent some time there and made our way to the Puzzling World.

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Stuart Landsborough’s Puzzling World is a tourist attraction near Wanaka, New Zealand. It started out as just a single level maze in 1973, but over the years expanded to add overbridges to the maze design (thus creating the world’s first 3-D maze), a large “puzzling café” where guests can try out several puzzles, five large rooms of optical illusions, the Leaning Tower of Wanaka (which has a backwards clock that was started on the eve of the new millennium) and other attractions (such as the Roman Bathrooms) that ascribe to their theme of “puzzling eccentricity”.

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We took some fun photos there. From there we drove to Cromwell, more on it in next post.

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Take care everyone,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

P.S: Do not forget to nominate  your favorite blog .

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Update time

I have been super busy lately because of Dashian and because AS’s Mama (Mum’s brother) and his family is in Sydney visiting from Nepal.

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AS usual, Dashain is already a crazy busy time for us but this time it was busier as we needed to go and visit his mama as well as invite them to our place.

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Even thought it was busy we still had a great time and I am still tired from the celebration. We had Bhoj (feast) for 5 days straight , played cards and heaps of celebration. Here are some pics from this year Dashain.

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Last weekend was also a long weekend here, so we were able to spend some time with Mama and his family.

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One day we went to the temple and a picnic afterwards and another day we went to the city.

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We are hoping they will have great time here and return with beautiful memories.

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On another news, my in-laws will be here soon (in 10 days) so our Tihar is gonna be super busy as well. I am excited and scared at the same time. I have lived with my in-laws before but for only a short period but this time it will be three months.

I know me and AS have been so independent for so long that it will be nice to have them at home when we go home from work. However, at the same time, I am slightly scared thinking how they will feel in a new place with new people.

We have a long list of places to go and things to do while they are here. If you have any ideas about how to keep them entertained while we are at work that will be highly appreciated. We will be taking time off from work here and there but they will still have many days at home without us.

That is the reason, I am a bit scared as I want them to enjoy Sydney and have lots of good memories when they return. It is the first time for them here so I would love them to have a great time in very possible way so they will want to come back again in the future.

I have a million things going on in my head every time I think of their arrival but I am keeping an open mind and hoping for the best.

Hope everyone had good Dashain and weekend.

Take care everyone,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

P.S: Do not forget to nominate  your favorite blog .

Nominations open for NEPALIAUSTRALIAN’s Blog Award 2014

Our Trip to New Zealand : Arrowtown

One of the days while we were in New Zealand, we went to a small town near Queenstown called Arrowtown.

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From http://www.newzealand.com/au/arrowtown/:

Arrowtown is a living historic settlement with many stories to tell. Wander the tree-lined streets of restored cottages and explore gold mining sites. One of the most picturesque settlements in New Zealand, Arrowtown sits alongside the gold-bearing Arrow River. The town was established in 1862, during the height of the Otago gold rush. People from all over the world, mainly Europe and China flocked to this town to claim their fortune. The settlement grew quickly as pioneers constructed cottages, shops, hotels and churches, more than 60 of which can still be seen today. “

It was a beautiful drive from Queenstown to Arrowtown, a lot quieter than Queenstown and I personally found it a lot more relaxing.arrowtown (16)

Once we got there, we parked and went for a walk along the river.

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Arrowtown has many easy hikes or walks you can do. We decided to hike the track called Tobin’s track. It is an easy uphill hike, which takes about 1 hour to get to the top. But once up there, you really get unsurpassed views of Arrowtown and the surrounding mountains. From here, we could also see Lake Wakatipu from a distance. We met a few people running or jogging there as well as few tourist who were there just to enjoy the town.

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There is also a fantastic path from Arrowtown to Kawarau Bridge (the home of the Bungy Jump) that follows the Arrow River.

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After the walk, we headed back down to the town. We went to the town centre where they had boutique style shops, an old sweet shop, a hotel that could pass as someone’s house and lots of historic character. It felt like we went back in town time.

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History has been preserved here in a way that you can actually reach out and touch. At the information centre, you can grab a pan and search for gold the exact same way people did it more than a hundred years ago, or walk amidst the restored original buildings and explore the Chinese part of the settlement.

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The town was really pretty and I could have sat there forever with the beautiful mountains in the background with snow on top, it was paradise.arrowtown (2)

On our way back to Queenstown from Arrowtown we drove through many beautiful green farms where sheep, cow and horse were roaming freely. That is the best part of New Zealand, beautiful landscape, greenery and easy drive everywhere.

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Overall, we had a great day and the weather was on our side with the sun shining in the blue-sky the whole day.

More from New Zealand soon.

Take care everyone,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

P.S: Do not forget to nominate  your favorite blog .

Nominations open for NEPALIAUSTRALIAN’s Blog Award 2014