Category Archives: New Zealand

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

New Zealand Trip: Magical Queenstown

I had been to Queenstown before but still every time I visit New Zealand I get excited. It was AS’s first time to South Island and I was excited to be there with him to enjoy the natural beauty of the country. I would have to say that one of the most spectacular moments is when you are flying in to Queenstown on the plane. The view is absolutely breathtaking and it always reminds me of going to Kathmandu for some reason. Must be seeing the mountains as we come to land at the airport. The flight was only 3+ hours so we entertained ourselves with many episodes of Big Bang Theory and Modern Family. We also had a light snack of chicken sandwich and tea on-board.

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The flight was smooth except for the time when we were close to landing and it got a bit bumpy. The plane fell for a split second and it felt like I was in a roller-coaster ride. Even though I have flown so many times, it always scares me when they announce a thunderstorm for the very reason. I don’t want to be on a plane which loses altitude suddenly.

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When we landed, we realised that it had been raining. We caught a cab to our hotel and it was drizzling all the way. The lady at the reception told us that it was the first rain in 29 days in Queensland and me and AS looked at each other and hoped it would stop and not ruin our trip. We definitely needed days with the sun out so we could enjoy the beautiful place.

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As I mentioned in my previous post, one of the best thing about Queenstown was the view from our hotel room. It was in front of the Lake Wakatipu with the snow-capped mountains in the background.

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Coincidentally, I realised that it was the same hotel I had stayed at when I visited previously as well. Must be the view that was bringing me back again and again to the same hotel.

Since it was already afternoon, we decided to spend the rest of the day exploring the town itself. And honestly, it was worth every minute.

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The people, the view, the environment; everything about Queenstown is just amazing.

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We had already booked a few trips and a car for the next few days so it was nice just walking around the town.

Apart from walking to the town and enjoying the views and shopping round Queenstown Mall, we went to a few other places in Queenstown.

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Skyline Gondola

One of the sunny afternoons, we decided to go on the Gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak. The Gondola skyline sits atop the steepest lift in the Southern Hemisphere, with a top terminal reaching half-a-mile high.

Once we were on the top, the view was spectacular.

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The water in the lakes truly is as blue as my photos show as the lake is fed by a glacier.

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We spent a couple of hours on the viewing platform outside the restaurant observing the Luge, Hand-gliding and the 360 degrees of spectacular sights over the Bay and surrounds in the brilliant sunshine. Another hugely memorable highlight of our journey.

There is also a very nice restaurant and some cool gift shops where you get off the gondola and we could not resist the lunch and dessert there. The food was nice and the view priceless.

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I loved this sign at the top and could not resist taking a photo :).

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Eating in Queenstown

We tried different foods while there and here are some of the highlights:

Fergburger

Everyone who has been to Queenstown before constantly talked about the famous Fergburger and for some reason I had missed it the last time so we decided that we had to go there while we were in town. This burger is so amazing and it is only found in Queenstown.

Fergburger

This place is so popular that it is always busy every day. The evening we went was no exception but we got a seat after we ordered. We order Cockadoodle Doo (chicken burger and chips) waited 15 minutes for it to be ready. I have to say it was worth the hype and the money as it was very flavoursome. The burger was almost as big as my face and I couldn’t finish it all.

Finding Momo

It is amazing to meet Nepalese people wherever we travel. As far as I know there were not that many Nepalese people living in Queenstown but we were so delighted to find a Nepalese café in the middle of the town. We had momo there and it was really tasty as well. Made from scratch and very juicy.

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Sake bar

A nice cool Japanese place. AS wanted to have some sake so we tried it out, he loved it. The ambiance was great and we loved the food too. Very cosy and staff were good too.

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Bombay Tandoori

The guy at the information centre recommended this Indian restaurant to us. The restaurant was really busy but we enjoyed our food. Because we ordered the set menu, it was two much food for the two of us but it was very nice.

Tandoori Place

More posts 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

Back to reality from paradise

Hello everyone,

How are you all doing? Thank you for all the love you been sending me and thank you for wishes for my blog anniversary.

I am back in Sydney after our incredible holiday to New Zealand. I have so many things to share with you all but it will take me a while to get back to reality after such an amazing time we had in New Zealand. Until then I will let you enjoy some of the marvellous photos we captured on our trip.

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I have to say things were on our side as we had good weather and a great time the whole time we were there. One of the highlights for this holiday was the view from our hotel room, which was just breathtaking. Here is a short video I took with my phone from the balcony of our room.

Leaving you with a special kiwi treat, I got for my friends and family :).

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Take care everyone,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

All my bags are packed for New Zealand

Imagine me doing a happy dance while writing this post. Yes, we have booked another trip. It is not going to be a long trip but still we will be going away for few days to beautiful New Zealand. Next week , this time I will be in the plane going towards my destination.

If you have been reading my posts, I had written about our North Island trip. This time we will be going to South Island. I have been there before and it is really, really beautiful and I can’t wait to enjoy the place with AS. New Zealand is known for its many landscapes, you can be at the beach, the snow, the mountains or the city in a short space of time. You can hop in a car, drive for an hour or two, and feel like you are on a completely different planet.

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It is the start of spring in New Zealand right now so it should be perfect to experience some snow if we are lucky. We will be going around Queenstown and driving along absolutely, breathtakingly, stunning towns and mountains. Queenstown is the epitome of outdoor offerings, solidifying its status as the extreme sports capital of the world.

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Something about holiday and me agrees so much that as soon as the planning stage is started, I have this high endorphin rush in my body making everything nice and happy around me.

I am already dreaming about the green and picturesque New Zealand :). My head will be filled with new memories and my cameras sure will be very busy capturing the beauty.

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I love going to New Zealand as it is just 3-4 hours away from Sydney and I am able to surround myself with beautiful things and beautiful people. The country’s landscapes have left an indelible mark on my memory from my past visits and I know this trip will not disappoint me either.

If you have never been to New Zealand, please look at my photos and posts from past visits and I am sure you will want to be there too.

I am sure I will be updating my blog with our new experience once we are back.

It’s FRIDAY again so have a great weekend everyone and take care.

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Our Story : Trip to New Zealand: Auckland – Part 34

This is a continuation of my previous posts. Please read the previous posts here.

We spent the last few days of our holiday in Auckland. It was autumn but Auckland was still wet. We stayed in the middle of the city and our hotel was nice and close to restaurants and shops.

Cornwall Park and One Tree Hill

After looking up what to do in Auckland, we made our first stop at One Tree Hill. One Tree Hill, also known as Maungakiekie, is a 182 metre volcanic peak. The summit provides views across the Auckland area, and allows visitors to see both of Auckland’s harbours.

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It was a short drive from our hotel. It was still drizzling when we parked our car but both AS and I were both in the mood to enjoy the day no matter what. We had brought umbrellas the day before so we were well equipped for the day J.

Steeped in Maori history, this dormant volcanic hill set in the beautiful Cornwall Park was the perfect outer city escape. The volcanic cone was the centre point of the Maori occupation during the 18th century, and the obelisk acknowledges its importance as a sacred and special place as it is also the final resting place and grave of Sir John Logan Campbell.

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We made it to the top of One Tree Hill and joined a few others who were taking photos. After a walk to the summit and when all of the necessary photographic shots had been taken, we decided to simply sit for a few moments.

Auckland sky tower

One of the days we decided to go and visit the Auckland sky tower as it was on the top ten places to visit on trip advisor.

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The Sky Tower Observatory perches at the top, like a doughnut, resting at the top of a giant stick.

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The doughnut-like shape allows you a 360 degree panoramic view of Auckland and its surroundings. The views are amazing from the viewing platform. There are some glass floor parts and it was just great to stand on it and see the ground far, far feet below.

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From the top, we saw people doing Sky Jump and were eager to do it as well but we had not booked it in advance. By the look of people doing it, I think it would be a great adventure.Auckland (1)

Wharf

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One evening went and explored the wharf around Auckland. It was beautiful with many nice restaurants and cafés but it was windy so we didn’t stay long.

City

We were out and about in city a few times. We went shopping and eating at different places and enjoyed our walk. I love the place, which was so multicultural, and reminded me of Sydney a lot. We saw a few churches and bought a few souvenirs.

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From Auckland, we drove to our car hire company and then to the airport. Our exciting holiday came to an end and we left New Zealand with heaps of memories.

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Take care everyone, more on next post.

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Go to Part 35

Our Story : Trip to New Zealand: Rotorua and Wai-O-Tapu – Part 33

This is a continuation of my previous posts. Please read the previous posts here.

We had booked a hotel at Rotorua and from there we had plans to go around in the rental car. As we were driving towards Rotorua, we could smell the distinct smell. It smelled like rotten eggs and me and AS looked at each other and thought how could we stay in this place for the next 48 hours.

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Luckily after you are in the area for more than 30 minutes, your nose kind of adjusts and you don’t notice the smell all the time.

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Rotorua stinks because the whole place just reeks of sulphur. It comes from all the geothermal stuff going on underground, close to the surface. It’s the reason there are so many nifty mud pools and hot springs in town.

Once we checked into the hotel. We were glad that we had a big hot tub in the room. We both relaxed on the hot tube and ordered dinner in. We both slept like a baby, as we were very tired.

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The next day we went to Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland. Wai-O-Tapu (sacred waters) is New Zealand’s most colourful and diverse volcanic area, it’s full of stunning geothermal activity and colours of every tint in pools, lakes, craters, steam vents and thermal terraces.Rotorua and Wai-O-Tapu (7)Rotorua and Wai-O-Tapu (5)Rotorua and Wai-O-Tapu (20) Rotorua and Wai-O-Tapu (13)

Forming a part of an eighteen sq.km reserve administered by the department of conservation (although Wai-O-Tapu itself is owned by a Maori tribal business group) it has the largest surface area of thermal activity in the local Taupo volcanic zone. Scattered with collapsed craters, boiling pools of mud and deep hydrothermal springs the reserve provides a wealth of colourful phenomenon to discover.

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After buying our ticket, first step was lady Knox geyser. Lady Knox geyser was a short drive from the main entrance. We parked and follow the map to the area. A sizable crowd had gathered around the geyser by then.

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AS and I managed to garb a seat and we had a good view. We were eager to see some geyser action.

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The geyser doesn’t blow up automatically. A staff member comes out, gives a short introduction, and then throws a bag of soap into the geyser. The soap triggers such a massive reaction that the water comes out of the geyser and goes up to 10 m into the air. It was really amazing. After the demo was done, we took a few photos and headed to our next stop.Rotorua and Wai-O-Tapu (24)Rotorua and Wai-O-Tapu (8)Rotorua and Wai-O-Tapu (22)

There were three options for us to walk around the place. Walk 1, Walks 1 and 2, Walks 1, 2 & 3. We decided that we would do it all; otherwise we would not be able to see all the sights.

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And we start. It was a good day for walking, cloudy and not too hot. Along the way, there were many signs that explain what we were seeing. We did see some fascinating sights and some great pictures were taken, boiling mud pools, gushing geysers, thundering craters and sizzling earth 🙂

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The path is very clear. Follow the path. Stray at your own peril. Falling into that hole will surely spoil your holiday.

Rotorua and Wai-O-Tapu (16)Overall we had a great time and we had some awesome photos for our memory.

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Take care everyone, more about beautiful New Zealand  on next post.

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Go to Part 34

Our Story : Trip to New Zealand: Black Water rafting – Part 32

This is a continuation of my previous posts. Please read the previous posts here.

Black Water rafting started as a sport back in the late Eighties in the Waitomo cave system in New Zealand’s North Island. Waitomo is famous for its huge network of subterranean caves but what make them extra special is their inhabitants.

Glow worms, which are actually gnat larvae, live within these caves attaching themselves to the roofs in order to grow and feast on passing insects. This is why they glow, if you make any sort of noise in the caves they all start waking up to the point where it looks like a carpet of fairy lights overhead. They shine like this to attract food and those who shine the brightest are in most need of dinner. They trap their food by hanging silk-like strings down around them, like a combination of fly paper and a spider’s web.

We had heard a lot about Black Water rafting so we decided to do it. We had pre booked our tickets online. Once we reached Waitomo, the office of the rafting company, we were asked to wait for a while as others in our group assembled and we were taken to the site in a van.

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They gave us wet suits and helmets fitted with lights to wear. It took everyone a while to get into the suit and then we posed for few photos. We were going to hike through a cave and jump into icy water, while surrounded by glow-worms.

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The van drove us down a dirt road to our destination to begin our adventures. We had to climb a big hill, clamber over rocks, scoot down steep, slippery stairs, to get to the rocky cave entrance. It looked bit scary as all I could see was a black hole.

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The guides asked us to put the tube, around our bum and jump into the water. My first thought was: Seriously! I didn’t know how deep the water was and felt a bit scared but when the first person jumped in, I was fine. We all took our turn and jumped into the water. The water was very cold but I was happy we landed safely.

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After that we basically sat in a giant inflatable ring and cruise the rapids downstream, the path ahead lit up by the glow worms. It was truly a sight to behold. We ended up covering a good few kilometres before finishing. Our guide had us lay back in the water and linked us together, each person taking the feet of the person behind them. Floating that way he pulled us through the caves so that we could continue to stare up at the lights above.

At one point, the guide asked us to turn off our headlight so we could see the glow-worms. Once all the lights were turned off we looked up and it was beautiful, like I could sit there for hours.

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As we moved on though, the sound of a waterfall got louder and louder. As we came upon it, we unlinked ourselves and took turns falling off of it. Not floating over it, but standing up and falling backwards.

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When it was all over, I came out of the cave exhausted and aching but with a huge grin on my face. Then it was back in the van to return to the changing rooms and some hot cups of soup.

The Waitomo caves are beautiful and magical. I am so glad we did it. The darkness and the cave were more exciting than white water rafting and it was a great adventure.

Share your own experience with rafting and water sports.

Take care everyone, more on next post.

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Go to Part 33