New Years is cancelled

Wellington, and much of New Zealand in fact, have decided that the rain and winds are too much tonight and not only the midnight fireworks but all outdoor festivities have been cancelled and shut down for the evening. Talk about a major disappointment. I was looking forward to being in a fairly major city for New Years fireworks, and being the first in the world to ring in 2012. Boo. I’ll have to do next year in Sydney or something. Well, assuming the world doesn’t end sometime next year.

Windy Welly

Wellington is the southern-most city of the North Island, and one of the major cities in New Zealand. It’s the political capital of the country, and it also claims to be the cultural capital. While I’m staying 50km north of the city in a sleepy little beachside town called Paraparaumu, I can’t miss out on the chance to go explore the capital a little bit.

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The Tongariro Northern Circuit Great Walk

A ‘Great Walk’ evokes quite a few images to me. Beautiful/stunning landscapes. Unique structures and things that will remain in your memories for years to come. Good huts/campsites. My first Great Walk was a bit underwhelming in those aspects. The Tongariro Northern Circuit on the other hand was THE definition of a Great Walk.

For this hike I wasn’t going by myself, I’d met up with another traveller, Sara, from Italy. We would be tackling the circuit in 3 days, 2 nights, as well as doing some of the optional paths along the way. An ambitious plan but both of us were used to hiking, Sara moreso than I. We’d start at Whakapapa and headed to Mangatepopo Hut (at just under 1200m elevation) for the first night, complete the Tongariro Crossing part of the circuit on the second day and push onwards to the Waihohonu Hut, and return to Whakapapa on the 3rd day. All told it would be about 45km of hiking without any detours, including a challenging 2nd day of over 20km and at minimum a 650m climb then descent. It didn’t work out quite that way – the 2nd day ended up being over 25km and 1100m climbing/descending.

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Merry Christmas!

To those around the world, have a wonderful holiday season! I’ll be spending mine in a very non-Canadian way – relaxing on a beach enjoying the summer sun. It certainly isn’t a bad way to spend the day. :D

And back

Finished up the Tongariro Northern Circuit and I’ll be back to posting like normal in a day or two. Right now, it’s sunny, 23C and I’m near a beach. I’m heading to the ocean for a while to relax. Until later!