Category

Hiking and Climbing

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TRAVEL DESTINATION: Gola di Gorropu Gorge, Sardinia, Italy TRAVEL DURATION: One day experience Exploring Gola di Gorropu, Europe’s deepest gorge, ended up to be the highlight of my road trip around Sardinia a couple of months ago. Up until then I only visited another gorge in New Zealand that has (besides the smaller proportions) a quite different feel to it. Without a doubt, there is something extraordinary about this particular one in Europe. It made me feel alive, filled me with inexplicable energy and also pushed the expectation bar quite high for the future canyons I now want to visit. The setting of Gola di Gorropu is just perfect. Like with so many precious things in life, you need to put in some effort (a.k.a. hike time) to reach the entrance of this gorge. It’s definitely not just sitting in the backyard of a fancy Sardinian beach resort. For me, that is…

HIKING DESTINATION: Torre del Poetto and Sella del Diavolo, Sardinia, Italy HIKING DURATION: 2-3 hours Did you ever get lost or couldn’t find the way to your planned destination or landmark while traveling and exploring new horizons? Did you need to turn around on a whale watching excursion the very last minute because the ocean all-of-a-sudden became too rough, and at the same time watched another boat just leaving? Yeah, that weather element. It probably ends up getting most of the blame with travelers. Does it sound familiar? The thing is, it’s happened to all of us. In one shape or another. At least, that’s what I’m saying to myself. On such occasions, we’re left with a funny aftertaste of incompleteness, and either deep desire to do it better and right again the next time, or completely shattered with no intention to ever return to try again. My first hike in Sardinia…

TRAVEL DESTINATION: Mount Ngauruhoe and Mount Ruapehu, North Island, New Zealand Earlier this year I climbed 2 of the volcanoes from my North Island list of mountains that have been inspirational to me ever since I moved to New Zealand. I came to their vicinity a few times before and admired their beauty. It was now time to climb them and experience by foot their amazing energetic pull. So it happened. 2 days and 2 mountains. Mount Ngauruhoe and Mount Ruapehu – back to back. In case you’re trying to decide which volcano mountain of these two here you’d want to climb first, you might find the answer here. I’ll be sharing a few comparisons, as well as my personal experience with climbing both of them. Both mountains are located within Tongariro National Park and are only about 15 km apart. Both of them are active volcanoes. Mount Ruapehu is the…

TRAVEL DESTINATION: Mt Karioi, Raglan, Waikato, North Island, New Zealand TRAVEL DURATION: Whole Day Hike Mt Karioi is an extinct volcano that is located in the Waikato Region near Raglan. Even though I visited this area many times before, I’ve never completed any hiking in this part of New Zealand. Today I’m sharing some photos and my thoughts on experiencing the muddy Mt Karioi climb. Tracks There are 2 track options you are able to choose from to reach the summit at 756m. First one is Mt Karioi Track that is steeper of the two. It takes around 3h to 3:30h to reach the top while passing many scenic lookout points on the way. The other one, Wairake Track, will take 2-3h one way. It’s a bit shorter, isn’t as steep and also doesn’t have all the amazing views that the first one offers. For me, the decision was a no-brainer, really.…

TRAVEL DESTINATION: Tāwharanui Regional Park, Auckland, New Zealand TRAVEL DURATION: Half day hike Tāwharanui Regional Park is a place that I keep visiting during the summer months. Mostly for the swim. It’s just been recently that I realized there’s more to this area on the tip of the Tāwharanui Peninsula. It takes a good hour to reach it from Auckland. The main road leads through Matakana, while the final part of the peninsula drive, around 5 km, is on a gravel road. Caves and Rock Pools One of the great surprises of the Anchor Bay Beach here are the caves of the Flat Rock, that can be explored on the low tide. There is also a rock platform exposed on the low tide where I was able to spot crabs and shrimps. You can watch amazing rock pools forming when the tide goes out. Summers are ideal for swimming and snorkeling. It’s…

TRAVEL DESTINATION: The Needle (Te Rua Manga), Rarotonga, Cook Islands TRAVEL DURATION: Half day hike Wherever I go and travel to, I always try to scout out some hills or mountains to climb. There sure is something about that 360 degrees top view. I love to see the place I am visiting from a bird’s-eye perspective. Maybe for some, the airplane view would do, but for me, the hiking and climbing are much more rewarding. There is a challenge involved as well as the experience and, without the exception, the numerous surprises by the end of the hike. This was my third visit to Rarotonga in Cook Islands, and about the time to put on the hiking shoes. Sharing the experience with my brother and sister just made it all the more special. Hike Anticipation When I think about it, this was my first hike in the tropics, I guess. I started without…

TRAVEL DESTINATION: Coromandel Coastal Walkway, Coromandel Peninsula, North Island, New Zealand TRAVEL DURATION: Weekend Getaway The Coromandel Peninsula offers some amazing activities. There’s a reason it’s packed during summer days when many Aucklanders take a long break and switch to vacation mode. The Coromandel Peninsula is located just far and remote enough to make you feel special when you want to change the scenery. The landscape is versatile and time slows down for a notch there. This area sort of holds a special place in my life as well. Hot Water Beach was the first beach I visited outside the Auckland area when I first came to New Zealand. One of my earliest explorations of beautiful New Zealand landscape happened right here. Returning to Coromandel was never in question. Since that first time, I’ve always been in for a new surprise as I’ve kept discovering numerous special spots like The Pinnacles summit, a warm…

TRAVEL DESTINATION: Te Henga (Bethells Beach) Walkway, Auckland, North Island, New Zealand TRAVEL DURATION: 1 day activity Auckland’s West Coast is known for some of the most amazing scenery in this part of New Zealand. Firstly, Waitakere Ranges transports you to a luscious rainforest reality, where you can get lost on numerous walking trails. In addition to that, West Coast beaches won’t leave you ambivalent either. Surfers love them and many swimmers find them thrilling and exciting on those hot summer days. The landscape here is rougher compared to the one on the Auckland’s East Coast. Two different Oceans provide distinct experiences and big contrasts in natural features within short 40 km distance. I’ve been frequently visiting the Waitakere rainforest and West Coast beaches, but have never really taken any longer walks or hikes that spread along this coastal area. I recently read about the 80 km long Hillary Trail that really got…

TRAVEL DESTINATION: Mt Te Aroha, Waikato region, North Island, New Zealand TRAVEL DURATION: 1 day trip Time for a new challenge Daily challenges that I create for myself are sometimes the only thing that gets me outdoors and moving. It becomes even easier when there is another mountain or peak in question. One day trips to such places have pluses and minuses. A definite plus is a sense of accomplishment when you realize how full your day was and that in addition you were able to sleep in your own bed at the end of a day. On the other hand, you might miss the absolutely amazing sunrises and sunsets that you can witness from the top of a mountain early or late in the day. Living on South Island would be an ideal solution if the hills and mountains are your preferred choice of a playground. For us in Auckland…