Posted by: Talie Morrison | December 1, 2010

Yes, I still LOVE New Zealand

I am having so much fun down here!  I had always thought that the weather in November (which is springtime down here) would be a bit rainy – but this year it has been hot and dry.  Lots of sunny skies and only a few rainy days.

The flowers in Christchurch are always beautiful!

This trip I have found I am doing lots more of the little “off the beaten track” places.   So I have done some day hikes, some backcountry tracks where I haven’t seen anyone, and even gone into some caves (that’s a scary thing to do when you are soloing!)
As usual in my blogs, I think that pictures are worth much more than I can possibly describe, so I will have lots of photos here!  The words and photos don’t seem to match up once I go to publish – so you just have to use your imagination! 🙂
I started out going up the Waimakariri River. There was pretty much water in the side streams, so I couldn’t get up to explore them. (See, sometimes I really am careful!)
It was really beautiful weather and I was really enjoying the beauty of the snow on the peaks, the green trees, and the beautiful rivers!!

Waimakariri River - Doesn't get much more spectacular than this!

Up the Craigieburn Valley

From there I headed to the West Coast.   Again I was blessed with great weather!  I think I only had one day when I had to wait out the rains. I hiked up to a couple of caves. There is a lot of limestone in certain parts of New Zealand so there are some great spots with lots of caves. Some of the arches were pretty impressive.
A couple of years ago I did a back pack trip over here with Craig and Judy Pauley. It rained all along the Wangapeka and we never got to see the fabulous view from the pass. So I decided to hike up the Wangapeka just to the saddle to see the view. That actually entailed a four day trip with three nights in huts. And I was so lucky to be on the top of the saddle on a beautiful clear day (even though it was really windy and I couldn’t hang out on top as long as I would have liked!).

Little Wanganui Saddle

Tarn at Little Wanganui Saddle

From there I headed up to the Kaharungi National Forest. That area is in the Northwest corner of the South Island. Again I was blessed with beautiful clear skies and only had one day of rain.
I hiked into the Sylvester Hut and spent a whole day hiking around some pretty spectacular high mountain lakes.

Sylvester Hut

Iron Lake (above the Sylvester Hut)

Then I came back to Yanqui and parked her on the other side of Cobb Reservoir and headed out again.

I did get a bit of rain, but after spending the night nice and dry in the Mytton Hut, I headed up to Lake Peel under beautiful blue skies!   Then I hiked around the Cobb “Tablelands” and ended up spending the night in the “Dry Rock Shelter”.   That was an interesting place to “semi-camp” which just made it a bit more interesting than being in a hut.

Lake Peel - a great place to boil up a cup of tea!

Dry Rock Shelter - Had great mattresses!

After hiking out from the Mt. Arthur Tablelands, I headed into Takaka.   I met up with some new friends, Janet and Paul.   After some lovely organic salads picked right from their garden – Paul drove me up to start the Anatoki Track.   The first hut on this track (after crossing 24 side streams!), The Anatoki Forks Hut had a hot water system that was attached to the wood burning stove.    And to go along with that, there was a full on shower to take advantage of all that hot water!

Good thing there is a chain over this part of the trail!

Anatoki Hut hot water system

I spent another couple of days in Nelson with my friend, Christine.   And then visiting more friends, Barry and Jan.   Then I headed out for one more quick backcountry trip to a place called “The Mole Tops”.   What was so amazing about the Mole Tops was that it was like I looked one direction and I was looking over the Appalachian Mountains and when I turned around I was looking over the Rocky Mountains!   I keep saying New Zealand is some awesome country in a small package!


Looking on directions it was like looking over the Appalachian Mountains

Looking the other way - it's like the Rockies! Amazing!

So now I am back in Christchurch for a couple of days.   I plan on heading down to Stewart Island in a couple of days and do a 10 day backpacking trip down there…  This being my 6th trip to New Zealand, you would think I had seen it all, but there are so many more places down here that I haven’t seen yet!   And, like I say, I LOVE New Zealand!


Scroll down for more photos!

Around Castle Rock - near Arthur's Pass

A friendly (?) local

Bridge at the Otira Gorge

Yanqui parked at Lake Brunner

And when you aren't in the mountains, you aren't far from the beach!

My attempt at an "art shot" - Sunset through some Flax

One of Janet's delicious organic (and beautiful) salads!

This is some serious "tree hugging"!



  1. wow – pics don’t get any better than this 🙂 keep finding the new adventures and trails and sharing with us! You bring NZ to us up close Talie – thank you 🙂 L, Mel

  2. Yes we do have a beautiful country, and I’m so pleased you get to do all these back country trips. The pic’s are awsome. Dianne

  3. might be off up Sylvester in day or two, looks good!

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