Monday, July 19, 2010

Making plans for summer

Our northern hemisphere readers may not feel sorry for us when they're dealing with scorching temperatures around this time of year, but we are in the middle of winter. Temps have been in the single digits (in Celsius obviously, which is in the 40ish range if your a Fahrenheit fan). It's even dipped down to freezing here in Wellington a time or two. Add in our famous wind and even a girl from the Midwest would tell you it's cold.

This is why I'm surrounded by my NZ travel guides and brochures again -- we're making plans for this summer.

On the wish list for this summer is one of New Zealand's Top 20 Must-Do's, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. It's called one of New Zealand's best one-day hikes, and it better be worth it because it's a 950 m climb followed by a 1,300 m decent. All in about eight hours. My quads are shivering with fear already.

This Top 20 list comes from the book 101 Must-Do's for Kiwis. I think we've already covered 12 of them.

You may have heard me mention New Zealand's nine great walks, as we've done a couple of them (Queen Charlotte and Milford Track). Jake is taking on another when he walks the Routeburn with Brett in December, and we're also trying to make some time for the Whanganui Journey. The Whanganui isn't a walking track but a river that you navigate down on a canoe. It's still one of the great walks though. I guess someone couldn't be bothered to rename the whole list.

Lots of Kiwis have commented on how much of the country we're seeing while we're here. Invariably, they'll say they've never been on this walk or to that city. But we were the same way in Kansas City. Even if you're surrounded by lots of cool stuff to see and do, unless you have a bit of a timeline like we do, there's no need to hurry up and get to it. And when there's no timeline -- if it's always something you could do next week or next month -- it's very easy to put it off.

I think having a bit of a timeline really helps us appreciate being here and keeps us on track for checking off that entire Top 20 list. It's sure a fun goal to work on.


HereBeDragons said...

I totally know what you're talking about! Just about half of the Kiwis I met in New Zealand had invariably traveled to Australia or even Europe, but had never visited the South Island. These were people in WELLINGTON! Just across the channel!

I hope you get a good day for your Tongariro Crossing. Our day was completely socked in with fog and I could barely make out the Emerald Lakes, even when I was standing right in front of them!

Practically Perfect... said...

Hi there! Just found your blog and as a fellow Midwesterner, I hear you about it feeling cold here during the winter (although I think we're a bit warmer here in Auckland than where you're at)!

We'll have to check out those books - I've already started planning a few things that we would love to see and do while were in New Zealand, however long that may be :-)

And we totally laughed about the post with processed cheese, Mexican food, and BBQ sauce!

Sarah (Chez Lee) said...

It's so exciting to read of your travel plans and takes me down memory lane. My husband and I first arrived in NZ back in 1996, on a 2 year work assignment for him. We did just the same as you - making all our holiday time count and tagging it on to long weekends so we could do lots of the 'Great Walks' and seeing the essentials... the glaciers, whales, dolphins, Abel Tasman, Queen Charlotte, Tongariro, Fiordland... ah, so many beautiful places :)

Well, after returning to the UK in 1998/99 for a year, my husband was invited to return with a great job offer.

And, now, here we are in 2010 with 3 Kiwi born children!

It's harder for us to do the long walks we used to love and the ski weekends away, but we look forward to sharing our love of this country with our children as they grow. In the meantime we're loving the simple things with our young family.

Lovely to read your blog. Happy planning and happy travels :)