Two very popular attractions in the Taupo area, Huka Falls and the Aratiatia Rapids, are both part of the longest river in New Zealand, the Waikato River. They are connected by the 7km Aratiatia Rapids Track. I found this description of the track to be very informative. That writer advises starting from the rapids end, which makes sense because … Continue reading Huka Falls to the Aratiatia Rapids: the Power of Water!
The Rotopounamu Track is a remarkably peaceful, extraordinarily relaxing walk, even though the weather was cold and windy. We felt privileged to be there.
The track up Mt Tauhara is challenging but the views at the summit are the reward!
A one hour drive from downtown Auckland is all it takes to reach a very popular scenic spot; Hunua Falls, located on the western boundary of Hunua Ranges Regional Park. In summertime there are crowds of tourists and lots of swimmers in the water, but in wintertime, not so much... At 30 meters high the falls … Continue reading Hunua Falls: No Tourists in Wintertime!
Even 10,486km from home (6,515 miles, but I’m thinking in metric on this trip) we are traveling “electric”, renting a VW e-Golf for traveling around the North Island. More about that car, and driving on the left hand side of the road, in a future post. For our first hike in the Auckland area, we took … Continue reading Volcano Hiking on Rangitoto in New Zealand
Boca Springs Campground is just 15 minutes off I80 east of Truckee but feels far away from the traffic and crowds that visit Lake Tahoe year around. At 5,900 ft, set on the edge of a meadow kept green by — you guessed it — Boca Springs, the 18 campsites are set well apart so you … Continue reading Boca Springs Campground and the Tahoe Rim Trail
Searching for campgrounds within a few hours drive of my house, I came across one that appeared promising; Trout Creek Campground in the PG&E Eel River Area near Lake Pillsbury. Some of the sites are reservable and some are first come/first served. We decided to give it a try even though I could not find any hiking trails … Continue reading Trout Creek: Fine Campground, Hiking Opportunities Limited
Sugarloaf Ridge State Park may be the only place where you can camp in a beautiful meadow, close to nice clean hot showers, visit a terrific public observatory, and then hike a trail with informative markers placed to scale to show you the relative distances of the planets from the Sun. Very cool. The Robert Ferguson Observatory is … Continue reading Hiking the Solar System at Sugarloaf Ridge
Serendipity: “the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for” according to Websters, which in our case meant deciding to hike the Tomales Point Trail and being unexpectedly overwhelmed with wildflowers! The trail is located in Point Reyes National Seashore. That national park is a treasure, filled with remarkable animals like a subspecies … Continue reading Serendipity Squared: Tomales Point in Bloom
Pinnacles National Park offers a fascinating blend of rich wildlife and complex geology, presented on a background of spectacular scenery featuring 22 million year old volcanic formations.