All posts filed under: Road trips

Seeing the positive sides of post-earthquake Christchurch

The last times I drove through Christchurch I was shocked – by the empty streets of the CBD, the cracks in the houses, the ruins of cathedrals and office buildings. Back then I remember feeling relieved when I could leave the city and its sad vibe behind. Driving through on my way up to the North Island, I decided to open my eyes for the not so obvious stuff, to look behind the ruins and cracks and find the hidden gems of a resurrecting city.  And this time I was almost sad when I  left, wishing I had more time to explore the projects and happy corners of the city. Here’s a collection of the projects that surprised me the most – in a positive way: Idea #1: Rekindle transforms wood that got disposed of on demolition sites into furniture Idea #2: The Re:START area is a bright, colourful open air shopping mall in between the ruins, built of prefabricated shipping containers with the goal to offer a retail space to Christchurch inhabitants and businesses …

Me & my car + some alone time + a beautiful sunset = Happiness

Life sometimes gets so busy that you forget the simple pleasures of life.  Like a good read, healthy food, some alone time and the beauty of a sunset in a lonely bay. Put all that together and you get a pretty accurate picture of what my Sunday looked like. It was about time to spend some time with myself, quieten down my mind and listen to my heart again. Plus, I have to admit my car is pretty perfect for those kind of activities. Now I can’t wait to take Fugly on another road trip to explore more of the beauty this country has to offer.

Exploring Lake Wanaka on our day off

We recently went on a little road trip along the shores of Lake Wanaka – the lake we all live at. We drove via Glendhu Bay to the access road to Treble Cone where we hiked up to a waterfall, had a little chat to the local sheep and just enjoyed some fresh air and time off. On our way back we had a little picnic on one of the local beaches and finished our trip with coffee in front of a fire at a local café. Thanks girls for a relaxing day out! Photos below by fellow road trippers Sanna, Manuela, Selina and myself.

Snowed in at Tekapo Top House

The snow storm last night must have been pretty bad – considering that those snow flakes are stuck on the window (which is by the way stretching all along the hot tub – not too bad for a bathroom view). We were pretty lucky that we found this lovely B & B last night because whole Tekapo seemed to be booked out. And even luckier considering that our host Tony decided to clear my little Fugly from the snow while we were having breakfast inside and chatting with his wife. Kiwi hospitality is truly outstanding.  

Star gazing at Lake Tekapo’s observatory

If you have already been to the Southern hemisphere and ever looked up to the night sky (especially from un-crowded places) you probably realized how amazing and different the stars are down here. I got hooked on star gazing during my first Southern hemisphere trip and whenever I am down here I particularly enjoy watching the night skies. So when Seth, who I had visited in Wellington earlier, proposed to have a closer and more scientific look at it I was immediately on board. As it happens and due to its little population New Zealand’s South Island is a pretty dark place and thus ideal for star gazing. There’s a particularly dark area just two hours drive north of Wanaka – renowned for the clarity of its sky and the low light pollution the area around Lake Tekapo has been declared a dark sky reserve in 2012 and the university observatory located on top of a nearby mountain is one of the rare ones that are open to public. Already the drive up to Lake …

Freezing winter walk in Arrowtown

After a crazy night in Queenstown I went  to the Airport this morning to pick up lovely Seth, who flew in from Wellington to join me on a road trip. The plan was to head up north to Lake Tekapo where we had booked a star gazing tour later that night. We stopped a lot of times on our way up and our first stop was Arrowtown – a tiny and very cute village just outside of Queenstown. Although it was already lunch time and warming up a bit we still found lots of ice crystals during our winter walk and both armed with cameras we spent lots of time trying to catch their beauty. Couldn’t quite get it but this image might give you an idea what a chilled and relaxed time we had. Lots of laughter, lots of good talks and lots of photography.

Meet Fugly, my new friend on four wheels

Did I mention I was looking for a car? It took a series of very lucky coincidences but I eventually found this “beauty” which matched all my requirements: four-wheel drive to get up and down the mountain roads, enough space in the back to store my ski and snowboard gear, eights seats for weekend trips with my ski instructor friends (or transforming the seats into a giant bed). Plus a moon roof to watch the stars as you lie down. And the name…. well, you can probably imagine what F… ugly translates to?

Ski Instructors have to get to work somehow…

I had to drop of my transfercar at Queenstown Airport early this morning and when I headed out of Wanaka it was still dark and I couldn’t see much of the place really. I opted for the shorter but more windy road via the Crown Range – a scenic route that I had in good memory from last year’s road trip. Turns out it’s just as breathtaking in winter conditions – only in a very different way. Luckily I had the perfect car for those conditions – my transfer car is a Subaru Legacy 4WD. Over here Subaru advertises their cars with the slogan “Ski Instructors have to get to work somehow” – which in that moment was right at the spot as my little car got me perfectly safe through the snow to my future workplace. Another thing that helped getting down on the other side of the pass was the grit spreading truck that I met just at the highest point together with another Subaru driver. After dropping off the car at the …