Aliciane had been here before with Schoko and they did the walk, but they were not able to get down to the water though and it was high tide when they turned up. Even after waiting for five hours they were not able to get onto the beach to see the cliffs.
It was very pretty to walk down to the beach.
I love the colour of the layers in the rocks.
We met the cutest dog ever (no idea what his name was). He was fun to run along the beach with and we tried to teach him fetch, but he was not having any of it. Jannes wanted to take him home ha.
If you have had the chance to do some research about New Zealand, chances are you have come across the Three Sisters and Elephant Rock. Or you may have read that Elephant Rock lost her trunk in December 2016 due to an earthquake.
Despite this, it was at the top of my bucket list of places to visit whilst here in New Zealand. It would have been silly of me not to go when I was so close in the Taranaki area. Anyway as you may have already read, I was working at Sunflower Lodge YHA and a few of us managed to get the same day off on a Friday. Aliciane, Jannes and I drove up there and it was absolutely amazing. Definately something I would recommend. Plus it is free if you don’t count the fuel cost to get there.
The weather wasn’t that great but it wasn’t raining, well not when we had left the hostel. Anyway, after a VERY windy road we made it to the Three Sisters trail.
To get to the sisters we had to walk across 300 meters of clay covered rocks which were very slippery. I ended up taking my jandals (flip-flops) off and walking / sliding with bare feet. I wouldn’t recommend walking here if you have bad knees or legs because at some points it was quite bad. However the views were amazing and my feet were super soft when I washed the clay off.
It really was a lovely place to walk around and see first hand. You can also see for miles across the beach.
On the way back I decided I wanted to explore the caves a little. The Rocks were so smooth to touch. It is pretty amazing to stand next to these giants and realise how small you really are.
I went out here with Aliciane in March which was great. We were lucky with the weather and it was very peaceful.
Even the mountain can be seen from the lake.
You can walk all the way around the lake and it is mostly grass which isn’t too muddy. That means you don’t have to wear your big hiking boots, but don’t wear your best shoes if you are heading out here.
You can fish here, but I didn’t see anyone fishing.
I love this walkway. I mean seriously it is beautiful and also right outside my door at Sunflower lodge. It is at the end of the drive and either turn left to get away from the coast or right to walk towards it.
I have done the walk to the coast many different times and on a few different days.
There was only one day that I hated the walk and that was not long after it stopped raining. I had fallen over in the wet mud and landed on my bottom which hurt quite a bit, but I got up and carried on.
That day it also changed from gorgeous sunshine when I left the hostel to rain by the time I reached the beach and I ended up getting soaked. Yes it also stopped by the time I made it back to the hostel. Sod’s law.
It may seem a little morbid at first, but youwalk through a cemetery.
It is a beautiful one though and they really do take care to maintain it all.
You cannot really see it, but the tiles on this one were lovely and actually really bright when the sun hit it. I did try and wait around for the sun to come back out, but as you can see there are loads of clouds and I guess the sun didn’t want to play this day.
I think this is the oldest grave I saw whilst here. I am sure there are more, but I didn’t find them. Not yet anyway.
After the cemetery you walk through a bit of bush to get to the river which is lovely.
Here is the bush area, not too much bush as it has been gravelled because of the many people who walk it.
More artsy shots.
You then get to a lovely river.
It’s quite a peaceful river unless it has been raining heavily.
Then it becomes a little rougher, but still lovely to sit and watch.
I am a bit in love with water; falls, lakes, rivers, sea.
I think this might be my favourite part of this walk. You cannot see the river until you are right at the bend in the road and it just looks luscious and green.
When I got to the sea on this day there were lots of kite surfers out. It was great to watch, some of the jumps the guys do are really scary!
Als you can see that it is quite dark on the pictures, that is because this is where it rained on me 😦
This is another favourite place of mine here in New Zealand. Here in New Plymouth specifically but a good place to come.
I keep going back to this park. I love it here and if you look below you will see why. I definitely recommend it for anyone who comes here to New Plymouth.
It is over the road from the Sunflower Lodge where I am currently working and am living. That is one of the many reasons I love it here.
Here is the map of the park.You can also see where the lodge is to where I am going most days for a wander.
As I mentioned, I am pretty much here most days for a wander, even when I walk to the town I walk back through the park as it is really pretty. Just have a look for yourself.
These falls are man-made and make a lot of noise but was hypnotic.
It is very pretty and is often used for events, there was a film festival in February before I got here and whilst I was in New Plymouth there was WOMAD which stands for World Of Music, Arts and Dance. It’s a massive event and got a huge amount of people to the area. The people who stayed at the lodge had been coming to this place for years and I even took bookings for the following year already.
It really is a perfect setting for festivals.
There are also lots of sculptures on the rivers, along with fountains with some of them too.
There are so many flowers around too, these are taken at the end of summer so some are on their way out, but there are loads which are still in bloom.
This is actually the main entrance into the park from the town centre. Yes, I am aware this should probably be at the start of the post, but as I said I went on so many different days and you can see that the weather doesn’t look as good in this one.
There are lots of these bridges going across the rivers which really do stand out in their red colour.
So this post covers a couple of different days a couple of weeks apart. That is because the coastal walk is 12.7 KM long and a little too long to walk in one day. Not too long to cycle though and a lot of people do hire a bike. Obviously I am trying to save my money so I am walking everywhere.
I did a tiny bit of this walk on my second night here in New Plymouth. I had completed a shift at the Sunflower Lodge YHA Hostel and sat down to read for most of the afternoon. I know that is being lazy but it had been a while since I actually had a chance to sit in quiet and read. Schoko, one of the girls also working in the hostel said she was heading out to the beach and asked if I wanted to tag along. Of course I said yes, it is a beach after all.
To get to the beach we walked part of the Te Henui walkway, click here if you would like to see a map of the full walk. We went from the end of the drive at Timandra Street and took about 30-35 minutes to get to the beach. The weather was lovely. Schoko went for a swim but I only paddled. I did regret not taking my togs when I got down to the beach. Live and learn, right?
I did get to go rock pooling though, check out the photo’s below.
This is from the Te Henui walkway along the river before you get to the coast.
To read more about the beach on my first day here, click here.
The next bit I walked was below (from point 11 to point 19), it was after a shift at the hostel and then I went out. It was very hot but a great walk. The map comes from this website which I recommend checking out if you are coming here.
The pathway is all concrete or wooden so you can get away with sandals or comfy pumps. I wore my flip flops.
The Wind Wand and is is 48 metres tall. It was designed by Len Lye who was born in 1901 and died in 1980.
You can see the scale if you can see there is a man who is stood near the bottom of it.
This is called the Honeyfield Fountain which was donated by the Honeyfield family in 1907 to provide drinking water for the railway station which used to be near by.
Look how far this goes on, I walked all along here.
So, it is a few day’s later and after the rain we have had I am eager to get back out. I started at the Hostel and headed down the main road to get to the point I started and finished before. But this time I turned right.
This way was lovely when I could see the sea, but a lot of it is on a path a little away from the sea.
You do however, get to see the Taranaki. I am pretty sure you can see this mountain from most places around New Plymouth, but it is just as beautiful from afar.
But when you meet back up with the sea there is some amazing views. There is also some great views of the Lake Rotomanu.
You also see the bridge which is pretty famous here in New Plymouth.
It is quite cool, having the skeleton of the wave.
There is also another little bridge before you get to the famous one which provides some great views of the river flowing into the sea.
On the way back, I walked along the beach whilst paddling, it was lovely.
I even got to play with a couple of dogs and speak to a lovely local woman who has lived in New Plymouth her whole life. She has not been to the UK, but she has done some travelling in Europe so we talked about that for a while.
As I said at the beginning, this is a 12.5 KM walk, and although I would be comfortable doing that in one day, I didn’t because I had to walk 3 KM down to the starting point and back again. So this walk was 24.5 KM for me.
I didn’t have to work today so I figured I would go for a walk. I told Aliciane (backpacker from France who is also working for accommodation here) and she asked if she could join me. It was nice to go for a walk with company.
Anyway I decided I was going on the Huatoki Domain walkway. It’s about a 50 minute walk away from the hostel, which is actually one of the closer ones to me.
Anyway, when we got there it was roughly 11 am and we wandered around the bush trail they had marked out. There were lots of lovely views around the place.
Some of the areas looked really tropical.
There were lots of little streams.
This park was huge, It seemed to go on for miles!
Here is a picture of the dam which is in the middle of the domain.
We did not do the whole walk though as it starts in the town and we were already half way up the roads so here is the map for the full walk if you are interested.
I have arrived in New Plymouth and feeling a little too new so I make myself known to the other two girls who are staying here and let them know that I will be working with them. Seems obnoxious, right? Well sometimes it is the only way to get someone to talk to you ha.
Schoko (Japanese backpacker who is working for accommodation at Sunflower lodge YHA) said she was heading to the beach and asked if I wanted to come along, I said sure so we headed to the sea.
To get there we walked part of the Te Henui walk way. Here is a map of the walk and we went from the end of Timandra St. We pretty much just stayed at the beach which was lovely. Schoko went in for a swim but I just wandered and paddled. I also when rock pooling which was great.
Here is a little picture from the Te Henui Walkway along the river, just before you get to the beach coastal walk.
Look how lovely the black sand is.
If you want to understand a little about black sand, click here.
There was a kite surfer who was playing in the sea for ages. At one point I watched him do a jump and hook his feet on the bar he would normally hold onto when he was in the air.
Then the kite came down and he went into the water head first and I thought he had hurt himself but he got back up with another jump. It looked so scary!
Yes, I would like to try it – ha!
When I was wandering around I found a bone, I sure has help hope it wasn’t a human one.
There were some sea snails too.
Oh and a crab. He was so quick I almost missed him before he buried himself in the sand.
On my last night in Rotorua, I went to the skyline which was great fun.
I went up in the Gondala which was $30 and the views of Rotorua were amazing. You get to see the lake and the town.
Skyline is a small adventure playground where you can zip line, do the gondola ride and many more things. It is definitely a must if you are here because I really had so much fun. Even did something which was a complete shock, I didn’t think I would do it – keep reading!
Just enjoy the views below;
They call this the Vegas of Rotorua, hence the sign. but it really was so much fun!
I even got to do a zip line and it was so exhilarating. I went about 85kmph down it all. I really want to do it again!!
I did get a video so if you want to check it out, click here.
There is even a jump which you can do at the end. It is 18 metres high and you go off backwards. I guess that makes it more of a fall.
Yep – that is it, below.
I was so glad I did it, petrified before I fell but the Adrenaline rush you get afterwards it amazing!
This is another one of my favourite places I have been so far here in New Zealand.
The Huka falls are the largest falls on the Waikato River and they are very beautiful. I mean check out the colour, please note none of these images have been edited.
Maori Hapu (sub-tribes) lived and worked in this area centuries before the arrival of Europeans. They understood and made use of the volcanic and geothermal landscape, cultivating land, harvesting fish and gathering kokowai (red ochre) from the hydro-thermally altered soil.
In the 1870s, Europeans began to settle at the outlet of the Waikato River, on the edge of lake Taupo. As Sergeant Talty predicted the region’s attractions gained International Repute and Huka Falls became a ‘must-see’ on young New Zealand’s tourist itinerary.
As the 20th century progressed, the Waikato developed into one of the country’s major electricity-producing rivers. It supplies eight hydro-electric stations and provides them with cooling water for three other stations, two of them geothermal and one thermal. The Waikato River system produces about 15% of New Zealand’s power.
I love that one side of the river was so rough and dangerous and then the other end looks so peaceful. It was cray to see the two comparisons so closely together.
I even got to pose with the falls just behind me.
About 200,000 litres of water plunge through the nine metres over the great rock face of Huka Falls every second – that is enough to fill five Olympic swimming pools every minute. Such a momentous flow of water creates a dangerous undertow at the bottom of the falls. This has claimed the lives of many of those who try to raft the falls.
Further upstream of the falls is the Waikato River and it is clear and reflective. After plunging over the falls it picks up masses of tumbling air bubbles which create the breathtaking colours and give the falls their name. Huka, the Maori word for foam.
The flow over the falls is so strong it prevents the upstream migration for trout and other native fish like eels. This is why there are no eels in Lake Taupo.
Below is Reid’s farm and it is a beautiful spot to freedom camp. It has toilets too, which is rare for freedom camping. There are no showers but that’s fine for a poor mans shower for one night isn’t too bad.
It is further down the same Waikato River.
There were people bungee jumping here which was amazing to watch – even made me wonder if I want to do it… watch this space.