Archive for: ‘February 2016’

Wellington, NZ: Last Shot at Lord of the Rings

February 7, 2016 Posted by Deb

PhotoPictureResizer_160208_195657022-700x518Peter Jackson is from Wellington and a lot of the actors have “summer homes” in the area. They also filmed a bunch of the scenes nearby. So, we took a tour, which felt a bit strange since practically every trace of the movie was torn down and a large portion ended up as NZ insulation.

Quarry Where Helm's Gate Was Built

Quarry Where Helm’s Deep Was Built

Still, the tour guide did a good job and brought a portfolio of shots for where we were standing and there were great clips on a screen in the van. She also brought props in case we wanted to reenact scenes but of course we were too mature to stoop to that level.

Saruman’s Garden in Isengard


Rivendell in Kiatoke Park



Picton, New Zealand

February 6, 2016 Posted by Deb

What a road. When locals put up signs saying “The bends are killing us” you know it is tight. We saw bikers on that road, too. We made it in true go-cart driving style but we were truly done with crazy left side driving at the end of the day.


We unloaded the rental the next morning, hiked the Bob’s Bay trail one day ahead of the big NZ triathalon that uses the same trail, and jumped on the ferry.PhotoPictureResizer_160208_175305582

MBC in St. Paul Has You Beat on that Date. Rowing is a Big

MBC in St. Paul Has You Beat on that Date. Rowing is a Big Deal in Small Towns All Over NZ

Back on the Ferry to the North Island

Back on the Ferry to the North Island

Nelson Wine-Tasting Bike Ride

February 4, 2016 Posted by Deb

New Zealand is trying to build bike trails, which is good because the roads are narrow with no shoulders. Bikers from all over the world use the roads but we wouldn’t.images-1-700x442

So, the Nelson Great Taste Trail bike trail was appealing. The other issue was Deb and wedgy bikes (a term recumbent bikers use for regular small seat bikers). She needed a very upright, comfortable bike and most rentals are more like mountain bikes. We found a perfect wedgy at Gentle Cycling and we were off. Great day and 40k of nice trails and wine tasting.FB_IMG_1454910581261FB_IMG_1454910575369FB_IMG_1454910567096

Abel Tasman National Park

February 2, 2016 Posted by Deb

images-700x456This region was a target for our trip because it has a reputation for having great weather. We had cloudless skies for a couple of weeks but it was supposed to get worse so we boogied to Nelson.

The Amber Court Motel manager, who was great, had us signed up for a ferry/hike combo in Abel Tasman within an hour of checking in and he gets no commission … just helping us out. This area a was true warm-beach-party area with campervans everywhere and a real vacation atmosphere. We hit the tide right and were able to take some beach shortcuts so we did the 4-hour hike in under two hours. More time to kick back. Oh … the bad weather completely bypassed us and we had clear skies.PhotoPictureResizer_160208_174139655_crop_725x507-700x489PhotoPictureResizer_160208_174629155-700x525PhotoPictureResizer_160208_174435186_crop_733x478-700x456

No Docks With a 15-Foot Tide. Torrent Beach.

No Docks With a 15-Foot Tide. Torrent Beach.


The Baths: Abel Tasman Style