Tag Archives: hiking

Non-Wedding Related: We Hike!

22 Jul

So on Saturday, GP, myself and GP’s Best Man and best friend (which I’ll call ‘Hunter’ for appropriate reasons) went up to Arthur’s Pass. For those of who don’t know, Arthur’s Pass is a little township in the Southern Alps of New Zealand. It’s a beautiful little place, surrounded by mountains and forest.

And also, Keas!!!

WP_20130720_011

See that wee bird – he’s a Kea! Isn’t he beautiful!? ❤ / Personal Image

WP_20130720_009

THEY’RE SO CUTE // Personal image

 

AHEM.

Sorry for the retarded picture of my face. And the Kea spam – I love those birds. They get SO close to you and they’re so cute! Anyway, we drove up to the Arthur’s Pass National Park and got ready for our trek up the Devil’s Punchbowl. The Department of Conservation describes the walk as follows:

DOC_DevilsPunchbowl

Description of the Devil’s Punchbowl Track and Waterfall // Image taken from the NZ Department of Conservation website

 

Don’t worry guys – the trek isn’t as ominous as it sounds. It’s a basic trek  and the pathway has been fixed by the Department of Conservation to ensure that even the most inexperienced hiker can make it up to the viewing platform at the top to see the waterfall. Which, we did!

WP_20130720_021

GP looking handsome, me looking retarded. I’m wearing GP’s mama’s coat, since we were convinced we’d get drenched (we did!) // Personal image

But we weren’t at the top. The photo above shows us at the outlook, where you can see the Devil’s Punchbowl in the distance. However, we weren’t at the base of the waterfall, where the supposed ‘Punchbowl’ was. According to GP, the waterfall was so-named because a big boulder had fallen underneath the waterfall. After years of erosion, the pounding waters of the falls had carved a HUGE crater into the boulder, shaping it like a – you guessed it – punchbowl!

After investigating the spot, Best Man Hunter saw a path that lead UP to the waterfall’s base. That meant going off track a little bit (read: the DOC didn’t lay down any manmade pathways going that way). But we were determined, and according to both GP and Hunter, it was perfectly safe.

Jumping over the barriers of the viewing platform, we made the journey further up, passing this sign on the way:

WP_20130720_024

WE’RE REBELS! But seriously, there was no danger at all. // Personal image

After huffing and puffing up the side and scrambling up rocks, we made it to an area which was just flax plants. No more rocks to steady myself on. ‘Oh crap’, I thought, ‘I don’t think I can make it’. That one moment of hesitation made my resolve waver long enough for me to tell GP to go forward himself because I was sure I wouldn’t make it. He, being the awesome guy he is, understood and made it the rest of the way with Best Man Hunter to the base of the waterfall.

I remember sitting there for a few moments thinking, ‘why did I stop!? Am I crazy!? I’ve wanted to see this thing for ages’. I got up to go by myself, but realised GP wouldn’t be very happy if I did. So I stood there and waited ’til they returned.

“I want to try it,” I said.

Happily, they agreed to retrace their path back to the base of the waterfall, this time with me in tow. And guys, I am so glad I decided to go.

It was BEAUTIFUL.

Now – the punchbowl of the Devil’s Punchbowl has either a) been eroded way over time, or b) been damaged in the earthquake and disappeared. So I didn’t get to see the punchbowl, but the waterfall – OH THE WATERFALL.

The sheer power of it is AMAZING. The sheer force of the wind it creates and the spray – just so, so beautiful! I wish I had taken a picture of it, but with all the water that was hitting us, any electronic devices would have been damaged. GP managed to get some pictures of us just a little bit away from the base, behind some rocks, to protect his phone.

WP_20130720_027

At the base of the Devil’s Punchbowl // Personal image

So one thing I do recommend if you love hiking and love waterfalls – the Devil’s Punchbowl. It was spectacular and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

We made the trek down with no real problems, chatting mostly about the wedding and planning. We had lunch at the local diner, checked out the local real estate, and then drove back to Christchurch. We did stop at Lake Lyndon, but haven’t got any photos of it. The section we drove to was frozen though, so that was an AWESOME sight. Our next stop was Sheffield, where we got a pie, drank coffee, and chatted about the merits of clean food (and how sometimes even bigger businesses can get it wrong).

And then, we were in Christchurch again. The day was capped with a delicious dinner of “Fush ‘n’ Chups” with GP’s parental units (can’t go to New Zealand without having it!) followed by board games with Best Man Hunter.

An excellent day to be had and I’d definitely do it all over again!

Happy Easter!

1 Apr

My god I am a horrible blogger.

I don’t think I could ever do this for a living. Actually – I take that back. I probably could if this was the thing giving me financial stability…

Anyway! Happy Easter everyone!

It’s just ending here in Australia, and we (GP and I) have had an awesome time! On Good Friday we drove up to Newcastle with some friends and bade another of our friends a farewell. Lucky guy is leaving on a long secondment in America. We spent some time boozing, eating, laughing and chatting. I even got some wedding talk in because one of our friends is our MC! 🙂 He wanted to get the general layout of the room and talk about personalities so he can get a better feel of his audience.

We’ll be taking him up the Hunter Valley to see the hall this month 🙂 (hopefully…)

On Saturday, my family, GP and I went to Cockatoo Island (my first time there!). It’s a stunning island in the middle of the Harbour. There’s views of the Harbour Bridge and the city, and the island itself is full of so much history! It used to be an island to house convicts, then became an orphanage and reformatory for orphan and delinquent girls and boys. It was later changed to a naval dock where some of the first Australian warships were built for WWII. It’s honestly a photog’s paradise, with a mixture of industrial, raw and gritty scenarios and old decaying buildings and structures of convict Australia against the modern sky scape of Sydney! We strolled around the island, had a picnic lunch and then enjoyed a coffee and some drinks while soaking in the sun. After a brief mishap with the ferry (wrong ferry, whoops!) we ate at a Mexican restaurant – Had to Happen – that had all-you-eat fajitas. SO very bad for the diet, but so very good to eat. GP and I made sure not to eat too much sour cream or cheese. All-in-all, it was an awesome day!!

On Sunday, we went trekking with another group of friends. After a painfully long drive to the Blue Mountains (and more specifically, Wentworth Falls), we headed out on a hour-and-a-half trek through Australian bushland and to the waterfalls. The views were stunning and even GP admitted that the Australian wilds were a “different kind of beautiful to New Zealand”. We took heaps of pictures in front of the waterfalls and through the bushland. I got soaked by one particular waterfall, which was just awesome. It was such an awesome day and hopefully we make it a “thing” to do it every month or fortnight. GP and I’s legs were so sore afterwards, but it was worth every sore muscle.

And finally, Monday was a day to completely relax. We did nothing all day (and that includes exercise too, I know, we’re bad!). We’re still eating well, so hopefully today hasn’t set me back…

I know this wasn’t really wedding-related, but I thought I’d document the awesomeness that was the long weekend. 🙂 My next post, I promise, will be about the wedding!

For now, I shall go~

E x