We’re now collecting photos for next year’s calendar, greeting cards and fridge magnets so we decided to go out exploring and taking photos over Easter weekend. It’s a long weekend with Good Friday and Easter Monday being holidays here.
There are so many places in New Zealand to explore but we settled on Wanganui/ Whanganui—roughly a 2 ½ hour drive from Wellington. We used that as our base to do a few day trips. We found ourselves at Waverley Beach with stunning cliffs and rock faces. We had seen some pictures of a rock archway right on the sea and this is what drew us there. When we got there, we couldn’t find the archway only to be told that it had crumbled a few years back. Still, the scenery was amazing. There are only a few others there-a couple fishing who told us they were staying at the campgrounds nearby, an Asian photographer with his tripod snapping away and a young couple with a baby. We were wondering where everyone else was!?!!?!
The next day we drove up to Tongariro National Park and hike the Tama Lakes trail. This trail snakes through lava flow from Mount Ruapehu. It is a barren and alpine landscape…very different from what I usually see here in New Zealand—lush, green, ferns, rivers and streams, etc.
The weather changed so quickly there. David told me it would but it’s another thing to actually see it. It started out overcast as we drove up in the morning. Then as we started hiking, we say a little bit of blue skies for a few moments before clouds starting rolling in. As we climbed higher and higher toward the volcanic lakes, we were walking through little bursts of fog and drizzle.
As quickly as it rolled in, it was here to stay. We reached the end of the hike. We got to the upper Tama Lake (which was worth the climb—debatable given the weather) and I snapped a few shots before the rain and wind really started and we decided to “get a move on.” We walked the majority of the 5 miles back (8.5 km) in the fog and rain.
We learned a few things on this weekend trip. One is that we need to do a bit more planning from home before we leave. There was a guided walk that we wanted to but we had to make reservations and trying to call up Good Friday at 8:30 pm for a hike the next morning at 8:30 am isn’t enough time. Also, we should have checked the tide schedule for our trip to the beach. Low tide can be pretty dull for beach photos…high tide is that much better.
We’ve got a few more trips planned for 2015—The South Island, Here We Come!