All posts filed under: New Zealand

All Around The World

While on Easter Island, we drove our rented ATV up the steep slopes of Rano Kau, a volcano near the main town of Hanga Roa. We came around a bend and eyed a dude ahead of us, running at a quick clip. Blake pulled up beside him. “Sir, are you okay? Is someone chasing you? Are you in distress?” He looked confused, and only at that point did we realize he was running by choice—jogging, if you will. It takes all kinds. We, meanwhile, strictly limited our running to once a location in order to bring you our trip in roughly 90 seconds:

Blake’s on a Plane: A Skydiving Q+A

Blake jumped out of a plane over Lake Taupo. I drank orange Fanta and ate Tim Tams firmly on the ground. We’re different people, it makes for a healthy marriage. While I had no desire to go skydiving, I did have all the questions. Here are some things I wanted to know about her experience and what she had to say. -MacKenzie Q: Were you scared? A: I could tell from the skydivers around me that this wasn’t the case for everyone, but the most scared that I felt was standing at the desk, deciding whether to commit to jumping. Once I said yes and was going through the pre-jump steps (reviewing the safety video—yes, Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’” was utilized—getting suited up, talking to my instructor, watching people on the previous plane fall from the sky like army man toys), I kept expecting to feel the fear, but it never quite came full-on. Q: You are a brave human. What’s going through your mind when the plane is ascending to jump height? A: When …

A Perfect Hike: Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

In the middle of the North Island of New Zealand is Tongariro National Park, a place mostly famous for being the stand-in for Mordor in the Lord of the Rings movies and for its hikes (especially the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, a day-long trek). We opted for the two-hour Taranaki loop, named for the spectacular waterfall around the half-way point. We’re outdoorsy in the sense that we like to sip our rosé al fresco on nice summer days, but we both truly dug this hike and found ourselves constantly dazzled by the diverse landscapes.    

The Cold Never Bothered Me Anyway: North Island, New Zealand

Sometimes, when it comes to ice cream, we can get a little hyperbolic. But we mean it when we say that in New Zealand, we had the following ice cream experiences: 1) the best of the trip thus far, 2) the most ridiculous in our lives to date, and 3) the healthiest (pictured above, from The Shed at Te Motu: Valrhona Chia Pudding with Sour Cherry-Anise Sorbet and Coconut Meringue). Island Gelato Company The best was at this generic but accurately named outdoor counter on Waiheke. This spot is on the main drag and could easily get away with selling the same crappy ice cream found in Provincetown or the Florida Keys or Anytown, Earth, where people eat cones as a fun warm weather activity, not because they take ice cream to be Serious Business. But whoever is making this gelato knows what s/he is doing, for real for real. in our forty or so hours on the island, we went to IGC thrice. The flavors were beautiful and balanced and rich and salty where …

3/toru from the North Island of New Zealand

Auckland Scene-setter: What business does Drake, our second-favorite Canadian, have being the scene-setter for Auckland? None, except that we happened to score half-priced tickets to his show at the City of Sail’s Vector Arena on the night we landed. 2 Chains opened, and there is nothing weirder than a stadium full of Kiwis rapping along to “Birthday Song.” Drake just happened to drop a new mixtape, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, a few days before we saw him and one of the best among the new tracks is “No Tellin’,” a song that contains the lyric “Suitcase, I been livin’ outta suitcase,” further proof that DRAKE JUST GETS ME, MAN.   Pound-the-table recommendation: Damn, this neighborhood is cute. Ponsonby lies just west of Auckland’s city center, and you may never want to leave. Ponsonby Central is a little cluster of restaurants, bars, and shops where you can buy your fresh produce and your artisanal cheese (obvi) and your perfect housewares and your happy hour drinks. The neighb also has a couple excellent sneaker …

New Zealand is Cray

This is ground zero for life, people. New Zealand, 1200 miles from Australia, 1500 miles from Antarctica, and 5000 miles from everything the fuck else, is an evolutionary sand box, a place that spawned enormous flightless birds* and fish that look like this: It’s also a land of extraordinary geothermal activity. There are five active volcanic areas on the North Island of New Zealand which are host to countless geysers, bubbling mud pools, and hot springs. At Orakei Korako, one of many thermal parks around the Taupo area, it’s not hard to imagine that millions of years ago, the first monocellular creatures were spawned in sulfurous pits such as this. Look at all the colors! The colors of the wind! Don’t you just want to paint with them? A visitor to Orakei Korako—a slightly off-the-beaten-geothermal-activity-track—takes a one minute ferry ride across a lake then proceeds through the park, self-guided (“Stay on the path. Consider all water that you see boiling hot.”), for about an hour’s walk-worth of geothermal madness. But wait, there’s more! Caves! Ferns …