Impressions Of New Zealand, pt 2

the Yoga Bum

I’ve already covered the major things I did on the south island, but here’s a few shots of the minor things I did too (with one fairly major thing towards the end).

After Kaikoura we headed off back up to Nelson for a few days. As well as doing some yoga we also climbed to the geographical centre of New Zealand,

on the centre of new zealand

where I got to do my first headstand picture since Hobbiton;

headstand prep

51. centre of new zealand headstand

assisted as always by my able photographer girlfriend. 😀

gimme my camera

You get some great views from up there.

a beautiful day

Nelson is in a lovely location. No wonder so many hippies choose to live there.

the green grocer

You’re always planning when you’re traveling, trying to arrange things so that you can do everything you want to do for as little as possible. That takes time and effort; and a little nest to work in.

planning nest

From Nelson we had a long drive down to…

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The Lord Of The Rings Tour

the Yoga Bum

There was one thing we did in New Zealand, one thing that I was most looking forward to, One ring to rule them… I mean, one thing that deserves a post of it’s own, and that was the Lord Of The Rings Tour!

I mean Hobbiton was brilliant and all that, but when it comes to LOTR fandom, this was the bit I was most looking forward to.

We did the ‘Trails Of Middle Earth‘ tour with Southern Lakes Sightseeing; a full day, lunch included, package that cost us NZD$299pp (about £150 each).

Our tour started at 10am with pick up from our hostel. I was told to look out for “an unmarked grey van”, which made me chuckle as it sounded a little bit ominous, but thankfully the people carrier that turned up was anything but.

In it were Steph, an Aussie from Brisbane and our guide…

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Whale Watching In Kaikoura

the Yoga Bum

Our tour round New Zealand was kind of a whistle-stop tour, in which we gave ourselves only five weeks to do it all! Half the time we spent on the north island, and half on the south.

To get south we got the ferry from Wellington, which involved another massive bus ride from New Plymouth to Wellington, and another pre-dawn start to get the ferry itself.

It’s a shame we couldn’t have spent more time in Wellington. On the one evening we spent there, just taking a few hours to walk around and have a soy hot chocolate, we already liked it much better than Auckland. Honestly, if I was flying into NZ this is the place I’d choose to land.

The early start did mean we got to enjoy the gorgeous sunrise on Wellington harbour,

sunrise in wellington harbour

adios wellington

early morning beauty

and the three hour journey gave us time to chill out a bit. You…

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Impression Of New Zealand

the Yoga Bum

A post in pictures (and video) of our journey round the north island of New Zealand, starting with…

Our flight from Cairns,

over the ocean

catching up on red dwarf

and our arrival in Auckland.

in case you were in any doubt...

Auckland kinda sucked, but we got to have some veggie brekkies (some assembly required),

auckland DIY veggie brekkie

some of us got new haircuts,


and we got to do laundry,

wash day, nothing clean

so it wasn’t a complete bust.

From there we headed north to Paihia, where sadly accidents can happen.

accidents happen

There was some interesting stuff in Paihia, including extreme bunnies,

bunny extreme!

award winning loos,

paihia's award winning toilets

crazy seagulls,

seagull landing

and last but not least, ten drummers drumming.

But we were there to go check out the cape, so off we went!

Our bus driver had his own unique style.

I got to do headstand no.49, eventually, after being photo-bombed in the process.

the photo bomber strikes

We went sand boarding,

ready to hit the slopes



then hit Ninety Mile Beach (which isn’t ninety miles long, lol).

almost got me

wet trousers

On the way back we had…

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Sivananda Strikes Again!

the Yoga Bum

Another day; another Sivanada centre, lol.

After Waitomo, Lena and I headed down to New Plymouth on the south west corner of the north island of New Zealand. We were there for two reasons; one, it’s on the way to Wellington, where we had to get the ferry to the south island; and two, there’s a Sivanada affiliated yoga centre there (the only one in New Zealand, I think).

sivananda yoga new plymouth

The centre was a ‘short’ walk from our hostel (which was good as our hostel was a long walk from everything else, including the city centre) so we actually managed to get there early for once, giving us time to chat a bit with the people who ran the place.

Our class was run by Claire, a graduate of the TTC course in Australia in February (just four months earlier), and also a former karma yogi at the Melbourne centre

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“My God, It’s Full Of Stars!”

the Yoga Bum

First up, name that movie quote. No clues. Answer at the end of the post. 😉

There’s not a lot in Waitomo, and by ‘not a lot’ I mean nothing! One shop, a cafe (same building), a tourist information centre, and a resident population you can count on one hand. What they do have though is lots and lots of hostels, hotels and B&Bs; because the other thing they have in abundance are glowworm caves!

Getting to Waitomo from National Park proved to be a bit of a mission. We had to abandon the Naked Bus, since their inexplicable routing system meant we’d be three days getting there almost, and instead booked the Intercity coach, which only took three hours or so yet proved to be an ordeal in and of itself. It stank, it made us both feel a travel sick, and some mumbly stole our seats during the…

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the Yoga Bum

Ok, I think you’ve been teased long enough. As regular followers (and anyone who’s watched the headstand slideshow) will know, I’m in New Zealand now. And what are the three things New Zealand is famous for? Answer; Rugby, sheep, and Lord Of The Rings. Now I’m not into rugby, and being vegan I don’t have much to do with sheep, so that leaves…

welcome to hobbiton

Hobbiton is near a place called Matamata, which proved to be a good ten hour trip from Paihia where we were (via the Naked Bus, which isn’tthe most convenient service… but it’s cheap!). We got in quite late and pretty much just crashed out for the night as there isn’t much else to do really.


I was ludicrously excited about going to Hobbiton, so despite the long journey the day before I was up and at ’em early the next day, ready to go.

matamata tourist information centre

The tour…

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