Friends from Germany

Sebi and Jani, friends living in Germany I met in New Zealand about 5 years ago, contacted me a few months ago and told me they were coming on holiday to New Zealand and were quite keen to come and visit me here on Great Barrier Island. So, we kind of got a plan together, they would arrive here via ferry and stay for 4 nights before leaving via plane to Auckland and then to the South Island. At the moment, they are in the Motueka region, hiking in the Abel Tasman National Park. After that, they are going to Queenstown/Glenorchy where they’ll be doing the Routeburn Track followed by the Caples Track.

I picked them up at Tryphena Wharf on Tuesday and we went straight to my place and unpacked, and talked for a bit before we decided to go to the beach. It is pretty cold in Europe at the moment, thus they enjoyed ‘beaching’ in the sun and swimming. After a few hours of chilling and some cold welcoming beers, we went to the Hot Springs. I wasn’t there before myself and quite liked the area. There are various hot pools to chose from.

At the Hot Springs.

The Jet-lag hit my friends on the way back from the Hot Springs and we ended the day with an ‘Iranian’-BBQ at my place. On the next day, we hooked up with Gary, my mate who was here for a couple of weeks working and sailing his yacht, and went for a rock fish in Schooner Bay. Conditions weren’t ideal, it was raining and bite time was long gone, but we managed to all catch some fish and just when we were packing up, the sun came out and we enjoyed a beautiful sunset. We caught snapper, trevally and kahawai, which we had for dinner. I’m very pleased that my mates realized that fishing is hard work. We left my place around 1500, started fishing an hour later, and by the time we were eating fish, it was already past 2200. 

Although I was getting very excited to go hiking with them, I decided that I had to get back to work and dropped them off on the third day in Windy Canyon, where they hiked Palmers Track up to Mount Hobson. The highest point of the Barrier. Palmers Track connects to Kaiaraara Track and they completed both in about 5 hours and spent a night camping in Port FitzRoy Department of Conservation (DOC) camp grounds. On Friday, the fourth day, Sebi and Jani hitchhiked from Port FitzRoy via Okiwi to the beginning of the Harataonga Coastal Walkway. It took them around 5 hours to complete this track and they spent the night at the DOC campground in Harataonga. The plan was that I meet up with them on Saturday in Harataonga, which worked out well. After a walk at the beach we packed up, had lunch and I dropped them off at Claris Airport. 

Unfortunately, I can’t provide pictures from our adventures at the moment, as they took most of the pictures on their cameras and we didn’t find time for me to copy them over. However, once they send me pictures, I’ll post them here. I’m excited to see them myself, as they hiked through some popular and picturesque tracks.

Harataonga Beach.
Rani and Ben.
We got a bit wet on the way back to the campsite...
Harataonga campsite.

Click on the markers on the Google Map at the beginning of the post for information about the locations. Well, I was really glad to see Sebi and Jani again, we fished 5 years ago in Takatu Point and yeah, I am also happy that they could see how I live over here. Their attitude is great, they came to New Zealand for an active holiday, hiking, doing other adventurous things, backpacking and camping. They were laid back and kept telling me not to stress or anything and everything went so smoothly. Thanks guys for the stuff you brought over, thanks for the visit and thanks for sharing my life for a couple of days and enjoying it.

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