The Ultimate Kiwi Summer Guide Part Two – Nature
The sun beating down on the back of your neck, sand between your toes, an ice-cold beer in one hand and the other left free for the staring one-handed-catch in backyard cricket. All year we count down the days until the Kiwi summer, until we can retire our shirt and tie and bring back the jandals every day. Unfortunately, we all know that it’s easy to blink and find yourself back at your desk staring at your summer-themed screensaver wondering where the time went. To ensure this doesn’t happen and to help you dominate your summer, we have gone out in search of the greatest summer activities, antics and adventures. By the end of your break you will feel as though you have made the most of your summer holiday and, hopefully, you will have created a fair few memories and tales to share as you huddle around the coffee machine on your return to work.
As Kiwi’s we are pretty lucky to live in a country that is dense with breathtaking native bush. From the tip of the North Island to the bottom of the South Island, New Zealand has a lot to boast about when it comes to our natural greenery. From epic overnight hikes, to waterfalls, natural pools and short family walking tracks, this summer is the perfect opportunity to explore our stunning bush backyard.
Pure New Zealand
When a spring supplies about 70 percent of New Zealand’s bottled water, and is so pure it is internationally renowned, you expect clean water, but you can’t fully prepare for the beauty of Blue Spring, Te Waihou Walkway. A beautiful clear blue, the spring is fed through the Mamaku Plateau, where it takes up to 100 years to filter through. You can see this sight, which is reminiscent of a blue and green oil painting, from a track that follows the Waihou River through wetlands and native bush passing small waterfalls. The spot used to be a popular swimming hole, despite the fact it was constantly 11 degrees. However officials have put an end to swimming as it was damaging the picturesque spring – so keep your feet firmly on the track.
A Workout With a View
Summer holidays often involve a lot of lazing around, with a beer in hand and a Christmas treat-yourself belly growing by the day. Sometimes it is worth slipping on your sneakers and getting a bit of a workout… but with a view. Bridal Veil Falls is located in the Raglan area, so it is a great stop off on your way to the beach. Trekking through native forest doesn’t get much better than this as you follow the Pakoka River to the top of the Waireinga/Bridal Veil Falls. The first section of the walk is designed for pushchairs, but to get to the bottom of the falls you need to travel down stairs, where you get a magnificent view across the pool and up the falls – totally worth it, especially if you pack a picnic for the bottom.
The Ultimate Dip
Imagine taking a dip in a sparkling blue natural pool, so clear that you can see your toes at the bottom and a beautiful brown trout darting by in the distance. Situated on the southern gateway to the West Coast of the South Island, Haast Pass is one of the most breathtaking areas in New Zealand and the jewel of the pass has to be the Blue Pools. A short walk across well-maintained gravel paths and boardwalks, the pools are set against a background of stunning native bush. Carved out of the cliffs by centuries of erosion, the pools are isolated enough that they are a whole lot less busy than neighbouring tourist hot spots like Wanaka and Queenstown. Featured in the AA’s list of 101 Must Do’s For Kiwis, the Blue Pools are perfect for anybody keen to have some off-the-beaten-track adventures this Kiwi summer.