trip report: Australia & New Zealand final impressions, New Zealand top 5, & budget, January 2020

“Do I go somewhere new or do I go somewhere I love?” is a common question among travellers. I have friends that have hike the same 200 mile trail (the John Muir Trail) more than ten times and I also have friends looking to rack up the country count. I was able to do a little bit of both over the course of 3 weeks. Explore down under, down under and return to the mountains of New Zealand. 

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This is the final entry of our Australia and New Zealand trip series. You can navigate to the other parts in the index below.

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trip report: New Zealand – Mueller Hut Route, January 2020

The steep but short hike up to Mueller Hut in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park is typically hiked as an in & out day hike with plenty of time to make the long drive back to town for a good meal. Being someone that is more about the views than just camping, I usually prefer just a day hike. However, it pays to take it easy and smell the roses sometimes. Rather breaking the hike up, camping on the top of the world, and under the stars was a worthy experience. From our tent, we could hear the surrounding glaciers crack and had a perfect view of the tallest mountain in New Zealand, Aoraki/Mount Cook. 

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This is the seventh entry of our Australia and New Zealand trip series covering our tramp of to Mueller Hut in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park. You can navigate to the other parts in the index below as they are posted.

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trip report: New Zealand – Rees-Dart Track, January 2020

Tramping (aka hiking) and New Zealand are synonymous when we think of traveling to the small island nation. However, there is much more to the hiking scene there than just the Great Walks (DOC). I have met locals that have exclaimed that the Great Walks, while very worth it, aren’t the best scenery that New Zealand has to offer. With our hike of the Rees-Dart track, I completely understand that sentiment. 

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This is the six entry of our Australia and New Zealand trip series covering our tramp of the Rees-Dart Track in Mt. Aspiring National Park. You can navigate to the other parts in the index below as they are posted.

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trip report: Australia – getting in to Cairns, December 2019

Flying to the other side of the world always take a few days especially since I was losing a day to the time zone change. At least I was able to do it in style this time around.

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While the topic of documenting our experienced getting somewhere was something I’ve always included in my past reports, I’m always hesitant to make this an entry for by itself or get too in depth. Unlike many travel websites out there, I am not an AvGeek. Personally, I see getting places as a means for us to see amazing things and not the point of travel. However, we travel a fair amount, and the lack of doing so during COVID shutdown, really made me appreciate the experience and the feeling that comes with the act of traveling somewhere. Whether that is the excitement of boarding a plane, the giddiness being in business class for the first time after we found out we were upgraded, or even the exhaustion of flying halfway around the world with a billion stops because of a cheap airfare. Call me a miles and points arsonist, I am very ready to burn through my points after this pandemic. Anyways, let me know if these posts are something you’d enjoy to read about. Also if there are anything regarding the actual process of travel you’d like to see in the future, I can put more effort in capturing those aspects of our trips.

This is the second entry of our Australia and New Zealand trip series covering my travels into Cairns, Australia from Washington D.C. (2). You can navigate to the other parts in the index below as they are posted.

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trip report: Australia & New Zealand – decisions & planning, December 2019

In the travel enthusiast game, it is all about jumping on opportunities. This specific opportunity we took advantage of were a couple of one way flights from Auckland, New Zealand to the U.S. for 6000 American Airline Miles each, which is as close to free as you can get. The final result was my first visit to Australia to dive the Great Barrier Reefs and a return to the south island of New Zealand over the winter holidays. Reflecting now on that trip, which took place just before the 2020 pandemic and the travel restrictions, the notion of jumping on opportunities to travel when we can do so safely again in the future seems all the more important. For now, all I can do is to reflect on our adventures down under.

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This is the first entry of our Australia and New Zealand trip series covering our pre-trip planning (1). You can navigate to the other parts in the index below as they are posted.

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trip video: Jasper National Park – Skyline, August 2019

This is the companion videos to our trip report detailing 2 day and 1 nights hike on the Skyline Trail in Jasper National Park. The highlight of the hike were the high alpine meadows and vistas of the Athabasca River drainage and Maligne River drainage.

You can find the detailed report of our hike linked in the index below.

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trip report: Jasper National Park – Skyline, August 2019

As foreshadowed by our hike the previous day up Bald Hill, we were in for more weather. Sometimes we get nice bluebird days, sometimes we get low clouds and gusting winds over the alpine ridge. It’s all part of the adventure on the Skyline trail.

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This is the eight entry of our Canadian Rockies trip series covering our eighth hike. You can navigate to the other parts in the index below as they are posted.

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trip video: Mount Robson Provincial Park – Berg Lake & Snowbird Pass, August 2019

This is the companion videos to our trip report detailing a 3 day and 2 night backpacking trip in Mount Robson Provincial Park. This was an in and out hike with a basecamp at Berg Lake Campgrounds. Weather ended up shortening our hike by a day, but we saw powerful waterfalls, teal lake, rushing rivers, and gigantic glaciers that took up our entire field of view.

You can find the detailed report of our hike linked in the index below.

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trip report: Mount Robson Provincial Park – Berg Lake & Snowbird Pass, August 2019

From an aesthetic standpoint, what makes a mountain spectacular? What makes it impressive? This is one of those questions that provides for some interesting discussion around the campfire and of course is subjective based on who you ask. For me, it’s typically not the mountain itself that makes it memorable, but the context you find them. Snow dusting, glaciers, expansive forests, teal lakes, turquoise rivers, thundering waterfalls, and big ice that contrasts the mountains providing for the perfect scenery. These features were everywhere we looked on our walk through the trails under Mount Robson (Texqakallt name: Yexyexéscen or striped rock), the highest point in the Canadian Rockies sitting at 12972 ft or 3954 m (wikipedia).

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This is the fifth entry and fourth hike of our Canadian Rockies trip series. You can navigate to the other parts in the index below as they are posted.

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trip video: Mount Assiniboine, August 2019

This is the companion videos to our trip report detailing our 3 day and 2 night backpacking hike to Mt. Assiniboine Provincial Park. The highlights of the hike were hanging out along Lake Magog underneath Mt. Assiniboine and a perfect morning hike down from Wonder Pass to perfectly still Marvel Lake.

You can find the detailed report of our hike linked in the index below.

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