Archive for June, 2016

June 27th, 2016

Tasman Village near Mapua

If you walk through the Tasman Village near Mapua, you can’t help but notice the friendliness of the kids. They smile and say “hello”. Here’s a photo of a really big friendly kid.

Tasman Village Bike Trail

The Tasman Village is a small part of the large area at the top of the South Island that makes up the Tasman Region. It’s semi-rural location with apple orchards, boutique wineries, art studios, bike trails and curious sheep.

Tasman Village sheep2

This gorgeous pastoral scene is within walking distance from where I stayed recently. The refurbished and very cute Tasman Village Cottage is a true couples retreat. The window seat was my favourite place for a book-read.

Tasman Cottage window seat

Come Springtime, when the wisteria appears, it’s pure enchantment.

Tasman Village Cottage pam and wine

There’s a gentle hum about the Tasman Village that lasts all year round. Nearby, is the Mapua wharf, where the shops and cafes add a great vibe.

Mapua wharf small

Recent refurbishment of the wharf area has given a greater choice of cafes, and specialty shops. When evening comes, visitors can pop down for a wine and pizza at the Rimu Wine Bar and listen to the ‘blues’.

Mapua wharf refurb2

The Tasman Village and Mapua is a mere 45 mins from the Abel Tasman National Park. And its been fabulous having a lovely cottage to back to after a day’s explore. Saying goodbye to this special place is always hard for me – bring on summer!

Tasman Village cottage front


View other travel blogs on the Abel Tasman region:


Happy travelling!


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June 15th, 2016

Milford Track Day Walk from Te Anau

New Zealand’s Milford Track is one of the most famous walks on the planet! This Fiordland National Park walk can be done as a 3-4 night guided walk or self-guided option. You can also do a Milford Track day walk from Lake Te Anau or directly from Milford Sound.

Milford Track Michael

Travellers are often time-short. If you choose to spend only two nights in the Fiordland region, you’ll miss out on some beautiful sites.

Milford Track Michael2

Milford Track Walk and Nature Cruise combo

Thankfully, guiding operator, Trips and Tramps, now offer a combo – 4 hour guided day walk. The tour departs from Milford Sound in the morning and includes a Milford Sound Nature Cruise in the afternoon.

Trips & Tramps small

Trips and Tramps Milford Guided Day Walk

For day tours, most travellers stay in Te Anau and head to Milford Sound. You can either be collected from Te Anau or self-drive to Milford Sound and join the tour from there. The 2-hour drive one-way is incredibly scenic with walks, waterfalls and lookouts along the way.

Milford Track waterfall

At 8.45 am a water taxi drops off walkers from Milford Sound harbour to Sandfly Point, the usual end point for those doing the entire 4 days hike. So between 9am – 12noon there will be no other walkers on that stretch of the walk and you can enjoy your guided tour in blissful peace!

Nature Cruise with Real Journeys in Milford Sound

The water taxi returns the walkers back to the Milford Sound Wharf  at 1.15pm. This is perfect timing to connect with the Real Journeys Nature Cruise at The 2.5 hour Milford Sound cruise goes right into the fjord and to the Tasman Sea (subject to weather and sea conditions). It’s a major highlight in any New Zealand itinerary.

Milford Track Blog2

If you’re really time-short, consider a scenic flight from Queenstown with either Air Milford or one of the local helicopter companies. Note: all flights are subject to weather conditions on the day of travel. If the weather prevents the flight, full refunds are generally provided.

Photo by Air Milford

Photo by Air Milford

Summary of Milford Sound options:

  1. Te Anau – self-drive or coach + Milford Guided Walk + Milford Sound Nature Cruise + self-drive or coach
  2. Te Anau – fly with Water Wings + Milford Guided Walk + Milford Sound Nature Cruise + coach
  3. Queenstown – flight with plane or heli (return) + Milford Guided Walk + Milford Sound Nature Cruise + flight back

Travel tip: when travelling during the peak summer months between November and March, it is essential to pre-book all accommodation and tours in the Fiordland region as options are limited.

Happy travelling!

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