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FC: New Zealand Alex Beyer Summer 2011

1: Auckland The Sky Tower is the center of the city. I worked at Starship Hopital, about a 25 minute walk from the tower. | A picture of a racing boat. On Fridays I got the chance to race in the Rum Cup under Captain John.

2: Tutukaka Coast

3: I started driving North from Auckland up the East Coast. I drove past each wind swept whitewashed beach, devoid of any surfers, and decided to visit Waipu Caves.

4: The initial cavern was fairly big, but the rest of the cave was blocked by water. I took off my shoes with the intent of pushing the cave as far as I could go. I know, doing this alone is dumb, but I never said I was a smart guy. | I waded through two chambers until you could no longer see the glow of the entrance. While I had the headlamp off viewing the glow worms I took a step into a slimy mass that began wriggling. Eels!!!

5: The trek, Tutukaka Headlands, took you out to a spit that at low tide connected to an island with a lighthouse.

6: Poor Knights Island The islands have been named one of the top ten diving locations in the world by the late and the great Jacques Costeau. It is home to a large kelp forest seen in colder water, but due to the temperate temperature, it is also home to a number of tropical species. Because there are numerous archways, marine life is concentrated, and creatures normally seen at deeper depths can be found in 20m of water.

7: I did two dives; Middle Arch and Ngoio Reef. Things seen: Stingrays, Moray Eels,, Eagle Rays, Kingfish, Snapper, and even a Flying Fish.

8: Tongariro National Park

9: I met 2 trampers on the busride down: Tyler Loessl and George Booth. I tagged along with them to hike the 4 day Northern Circuit. | The first days trek was about 9 km and went from Whakapapa to Mangatepopo hut. The terrain was wet, flat, marshlands.

10: Day 2: The Tongariro crossing and summiting Mt Doom! As we got to the summit there was enough time to take a few pictures before heavy clouds and strong winds obscured the view.

12: The next section of the trek was walking along a plateau past the Southern Crater, then up a ridge to Red Crater at 1800 m elevation. At this point we descended past the beautiful emerald lakes and down to the valley floor.

13: At this point we hiked through the lava flows from 1995 and earlier, which produced fantastic rock shapes to Oturere Hut.

14: We walked along volcanic sands in between Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Ruapehu for 2 more days before ending up back in Whakapapa.

15: Auckland

16: Canyoning tour in the Waitakere range

18: Raglan

19: Manu bay was rocking. The waves were monstrous. 2.5 meter waves with guts! The waves were a little over my head. (haha!)

20: Rap, Raft n Rock Caving through chokes. When you turn your lights off the glowworms make the ceiling of the cave look like the stars. We then sat in our tubes and rafted downstream.

21: Mt Pirongia The beginning of the track was really nice, with a cool mix of palms and pine trees. At about half way, when I was on the ridge and was making my way across to the summit, the track degenerated into mud and tree roots. I spent the night alone in a hut on the top of the mountain.

22: The sunset over the Raglan Coast

23: Coromandel Penninsula

24: The Pinnacles Tramp

25: Hiking up Billy Goat trail with a detour to explore Billy Goat Falls. I followed a conyoning trail past waterfalls Then up to the Top of the Pinnacles!

26: From the top you could see all the way to the East Coast of the Coromandels, and in the west you could see a number of other peaks.

28: I met a group of trampers from UK and AUS. The next morning: Soaked! could barely see my hands it was so misty.

29: Cathedral Cove I went to the cove, which is beautiful. The cove is the location of the Narnia movies. Even in overcast skies it was well worth the walk. Afterwards I headed over to the geothermal Hot Water Beach.

30: As the tide moved in it slowly overtook our position, so each wave would bring in fresh cold water that would almost immediately get warm.

31: In the morning I went snorkeling. The arch had some rock falls. I had to duck the ropes to get to the cove.

32: Whangamata is another good NZ surf beach. I caught a few waves, made a couple turns and we drove back to Auckland.

33: My final tramp around Rangitoto Island. HIghlights were lava caves. I had to run the final hour to catch the ferry!

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