Dear diary week 24…



Since we’re almost going home, we had to start acting Dutch again. So we took our hostels crappy bikes and headed to Pohara Beach. The sun was burning and the bikes hurt, but we made it. We even crossed a Dutch scenery (read cows in meadows) and it almost started to feel like we were in Friesland already. Once we arrived at the beach we threw down our bikes and ran to the sea. A quick dive made sure we cooled down and we spend the rest of the afternoon warming up again in the sun. The contrast of yesterday, waking up while it’s freezing, and today, lying in our swimsuits on our private beach in the Golden Bay, made us appreciate the warm north even more! For dinner we treated ourselves with Miriam’s favourite dish: chicken out of the oven with special sauce and veggies.



We woke up, only to find out that some people stole our food. Despite the negative surprise this morning, we had a really fun day with beautiful weather once again. On recommendation of Allen, the hyper active hostel owner, we visited the Wanui Falls. After a brief refreshing look (it was a powerful waterfall, which caused everybody who stood too close to get wet) we went on to the end/start of the Abel Tasman Track. A quick lunch in the car made sure we were fueled up for another part of this Great Walk. The walk was beautiful, big green palm trees on the one side and golden beaches with azure blue water on the other. However, the moment we reached the hut it looked like it would start to rain so we picked up the pace and were back in no time. Back at the hostel we met Silvana and while eating our amazing self-made wraps dish, we had a fun evening talking with her.




A beautiful and warm day made us chill out in the amazing backyard with hammocks most of the day. However, we did explore the hippie town by visiting every cute, weird shop and multiple interesting art galleries. While eating our self-made pizza for dinner, we watched some episodes from our new guilty pleasure: The Tomorrow People (since there are no more episodes of ‘The 100’ yet).

Canaan Downs


Before our journey continued to Motueka, we revisited the Hippie Market with Silvana. It was even smaller than last time, but still a really great atmosphere. Once arrived at the airport in Motueka for Miriam’s skydive, the excitement rose. Miriam suited up, stepped in the airplane and went up up up, till 13,000 ft (4km)! Then the doors opened and it was time to back flip out of the plane. It was a surreal experience and Mirte got it on camera. Next stop was back to Canaan Downs, where we wanted to gaze at the most amazing starry night we have ever seen (see week 11&12). But before we could admire this, we went to Harwood Hole, a place where Mirte had an obsession with for 2,5 months now. Since you have to abseil for 30 meters first, the place is just meant for cavers and we couldn’t look directly into the hole without risking our lives. Mirte did however risk her life to get Miriam’s bottle, she’s been carrying it around from day one, from in between the rocks. It took some acrobatic maneuvers but victory was ours! We also took a spontaneous side road, which took us to a wonderful and dangerous view over the valley. Back at the campsite we already saw a beautiful night sky at dusk. Maybe you can imagine how it would have been for us when it was pitch black. We could see the most intimidating starry night with the enormous milky way. Stars were falling and we got dizzy looking up to this miracle of nature.




Great things come at a cost. To be able to see this wonder, we knew we had to endure a freezing night on our front seats in the car. Clearly this wasn’t our best sleep. The moment we woke up, we fled the freezing temperature to a lower altitude to have breakfast. To completely warm up, we went to the 21 °C Pelorus Bridge. We could bear the sandflies a couple of hours, but at a certain moment we decided to drive on to Blenheim. Over there we wrote this blogpost in a big hamster wheel and we could finally tick off our Mc Drive experience. It is sort of a tradition for Mirte’s family to go through the Mc Drive on the way back from holidays, indicating the end of the vacation. We have been planning to do this from the beginning!


The main reason we went to Blenheim, was to visit Hunter’s and be at the place we called our home for 2 months. Being in Blenheim and seeing all the places where we had our adventures was already weird. However, the moment we were driving our old route to work, we got butterflies and not just because of the rollercoaster bumps in the road. When we walked in, we saw the happy and surprised faces of Julie and Amber. Also Peter MacDonald, Nicky and Wayne came by. After we caught up, we said goodbye forever. This felt really weird. However, we had planned another fun thing for today: winery tour on a tandem! We got our recommendations from Amber and took off at 1 o’clock. We tasted some familiar wines, but also some new wines and we had a lot of fun doing so. However, there was an extra thrill to the tour. Because New Zealand barely has bike lanes, you are forced to cycle on the side of a 100 km/h road. But of course we nailed it.



Anzac Day is a very important day in New Zealand. It’s the day of remembrance, commemorating all the Australian and New Zealand soldiers who served and died in all wars. Originated from the ANZAC fighting in Gallipoli. We heard there was a commemoration at 11 o’clock in Blenheim. Because we already knew quite a lot about Gallipoli, thanks to our visit to the Te Papa museum, we wanted to be there. It was way bigger than we expected it to be. It was very impressive to see all the parades and soldiers, hear the speeches and the three salvo’s. All of this had a big impact on us and we were really happy to be a part of this.


Love Miriam & Mirte


Dear diary week 17…



Time for travelling again! We said our goodbyes to Anton, Erik and Jakob and hit the road. After a few seconds we saw two girls at the side of the road and they joined us for the trip to Nelson. Once we arrived in Nelson we met up with Mario after 4 months. We hiked to ‘the centre’ of New Zealand and the Japanese gardens, talking like we’d known each other for years. All this walking worked up an appetite, so we went to the Noodle Canteen for our beloved nr. 32. At the free campsite we enjoyed our evening with Mario and Jannick while enjoying Mirte’s birthday present.


After sleeping in till 10.00 we went on a shopping trip to Richmond Mall. Mirte found a fitting pair of jeans after ripping out of the last two. Then we went to Tahunanui Beach for lunch and continued our trip in Nelson. We wrote our blogpost in the library and saw Pluk van de Petteflat. No time for reading though, since we had a dinner date at Aad and Hilde. We caught up with them and watched the beautiful sunset while eating a delicious dinner. Afterwards we went back to the free campsite for one last evening with Mario and Jannick. 

Farewell Spit


Finally we went to undiscovered ground; Farewell Spit. We had lunch looking at the beak of the kiwi and went to Whararaki beach in the afternoon. Although it was stunning, it was immensely windy as well. With tulbands made of hammamtowels we defied the sand and wind of the desertlike beach. At the campsite we met Raoul with whom we ate and then Steffen joined us for a game of ‘Fuck the Queen’. 



The challenge we gave ourselves was visiting the most northern/southern part of both islands. So naturally we had to go to Cape Farewell. We did a 1,5 hour hike over hobbit like hills and had to go over some scary rims with windghusts pushing us back. It was only at the top that we could feel the actual force of the wind and we were both amazed by the power of nature. At 11 the four of us were ready to have a look at the hippie market in Takaka (hippie paradise). It was not as big as we expected it to be, but nevertheless it was interesting to experience a bit of their lifestyle. Then we went on a hunt for the location of the mere hearsay swingropes. We eventually found them by the tips of some locals and spent the afternoon sunbathing, swimming and swinging. We wanted some action afterwards, so after dropping Raoul and Steffen off we took a look at Pupu springs, said to be one of the clearest springs in New Zealand. We dove into the hippie lifestyle even further by spending the evening around the bonfire. 



Because Miriam observently noticed something hanging loose at the bottom of the car we DIY for the first time on our car with some cable ties. With some help of Raoul and Miriam’s uncle we fixed it within seconds. Before saying goodbye to Steffen we first did a freaking hot hike all together to the Rawhiti Caves. We saw some deadly stakes hanging from the roof and it was bizarre to see some of those growing horizontally (due to the plants in the stones, growing towards light). We carried on with our journey including Raoul for the first kilometres. Together we tried to eat our lunch, the sandflies causing us to run half a marathon, at the place we dropped him off. When we finally arrived at Gentle Annie and got our Campermate cookie, we were ended our afternoon with a card game with some guys.


Although we had planned something else, our morning consisted of sleeping in and slowly getting ready for the day. However, we weren’t going to let a good day like this go to waste. So we packed up our stuff and drove (very stressfully because of a lack of fuel…) to the Oparara Arches. We saw some beautiful limestone caves and did a nice short hike to lake Hanlo with a Czech girl we picked up on the way back.


Nothing! Spending our day reading, watching Sherlock and writing was exactly what we needed today. However we did have a pathetic attempt to go to the glowworms. We drove all the way to the spot where the hike to the caves started in the dark, already having the worst horror thoughts. Boldly we started our hike, mobiles functioning as torch, turning around the moment we saw a sign saying “due to safety regulations closed”. Ooh too bad….We were really bummed out ;).

Love Miriam & Mirte