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I climbed Mount Taranaki in New Zealand

“All I can say is that I’m now yet another singer in the choir of people that praise New Zealand to high heavens.”

After a few months in Australia of mostly working I figured it was time to go out and explore a bit again. I always wanted to see New Zealand and since my good buddy JJ (whom I met in Vietnam on my motorcycle trip) was a kiwi I figured now was a good time as any to go and visit him. He lived near the beach in Ohope and even had a spare bedroom! I booked the plane tickets with a return 3 weeks later and off I went.

After an extremely pleasant trip hitching from Auckland to Ohope with beautiful roads all the way and locals going out of their way to help me, I arrived. The last ride I got, which took me directly to my final destination, was a couple named Jono and Kelly from #rallylife and they even offered me to stay in their house while I was in town! If you read this Jono and Kelly – thank you – you have no idea how much I appreciated it.

thank you jono and kelly
Thank you Jono and Kelly!

As JJ was working I spent most of my time hiking, working from my computer or going to the beach. That itself doesn’t sound too bad but JJ pushed me to go a bit out of my way and explore some more. On the last day, this took me to the Agrodome where I witnessed a sheep getting sheared live in front of us at a farming show.

agrodome farming show in new zealand
A one hour show at the Agrodome, presenting a selection of 19 types of sheep being farmed in New Zealand. The Merino sheep in the top middle is my favourite

It also took me to Hobbiton (the Lord Of The Rings movie set). I’m glad I did both of those things!

hobbiton movie set new zealand
A rabbit hole, I mean Hobbit hole in Hobbiton. The amazing movie set used to film the Lord of the Rings series

However, the highlight of the trip was a 3 day camping trip (+ roadtrip) across the north island to New Plymouth with JJ and his dad. We did a ton of hiking (or tramping or mountaineering) as well as climbing Mount Taranaki. It is the biggest volcano on the North Island and even has snow on the top! It is also looks a lot like the more famous Mount Fuji in Japan.

climbing mount taranaki new zealand at 45 degrees angle
This mountain was no walk-over. It was very steep . I don’t know the actual angle but from this picture it looks like 45 degrees

It took about 4 hours to make it to the top. We spent an hour up there enjoying it. And it took 3 hours to get down so it was a full day experience. JJ’s dad swore that it was the last time he would climb this mountain but that’s also what he said last time, so who knows.

climbing mount taranaki in new zealand
The top of Mount Taranaki near New Plymouth, New Zealand. It was a rough climb but as always – worth it in the end!

This is a short summary of my time in New Zealand but so much happened and I had such a good time that it would be pointless to write it all down anyway. All I can say is that I’m now yet another singer in the choir of people that praise New Zealand to high heavens.

showcasing new zealand scenery new plymouth
New Zealand is beautiful!

12m cliffjump in Phi Phi Laguna, Thailand

During my last visit to Thailand  I only wrote very few words as I was having food poisoning. Before that happened though, I had an amazing guided trip which included a cliffjump from a 12m cliff. When I signed up to the jump we figured it would be some well tested place with lots of space and an easy path to the top so that any fat white tourist could do it. I was wrong. It was not until we got there we realized we had to free climb a pretty vertical cliff. And on top of that they didn’t even move the boat underneath until we asked so that at least when we fell down we wouldn’t have to deal with the boat’s rather hard exterior as well. Happy to say, I made it to the top and with GoPro in hand – I jumped.

Below is the cliff that we climbed and jumped from as seen from the boat.

cliffjump from boat
The cliff as seen from the boat