Camping at Mavora Lakes

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Who wouldn’t like to see this scenery first thing in the morning?

I enjoy camping so much! Spending time in nature is what makes me a happy traveler! That’s one more reason why New Zealand is a perfect country for me. Here everything is about spending time outdoors.

Department of Conservation has campsites all over the country with a cost of only $8 per person/night. Usually these sites are in the middle of nowhere, far away from everything and that’s the best thing about them. These campsites have major facilities you may need – toilet, sometimes tap water, picnic tables, BBQs and most of the time there’s no mobile network coverage (how great is that!).

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The camp we went to last weekend is called Mavora Lakes. This area was used as a film set in some of the Lord of the Rings movies. It is located two hours from Invercargill and in the end about 40km of gravel road lead you there. The scenery along the way is wooow!

There is only one thing with this campsite you might not be happy about: there are sand flies everywhere. Just don’t forget insect repellent and everything will be OK.

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Pristine nature, sheep, lambs, cows and calves running over green meadows, mountains in the background and fresh air complete the picture.

Some of the activities people can do here are fishing, walking, tramping, mountain biking and horse riding.

I can’t wait to go back again to enjoy peace and quiet disturbed only with different melodies coming from the birds singing on the trees above my tent.

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Before sunset…

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How beautiful is this scenery? I’m amazed!!! We couldn’t find better place to finally open this year’s camping season.

I captured this photo yesterday, just a few minutes before sunset. Look at this golden grass, looks like it glows.

I’m so happy we found another perfect destination close to Invercargill for relaxed, peaceful getaway… Mavora Lakes is definitely the place to go back to.

Weekend getaway: Lake Te Anau

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Situated on the west coast, within Fiordland National Park, Lake Te Anau is a part of the travel itinerary of every wanderer here in New Zealand. This small town, with a population of only 2000, is a starting point for three New Zealand Great Walks (Milford Track, Kepler Track and Routeburn Track) and it is the last town on the route to one of the most famous sights – Milford Sound.

Town centre is nice but there’s nothing much to do and that’s why this is the place where travellers come to spend more time in nature, walking and exploring. For us, perfect weekend getaway.

As I already told you, weather conditions on the South Island this summer weren’t great for camping but we decided to give it a go and it was awesome! Finally we had the chance to sleep under the stars…

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Lake Te Anau is the largest lake on the South Island and second largest by surface area in New Zealand (Lake Taupo is the largest).

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One more place to check out while you are in town is Ivon Wilson Park, land planted with native trees with a beautiful small lake in the centre. Perfect picnic spot!

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Lake Henry in Ivon Wilson Park

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Quick stop at the Lake Mistletoe

This is one of the reasons why I love to live in New Zealand. You don’t have to go far away to find gorgeous spots. They are always just around the corner…

 

Little heaven called Ambury Park

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Spring is finally here! Days are longer, temperatures are higher, grass is greener and people are somehow happier. I really love this time of the year here in New Zealand especially because the camping season is just around the corner and I can’t wait to find another perfect spot for my tent.

While we are waiting for those long weekends we decided to spend Sunday in one of the Aucklands regional parks. Ambury Park is just half hour drive from our house and I don’t know how I didn’t discover it sooner! Part of this park is a working farm where everyone is welcome and everyone can wander around and mingle with the animals, part is a heaven for the birdwatchers because here is identified more than 86 species of birds, part is a huge picnic area where we enjoyed our first days of spring and part is the camping area where my tent will also find its place, just down there near the sea.

This day made me so happy. And who wouldn’t be happy here, in this little heaven called Ambury…

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This was just the beginning!

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It’s been more than a year since we arrived on the other side of the magnificent globe! Now I can say that working holiday in New Zealand was the dream that came true. Even though we came to this island without any strict plans somehow I knew that we will love it here. A bit more than a year after we landed, on the land of the long white cloud, we manage to extend our stay for three more years. Can you believe that!? There’s so much more to do and now with no rush I can plan our next travel steps…

Really good first year is behind us and no one knows what will be in the near future. But, that’s what makes life even more exciting, isn’t it? Seems that decision to quit the job back home, to pack the bags and to come here was just the beginning of the one in a life time adventure that will last hmmm….who knows for how long! If someone told me two years ago that I will live in New Zealand I would probably say “yeah right”. But here I’m, enjoying every second with the great people in this beautiful country.

Here are the travel highlights from the first 365 days. Time is flying so fast, feels like we arrived a few days ago…

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First morning looked like this….

In New Zealand we dicovered house sitting and our first few months here definitely belong to the best furry friends ever that we took care of!

There’s no place in the Auckland City that we didn’t explore…

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Our steps now can be found on the beaches all around North Island.

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Sun woke us up so many times in the past year…

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Enjoying summer in December is really wierd but it is also very easy to get used to it!

 

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Wandering through the bush….

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…around the islands….

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…and across so many bridges…

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…with the great people by our side…

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…made our first year in New Zealand unforgettable!!

I can’t even describe you how excited I’m about what is yet to come….

Stay tuned!!

Just got back from Tauranga!

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Not so long ago our friends from Croatia also arrived on the Working Holiday in New Zealand. If someone told us a year ago that we will spend the summer on the other side of the globe together we wouldn’t believe it. But here we are and it’s good to have someone from back home around here!

As we already opened our camping season now we are trying to be in the nature as much as we can. This time as a destination for sleeping under the stars we chose Tauranga, town on the east coast in the region called Bay of Plenty. It is unbelievable how beautiful this country is. I’m still not used to that on every corner you can stop to check out some great spots. First stop on our way to the southeast were Hanua Falls.

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It is very easy to find the falls in New Zealand, they are all over the place! And I was just thinking, is there a better place to relax, make some coffee and just enjoy in the sound of the water? That is what I like the most about camping – you can stop wherever you want whenever you want, choose the small piece of the meadow and make it yours for a while. That was our next step, Owharoa Falls.

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If you are going to travel around this part of New Zealand a great place to spend the night is Mclaren Falls Park. Camping area is huge so you can come here with a tent or camper. Very nice thing about this park is that here you can find a few walking trails. If you will wander during the night around the Waterfall Track you can even spot the glow worms. Beautiful nature, all facilities that you might need for 10$ pp make this camp a perfect place to stay.

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You can never tell what will be the weather around here so it can be hard to plan outdoors activities if you are going to rely on the weather forecast. We had a bit of everything. Rainy morning, hot sunny day, chilly windy evening, and you know what? It was perfect!