Today was without doubt the best day so far. It was also the toughest physically. I really learned how to have an adventure in New Zealand today!

Check out Day 1

Check out Day 2

Check out Day 3

Quick recap. We stayed in Cromwell last night and this morning we are going for a run and then later today a hike up the Arrowtown hills.

Best Day So Far? Absolutely!

The beautiful Lake Dunstan in Cromwell, New Zealand

Day 4 – Rise and shine. Had a great nights sleep, the sun is shining and me and Ally are heading out for a run. Cromwell is on the shores of Lake Dunstan. Beautiful lake and mountains. It is the place that reminds me of England the most so far on this trip. Very green and undulating. You really don’t need to be motivated to go running around a lake or scenery like this.

Ally was up nice and early and we headed straight out. My back was a bit sore today but I had to keep up and not use that as an excuse. I have lost track of the amount of times Ally would fake an ankle injury or feel sick when we were out running. Now she was a fit running ‘beast’ there was no way I was taking the easy way out, as much as I wanted to. So proud of this young lady and her dedication to fitness and health. A chip off the old block.

Our Early Morning Run

Running alongside Lake Dunstan was amazing. The beautiful blue water in the early morning made any pain from my back disappear. We did 5 k’s all up and it was then time for breakfast. Our host’s in our Airbnb were lovely. Elaine had to go and play tennis so we missed her in the morning. Richard made us a lovely breakfast of porridge, tea and toast. It really was like being in England! He also entertained me with his stock market conversation. He is very passionate about the market and it made for good banter before we left.

Our plan today was to head over to Arrowtown which is kind of halfway between Lake Wanaka and Queenstown. I had heard good reports about Arrowtown and looked forward to getting there and doing some hiking.

Cromwell is very much a fruit town. Lots of cherries and the cherries had just come into season. We stopped at a roadside stall and I purchased some cherries for me and some blackberries for Ally. Ally told me she wasn’t a huge fan of cherries. Bonus! More cherries for me haha! And they were delicious as were the blackberries.

Arrowtown

Arrowtown Market Day

Driving into Arrowtown was one of those experiences where you just know once you get there you are going to love the place. We were driving through these beautiful green valleys with lovely old homes and farms dotted throughout the land.

We arrived in Arrowtown and it had that real feel of a quaint old English village. Beautiful old timber homes and shops. Tall green trees and,  a beautiful old pub and, after following my nose, a fruit, vegetable and food market at the local school. I loved this place!

We wandered around the market and tried some of the food and fruit. New Zealand has amazing fruit! Ally of course was still hungry so we grabbed a couple of snacks and some bananas for our hike.

Hiking Arrowtown

The view we were chasing at the top of Arrowtown

I fell in love with Arrowtown. It was nestled in a little valley with mountains behind and surrounded by beautiful green foliage and the Arrow River. Just a small river but it just set the town off nicely. We got my back pack nicely set up with food and water. It was actually quite heavy. But I figured a nice 3 or 4 k hike will be fine. Boy was I wrong! More on that later.

We took off along the river until we came to a kind of 3 pronged fork in the road. One path went around the mountain and was the easiest of the hikes. The second was more for mountain bikes and was very up and down. The 3rd was for experienced hikers. Basically straight up and rugged. “let’s take this low hiking path Al. Not too strenuous but still a good hike.” “No way dad!” Yelled Ally. “We are doing a proper hike. Up the steep hill.” Oh ok I said. Remebering we had run 5 k earlier that morning and that I was carrying a quit heavy backpack. “As long as you can carry the backpack a bit later.” I said. “Of course dad” Ally said. I knew full well that would never eventuate.

So we started the hike. Did I say it was steep? My partner Joy and I used to do a hike in Cairns, in Far North Queensland where we used to live. It’s called Earl Hill. One kilometere straight up and one kilometer straight down. It’s steep and really tough to do. Well. This was worse! It kept going straight up, and up and up and up! Ally was a good way ahead of me and she had no intention of relieving me of the backpack, even though it had our food drink and her clothes in it!.

how to have an adventure in New Zealand
What a view. Ally is very happy!

This was a tough climb. Fortunately the beauty that lay all around us eased the pain a little. My back was really sore but in moments like these you get inspired and forget about that. The higher I climed the better the view. Beautiful and inspiring.

Eventually we made it to a plateau on the climb. The mountain kind of opened up and we had a 360 degree view. Ally was hardly puffing and looked like she could run a marathon. But she was faking being tired so as not to have to carry the backpack. Yes. I know her tricks. She haslearnedt from the best, after all!

At the plateau there was a sign pointing us up another hill. It said one hour.  That sounded okay as it headed up another couple of mountains but they were open and green and you could see all around you. And I thought, yes, an hour is okay. We will be down the mountains and sitting in the pub in no time! Wrong! Read on…

The trek up these mountain sides was again fairly steep but the 360′ degree view made it easy. It was damn hard work but we both felt inspired by what kept laying itself out in front of us. We could now see down to Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu. Stunning!


We had hiked for a good hour but seemed to be just getting higher. Eventually we came to the end of one mountain and assumed there would be a pathway down. Wrong! It went down alright. Straight down! There was no path. We had to turn back. We were both a little frustrated but the scenery kept our spirits up. We had eaten our bananas and water was getting low. And we were both getting tired. Still no offer from Ally to carry the bag. Even though I was now crawling on hands and knees and begging her to take the bag…ok I’m just kidding, I was on such a high with the view the bag was no longer an issue.

Reaching the Peak

We stopped at the highest peak. The wind was howling. Ally was a little scared. I took a video of the beauty all around us – SEE VIDEO BELOW


It really was magical. I had never quite experienced anything like being this free and inspired. We really felt like we were on top of the world.

You hear about how mountain climbers have that special moment of euphoria once they get to the peak. A zen like feeling. This was our zen like feeling.

Eventually we got down to the plateau area and realised we would have to go back down the same way we came up. So a long walk ahead. Neither of us said to much as we descended. Ally avoiding any mention of the backpack. Me just happy to be alive. As we arrived at the bottom Ally checked her running app and declared we had hiked for 10 k’s! Wow. That is a long hike. Especially after running 5 k that same morning!

The Fork and Tap Ale House

The Fork and Tap was lovely

We got to the bottom and it was a relief to see the Fork and Tap Ale House. Food and drink!

It was great fun the hike, even though it was so tough and tiresome. I really felt a greater bond with Ally through it all. We were getting to know each other better and I was learning a lot from her. Like never rely on her to help carry a backpack on a long hike! Haha!

We had a great meal, Al had a ‘superfoods salad’ and I had a vegetarian pizza. Did I tell you we are both very healthy? They were delicious. Of course an hour later Ally was hungry again!

It was a massive day and we both loved every minute of it. Tomorrow we are off to the magical Milford Sound. And I thought today was the best yet! Wait till you see tomorrow!

Check out Day 1 here

Keep an eye out for tomorrows amazing adventure when we take a cruise around Milford Sound. I seriously can’t wait!

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24 Replies to “How to Have an Adventure in New Zealand – Day 4 – Best Day So Far!”

  1. Your article on How to Have an Adventure in New Zealand shows Newzealand to as very beautiful place, Arrowtown looks like great place to go hiking, I would love to know more on the hotels & the prices, I don’t mind bringing my family with me when we plan for our next vacation.Keep doing it Kev!

    1. Hi Mercy,

      Thank you so much. Arrowtown is amazing. So beautiful and quaint. Like it has been stuck in time. Yes its not too bad price wise. Around $100 a night Australian in all the airbnb’s we stayed in and a Lodge was around $120. Definitely take the family. You will love it.

      Kev

  2. Looks like a beautiful country! Looks pretty close to what you may find if you were to travel to Nevada here in the states. I have always wanted to get to that part of the world and hopefully one of these days I can make that a reality. Looks like New Zealand is a must. Really enjoyed reading about your adventures there. Kind of jealous since we are about to be buried in snow here in Ohio this coming week.

    1. Hi Nathan,

      It certainly is beautiful. Yes if you get the chance you should visit New Zealand. It looks better than the photos too. We had fun. Don’t envy you with the snow. Our summer now. Beautiful 🙂

      Kev

  3. Hi Kev

    Great article , it really was well written and pieced together. It provided some more insight into having a proper adventure in New Zealand.It really makes me want to travel there myself once the opportunity presents itself. I also love how you add humor throughout your article. All in all it gives a proper first hand account of how to go about it in a fun sense of way. I was very sceptic about AIRBNB’s but your article helps mitigate it a bit.

    Keep up the good stuff , look forward to reading up on your next adventure.
    Dane

    1. Hi Dane,

      Thanks for that. Yes it was a great trip and really shows the beauty of New Zealand. It’s not hard to do that I must say haha! Yes we all need to laugh a lot in this crazy world haha! I love airbnb and highly recommend them mate! Really great people 99% of the time run them. Cheers,

      Kev

  4. Hi Kev, oh wow this is a beautiful article. You write so well and make the reader feel like they are almost experiencing everything with you. Really wonderful.
    Although I lived in Australia for many years I never visited New Zealand, but I really would so love to. You have made me decide once and for all that this is going to be my next big adventure.
    I love the fact that you say the fruit there is amazing as a nutritionist this is music to my ears…obviously. And also, I am really into fitness so again it sounds just awesome for that with lots of hiking and fantastic views.
    Thanks so much for sharing.

    1. Thanks Stefanie,

      Appreciate your comments. Yes the fruit is delicious. Such an amazing place to visit. The lakes and mountains of New Zealand just have a magic about them and Arrowtown was so special. Definitely go visit! Much love,

      Kev

  5. Wow, what a great article with a ot of beautiful views. New Zealand looks like a great place. I haven’t been there but in future definitely I will visit this place. Thank you so much fro sharing this beautiful article with us. Good job, keep it up.

  6. Hi Kevin. Thanks for writing this series of posts. It looks really amazing place and I would love to go someday. Will add this to my list of places to visit! A couple of questions – are you travelling as part of an organised tour or independently or both? Also, would it be suitable for teenage children do you think? We love hiking and walking so are not afraid to go up – and they would love to ‘roll down’! I look forward to your reply. Thanks Gail

    1. Hi Gail,

      Thanks for that. Yes very suitable for teenagers. There were a few teenage kids and parents on the hike. Also the cycling and kyaking we did was definitely ok for kids say 10 years plus. I just booked the flights and the first nights accommodation then we just flew by the seat of our pants for the rest of it.

      I was so inspired I am actually organising a tour myself. We will have a maximum of 6 to 8 people and it will be 5 days 4 nights and we will do hiking, kayaking, cycling, walks, shopping and a bit of meditation. Will be a laid back but fun tour. Will be in December 2018. I’ll keep you updated. Either way you definitely need to go 🙂

      Kev

  7. I love the beautiful pictures. I would love to visit new Zealand some day.. My husband and I love to travel. New Zealand is actually one of our destinations. We have have to visit someday. Thank you for the pictures and videos. i really enjoyed it.

  8. Kevin, what a nice surprise to hear your voice through your videos. And yes, New Zealand, beautiful land. You keep comparing it to the green English countryside. The only encounter I have made with New Zealand so far is through movies that have been filmed there. And I have to say, New Zealand caters far better than England when it comes to countryside. It has rolling hills, beautiful coast lines, but of course snowy mountains too. A true paradise, and your words, and your videos, are testimonial to that. I must admit, although I am not as sporty as you and Ally, for a fraction of a second there, I did envy you 🙂
    But please, Kevin, keep blogging about this beautiful land. Keep us dreaming!

    1. Hi Guilia,

      Thanks so much for your encouraging and inspiring words, appreciate that. Yes it is a great place. Beautiful mountains and lakes. I miss it already! haha. But going back soon. New Zealand is very much like the UK. I want to go to Yorkshire for some hiking soon. They tell me its great there too.

      I will definitely keep blogging about it. I love it, try and get there soon 🙂

      Kev

  9. Hi Kevin, You guys had a wonderful time in New Zealand. Your post shows how beautiful the country is. You have done a good job in showcasing New Zealand. I took the time to listen to your video and I think it is a great video. Ally knows how to get achieve her goals.

    I felt as if I visited Arrowtown. The pictures are awesome. Thanks for the post.

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