The wood that is red

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Redwood forest is located in Rotorua, about 20 minutes away from the city center, which makes access convenient. Once I arrive in the car park, I was in awe. Trees standing 15 meters tall and straight as an arrow, I was belittled by these giants.

There are multiple tracks ranging from 30 mins to hours on end. Different track for different difficulty, do check the official website for more info. choose the best track that suit for your abilities and enjoy the scenery; you can choose to walk, bike, or horse riding in the woods.

I set out for a Quarry lookout track and it was awesome. I started walking from the information center, and was already stuck near it because I can’t believe how amazing this place is.

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Do plan ahead of time if you plan to do the tramping route, it takes 8 hours to finish. And the scenery is more epic.

Here are some of the photos on the day, enjoy.

Cheers.

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Muddy situation gets muddy

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Last week, I had the privilege to visit orakei thermal park. It’s a three hour drive from Auckland and can only access by ferry.

After setting off from home, the GPS tells me to use SH27 and not SH1, and I thought to myself, there’s nothing wrong driving the back road. Instant reject when I was an hour away to Orakei. As I was accelerating, a cop was coming from oncoming traffic and pulled me over for speeding.

An hour past and 80 dollar gone, I made it in one piece. After getting out of the car for a stretch, I was hitted with an awful sulfate smell. And this is how I know, this is the place.

Bought the entry ticket to the park and waiting for the ferry to come back.

Once I was in the park, the geyser greeted us with a hot water shooting out and steam everywhere. The colour on the ground is spectacular, and the formation of the rocks are very unique as well.

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At the far end of the park, there is a cave, which is a must see. At this moment, scientist still have not have a definite answer into how it was form. And there’s only two in the world in this situation, one in Italy and the other one is this.

In the end, this a great place to visit, there’s a bit of a walk but not a difficult one. And you can find mud pool, geyser, and a cave all in one place.

I would say 8/10 would visit again

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this mud pool is muddy
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the cave

The hunt for Szechuan sauce

After the premiere of Rick and Morty season three, I was on a hunt for Szechuan sauce. For the whole week, I was craving Sichuan dishes and spices. For the people knows me, I can take much Sichuan numbing chili pepper, but I need it for reasons.

After finish in Orakei thermal park, we drove back home. On the way, I was told there is a Chinese restaurant in Hamilton that do one the best Sichuan dishes outside of Sichuan. I was instantly hooked and on the hunt was on.

After the experience before, I took SH 1 to be safe and was in Hamilton in no time. When I was in the Hamilton, it was 1600 and the restaurant was already half full. By the time finished ordering, the place was full. Last time I went, there were an hour waiting time. If you want to come to try their food, either make reservation or come early

When the food was in front of me, I quickly learn why this is one of the best place to eat Sichuan dishes. We ordered the sliced beef cooked in chili oil(水煮牛肉) and twice cooked pork (回鍋肉). Thanks Google for the translation.

beside Mapo tofu, sliced beef cooked chili oil is another best known Sichuan dish. The beef is soft and tender and cooked in the right amount of temperature and after finishing the beef, the cabbage softens over time and soaked up all the chili sauce in the dish, taste so good. The twice cooked pork is also superb as well.

The price is a bit high, but well worth every penny. Ended up paying $50 for two people. The restaurant is in Collingwood st, Hamilton. If you do plan to visit, can’t stress enough, do make a reservation first or an hour wait time.

10/10 will return.

The forgotten child of Auckland’s west coast

When you ask anyone about surfer beaches in Auckland, most of them will tell you Muriwai or Piha. However, there’s a black sand beach that is just as awesome and as beautiful as those two, and it’s less crowded,  it’s called Karekare.

Karekare is located not far away from Piha, and with most of the visitors going to Piha and with the limiting access to Karekare, this makes it a good short get away from the city.

Another attraction for Karekare is Karekare falls. The waterfall is near the road, which is accessible to anyone. Where as for the beach, there is a short walk from the carpark to beach.

When I first visited Karekare, I was greeted with an unforgiving wind and rain. The strong wind blowing the hash sand hitting against my face was not a pleasant feel. However, I was still able to take a good shot of Karekare.

Karekare

click here for more information for whats going on in Karekare.

Hidden gem of Auckland

New Zealand is famous for her epic scenery and surfer paradise. In Auckland, most of these beaches are saturated on the west coast but there is a gem tucked away on the east and it’s called Te Arai.

Te Arai is hidden in the east coast, a small rural community near the north of Auckland. With its beautiful beach and spectacular scenery, it’s easily one of the best and most beautiful beach of Auckland. You can also find many species of birds living there, even the critically endangered fern tail.

With a long stretch of beautiful beach in-between the two entrance, you are sure to get the beach by yourself overlooking waves crashing beyond the shallow.

However, all this could be a thing of the past. Developers are currently trying to subdivide into campgrounds, hotel, and golf course near the beach. Do try to visit it before it becomes a rich man’s playground.

Te Arai

Te Arai 02

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