How we made our way from Napier down to Wellington, while enjoying some bouldering, hiking and cycling along the way. We realise this must be getting boring to read about, since this is what we do every week, so we’ve added a deadly weapon and a curious possum into the mix this time around.

From Napier we took a nice backroad which goes straight (or actually: really windy) through the Kaweka Range. Our first stop was Blowhard Bush, a bouldering area in the forest. As soon as we found the boulders, it was pretty obvious that not a lot of people go bouldering here, as the rock was really wet, mossy and overgrown. Thomas made the most of it and gave a few of the routes a go, but I was happy to sit this one out.

Once Thomas his climbing shoes were covered in mud and moss and too slippery to climb anything else, we continued towards Kuripapango campsite, a beautiful spot at the bottom of the Kaweka mountains. It was nice and sunny, so we hung out in the grass, had a few horses visit us and helped a German guy to get his van out of a ditch.

Thomas trying to boulder at Blowhard Bush and a cute little robin that came to check us out

At night, it turned out to be a slighly less peaceful spot as we got woken up by a possum on the roof of the van. When Thomas went out to investigate, he even found one sitting on the bikes which were on the back of the van, not even close to being scared off. Waking up in the morning, it rained and we mainly hung around the van for most of the day, doing some cleaning and maintenance on our bikes. Thomas also made a baseball bat out of a wooden log, in case the possum was to show up again during the night. Unfortunately, we might have been swinging the bat a bit too eagerly and the possum didn’t make it anywhere near the van that night..

Finally a sunny day again, so we decided to hike up Kuripapango hill. It was a nice out and back hike, with some good views down into the valley. I would love to come back and do some more hiking in this area! Back at the van, we packed up and continued along the backroad until we arrived in Taihape, where I did some work in the van, while being parked up in front of the library. We took a short walk through town, did some shopping and made our way to Rangiawahia, where we parked up next to the local community hall.

Some good views down into the valley during our hike in the Kawekas

The next day we wanted to cycle the Manuwatu Cycleway, which unfortunately isn’t a loop. We (= Myrthe) came up with a plan where I would start cycling from our camp spot while Thomas would park up at the end of the trail and cycle towards me. The Manuwatu Cycleway isn’t really a specific cycleway, just a quiet sealed road but it was a really pleasant road to ride, with some beautiful views of a snowcapped Ruapehu and some very windy gorges, just stunning! At the end of our ride we were in dire need of a swim as it had become a hot day, so we stopped at Raumai Reserve for a quick dip.

Good views on our bike ride through Manawatu Gorge

Since we had finished cycling much earlier than we thought, we decided to hit the road and drive to Wellington where we were invited to a housewarming party that night. We parked the van at a freecamp spot in the city and rode our bikes into town for probably our wildest Saturday night since we’ve been living in the van!

And that’s how we finally reached Wellington, where we got sucked into city vortex and wouldn’t leave for the next month..

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