About Stoked for Saturday (Living a Kiwi Life) :
Living a Kiwi Life is web series about a Canadian couple (Jordan and Jenna) who have lived in Canada all their lives and made the decision to move to New Zealand having never gone there before. They quit their jobs, sold their houses and cars and left everything they knew to explore an unknown.
Living a Kiwi Life – Ep.1 – Introduction
New Zealand’s Great Walks Preview
This episode is a quick glimpse into four of New Zealand’s Great Walks (Abel Tasman Coastal Track, Kepler Track, Milford Track and Tonagriro Norther Circuit). These walks were a major highlight for us during our first 6 weeks in New Zealand.
This webisode explores our journey leading up to our departure from Canada, which includes getting visas, selling our houses, telling our friends and quitting our jobs.
Departure, Hot Water Beach & Cathedral Cove
Departing Canada, we say our goodbyes and land in Auckland where we buy a car and head east to Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove.
We explore the abandon gold mining tunnels of the “Windows Walk” in the Karangahake Gorge – North Island.
Black Water Rafting, Kiwi Birds & Ruakuri Scenic Reserve
Black Water Rafting, Kiwi Bird Sanctuary and Ruakuri Scenic Reserve Loop Walk. All in one day.
Hobbiton Movie Set, The Shire, Middle Earth
Hobbiton Movie Set Tour from Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Just outside of Matamata on the North Island you get to see many hobbit holes including Bag End where Bilbo and Frodo lived. Tour includes a complimentary drink at the The Green Dragon Inn.
Rotorua Hot Pools, Mud Pools and Thermal Activity
We explore the thermal activity around Rotorua including Whakarewarewa (a.k.a., The Living Thermal Village), the Wiaotapu mud pools and the Waikite Valley Thermal Hot Pools.
Skyline Luge, Rotorua and Queenstown
Racing down the Skyline Luge track in Rotorua and Queenstown. As close as you’ll get to real life Mario Kart!
Meads Wall, Ohinetonga & Cook Straight Ferry
A quick run through Huka Falls, Meads Wall on Mount Ruapehu and the Ohinetonga Track on our way to Wellington to catch the Cook Straight Ferry to the South Island.
Abel Tasman Coast Track, Great Walk 1 of 9
The first of 9 New Zealand Great Walks. The Abel Tasman Coast Track is a coastal walkway along beautiful beaches and through amazing forests.
Crazy Rock Formations (Ngarua Caves, Labyrinth Rocks & Castle Hill)
The insane geological formations of the Ngarua Caves, Labyrinth Rocks and Castle Hill.
A day hike of Mount Fyffe just outside Kiakoura. Hike was done the 27th of September while there was still snow on the mountain. A great day walk with optional stay at the Hut half way up the hill.
A full day hike of Fox Glacier with Fox Glacier Guiding. We explored crevices and ice tunnels while touring around the glacier with crampons.
Kawarau Bridge Bungy Jump, Queenstown
Leaping off the Kawarau Bridge Bungy Jump just outside of Queenstown including getting dunked in the river. This was a first for both Jenna and I and an awesome experience!!!
Hang Gliding, Queenstown
Hang Gliding in Queenstown, New Zealand. Thanks to Skytrek Tandem Hang Gliding & Paragliding. An amazing experience, highly recommended!
Kepler Track, Great Walk 2 of 9
Our second Great Walk, The Kepler Track in Fiordland just outside of Te Anau. We walked it clockwise over 4 days and it was a major highlight for us during our time on the South Island. The Luxmore Cave was an awesome side trip and is highly recommended (you can go much deeper than you think).
Milford Track, Great Walk 3 of 9
Addicted to Great Walks after Kepler we immediately set off to do The Milford Track in Milford Sound! With a healthy mix of rain, snow and occasional clearings this was an amazing experience.
Tongariro Northern Circuit, Great Walk 4 of 9
Journey into Mordor on the Tongariro Northern Circuit Great Walk! This track takes you up an active volcano and through the lava flows of Mt Doom (Mount Ngauruhoe).
Surfing Raglan Road Trip
A quick tour through Manu Bay, Whale Bay, Indicators and Wainui Beach at Raglan.
Lake Waikaremoana, Great Walk 5 of 9
A walk around the mountain ridge and shoreline of Lake Waikeromoana, another one of New Zealand’s beautiful Great Walks!
Epic Waterfall Slip and Slide (Rere Rockslide)
The most amazing and unbelievable NATURAL Slip and Slide! This was one of the most incredible things we’ve done in New Zealand! Rere Rockslide still feels too insane comprehend. A coating of moss over a 60 meter smooth rock base makes this natural phenomenon the ultimate Slip and Slide, and something to behold for adventure seekers! DO NOT MISS IT!
Drift Trikes & Blokarts
Kiwis invent some amazing things. Drift trikes and Blokarts are amazing examples of New Zealand’s love for extreme and wacky sports. And to top it all off you can get your adrenaline fix doing both of them at the same time! We can’t wait to do this one again!
Tarawera Trail Hot Water Beach
The Tarawera trail was opened in late 2013 which is a beautiful 4-5 hour trail to a Hot Water Beach. Previously only accessible by boat there is a campsite at the beach. This place was amazingly fun but nature doesn’t mess around, the water is HOT!!!
White Island in the Bay of Plenty is a volcanic island like no other. Only accessible by boat (or helicopter), you get to walk on a active volcano. We had gas masks, sucked on candies to breath easier and even drank from very acidic volcanic streams.
Summiting Mount Taranaki
Mount Taranaki is intimidating enough to look at and even more insane to climb. The journey will take you through scree fields and up a steep volcanic rock ridge. We felt like bad-ass mountaineers conquering this beast. Amazing experience!
The only wild elephant in New Zealand, Elephant Rock is a monstrous rock shaped elephant in the Taranaki region. This spot is only accessible at low tide and is also home to ‘The Three Sisters’ rock formations. We went expecting to see the elephant and leave but ended up wanting to spend the whole day there exploring the incredible caves filled with tidal pools and taking in the beautiful colors of the cliff face! This spot is magical!
Whanganui River Journey
New Zealand’s famous ‘great walk’ canoe adventure on the Whanganui River. Dubbed the Whanganui Journey this 3-5 day experience thrusts you into multiple rapids and through deep canyons. We loved this experience, even capsizing in the infamous 50/50 rapids. A cool side trip can be taken on the second last day to the ‘bridge to nowhere’, a pretty cool bridge in the middle of nowhere that has no purpose (except as a tourist attraction). The final day has the heaviest rapids!
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing in New Zealand is incredible! We made it even better with a summit of Mount Ngaurahoe (Mt Doom from Lord of the Rings) and ventured onto the Tongariro Northern Circuit Great Walk to stay one night at the Oturere hut (a few kms off the Alpine Crossing track) turning the Crossing into a 2-day walk and maximizing our adventure.
Routeburn Track, Great Walk 7 of 9
New Zealand’s Routeburn track definitely earns its Great Walk classification. This tramp straddles Mt Aspiring National Park and Fiordland National Park. We did this trek over 3 days and had amazing weather on the second day when we climbed Conical Hill for a panoramic view.
Kayaking Doubtful Sound with Dolphins
Doubtful Sound, New Zealand by Kayak! An unexpected 30 minute dolphin encounter may have been one of the coolest experiences of our lives. We camped 2 nights in Crocked arm, climbed through the bush to waterfalls and took in the insane scenery! During the 3 days we only saw one boat and one other group of kayakers. We were truly isolated! Amazing experience!
Milford Sound, New Zealand
Milford Sound is a New Zealand icon. We visited by boat twice and kayak once and each time was just as amazing as the last. The rain turns on all the beautiful waterfalls and on a clear day you can view the tops of the towering mountains. Don’t miss Milford Sound and Fiordland in general, it’s just awesome!
ZORB, Zorbing, Sphereing, all names for rolling down a hill in an inflatable ball! New Zealand inventions are the best! These giant balls are insanely fun and a must do in Rotorua, New Zealand.
Rakiura Track, Great Walk 8 of 9
Rakiura Track Great Walk on Stewart Island, New Zealand. This is at the very bottom of New Zealand and combines beautiful forest and beach scenery. Stewart Island is also said to be one of the best places to see a Kiwi bird in the wild.
Flyboard like a superhero in Queenstown, New Zealand! Flyboarding was an adrenaline packed adventure that felt unreal. Cruising through the air and dolphin diving under the water was a crazy experience. Highly recommended to anyone travelling to Queenstown. We loved it so much we did it three times! If you’re a fan of comic books you will love this! If you’re not a fan of comic books you will still love it! It’s just pure crazy awesomeness!
World’s Highest Cliff Jump
Shotover Canyon Swing, the World’s Highest Cliff Jump is an insane Rope Swing in Queenstown New Zealand. This place is full of crazy adrenaline pumped awesomeness, a totally epic experience! We jumped 5 times each which isn’t anywhere close to the 70 jumps styles they have, so much fun! And yes, if you want to ride a tricycle into a 109m Canyon, you can do that!!! !
Roboshark – Shark meets Machine
Shark meets machine at Hydro Attack, Queenstown, New Zealand. This robotic shark machine (aka Roboshark) is a combination of jet ski and submarine. Dive under the water, launch into the air, spin and roll! The creator, Seabreacher even has robotic dolphin and whale models which look awesome. Jenna and I first noticed the shark when we were flyboarding in Queenstown and immediately added it to our list epic Queenstown must dos. The coolest part was definitely diving and watching the water rush over the glass dome above you.
Skiing & Snowboarding at Treble Cone
Skiing and Snowboarding at one of New Zealand’s best mountains, Treble Cone! We rented skis and a snowboard and hit the slopes for the first time in NZ. We couldn’t have asked for a better day (unless we had gotten some powder). Treble Cone resort is in Wanaka and is New Zealand’s largest ski field also with the highest vertical of the South Island ski fields.
Weekend in Wanaka
An action packed weekend in Lake Wanaka. We rocked up Isthmus Peak for sweet as views, skied at Snow Farm and jumped into the Hawea Wave – a standing wave in the Hawea river. We’ll be visiting Wanaka again real soon! Thanks to Carla at Lake Wanaka Tourism for helping recommend activities, Snow Farm for hosting us and Chris and Bex at Wanaka Kayaks for letting us borrow their personal equipment (including the sawed-off surfboard with duct tape) and giving us some tips about the Hawea Wave, what a cool place, we love New Zealand!!!
Heaphy Track, Great Walk 9 of 9
The Heaphy Track Great Walk, the longest of New Zealand’s Great Walks can be done by bike or on foot. Part of the Kahurangi National Park next to the Tasman Sea on the west coast this walk is very diverse with changing landscapes every day. We saw giant Powelliphanta land snails and lots of curious Wekas! This was our 9th Great Walk, completing out goal to finish all 9 of them.
Abel Tasman Canyons
Jumping, flipping, sliding and zip-lining through Abel Tasman Canyons! Abel Tasman is famous for its beaches but what many people don’t know are that is has wicked canyons also. This was a full day adventure with Abel Tasman Canyons (http://www.abeltasmancanyons.co.nz/) on the Torrent river. We had no idea what to expect as we had never done any canyoning before but this trip packed in some cool variety the whole way (boat ride, trek through the forest, climbs, slides, jumps, zip lines, abseils and a cool tidal crossing – at high tide). The guides and group of canyoners on this trip were all incredible. Our only problem now is that we have to add yet another thing (canyoning) to our list of activities we want to do more of!
Flying a Stunt Plane
Why fly a normal plane when you can fly a STUNT plane? Only in New Zealand! Jenna was super pumped to do this (as you can tell in the video) and it turned out to be incredible. I’m pretty sure flying a plane in real life might actually be easier than in video games… Thanks to Vincent and Alison at U-Fly Extreme in Motueka for an amazing time.
Extreme Sandboarding New Zealand
Te Paki and Ahipara. Two of the most epic sandboard locations in New Zealand! Sandboarding in Northland was a crazy highlight of our NZ Christmas adventure! It’s addictive so be prepared and make sure you find some sick as jumps to shred, so awesome! I miss it just writing this description….
Blokarts on the Beach
Another cool New Zealand invention, blokarts, which we got to race around the beach! We did this in beautiful Ahipara in Northland. If you’re up there check out Ahipara Adventure Centre to try them for yourself:
Cape Brett Track – Living a Kiwi Life – Ep. 45
If you are in Auckland or Bay of Islands area don’t miss Cape Brett Track. It’s about a 7 hour walk to the point and is well worth it. The Cape is a photographer’s dream location with lots of epic scenery.
Ocean Racing – Living a Kiwi Life – Ep. 46
The Volvo Ocean Race is a race around the world and regarded by sailors as the ultimate sailing competition. We had the opportunity to join Team Alvimedica for some short racing in Auckland harbour
Mount Tarawera – Living a Kiwi Life – Ep. 47
Mount Tarawera in Rotorua is best known for its 1886 eruption killing 120 people. Today a colourful crater remains that you can hike including a 400m long scree run. This is one of Rotorua’s best kept secrets!
Mueller Hut – Living a Kiwi Life – Ep. 48
The first thing Jenna said when she saw Mueller Hut was “That’s the most beautiful hut I’ve ever seen”. That pretty much sums up our whole weekend in Mt Cook National Park.
Glowworms in Motion – A Time-lapse of NZ’s Glowworm Caves in 4K
A Time-lapse of New Zealand’s Glowworm caves as they have never been seen before. Filming this involved sleeping in caves for multiple days in complete darkness with just the sounds of the cave to keep us company (and the occasional eel).
Poor Knights Islands in 4K – Living a Kiwi Life – Ep. 50
Poor Knights Islands are New Zealand’s best known scuba diving site. The place is literally crawling with marine life. We swam through a cave with fish streaming through it and saw lots of different species along with some eels and stingrays! We did this trip with Dive Tutukaka and they were awesome.
New Zealand Ice Luge – Living a Kiwi Life – Ep. 51
You won’t hear about the Naseby Ice Luge in any New Zealand guidebook. That’s unfortunate because it deserves to be on everyone’s winter to-do-list!!!! We narrowly missed the 2014 season but just managed to catch the end of the 2015 season. The track exists because it was a passion project by the owner and there is a group of hardcore luge junkies who are happy to teach you how to master the sleds.