As being somewhat adventurous and in love with hiking, I would not just fly to Christchurch to visit the concert. So, the plan was to take a night bus from Auckland down to Wellington, hop on a ferry to the south island, and meet up with a good friend, Jakob, to hike the 71-km-long Queen Charlotte Track in the beautiful Marlborough Sounds. After the hike, which would take four days, we decided to make our way to Christchurch, visit the concert, and afterward, I would fly back to Auckland for work.
When I took a closer look at the map, a relatively big island caught my eye: it does not only work as a barrier between the Gulf and the open Pacific, but it is also, appropriately, called Great Barrier Island. And apparently, there is also a hiking trail. The Aotea Track is a 25 km long trail that loops around the island’s rugged interior and climbs up to the island’s highest peak, Mount Hobson/Hirakimata (627 m). After doing some further research on the island, I learned that it lies about 100 km northeast of Auckland, is about the same size as Auckland, but only has a bit more than 1000 inhabitants (Auckland, on the contrary, has over 1.6 Mio inhabitants). Life on the island is often described as being „life in New Zealand many decades back „.
I always liked Arizona quite a bit. I love the heat, the dry and the desert-like country. Ever since I was in Flagstaff to visit Gran Canyon NP after finishing my Pacific Crest Trail hike in 2017, I have wanted to return. On a road trip, I crossed the state by Amtrak on one of my cross country trips by train.
As fall is approaching in Germany, I wanted to make the best out of the probably last sunny and golden days this year and go out hiking the area a bit. First of…