It’s strange. Would you, if you already live on a remote island, sit in your living room and think the following: “There’s this even more remote island which is not even connected to the national power grid, let’s go!!!” Well, I did.
If you ask Kiwis about Great Barrier Island, you might get a comment like “Is this by the Great Barrier Reef? Nah, haven’t been!” (In fact I did get something similar). This even seems to be true for Aucklanders, despite possessing the easiest access to NZ’s sixth biggest island. I was curious about the place, and, of course, had eyed with the Aotea Track – a tramping track that crosses the island’s highest mountain Hirakimata (also called Mt Hobson) – before when browsing the DOC website. It appears pretty overlooked: Most visitors I encountered were from Auckland, and only more intrepid backpackers make their way here while travelling Aotearoa.
Coming to NZ was a revelation for me in many aspects. Not did I only realise that I knew much less about our planet and the progress of globalisation than I thought, I also underestimated that travelling around the world is more a trend these days rather than an exception. Excuse my early naivety, but I really didn’t expect that many European, North American and other youngsters, let alone all the “standard” tourists when I came here…only to find that apparently half the world has made its way to Australia and NZ. Despite being one of them, often I would get annoyed by my own people or hordes of tourists in general, since I came to “escape” them! No, I’m not anti-social, but sometimes I prefer to be in unspoiled places not or only less known to the public. Continue reading →