Archive for January, 2011

more postcards from new zealand, an iphone app and a question

hello again fellow gypsies,

thank you for all your lovely comments on my last postcards from new zealand. i’m so in love with my homeland and delighted to be able to share some of my journey here with you.

today, i would like to take you exploring one of my favourite places on earth. it’s a place i first visited nine years ago when on my honeymoon. my husband wanted to share his favourite spot with me and i’m so pleased he did!

also today, i want to share an iphone app with you that has been an essential part of our trip (more on that below)…

lake waikaremoana is in the uruwera national park in the north island of new zealand.
it’s a fairly remote part of the country, though probably not really remote when considered from a global perspective! it’s so peaceful there – no tv in our cottage, no cellphone coverage, no internet… bliss. a great place to relax, breathe, be still, explore, sleep, swim, dream.

let me show you some of what we saw….


this is the manawatu gorge; a narrow road that winds through a narrow river gorge on the way to our destination

toi toi catch the afternoon sunlight at the waikaremoana camp ground

the sun sets beside the panekiri bluff (part of the walk around the lake leads trampers up to an amazing view of the lake from the top)

there are some great caves and pathways to explore around the lake

lake waikareiti is a smaller lake about an hour’s walk up a gentle track from the nearby visitor’s centre. there, you can hire a row boat and spend a lazy afternoon messing about. the water is beautifully clear and warm enough to have a dip

i’m standing in lake waikareiti looking back towards the shore taking this photograph. there are tiny fish swimming around my feet.

this is the mokau falls. the tiny bridge you can see above it is the road that leads to waikaremoana.

there is a tramping track that goes around most of the lake. it’s listed as one of the great walks of new zealand and takes 3-4 days to get around. this swing bridge is on the way into the first hut from the northern end of the walk.

more of the track towards the first hut


i also wanted to tell you about an iphone app called trip wallet that has come in very handy on our travels.
it’s one we created because we couldn’t find anything already available that would do what we wanted. it’s nothing fancy, just something to help us keep track of our spending while on holiday. we have been able to set ourselves a budget, then keep track of how closely we are sticking to it. we just record every purchase (or cash withdrawal) and trip wallet shows us how we are doing.

we’ve already had some great feedback from people wanting something similar for help with their day-to-day budgeting. so (while trip wallet covers the basic requirements already for this) we’ll be working on another one more suited to home budgeting use in the near future.

rather than trying to tell you all about it, i’d like to offer five of you the chance to try it yourself.

** update: all five codes have gone now, thanks for all your interest! we have the app in the iTunes store for an intro price of only 99c, so if you want to try it out, you can buy it by clicking on this link. thanks so much for your support.

sorry, it does only currently work with the iphone or ipod touch, but will work in any country (so you don’t have to be in nz, or the usa specifically to use it).

if you would like to give it a try, please leave a comment saying you would like to, and i will email the first five commenters a promo code. and we would love to hear your feedback if you have any.


and finally, is there anything specific you would like me to write about for you here?
if it’s okay with you, i will continue to share with you some postcards from my travels, but i’d also love to find out if there’s anything in particular you’d like for me to discuss.

hoping you are having magical adventures of your own, wherever you are and that i hear from you soon!


leonie wise is a regular contributor to gypsy girls guide