Nothing can prepare you for what it’s like to see a total solar eclipse in all its mind-blowing glory. It’s one of the most overwhelming natural phenomena I’ve ever witnessed. It leaves you in total awe, wanting to see more. Wanting to see another one. It is as if you’re staring directly into the vortex of the universe. And it’s highly addictive. Read about chasing the fascinating solar eclipse in this story. And find out when the next one is!
Mount Taranaki looms majestically over New Plymouth, on the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island. The mythical mountain that is obscured from view most days of the year, shrouded by its own low-hanging clouds. But now it stood there, clearly visible, and beckoning in all its glory. I literally skidded to a halt when I saw it, and changed my course and planning there & then. It was calling me and I had to go.
Opal fever is real. It will draw you in and take hold of you when you venture into the opal fields of Lightning Ridge and The Grawin. The only place in the world where the elusive black opal is found. It’s like northern lights and a volcanic eruption simultaneously frozen into iridescent stone, forged from the ancient depths of Gondwana. And it’s difficult not to get enchanted by its beauty.
There are few natural phenomena as awe-inspiring as the magical northern lights. The skies opened up and flares of charged particles & energy from out of space came pouring in, creating a display of light so magnificient it took your breath away. Massive green curtains dropping down with purple tips on their edges, shifting and changing in all directions. It was literally out of this world. The northern lights will completely overwhelm you, to an extend where you can only utter sounds of sheer admiration, with a fading voice due to being blown away. But when can you see northern lights? Read about hunting the elusive Aurora Borealis in this story.
Mount Rjúpnafell is one of the steepest mountains in the valley of Thórsmörk. It sits on the north side of the Krossá river, and the walking track to the top is quite challenging. But you will be rewarded with sweeping views of glaciers and colourful folded mountain ranges all around. There’s also a sweet litte river valley hidden along the track below its slopes.
Útigönguhöfði is that ridiculously steep mountain you see looming everywhere in Þórsmörk and on the way down from Fimmvörðuháls. Climbing it is as challenging as pronouncing its name… The impressive Hvannárgil canyon runs below its slopes and together they form a beautiful circuit, with jaw-dropping views from one end to the other. See how to get there, and combine this walk with Hvannárgil canyon or the lower part of the Fimmvörðuháls route. Be prepared for some serious crawling up the rocks on either side!