The far North
Trip Start Mar 01, 2007
48Trip End Feb 29, 2008
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When we left Auckland, the winds started to blow and got up to 120 klms an hour, Jucy Lucy (the van) didn't take kindly to this & was rocking & rolling all over the place.
After going over the Auckland bridge we heard on the radio that they thought it was unsafe & should be shut !! great we thought....but being NZ, they decided to leave it open anyway and make it an attraction.
The coast road is beautiful, every camp site had amazing views...we went through a Kauri tree forest where the oldest was seeded at the time of Christ if you are a believer (that is approx 2000 years ago for thickies)...The camp sites all have really good kitchen areas where people get together in the evening, we have met people from all over the World and Bedford
We arrived at 90 mile beach at the top of NZ, it is actually 68 miles long, and why isn't it in KLMs anyway as that is what they use here !!
As it was Kims birthday, we decided to splash out on a cheap tour to Cape Reinga, the furthest Northerly point.....you go along the beach in a coach at 70 mph trying to avoid the tide blocking the beach...it is actually the start of highway 1 the cleanest road in NZ that gets washed twice a day by the tides, and runs the whole length of the country.
Kim was pleased, she got to do sand tobaggoning just off the beach on the sand dunes, we both puffed as we climbed the dunes, but downwards was very fast (sand gets in every crack).
The West coast heading South was full of nice coves and inlets, it was easy to get ferries across reducing the miles, as the roads are very narrow,curvy & steep...Jucy didn't like this at all as she struggled along and all the cars (4) were getting frustrated behind.
Waitangi is where the treaty of 1840 between the Maori chiefs & the Brits was signed giving Soveriegnty of NZ to Britain....was tastefully done & respectful, without the patriotism we experienced in the USA
Russell in the early days was a magnate for the rough elements, Charles Darwin described it as "the refuse of society" and was commonly known as the hell hole of the Pacific, now....it is a lovely little town in the Bay of islands, we had a drunken night here trying to rekindle the past as it was our 32nd wedding anniversary (first time we have had a decent meal in a nice restaurant since Alaska) THANKS MUM & DAD MARTIN....
Had to deal with the bank holiday traffic (same 4 cars) through Auckland on our way to the Coramandel peninsula, bought some nice wine priced at $27 a bottle (bin end of course) for $7 nz a bottle that is 2.50 gbp...still enjoying. This area has great beaches & coastal scenery & attracts alternative lifestylers.
We felt it was time for the adrenalin fix...so moving on to Rotarua....we have plans......