In 2008, we embarked on our RtW trip, visiting seven countries. You find us in the southern shores of the North Island of New Zealand. Next up we were heading north through the Island and ending up in the city, Auckland!
This part of the North Island reminded us of the South Island. Not so much the landscape, but the overall remote feeling and peacefulness and most importantly not many tourists.
Cathedral Cove had amazing beaches and incredible viewpoints. The archway was very picturesque.
having lunch in Whitianga, which was a lovely town Catherine and I decided to take a shortcut through the Coromandel Forest Park, ending in Tapu. Unfortunately the forest roads were not the smoothest, (the gravel was huge) and afterwards the brakes felt a little flat to say the least, with the car veering left as well.
There was a rental base in Auckland, near the airport and so we head there. Luckily we were gonna pass through the capital next and so didn’t mind dropping into have it checked out.
The rental company were great and gave us a replacement straight away. The new Toyota was much bigger and we new this was gonna make a big difference to the coming nights. Waipu Cove Campsite was next up, as we made our way to Te Kongahu Museum of Waitangi.
First though was the coastline to Russell. The Rawhiti Road had amazing hidden bays with no tourists and unfortunately no fuel stops. Parekura Bay was great to have a swim, but running low on fuel we headed for Russell to fill the tank, car and humans.
Catherine and I decided to catch the Okiato car ferry instead of the long overland drive through dense woodland to save some time and look at the beautiful Bay of Islands.
The Te Kongahu Museum of Waitangi is an amazing place to see where history was made. This is the place where The Treaty of Waitangi was signed.
The Treaty was signed in 1840 by representatives of the British Crown and Māori chiefs from the North Island of New Zealand. It has become a document of central importance to the history, to the political constitution of the state, and to the national mythos of New Zealand, and has played a major role in framing the political relations between New Zealand’s government and the Māori population, especially from the late-20th century.
Maitai Bay Campsite was our next rest point and the new car was a defiant improvement on the last. The seats could recline all the back, forming a makeshift, lumpy bed. Waking up to Waikato Bay, with amazing views and some home made breakfast was special.
Cape Reinga was calling and the weather was not behaving. The clouds were coming in and a storm was brewing. This actually made the whole experience even better, as the sea was now so rough and windy you could see two seas, Tasman and Pacific, crashing together.
On the way back from Cape Reinga to Auckland, Catherine and I had one more stop. Luckily on a much more calm location, Ninety Mile Beach.
Making our way into Auckland in the dead of night, we needed to find somewhere to park the car and rest. With only a tri-band phone, it was left to just look and see. Finally, after searching for a while, we came across a spot on Kowhai Road. This served us well for the few days spent in the Auckland.
Crossing the Auckland Harbour Bridge in the morning each day delivered amazing views over the city.
Auckland was a nice city and the highlights were the Sky Tower, Cathedral of St Patrick & St Joseph, Albert Park and the harbour front.
On the final day in New Zealand, Catherine an I returned the car to the rental base. They kindly drove us over to Auckland International Airport, where we caught a plane to Nadi, Fiji.
Checking out J & C