|Dates:||9 Nov 2017 - 24 Nov 2017|
|Duration:||2 weeks, 1 day|
And we’re off! And celebrating Thanksgiving mid air with a nice vodka cranberry. Thanks New Zealand for sharing all your charms with us. So very grateful.
Walking around the city for the last few hours, Queen St, Sky City, and Albert Park. Can’t believe it’s over! It’s been an amazing two weeks.
Auckland North Shore Cabin and Campgrounds. Last night here! It was also the first time we had “somewhat” trouble finding a campground. Cleaning/packing and airport bound. Bittersweet ❤️
Of all the zig zag roads through all the mountains, we encounter our first NZ traffic jam on a 2 lane highway to Auckland. Well, when in traffic in a camper van ....
Acknowledging this is the last long stretch in this van we’ve called home. Going to miss this seat next to Captain Ned.
This beach lives up to it’s reputation. Cathedral Cove was absolutely beautiful. The hike through the ferns to be met by beautiful blue water, sandstone cliffs, and soft sand beach. Great way to spend the last full day!
Freedom camped at Waipoinga Reserve in Opoutere. 10 min walk through the forest to a quaint beach. Saw my first NZ shooting star!
We came, we saw, no surf at Waihi Beach. Glad we spent as much time in Tauranga!
Impromptu stop at one of our favorite places so far, Mt Maunganui, an extinct volcano that this awesome surf town was developed around in Tauranga. Absolutely beautiful hike with amazing views.
Camped at the Cozy Cottage Cabin and Camper-van. Great facility with natural geothermal fed hot pools and shovels for hire to dig your own hot pool on the beach beside the lake. Got in our routine breakfast now headed north!
Dinner/drinks downtown on Eat Street. Bustling little stretch within walking distance of camp with pubs and restaurants (and happy hour). Dinner at CBK was awesome and post dinner drinks at Brew with live music!
Walked through the geothermal parks of Rotorua. A bit ominous but so very unique. This entire town is full of activity right to the core!
3hrs in the redwood forest mountain biking. So much fun! Big Dipper was a favorite if anyone comes out here to bike, definitely check out Planet Bike
Making our way! Found a nice DOC campground 1hr shy of Rotorua. Stars were beautiful and the birds this morning were a pleasure to wake up to! (Sorry no picture! Crashed and got an early start!)
Tides were in our favor! We were able to walk out and see the Three Sisters, monoliths made of papa mudstone and sandstone. Beautiful walking through caves and around unique rocks.
Surfing at Oakura through Vertigo Surf. No barrels but we definitely party waved
Spotted! Mt. Taranaki on the clearest of days driving surf highway 45. Oh, and some cows!
Walk down the black sands of Patea Beach and spotted an old shipwreck of the SS Waitangi.
Wow did we cover some ground. Drove north to the Patea Beach Camp and were so charmed to find this place! The grounds were adorable with old rusted trampolines, swings, a slip and slide during the summer season, an old racing kayak, and a beach walk to the black sand beach up the way. Glynnis (owner) was such a sweetheart too!
We made it! Landed in Wellington and went to Mexico for some delicious tacos before hitting the road. It’s sad to say goodbye to the South Island but even more exciting to finish out the trip up north!
Sad to say goodbye but excited to see the North Island. Took the Bluebridge Ferry out of Picton to Wellington, camper-van and all!
Camping at Alexander’s Campground. Wasn’t glamorous but 5 min from the ferry? We’ll take it (and shower/do laundry!)... no picture necessary
Dinner at Oxley’s in Picton to watch the NZ vs Fiji rugby game. First time having green mussels!
MOA to try a local brewery. Pretty cool/relaxed vibe with good beer and an awesome food truck
Blenheim, Marlborough Sounds region for Sauvignon Blanc!
Archer Track! 12 mile return forestry track that stretches around Elaine Bay towards Tennyson Inlet. Really beautiful with periodic waterfalls crossing the track and scenic views of the Sound.
Last night in the South Island. Made it all the way to Elaine Bay Campground. More switchback driving (thanks Ned) but landed in the beautiful fishing bay. The locals even had a little firework display!
Hello Nelson! Just getting gas and passing through the most city-like area we have been in since Christchurch. Lots of fishing here
Kahu Kayak out of Marahau at the beginning of the Southern Able Tasman Coast Trail. (arrangements made in Monteuka). It was an epic 3 hours kayak around Adele Island and Fisherman’s Island. Saw seals and a pod of DOLPHINS! I capitalize because they swam under and all around our kayaks. It was as the kiwis say, brilliant!
Takaka Holiday Camping and Cabins. Great facilities, shower, kitchen. And excellent starting point for our trip to the south AT.
Decided to explore the less touristy part of the AT and did the Wainui Bay walk to Taupo Point. Caution- takes a solid hour from Moteuka to Takaka and this part of 60 is super beautiful but definition snakelike along mountainsides. Picnicked on the beach and would have been stranded by the tide if it wasn’t for Ned!
Hops on hops on hops! Super scenic drive. Decided to by-pass Nelson and send it to Takaka, the northern part of the AT.
Stop at the Red Barn Cafe and Animal Park. For $3 you can walk around and feed the animals, horses, pigs, sheep, peacocks, chickens! So worth the stop if you are passing through. Also have delicious treats (GF and vegetarian options)
Stop in Murchison for coffee and gas before heading out to Nelson. Cool little town with an information center for jet boating and white water rafting the Buller Gorge. Plenty of little sandwich shops and old mind antique shops.
Lyell Campground down Old Ghost Road . Got here around 10pm last night. Woke up to a network of trails that ran to old mining huts and another trail to Lyell Cemetery that was littered and at one point blocked by the aftermath of recent rock slides. Could have spent longer here exploring!
Finished the hike just in time to catch the sunset! Breathtaking sunset over the Tasman Sea
Charming Creek Mill Hike to Watson Mills. The hike was along the old railway used for coal mining back in the late 1800s along the Ngakawau River. We encountered waterfalls, swinging bridges, tunnels, hidden staircases, and waterfalls!
Truman beach, Punakaiki, Dolomite Point, pancake rocks and blowholes! Oh - and the sun came out!
Gas up and beach visit in Greymouth. So much driftwood Kerry, you would go nuts!
Pit stop at Dorothy Falls. Only a 20 min drive from Hokitika Town and worth the stop.
Stop in Hokitika! Favorite “cool little town” on the west coast so far. Adorable shops, restaurants, and coffee. Awesome place to shop and poke around for neat little souvenirs and gifts (@sunshinNZ) Off to the falls!
Heading out from the Top 10 Holiday Park Franz Josef. Not a bad day to cover some ground. Off to Westport!
Franz Josef Glacial Hike - cloudy at first but blue sky popped out just in time. Beautiful waterfalls accessible from the trail and others off in the distance in pretty much every direction.
Fox Glacier Track. It’s astounding how much the Glacier has receded. Still a humbling view
Knights Point lookout along our route to Fox Glacier
Haast Township Stop for gas. First sight of the coastline (Tasman Sea)
Diamond Lake Freedom Campground. Our favorite so far. Views were beautiful overlooking the mountains and waterfalls. Italian dinner night!
Quick stop to view Wishbone Waterfall
Rob Roy Glacier Track. Absolutely a must see. The drive out was pretty crazy - mostly washboard roads through farms of sheep and cow. Definitely work it!
Shotover Jetboat on the Shotover River! Hairpin turns and 360’s in 10cm of water!
Last night In Queenstown at Lake Hayes Overnight Campground
Final stop, Asmifield Winery
Just cheesing ... and wining
Wine tasting at Chard Farm! Beautiful Pinot Noir’s
Ned takes on Queenstown Mountain Biking
Hanggliding at Coronet!
Top of Queenstown Track
Pit stop in Twizel for delicious food and happy hour drinks at MOW, grocery stock up and water refill before sending it to Queenstown!
Hooker Valley Track to Mt Cook Lookout
Tasman Glacial Lookout
Lake Pukaki lookout of Mount Cook
First night at Lake Tekapo - beautiful walk around the lake in the morning and our first sight of lupines
Mount Somer falls hike
Here we go! Two adventurers, two islands, one Toyota Camper-van, and a whole bunch of ideas
|Dates:||9 Nov 2017 - 24 Nov 2017|
|Duration:||2 weeks, 1 day|