We have been travelling around on the North Island for a few weeks. This is our thought of the memorable places we have been to.
Wellington was nice, feels like a real city in comparison with Christchurch. But that has a simple explanation called earthquake. The city centre is very nice, but the surrounding mountains make it very hard to find a reasonable priced apartment or house. Many people have to commute from lower or upper hut or nearby villages. We also went to Weta Caves where they do a lot of costumes and props for film industry, such as Lord of the Rings etc.
Napier was also very nice, very cute and small town. It lies almost on the beach. We understand why Michelle stayed there.
Gisborn witch is a small town further north of Napier, is also very cute and nice town that also lies near the beach. We where lucky with the weather and had a day of sun and 30 degrees.
After that we went to “Bay of Plenty”. The road from Gisborn to Opotiki where very interesting due to its step and curvy road. In general roads are good but when you are travelling over mountains you can imagine how they look like. In NZ they have road signs that tell you how fast you should go through the curves. Signs that say 35 or 25 are very common, so you can imagine how curves look like.
We stayed that night in a small village called Ohope. The camping site was almost on the beach, and was very nice.
The day after we travelled to Tauranga which is the biggest city in Bay Of Plenty. I liked it a lot, very nice city-centre and near to the water and the beach.
Now we realized that we had step up the pace to be able to see the things we wanted before we had to leave the campervan. We travelled past Auckland to Whangarei, which is on the Northland. A very nice and small city with water and beaches in a short distance. The city-centre was really nice, with old buildings and small restaurants and shops.
After that we went south to Matamata where Hobbiton is. It is small hobbit village where The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit pictures are recorded. It was fun and interesting to see how the village looks like in real life. It is amazing how detailed the village is. Well worth spending a half day.
Next village we went to Rotorua where there is a lot of thermal activity. Special interesting was Wai-o-tapu where there are a lot thermal lakes with hot liquid and stunning colours.
And bathing in thermal baths is really nice.
Taupo was our next target. Lake Taupo was really nice. The road where going beside the lake and as we where lucky with the weather the views where really amazing.
Wanganui was also a nice town. It lies on the west coast but the town doesn’t have beach access. It seems that beach access is not that attractive in NZ.
Wellington and the ferry to Picton where done in a hurry. Nelson on the South Island followed.
Directly after we got off Picton we went to Nelson. I‘m really sure that I will go to Nelson more times. Nelson is a beautiful town in the northern part of South Island.
Now we only had a few days before we had to arrive in Christchurch, so we went to Hamner springs where they have thermal bath and slides for the children. We where lucky with the weather so we had sunshine and 25 degrees in the air.
We had a great time when we travelled around. And we are still friends even if we have been in a Campervan for three weeks (7 person in a Van). But the last days everyone wanted to go to Christchurch and settle down. We where lucky to find somewhere to stay when we where coming back. Unpacking and returning the Van was a big relief.