Kirrah and I have decided to take an overseas holiday after working over the school holidays of 2008. We both wanted to go to New Zealand and Kirrah LOVES vans.
This is our “JUCY crib” and us on our second night in Auckland.
It’s a really good set up! We have a fridge (chullybun), a small gas burner and a weeny sink. Which is great because there are only 2 dishes, 2 sets of knives and forks and one kitchen knife.
But the best bit is… It goes!
We spent two nights in Auckland before we got city fever and hit the rural country roads!
As you can see the hills are a bit brown from the drought.
This is our first stop. The point at Raglan Surf Beach. Nice sunny day and big waves.
We were able to catch up with our friend Barney.
Barney and Kirrah planning the next leg of our journey. A back road down the coast towards Waitomo caves. More about that later!
The beautiful Bridal falls in between Raglan and the caves. The rain stopped for us to walk through the forest to take this picture.
Us! The waterfall in the background… yay
Every now and again we decide to pay someone else to manage the day for us. It often involves a group and something that we would never do under our own self guidance. Like decend into the bowels of earth, submerge ourselves into fridged waters and float on rubber inner tubes through vast caverns of glow worms.
And us climbing out at the other end again.
Kirrah is much happier in warm dry clothes!
I think we both enjoyed the (free) scenic walk more.
Everything you’ve heard is true. New Zealand’s Forests are completely spectacular.
Well after a night at the caves we wanted to keep moving (the caravan park, like everything in the small town, was very, very expensive). So to balance it all out we went camping for free in the National park (although we did give a nice donation).
We found this private little patch a short walk to the lookout.
Well, the sign said it was short…
Is that 15 minutes each way or return…
Should we turn around….
Oh my… How do we get down there!
Our 15 minute stroll turned into an hour and a half when is it going to end guy can you carry me this last little bit I am hungry we should have turned at that sign back there do we turn back now or keep going….
Luckily we came prepared with snacks and plenty of water. We finally popped out on the main road a couple of k’s away from camp wondering were we made the mistake. When hiking in the forest always get a map of the trails and a compass. We didn’t know if we started on waintamui or manitikiki so it made it difficult to understand the signs.
Well, our plight seemed a little trifle after chatting to these fiesty Romanians who had just completed the 8 hour hike to the summit!
Well that is long enough away from the luxuries of settlement for us. We on we go towards the centre of the north island. In Search of a SHOWER!
Between us and such luxuries lies the Forgotten Highway. Which actually proved to be downright spooky!
Every second attraction along this highway was a tale of woe.
I present the tallest (and most disappointing) waterfall in the North Island of New Zealand. 32km of dusty dirt tracks and a 40 minute return walk and the water didn’t even reach the bottom!
The story goes that these falls were discovered by an early pioneer and his trusty sheepdog. They were attacked by a boar, the dog fought and they both went over the edge.
There is no petrol or shops for over 120km. Which doesn’t sound like a great deal, but it took us over 5 hours of driving to get to the end of the highway.
At least you can always fall back on the just watching the landscape.
After one too many memorial bridges that collapsed in death and dispair, pubs that burned down a year after opening and memorial graves for locals that died young we reached the end.
The most beautiful and charming small town and caravan park yet, Taumarunui!
What a beautiful spot. The owners are the friendliest we’ve met on our whole travels!