Month: September 2019

Sunday 29th September

1st night back in oz and the nocturnal noise it’s certainly very diverse. The wild life here likes to be heard if not seen.

A comfortable sleep after a great evening spent with new friends. We took full use of our en-suit, the luxury of a hot clean shower that’s not on a timer and shampoo and conditioner and and and shower gel. Lol like a kid in a candy shop. I’ve been washing myself and hair with a bar of soap. (Space and weight saving and doesn’t count as liquid on a plane). I’ve forgot how soft hair is after conditioning.

Breakfast of toast and I tried vegemite for the 1st time. Marmite is better!

And wash it down with English breakfast tea made properly with lose tea leaves.

It’s a Sunday and Madeleine and Jeremy have the day off so very kindly have offered to take us sightseeing.

We go for a lovely Sunday drive following a coastal road into a national park, with Madeleine pointing out places of interest and wild unusual plants. And it’s at least 10c warmer than New Zealand. Beautiful sunshiny day.

Lunch stop was in a cafe at Kurnell that has a plaque to commemorate captain cooks landing site in 1770 I guess he moved on from the place called 1770 in Queensland I should buy a Australian guide book.

The afternoon was spent relaxing and Madeleine cooked a delicious evening meal. We all eat together. Jeremy, Madeleine and their two sons Ben and Harry. Funny cheeky young men. A hard working family that all have to get up early for work. Tomorrow we have to leave but we have enjoyed our stay. We say our good byes tonight as we may not see them in the morning.

Saturday 28th September

A really bad nights sleep, well don’t think I slept, Mike definitely didn’t. We spent the night in a hotel, a nice clean room but yes it’s a budget hotel. The walls are paper thin and the room next to us were really noisy, music all night and people coming and going. Loud knocking on their door, heavy footsteps and loud conversations in Chinese . Not sure what was going on but what ever it was I’m sure it could of been done with a lot less noise.

Anyway up we get at 4:30 am ready for the shuttle bus to the airport not a problem. Managed to get that and we were the only ones on the bus nice and early for the check in.

At the airport we checked in hand luggage only, we are allowed one bag to go in the over head storage and one bag under the seat. We have less stuff going back and it wasn’t a problem coming so why leaving is it. They weigh our luggage and tell us that we have to pay $75 to check them in the hold. Money grabbing gits

The flight is 7am but it’s delayed, we finally take off at 9:30 am a three and a half hour bumpy, boring flight, no entertainment just sit and stair at the back of the chair in front. What joy.

The landing was pretty bumpy I thought that we were going to over shoot the run way. Mike recons it was a manual landing because it was so rough, but hay it’s a adventure I tell you.

Back in Australia and funny we had only been here for 3 weeks before we went to New Zealand but it felt like we were home. We picked up our hire car and drive to Kate’s house and pick up our bikes from her garden, frightening her poor daughter who she thought we were burglars sorry.

Next stop we had arranged to meet a face book friend mark. Mark lives in Sydney and is a keen cyclist, he has been following our face book page and offered a place for us to stay. Thank you mark. But as it happens we also had been offered a place to stay by someone else I love the power of the internet. Anyway we met mark and he very kindly brought us lunch and gave us a idea of a cycle route to do on our next tour.

After leaving mark we make our way to madeleines house our home for the night. Madeleine is also a complete stranger from internet land who offered us some where to stay.

Madeleine and family are lovely made us so welcome. We have our own room with en-suite in a beautiful house with a swimming pool. That’s it I’m moving in squatters rights. A lovely evening with delicious home cooked food and plenty of drinks the conversation was flowing. And funny but it’s been a long day and with the time difference it’s even longer not wanting the evening to end we reluctantly went to bed.

We loved it so much we are staying another night. We not going with out a fight!

Friday 27th September

Day off today, relaxing and packing ready for our 7am flight to Sydney tomorrow. We are staying in a hotel tonight in a suburb of Auckland they have a free shuttle service to the airport.

Auckland, based around 2 large harbours, is a major city in the north of New Zealand’s North Island. In the centre, the iconic Sky Tower has views of Viaduct Harbour, which is full of superyachts and lined with bars and cafes. Auckland Domain, the city’s oldest park, is based around an extinct volcano and home to the formal Wintergardens. It is the most populated city in New Zealand with just over 3:5 million residents.

Thursday 26th September

A sad day. We have to hand Lucy back. We have loved camper van life and touring New Zealand. It’s a truly beautiful magical place. It’s landscape and coast has something for everyone. So many trees I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many trees. And living in a camper for the last month has inspired us for future road trips.

Bye bye juicy Lucy going to miss you. We have tomorrow off to get ourselves sorted and will be flying to Sydney early Saturday morning. Time to get back on the bikes and continue our cycle tour. A new chapter bring it on.

Wednesday 25th September

The wind and rain finally stopped, so armed with our shovel of we walk to the beach.

We dug around until we found a hot spring, and boy it’s hot it must come out of the ground at about 70-75c enough to scold you! Anyway spring located mike dug away. And dug and dug, sand flying everywhere.

When the hole was big enough for us both to lay in we then spent a while relaxing in it. Well I did mike was like a child digging in the sand. He kept digging and digging every so often stating that he was going to dig his way to England, bless his having fun.

Trying not to get my ass scolded on hot water and with sand going in places that I can’t mention I decided that I’ve had my fun for the day I needed a shower and breakfast.

After breakfast it’s time to hit the road. We are following the coastal highway around the coromandel. We stop to look around Thames a former gold mining town. It’s now a arty,crafty place

And home to three old post boxes

I don’t know why but I love old post boxes and have taken photos of many!

This one is a rare cast pillar box circa 1870. The origins are obscure but are similar to an 1866 British design.its believed to be modelled on a earlier French design that has three apertures placed at a height to enable a person on horseback to post a letter with out dismounting. The three may have been made in this town as there’s nothing like it else where. the night was spent at a campsite in orere point next to a beach.

Tuesday 24th September

Alarm set for 5am,spade hired for a mere $5 just under £2.50, weather forecast and sunrise checked. We asked the receptionist whether the sand fly was a problem in the area she assured us that they weren’t so no repellent needed we settled down for the night.

We got rudely awakened at 4:30 am by heavy rainfall. We lay there listening to the sound of rain on our metal roof. The wind joined in for good measure making poor Lucy rock. The alarm goes off. We both looked at each other and say no chance! I don’t think it’s going to get light let alone have that wonderful sunrise I was dreaming of,darn. I pulled the cover up and around me and went back to sleep.

What to do on a wet windy day on the coast. We were both disappointed as you can’t come to hot water beach and not dig yourself a hot pool.

We went to reception and checked the tide times. So tonight at 8:30 is low tide it gets dark at 6pm a moon light hot pool star spotting sounds good. Or in the morning at 7:30am. We decided to stay another day.

So rain coats on we set off for a walk.A one hour walk to Cathedral cove.

Named for its majestic arched cavern that passes through a white rock headland to join two secluded coves. The sandy beach is lined with pohutukawa tree otherwise known as New Zealand Christmas tree. Photo taking from instagram as weather so bad to get a good one!

On the walk down we passed some grazing goats.

A little way of the shore is a large pumice rock known as Te Ho Ho. Over time it’s been sculpted by the wind and rain and it’s said that it looks like a pros of a large ship heading into shore.

Cold wet and sand blasted we then turn around and walk the hour walk back. Along the cliff path it’s a steep climb back I’m going to feel that later.

The rest of the day was spent relaxing on the campsite. The weather didn’t improve all day so no hot pool tonight. We have one more chance in the morning.

Monday 23rd September

More twisty roads took us to the coromandel peninsula. We are staying at a 10 ten campground tonight. New Zealand’s biggest holiday park camping chain. They are all very well equipped and clean to a high standard. And all the staff are friendly and helpful. We would stay on more of these but we both love finding little gems of spots to wilderness camp. In campsites your always surrounded by people, it’s good to get away and enjoy nature. Last night we stayed at a deserted beach.

We are now at hot water beach no wilderness camping allowed anywhere near here.

Hot water beach is truly magical, for two hours either side of low tide you can bathe in a hot pool that you dig yourself. All you have to do is dig around the edge of the tide line until you find a hot water spring. When you’ve found one dig yourself a hole and lay back and relax. It was named one of the top 10 beaches to visit in the world by lonely planet.

Low tide today was at 7:20pm and lots of people were giving it a go. We are planning to come back for the tide in the morning as it’s the same time as sunrise and fancy watching the sun come up whilst laying in our very own hot pool. We can hire a spade from reception.

Sunday 22nd September

We looked around the town of Rotorua known as New Zealand’s heartland of Maori culture.

The afternoon was spent walking around tuapiro reserve a beautiful peninsula with soft sand and warm water.and daisy filled fields.we ate our dinner here and spent the evening reading in the warm sun and , When the sun had set we moved on to a place that we were allowed to wild camp.

no camping was allowed within the reserve

Saturday 21st September

More driving, more twisty roads I don’t think there’s a straight road in New Zealand. We want to explore the thermal pools and springs in waikite valley. Where boiling hot water bubbles up out of the ground in natural hot springs forming warm waterfalls and rivers.

We spent the night in a campsite that used the hot water to fill up hot tubs to various heat levels. We made the most of it and stayed in the pools until kick out at 9pm just a bit crinkled

The water is run over a series of cascades until it has cooled to a comfortable 35 degrees Celsius. Each pool was a different temperature we found our favourite one and relaxed. bliss.

Friday 20th September

A 3.5 hour choppy ferry ride took us back to the north island. Landing in Wellington just gone midday. We followed a really twisty road up the coast through tight mountain passes with lots of switch backs that did nothing to Seattle our already upset tummies 🤢. The views made it worth it.

As always in New Zealand it’s stunning. We pushed on today as we have to be in Auckland by Thursday and we’d already spent time in Wellington and would like to explore somewhere different before we run out of time.

We spent the night at hawks Bay full of vineyards it’s one of the major grape producing area. Manly for wine not fruit bowls.