Even though we had toured most of New Zealand last year, we missed a few places that we wanted to see this year. We figured, we won't be back for another season, so we might as well see what we can while we are here.
We stored our car in Whangarei, while we were in Fiji and picked it up again, when we came back. So, it was nice we did not have to buy another car. We packed up the car with our camping gear and set off. The places we knew we wanted to see were the Coromandel Peninsula, Napier / Hawkes Bay area of the North Island and the Nelson / Golden Bay area of the South Island.
We went south and made our way to the Coromandel Peninsula. Coromandel looks like a panhandle east of Auckland. You have the Hauraki Gulf to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the East.
We stopped to see the Square Kauri Tree. It is the 15th largest kauri tree on the Coromandel Peninsula and is estimated to be 1,200 years old with a square trunk!.
Horatio turned 13 and celebrated with square kauri tree photo!
Geoff and Miriam celebrated their 17 year anniversary while touring the Coromandel peninsula.
We stopped in Coromandel town and Noah had a scooter break
While driving the 309 road to see the beautiful landscape, we passed a farm? with pigs and chickens running all over the raod.
We stopped in Opito Bay, which is the eastern end of the peninsula.
A very popular tourist attraction is Hot Water Beach. An underground river of hot water flows from the interior of the earth to the surface in the Pacific Ocean. The water can be VERY hot. You bring a shovel and dig your own hot tub!
Noah digging his hot tub
Ahh, nice place to relax after a boogie board and swim in the cold ocean.
We also hiked out to Cathedral Cove. A rock archway accessible only by boat or walking out to the beach.
After touring the Coromandel Peninsula, we drove back up to Auckland to spend Easter with our friends from SV Pesto. They were coming back to NZ after spending 3 months in Brazil. We wanted to spend time with them as they are winding down their cruising journey. We went with them to the Auckland Zoo and to Rainbow's End, an amusement park, for Horatio's birthday. We thought we would not see them again for another month as we planned on going to the South Island, and they were going to go back up north to Opua, where our boats are located. It turned out, they decided to tour a few places in the South Island with us. We were thrilled!
Geoff and Noah watching the approaching emu
You could easily reach over the railing to touch them
Brolga - looks like a flamingo, but grey
Rainbow's End amusement park for Horatio's 13th birthday
Paulo and Noah flying in space
We rented an AirBnB and had an Easter Egg
hunt in the reserve behind the house
On the way down to Wellington, we stayed in Lake Taupo area.
We visited the Aratiatia Rapids, where they open the dam 3 times a day
and produce hydro electricity for the area
Thermal pool located in a public park in Taupo
Geoff and Noah is the pool
Maybe some day
Ferry to the South Island
No pictures of the ferry or the scenery as we did this last year, but this time was the first that we saw sheep being transported to the South Island via ferry.
They are packed in there!
We took the ferry from Wellington to Picton, which is just north of Blenheim. We drove to Nelson are to visit the Nelson and Golden Bay area north of Nelson.
We toured Pic's Peanut Butter Factory.
Delicious Peanut butter with no added sugar or additives. Delicious
The very small factory. Love the local spirit.
View of bay in Nelson and
Kahurangi National park in the background
Drive from Nelson to Hanmer Springs. It snowed and was VERY cold.
Beautiful snow covered mountains
View from the top of Conical Hill in Hanmer Springs
not sure if these are edible or poisonous?
View around Hanmer Springs
On the drive to Christchurch
Antarctic Center in Christchurch
Noah is a seal
Driving a rover
Husky Zone - Adrina feels how soft their coats are
Husky Zone - Raquel petting one of the rescued huskies
Hagglund ride - we went on a course to simulate what it feels
like going over logs, steep hills, etc. Very fun.
Simulator of Antarctic Storm. It was -18 degrees C!
The Cardboard Cathedral in Christchurch
Outside of the Cathedral view of the stained glass that was
reproduced from the original church that was destroyed in the 2006 earthquake
The tables, chairs, lectern, all made of cardboard
Petting the statue dogs
Margaret Mahy playground
Why not play some Space Invaders while walking the streets of Christchurch
NapierNapier is considered the Art Deco town of New Zealand. After a 7.9 earthquake pretty much destroyed the city in 1931, they decided to rebuild in Art Deco style. They hold the Napier Art Deco Festival every year.
Getting ready to celebrate ANZAC day
View of Hawkes Bay. The bay is very large and has quite a large port.
Back up to the North Island and saying goodbyes.
As the cyclone season starts to end in May, most cruisers start the process of making their way back up to the South Pacific Islands. Usually, Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caldenia and Australia or some to continue west to Indonesia, some go north to the Solomons or to the Marshall Islands.
Saying goodby to our good friends on SV Slow Flight, with SV Me Too, and SV Sky Blue Eyes
Fair winds and following seas to Slow Flight as they make their way to South Africa, via Vanuatu, Australia, Indonesia, across the Indian ocean. We will miss Kimi and Trevor.