Felicity is presenting at the 15th World Congress on Public Health in Melbourne this week, so we decided I would accompany her and spend some time checking out the city’s cycle trails. Our friends Marion and Elephant invited us to visit them in Allansford near the western border of Victoria for a few days beforehand.
Continue reading Allansford and Great Ocean Road
There is a great free campsite at the mouth of the Waiotahi River, just south of Whakatane. After finding a good spot we went for a long walk down Waiotahi Beach to the south before dinner.
Continue reading Ohiwa Beach and Uretara Island
Felicity wanted to talk to the doctor at Te Kaha’s medical centre about student placements, so we stopped for half an hour to enjoy a cup of tea with her. She told us that our planned campsite at Omaio would be very busy because it is right next to the cemetery and a big tangi is happening. She suggested we could stay at her mother’s property a few kilometers further on.
Continue reading Whitianga Bay
We had intended to camp just past Te Kaha, but before we arrived there we spotted some campervans and a bus down on Maraehako beach, and a small sign advertising a private camping ground. When we realised how beautiful the place was, we decided to spend $15.00 each and stay. It turned out to be money well spent – this is one of the best coastal kayaking destinations we have been to.
Continue reading Maraehako
According to the Campermate App, Lottin Point is an unauthorised campsite, and risks an instant fine. We have camped there a couple of times in the past, so we thought we would drive out and have a look to see if there are any “No Camping” signs. There aren’t.
Continue reading Lottin Point
Because we were already inside the Eastwoodhills Abouretum when we woke up, we decided to have another walk after breakfast, and explore some of the areas that we hadn’t visited the day before.
This time we found an almond tree, which I have never seen before. The nuts (or more correctly seeds) were surrounded by a soft flesh similar to a peach or apricot, which are in the same family. Our nut collection is growing!
Continue reading Anaura Bay and East Cape
When we first woke this morning, the sky was quite clear with an pink-orange glow. I was still drinking my bed tea when out to sea the sun popped over the horizon and shone straight in our bedroom window. It was obvious to both of us that it was going to be a kayaking day.
Continue reading Kopuawhara Stream and Mangaone Caves
With the weather looking pretty dreadful everywhere in the North Island, we decided to backtrack south after our friends returned home to Auckland. We are hoping that East Cape will be the first area of the country to get sunshine after the “weather bomb” finally passes over.
Continue reading Mahia Peninsula
Our friends John and Claude sent us a text to say they were camping at Tolaga Bay for a few days on their way back to Auckland, so we decided to join them. The woman at the campground warned us that a storm was on its way and that they were expecting gale force winds, but we had to stay somewhere so we booked in anyway.
Continue reading Tolaga Bay Storm
This weekend Felicity’s medical school class of 76 held its 40 year reunion in Napier, so we drove down in the motorhome to attend. We left home on Thursday at 3.00pm, and managed to get across the Bombay Hills, and out of the traffic, in just under an hour and a half.
Continue reading Hawke’s Bay Reunion
As Felicity has an event in Whakatane to attend on Monday, we decided to drive down on Friday and spend the weekend in the area. We were keen on a paddle in our kayaks, but the weather on Friday was looking a bit wild so we headed for Lake Okareka, just to the west of Lake Tarawera, in the hope that it would be relatively sheltered.
Continue reading Powhiri in Whakatane
Our friends Tannis and Mike have built a new house since we last visited them, so we were interested to see the changes. When we drove past a few months ago we looked up from the road and couldn’t see a thing, so the building blends into the landscape pretty effectively.
Continue reading Weekend at Taupiri Bay
Despite our advice to nephew Ben that Northland would be hellish between Christmas and New Year, we had a couple of visitors from West Island with us who were keen to spend the week in a tropical climate, so we went anyway. Felicity and I were in the motorhome, while Robyn and Gary drove my X-trail with our double kayak on the roof.
Continue reading Far North for New Year
The English branch of the Potter family is visiting NZ this Christmas, so we took the opportunity to spend a couple of days with them in Kerikeri.
Continue reading Bay of Islands with the Brits
This morning we were so well organised that we arrived at the water taxi office almost 20 mins before departure time. We had booked a trip across to Dunk Island, about 10 mins off the coast. Today was the first blue sky, hot sun day we have experienced on this trip to Australia.
Continue reading Dunk Island
The backpackers we are staying at is actually at Wongaling Beach, which is in between Mission Beach and South Mission Beach. Even though we were up bright and early this morning, it ended up being a bit of a rush to get to the Clump Point boat ramp, where a ridged-hull inflatable boat operated by Reefexpress was waiting to take us on another snorkelling expedition.
Continue reading Mission Beach
From the deck of our backpacker’s hostel we could see the ocean through the trees, so the first thing we did this morning was to drive down to Bingil Bay and walk up and down the beach. There were signs warning about crocodiles, but I overheard a local saying that all the north Queensland beaches now have these signs so they are not particularly meaningful.
Continue reading Bingil Bay
They don’t call it rainforest for nothing – it has been wet every day of our Queensland trip so far. As I have been writing this post we have been forced to move further under a wide veranda to escape the deluge. With temperatures around 27 degrees this is not as bad as it sounds, and we have been enjoying our adventures so far.
Continue reading Daintree
When we saw there was fine weather forecast for the long weekend, we decided to head north in the campervan. Realising that others would have the same idea, we hit the road about 3.30pm, and as a consequence got a pretty clear run to Whangarei.
Continue reading Kerikeri for Queen’s Birthday
Our plan for Anzac weekend really only extended as far as visiting Felicity’s cousin for dinner and spending the night outside his house near Parua Bay, just north of Whangarei. We were only a couple of kilometres away when there was a terrible vibration and smashing noise from the rear of the campervan, so I pulled over to the side of the road just opposite the yacht club. All the rubber tread on one tyre had de-laminated and was lying on the road about 20 metres behind us, so it was obvious we were going to be a bit later than expected.
Continue reading Whananaki