At the Glenorchy end of Lake Wakatipu there are a couple of islands that you see from the highway, and we have always wanted to kayak there to explore. When we arrived in Queenstown yesterday and saw that the lake was flat and glassy we decided to take the opportunity. Continue reading Pigeon Island – Lake Wakatipu
It was Auckland Anniversary Weekend, and the weather looked good, so on Friday morning we headed down to Coromandel with our kayaks on the racks. We had hoped to stay on the edge of Whangapoua Harbour, but we weren’t the only ones to have this idea and all the freedom camping spots were taken. In the late afternoon, and desperate to get in the water for a swim, we called in at the Kuaotunu Motor Camp and found they had a site vacant.
Continue reading New Chum Beach and Kirita Bay
I’ve never visited Ahipara, so we took the car ferry from Rawene across to Kohukohu and drove north along the Mangamuka river instead of returning to Kaikohe. The south end of Ninety Mile Beach is quite pretty, but somewhat spoiled by constant traffic driving at speed up and down the beach. Continue reading Houhora at New Year
As Felicity had to attend a powhiri in Whangarei this weekend, we loaded the kayaks onto the motorhome and headed north on Friday morning. As we planned to stay the night at her cousin’s house up on Mt Tiger, we stopped at nearby Parua Bay for an afternoon paddle. Continue reading Parua Bay and Taurikura Bay
For the last couple of days, our view has had White Island steaming gently on the horizon. We have both wanted to visit for ages, and even made a booking once, which was cancelled by wild weather. When we inquired at the Opotiki I-site yesterday and discovered that the conditions today would be as good as they ever get, we knew we had to head straight for Whakatane.
Continue reading White Island
Felicity has a function to attend in Whangarei on Monday, so we decided to spend the weekend up north in the motorhome. As usual we didn’t have much of a plan when we left home, but as we neared Wellsford she rang our friends Lannes and Linda in the Bay of Islands, and received an invitation to park in their driveway overnight.
Continue reading Toretore Island
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
We had such a good time snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef yesterday that we decided to do it again today, and booked ourselves on one of the Sailaway catamarans. Their trip is to the inner edge of the reef, about 15km off shore. The wind had dropped almost completely overnight, so we didn’t get to actually sail, but the water was almost flat, and perfect for snorkelling.
Continue reading The Low Isles
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
The Motutapu camp at Administration Bay is an ex-WW2 military facility that is now used mostly by school groups for outdoor education. When it is not full of school kids, members of the public can book the old barracks for group events. One of Felicity’s colleagues has a great love of the island, and decided to hold a weekend party to celebrate her 50th birthday.
Continue reading Motutapu Outdoor Education Camp
After a long walk around Omaha Beach yesterday, we decided that we would rest our legs and exercise our arms today by kayaking up the Waiwera river.
Continue reading Waiwera River
Felicity is not normally a person who responds to on-line adverts, but the when a message appeared on her tablet one cold grey morning at breakfast offering a very cheap five night package holiday in Samoa, she checked her diary and discovered a mostly free week. We had hoped to enjoy some summer weather during our recent Scotland trip, but it just didn’t happen, so I think she felt a bit deprived.
Continue reading Apia
Because I’m not prepared to spend any longer than 12 hours sitting in an aeroplane, I spent a night in Hong Kong on my way to the UK.
Continue reading Causeway Bay Hong Kong
For the final night of our Easter holiday, we drove back south and camped at Papa Aroha Holiday Park, again right on the beach.
Continue reading Moturua Island
Up at the northern end of the Coromandel Peninsular, past Cape Colville, is the beautiful DOC camp-ground at Fletcher Bay.
Continue reading Fletcher Bay – The Pinnacles
In the Firth of Thames there are a group of islands running north from Coromandel. We visited some of them this Easter.
Continue reading Whanganui Island
The last two days of our Thai holiday have been at a dive resort on “Turtle Island”. While we haven’t seen any turtles yet, the marine life on the reef in front of the hotel is fantastic.
Continue reading Tanote Bay Ko Tao
After negotiating the purchase of a new campervan this morning, we went for a walk around the shore of the Manukau.
Felicity wanted to meet with a colleague who lives on Waiheke Island yesterday, so we raced into town in time to catch the 9 o’clock ferry. It was a beautiful day to be on the Waitemata harbour, and there were lots of boats heading in all directions.
My eye was caught by a very strange launch that I have seen in the distance a couple of times. It looks a bit like a submarine sitting high in the water. At the back a hatch in the side was open, and it seems the crew can drive a smaller vessel inside like a garage. As we were watching, another very strange craft with a huge bow and tiny cockpit came zooming up (unfortunately it’s not very clear in my photo).
I went for a wander up the hill behind Uma Rapiti farm while Felicity was talking in the house below. Auckland city is in the far distance.
The first half of our walk followed the coastal path where they hold the annual sculpture exhibition. Even without the artwork it is a spectacular journey.
Not long after passing the wharf at Matiatia, we found a comfortable leather couch under a pohutukawa tree, just above the high tide line, so we borrowed it for half an hour to eat our lunch.
The track on this part of the coast is much more rugged, but just as scenic. We were impressed by some of the flash houses we passed. A few even had their own heli-pads. One property had an olive grove with a small stone wall around each tree.
The coastal track ends at Owhanake (my predictive text thinks I’m trying to write “own a naked…”) but we found a newly renovated set of steps leading up hill to a trig. I don’t know if this is the highest point on the island, but the views were impressive.
We were expecting to be on the road from that point on, but another track seemed to be heading in the right general direction so we followed that downhill. When we finally did hit the road we were delighted to find that we were only a few hundred metres from Matiatia, so by 3.30 we were sitting on the wharf drinking a coffee and waiting for the ferry home.
On a beautifully fine Waitangi day we took the ferry to Waiheke to see the sculpture exhibition. The walk around the cliffs is fantastic at any time, but there was lots of interesting art to loom at as well.
Continue reading Waiheke Sculpture Walk