On Boxing Day our daughter and her boyfriend flew up from Wellington to join us for a week exploring the Far North. As the weather looked pretty good we decided to take them on an overnight tramp along part of the Te Araroa Trail from near Mangamuka Bridge into the Omahuta Forest. Continue reading Omahuta Forest
Part of Felicity’s job is to recruit and encourage doctors to help train medical students by giving them real world experience. We’ve spent the last week touring around Coromandel in the motorhome visiting many of the region’s general practitioners. Continue reading A visit to the doctors in Coromandel
This weekend we’ve been out on the West Coast again. Early on Saturday afternoon, we launched the kayaks at Cornwallis Wharf and paddled north along the cost towards Laingholm.
Continue reading Whatipu to Pararaha
In between Pataua and Ngunguru is a river called the Horahora, on the NZ topographical map anyway. On Google Maps it is confusingly named Waitangi, despite the fact that there is much better known river with the same name in the Bay of Islands a bit further north. Continue reading Horahora River
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
Despite the fact that heavy rain was forecast for Saturday night we decided to spend the weekend kayaking, and the Rotorua area seemed the obvious choice. We left home on Friday morning, and made it as far as Karapiro by lunchtime. Continue reading Dunham Reserve and Blue Lake
For the first time since our return from Europe we’ve spent a weekend in the motorhome down in the Waikato. Felicity had an appointment at midday Saturday in Hamilton, but we hit the road early on Friday morning, and as usual she worked with her Surface Pro on her lap all the way down the motorway.
Continue reading Karapiro and Matamata
Intimidated by the dire warnings about Cyclone Cook, we changed our plan to go away this Easter and were at home on Friday and Saturday. When it became obvious that the storm had almost completely by-passed Auckland, we loaded the kayaks on the motorhome and headed north on Sunday.
Continue reading Maungaturoto and Mangawhai
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
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 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
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
It rained overnight at Morere Springs, but the sun was shining again by morning. We decided to hike the Mangakawa Track which climbs high above the hot pools before following the Mangakawa Stream back to the springs.
Continue reading Gisborne and Rere
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
Although we visited Lake Tutira at the end of 2014, we decided to spend another night there and enjoy a paddle. We noticed signs on the way in warning about low water quality, but it wasn’t until we parked in a prime spot on the lake edge that we realised just how bad toxic algae can get in warm, still water.
Continue reading Toxic Lake Tutira
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
Much of the boundary between Auckland and Northland is marked by the Topuni River, which flows into the Kaipara Harbour. A bridge carrying by State Highway 1 crosses it about half way between Te Hana and Kaiwaka. For ages I have looked at this river as we’ve headed north, and thought it would be fun to explore by kayak.
Continue reading Port Albert and Topuni River
I had done quite a bit of driving around the city completing chores, so by the time I left town mid-afternoon Wednesday, I wasn’t feeling like travelling far. I also felt like a swim so I returned to the Les Atkins Reserve next to the bridge over the Waikato River at Tauakau.
Continue reading Waitangi weekend cycling in central North Island