Our cunning plan for Auckland Anniversary weekend was to leave early on Friday afternoon and try and beat the traffic out of town. Fortunately I took a quick look at the online news before we left, and discovered that due to a car on fire near Papakura there were thousands of other keen holiday-goers already parked on the motorway.
Continue reading Arapuni Landing
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
Section three of the Great Lakes Trail is not easy to get to. As it is 31 km long I wasn’t game to do a return trip so I paid a shuttle to drop me off at the start, and pick me up off the beach by boat at the end.
Continue reading Waihaha and Waihora Trails
Stage two of the Great Lake Trail in Taupo (otherwise known as K2K) runs west along the lake shore from Kinloch to Kawakawa Bay, then climbs up a valley to the road far above. It is 19km each way, so I’ve ridden 38 km today going there and back.
Continue reading Kinloch to Whangamata Rd via Kawakawa Bay
Taupo has several bike shops clustered together in one of the main streets, so I wasn’t too concerned when Torpedo 7, who normally do my bike servicing, told me their mechanic wouldn’t be able to replace my tyre until Sunday. When Top Gear Cycles next door told me they didn’t have any 26 inch mountain bike tyres, I did start to wonder if I would have to drive to Rotorua. Fortunately Pack and Pedal down the road had both stock and someone who could fit it for me.
Continue reading Taupo Tyre Repair
Since I read about the opening of the Pureora Timber Trail almost exactly four years ago I have been itching to ride it, and with Felicity away overseas at a conference I finally got my opportunity. The trail is 85km long, and while some truly hard bastards ride it in one go, most take two days with an overnight camp in the middle.
Continue reading Pureora Timber Trail
This Labour Day holiday we were well-organised – I hadn’t unloaded the kayak gear from last weekend – so we escaped the city late morning on Friday, heading south. By the time we reached Otorahonga we were ready for lunch, so we stopped at the Haurua rest area. This is the start of the King Country, and there is a memorial stone marking the spot where the first Māori king met with the Ngāti Maniapoto chiefs in 1857 to get their support. Europeans could not enter this area for the next quarter of a century. Fortunately for us the locals tolerate pakeha tourists these days.
Continue reading Whakaipo Bay
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
After abandoning our plans to go away in the camper last week due to the horrible weather, we committed ourselves this weekend no matter what. I loaded the kayaks on Thursday so by late morning Friday we were ready to hit the road south, way before any motorway traffic to slow us down.
The only slight problem was that yet again we were short on cheese. A first-world problem to be sure, but needing to be rectified nonetheless. Continue reading Lake Rerewhakaatiu
This weekend we’ve been down in Whitianga, where Felicity was running a GP Research conference. We drove down on Thursday afternoon, not quite beating the traffic out of Auckland. Darkness fell as I drove over the Coromandel Ranges on the Kopu – Hikuai Rd.
Continue reading Whitianga Conference
I had parked the motorhome on some very soft grass at Rainbow Falls, so I turned on the 4WD for a hundred metres or so as we were leaving this morning. I expect most of the time I do it will only be to park right on the edges of rivers and beaches and lakes where you wouldn’t quite trust a two wheel drive vehicle.
Continue reading Keri Keri River
When I woke up this morning I could hear light rain falling on the motorhome roof, but Felicity leapt into action and soon after 7.30 I was outside in my raincoat getting the kayaks ready to launch. Fortunately the clouds cleared and by the time we hit the water the sun was beginning to peek through.
Continue reading Whananaki Inlet
The Department Of Conservation is currently re-building the Okura Walkway, and intend to use 30 metres of a product called Geoweb to hold a mixture of bark and gravel in place. A local group I belong to called Friends of Okura Bush is concerned that kauri and kahikatea roots will penetrate this plastic mesh, and will then be damaged by heavy foot traffic on this popular track.
We have previously seen a small section of Geoweb on the Keri Keri walkway, but when I was told that there has been quite a bit used on the Taheke Waterfall Track just north of Whangarei I decided to check it out.
Continue reading Taheke Waterfall Track
At the beginning of August we took delivery of our new Explorer Navigator Motorhome, so since then we have been impatient to get it kitted out and have our first adventure.
Continue reading Ti Point in new motorhome