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My Journey Round The World » New Zealand

My Journey Round The World

279 days on the road…

Feedback NZ

20010-03-nz best

NZ… Lot of people say it’s an amazing country… With Ariane, it took us some times to believe it but after spending a bit more than a month there, I agree ;)

Kiwisas they like to be called - are really really friendly – not the same as warm Argentinean & Chilean – but still much better than Europe! Here I especialy have in mind Dave and his family who hosted us in Wellington and the couchsurfers I staid with: the Dumble family, Sincowho is Dutch leaving in NZ for ages now! - and Anna.

Landscapes are breathtaking! Changing all the time… So, as for the weather: “if you don’t like it wait a minute” as Sinco told me – I’ll say: If you don’t like the landscape, move forward! Incredible to have so much diversity in such a little space… I guess that is why NZ is so amazing! However, it still a tiny little country in the middle of the ocean! Tiny little country with tiny little cities and what I found so unbelievable are the public toilets! – No joke! - Everywhere you go they are clean, with toilet paper & soap, really evrywhere. This is really something that amaze me! Pity we don’t have the same in Europe! Only bad thing was internet connexion… So difficult to find and really expensive!

Anyway, I’ll definitely recommand a visit there for anyone who love nature & adventure :) Travelling with a van was really conveniente, easy and fun – especialy with the one we had :)


Last challenging week in NZ Northland

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New van, new travel partner, new adventure… As my travel mate - Frank – wrote it: sort of nice and challenging trip!

Not exactly the kind of  journey I was expecting, I have to say. It was sometimes pretty hard for me to deal with and I thought several times to escape this little nightmare… However isn’t it in difficult times that we learn the most?! Still, this was pretty hard and interesting to discover where I need to improve some of my behaviour to better face people and life situation! Just need now to find out how! :)

Anyway, we still had some fun in this beautiful NZ landscape and a great last laugh the last day, about his van partner :) - by the way, speaking about van, the Escape one we had on my first road trip was a bit more practical even if the Wicked one had perfect panoramic roof – Ariane you would have love that! –  to watch the stars ; unless our was broken! :(

It seems to  me that the Northland is a bit more busy than other NZ areas… Maybe because it’s Auckland closest region…

Our 5 days road trip brought us first to the Goat Island and his 547-hectare area established in 1978 as the country’s first Marine Reserve. You can snorkel or scuba dive from the beach – I know some people who would love that: Baptiste, Lulu, Renaud… We’ve seen many doing it but that day was too cold and windy for me! - So we ended up on a glass-bottom boat from where we’ve seen many Snapper and stripy Parora fishes, seaweed and a beautifull ray. The Marine Reserve also include excellent interpretative panels providing pictures of species you’re likely to encounter as well as explaining where one of the ancestral Maori canoes landed.

We continue our journey crossing Pakiri Beach and the undeniably pretty Bay of Islands before reaching The Far North Cape Reinga lighthouse, looking out over the endless ocean where the waters of the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean meet.  The next day, after watching a shy sunrise behind the cloud, we made our way to the famous Ninety Miles Beach - Ninety Kilometre Beach seems to be more accurate according to Lonely Planet – a continuous stretch lines with high sand dunes where cars are allowed to drive at low tide.

In the afternoon after a short boat trip crossing between Kohukohu and Rawene, a short stop at the absolutely amazing Arai te Uru lookout – this is now in competition with Kaikoura for my favorite place! – we stopped in the Waipoua Kauri Forest to see Tane Mahuta, the largest Kauri tree alive: 51m – 13,8m girth & a wood mass of 244,5 cubic metres, standing here for somewhere between 1200 and 2000 years! Even my giant travel buddy looked really small next to it! :)

In the evening we arrived at a DOC (Department Of Conservation) campsite and went for a night walk in the Trounson Kauri Park where we missed the kiwis – seen by 2 german girls just before – but seen a lot of glow-worm. Heading the next morning toward Auckland in order to catch my flight to Brisbane-Australia while Frank will have 5 more weeks to discover breathtaking NZ…

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Auckland
After Ariane left, I had 1 more night planned in Auckland which I wanted to spend with local people. I ended up to Couchsurf by Anna – what a nightmare to drive in Auckland with the Van after such a quite road trip! – What was supposed to be 1 night turned into 4 including a visit to the Domain Wintergarden & watching Alice in Wonderland – the last Tim Burton 3D movie – with Laure – another French Couchsurfer – a pillow fight in Auckland city center (!) as well as visiting the SkyTower and Mt Eden for a superb view of the city.
I also finally decided to stay a bit longer than normally planned in order to meet again Frank – a German guy I met in Bariloche-Argentina – to visit the Northland region before heading to Australia, my finale destination so far, where I’m supposed to stay for a while…

2010-04-02-NZ-AucklandWintergarden

After Ariane left, I had 1 more night planned in Auckland which I wanted to spend with local people. I ended up to Couchsurf by Annawhat a nightmare to drive in Auckland with the Van after such a quite road trip! - What was supposed to be 1 night turned into 4 which include a visit to the Domain Wintergarden & watching Alice in Wonderlandthe last Tim Burton 3D movie – with Laureanother French Couchsurfer – a pillow fight in Auckland city center (!) as well as visiting the SkyTower and Mt Eden for a superb view of the city.

Thanks to Anna, I discovered Parnell which is one of my favorite area in Auckland! Nice little cafés and shops – of which a chocolate shop :) – , free internet access… (or you can always find an Esquires café: http://www.esquirescoffee.co.nz/ for 1 hour free when you buy someting) Thanks to Laure, I also found there a nice backpackers hostel where I’ll for sure stay if I’ll come back: http://www.lantanalodge.co.nz/index.htm if not staying by Anna – who also live in a nice area close to Ponsonby Road full of cafés and restaurants of which her favorite: Café Byzantium – 80 Ponsonby Road – with quite good food, prices and free internet access :)

I finally decided to stay a bit longer than normally planned in order to meet again Frank – a German guy I met in Bariloche-Argentina in February – to visit the Northland region before heading to Australia, my finale destination so far, where I’m supposed to stay for a while…

2010-04-06-NZ-AucklandViewMtEden


Novedades – News

My favorites & The worst I’ve seen pages have been updated as well as My meetings

Don’t hesitate to have a look under My journey http://mon-round-del-welt.zoido.de/?page_id=8

Enjoy!!!


NZ – Sin palabras


Love is in the air…

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For my 200 days on the road – ok now 201, sorry! - I just want to send you a little present I’ve seen one morning when waking up to try to catch the sunrise… I missed the sun but the moon seems to tell me something I now want to share with you :)

Take good care and don’t forget, I think of you even so far away… Happy Easter ;)


Coromandel

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In Coromandel, after a short walk around the city where we met Yvon on the road, we finally enjoyed those giant mussels and one of the best carrots cake we had at the UMU café, before heading to Auckland…

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Colville

2010-03-29-NZ-colville

Colville… Interesting lost little city on the Coromandel peninsula… In the middle of the mountains we discovered the buddhist Mahamudra centre with a Stupa and a meditation hall! And be aware, in the municipal room you were not allowed to walk with gumboots or stilettos…


Hanai – Cathedral Grove

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Once again I don’t have any words for these breathtaking views… We had great time walking to Cathedral Grove – where Ariane discovered a mussels heart :)even under a small rain…

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Whangamata

2010-03-28-NZ-whangamata ET LE BEACH HOP

Whangamata… Unusual crowded city as we arrived in the middle of the 10th birthday Beach Hop event!  http://www.thehop.co.nz/ We still don’t really know what is it exactly but it was fun… Our van was perfectly fitting – yes people did look at it and even took pictures even with so many funny cars around! ;)

2010-03-14_NZ_coup de coeur-THE VAN