I had pre-booked sites and we were on the water’s edge looking across the river.
Setting up was so easy – plug in the electric cable, turn on the gas bottle, and that’s it. Home from home – including a hot shower and air con – wonderful!
So restful to walk along the water’s edge, look at the boats and take in the beautiful scenery.
Everyone will tell you how beautiful this area is but words do not do justice to the magnificent scenery.
Paihia is a lovely little town on the coast and at the mouth of the Waitangi river.
The Bay of Islands is simply beautiful and I think the pictures speak for themselves. Chances are you will have a dolphin escort as you travel around the bay.
If you walk across the bridge over the Waitangi River from Paihia you very soon reach one of the most famous places in New Zealand, the Waitangi Treaty grounds. It was here on the 6th February 1840 that the Waitangi treaty was signed which put in place a British Governor and gave the Maori the rights of British subjects.
Alongside the splendid Maori Meeting House is the original Treaty House. There is also the Maori War Canoe which carried up to 120 warriors and is launched every year on Waitangi Day 6th February.
So after some time in Paihia it was time to head back south of Auckland to our next stop Waitomo.
Next day and we head off south then east through the Pureora Forest Park with Lake Taupo as our destination. This is a lovely drive across the tops with some stunning views.
It’s an area dominated by the twin peaks of Mts Ngauruhoe and Tongariro.
We soon start the descent to Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake, and at the northeastern end Taupo town itself. Very much a resort town with fishing and sailing being two of the main attractions.
Although not on our agenda on this visit mention should be made of Napier, a town on the east coast, and a must see place to visit.
The town centre was all but destroyed by a massive earthquake in 1931 but was rapidly rebuilt in the then fashionable Art Deco style. On high days and holidays many of the residents dress in 1930’s costumes and some wonderful old cars take to the streets.
But now we head off to our last destination, Rotorua. This is one of the main centres of thermal activity with steam coming out of many fissures in the ground. Well worth a visit are the Government Gardens and the Rotorua Museum.
For a wilder experience head 10 miles out of Rotorua to Hells Gate, a fantastic two level thermal valley connected by a hot waterfall.
A few miles away are the Blue and Green Lakes, so called because one looks Green and the other looks Blue, and something to do with the minerals in the water. The Blue Lake is a popular day out for people from the Rotorua area but the Green lake is private ,inaccessible, and sacred to the Maori.
So next morning it was back to Auckland via Hamilton to start the journey home. In summary New Zealand is a beautiful country with the locals unfailingly polite and friendly. The cost of living would appear to be on about a par with the UK and a mobile home is a great way to travel. Outside the main cities the roads have very little traffic so I didn’t really need to use the six speed gearbox all that much!
A place to enjoy! New Zealand
Why visit this place?
Fantastic scenery, lovely people, and relatively easy on the pocket!
When is the best time of year to visit?
October - March
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