Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Auckland, New Zealand

Feb 6, 2016 - On the cheap in Auckland

New Zealand immigration and customs were easy and friendly. We made sure to declare everything, down to a bag of peanuts. We had reserved a rental car through Travelocity. Of course we went for the lowest cost option. The company booked was NU. Of course, there was no NU desk in the airport. Jim was directed to the tourist assistance desk. A phone call later, we were in touch with the rental people. A colleague was sent for us in a tiny Toyota Yaris. We loaded up and were taken to a nondescript industrial building not far away. No NU...

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Feb 1, 2016 - The van is gone.

Sun 31st Jan - We left the campsite nice and early and headed the short distance to the Kiwi House. It wouldn't have been right to come to New Zealand and not to see a Kiwi. They were in a nocturnal house so no photos but we did get to see them at feeding time - also in the dark! We then took good roads towards Hamilton and stopped for lunch and a clean of the van ready to for handover. As we left the stop we had torrential rain which slowed the motorway almost to a stop. 173km today. We have driven a total of 2676km in the time we have had...

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Jan 25, 2016 - Photos

We have been up to Action World at Pahia for some high wire fun- Maisie managed to do the full trapeze with a tumble finish!! Izzy managed to get on the trapeze after hours of practicing on the moving bars-she was so determined. We had a lovely weekend with Ash's family- great to catch up with them all again. We said goodbye to Deedah and Grampy Ed after a great holiday with them. Colette and Ash are back at work so we went with all the big kids to Phill's dad's Bach at Scandrett Park for some fishing and kayaking. The others joined us...

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Trip Journal

Our Year Out

Jan 23, 2016 - Sat 23rd - Lake Taupo.

Left campsite by 0900 and straight to Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland. Bought tickets and then headed off for the 10.15 daily eruption of the Lady Knox Geyser. Couple of hours after that spent walking around the Thermal Park. Bubbling water and steam everywhere, collapsed volcanoes and colourful staining to rock. Easy road to Lake Taupo for two nights on a site close to the town. Taupo turned out to be a 90 minute walk away when we walked in during the afternoon! We have booked a trip on a yacht for Sunday afternoon and will spend the day in...

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Jan 22, 2016 - Thurs 21st and Fri 22nd - Rotorua

Thursday 21st - We set off from Tauranga early and just stopped to refuel. Diesel is costing 36 pence a litre at the moment ! Easy road to Rotorua, big supermarket shop and then onto the Cosy Cottage Thermal Holiday Park. Booked in for two nights, the site has its own thermal pools and is within walking distance of the big lake and the town. 92 km today. Lunch in the van, very hot today and little shade on our pitch. Walked down to lake and researched what we can do tomorrow. Decided against the £400 helicopter flight but have decided to do...

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Jan 22, 2016 - Auckland and beyond

Well arrived safely in Auckland, no delays or hiccups. Took possession of our hire car! We are trying out an SUV for size and usefulness as we are looking at changing our 2 very unsensible cars for at least 1 sensible one, so this holiday is a test driving session. Anyway we have ended up with a Hyundai which won't impress Adam at all. Surprisingly it's a nice car so far. OK so headed to a hotel in Auckland to decide where to start our travels. Having studied our old map from previous trips it would make sense to cover some roads that we...

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Jan 19, 2016 - A few days without wi-fi but now back on line

Heading south now - but still on North Island. Sat 16th - Packed away and off site by 0915. Headed south towards Dargaville. Stopped at 1145 at Maungaraho Rock where we cooked chicken on the outside hob. See the photo for an idea of the wonderful site. After setting off we stopped at the Kauri Museum, a museum about a particular type of wood. It was much more interesting than it sounds and there was lots to see. We could have spent another hour there but we're getting worried about the time. We carried on south and struggles through the...

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Jan 16, 2016 - Farewell New Zealand

Our time in New Zealand comes to a close. It has been a great three months. New Zealand is a magical country. The South Island in particular has so many physically beautiful places that our two months there seemed not enough to do it justice. The North Island did not have as much variety, though did have the unique volcanic zones, bays of islands, and the vibrant Maori culture. Maybe the absence of people in the South Island contributes to that feeling of uniqueness; like you're having it all to yourself - a personal Mother Nature...

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Jan 15, 2016 - A day out from Paihia

After a relaxing afternoon yesterday we walked into Paihia which took us 45 minutes. Had a seafood platter between us - squid, mussels, oysters, prawns, whitefish, salmon, another spiced fish, scallops and roe. Had an unnecessary side order of salad and fries to fill us completely. Another 45 minutes to get back to the van. Slept well and up early for a long drive up to Cape Reinga, total today 435km. Good roads and scenery, despite being the only road north it wasn't too busy and we could make good progress. Photos of the lighthouse and...

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Jan 14, 2016 - On the road

We checked out of the hotel and were collected by taxi at 0920. Easy journey to the Britz depot with a chatty taxi driver. Filled in the paperwork and waited a while to collect the van - a Mercedes Sprinter automatic, double bed at the rear, toilet and kitchen and then a small dining area with a table and revolving front seats. Easy to drive and plenty of room for two. We headed up motorway 1 until threatened with tolls! We then dived in to a service area for lunch and then took a normal A road. Headed through Wharangarei and onto a a Dept...

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Jan 13, 2016 - Last of our days in Auckland.

Walked to the Aukland War Memorial and Museum. About an hour from the hotel. Busy Museum in large parkland. Viewed the lower floor then had lunch. Up to the top floor which has the military exhibits. We did some of the middle floor but we're ready for more coffee and a cake. Headed outside into solid drizzle all the way back to the hotel. Evening in the hotel, packing cases and then a short walk back down to Viaduct Marina for a seafood platter and a glass of cider. Back to the hotel for an early night..

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Jan 12, 2016 - Auckland Harbor Views and a walk down history lane

Devonsport is a suburb of Auckland that is accessible by either ferry or bus. We went via ferry and returned via bus. The historical focus of the community is the old military fortress which was used to protect the Auckland harbor during WWI and WWII. The guns were used against the Japanese and German armies as well as protecting thousands of American soldiers who came to protect New Zealand during the WWII - we had a lot of ships and personnel stationed here since the New Zealand forces were small. The fortress was ready to use if needed...

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