Being a backpacker gives you certain limitations that follow you around until you finish traveling. My main limitation is money. If you read my last post (Arrival) we have bought a car and therefore road tripping around New Zealand. We spent a short period of time traveling around the north side of the island checking out some of NZ’s most iconic places only to be met with the realisation that we were running out of money.
We spent a lot of time driving however when we got close to Cape Reinga we decided to skip the pointy end and keep driving as our first real day was spent stopping every five minutes to take a picture of the vast horizon. We stopped off at a cute little bay where I spent my time running the length of the beach and Luke diving straight into the icy cold water. The day after we visited Piha, west of Auckland one of my favourite places so far, a cute beach town with black sand and a hell of a surf. At this point drying our clothes out on a wire in the middle of a town must look abit strange but freedom campers need to have clean DRY clothes.
Over the next few days we spent our time walking down beaches and driving coastal roads that are so bendy that I started to get a little nauseous whilst driving. (I don’t even have a license Ha) there was this beautiful drive towards Port Jackson, however after a few hours we had to turn around because there was no through road towards Stoney Bay, that sucked! However, the journey itself was well worth the long drive. An ocean view with marvellous trees dotted around the road.
One of the most magical places we have been too was Cathedral cove, the beach was featured in Narnia. The arch and just the water was extremely magical, you could understand why it was chosen as a location for a successful film. After that we headed towards Luke’s home ground. Hills and more hills and one lake…… Taupo. A small town filled with tourists who come for the view of the lake, the many walking tracks and just to relax and watch the world go by.
Over the next few days we bonded with Luke’s distant family whilst hopping on board the tourist train and seeing Hobbiton which was as magical as people think, then zorbing, luging, whitewater rafting and finally black water rafting all in one week. It was crazy but I feel like we’ve seen so much already. New Zealand is one of those places where everything is worth seeing, the people are friendly and you just want to adopt every dog that comes up to you to say Kia Ora.
Just after that we did the most enduring hike of my life, should I say climb. One of Lukes’ favourite sayings is “it will be fine”, when in fact it truly wasn’t. Mount Taranaki or Mount ‘I will try and kill everyone who walks on me’ as I like to call it. Me, not an expert climber nor have I been at my fittest when I climbed this bad boy. But 7 hours later we reached Fanthams peak and came back down to earth safely, however my shoes and bruises would say otherwise. We will be tramping the Tongariro Alpine Crossing in a few days let’s hope this one isn’t as bad………
March 27th – April 17th 2016