Food House Sitting New Zealand Photography travel

New Zealand Road Trip – The Final Leg

It is with a bit of sadness that I type this post. The last three months have been a wonderful time exploring the never ending beauty that is New Zealand. If you have ever harboured a desire to explore this little corner of the world, all I can say is, “Get on it!” We were fortunate enough to have a couple of house sits just north of Auckland, in the approaches to the Northlands. That enticed us to explore the area a bit and it did not disappoint.


Whangarei Falls
What can I say, lighthouses and waterfalls, I’m a sucker for both. Karen shows great patience everytime I haul my tripod in when we walk to see waterfalls. These ones at Whangarei were in fine form due to the rain we had been getting.
Whitebait Fritters in Matakana
We happened to be near Matakana on market day. Our luck. These two gentlemen at the Whitebait fritter booth were outstanding. If you are in the region, plan to include a Saturday in Matakana and have some Whitebait fritters from these guys. Delicious!
Omaha Beach
Went for a walk along Omaha Beach. A great way to see where the Auckland folks with plenty of extra cash like to build their holiday homes.
Predator Traps
One of the facts of life you must contend with if you travel around New Zealand is the absolute war on predatory pests. Basically any wild mammal that is carnivorous is fair game. There are lethal traps like this and a couple of other designs everywhere in the country. It is an impressive effort to try and reset nature to something closer to what it was before humans arrived.

After our last house sit we spent several days camping and touring the “Far North” It is a beautiful area with amazing coastlines.

Lucy Goosey
As we were setting up camp at Haruru Falls this friendly goose came over to see if we had anything to offer.
Kawakawa Pulic Toilets
The Austrian artist, Friedensreich Hundertwasser left a dubious artistic legacy in Kawakawa. A bit Gaudi-like, but in my opinion, waaaay gaudier, these public washrooms certainly stand out in town.

Aside from washrooms, we did take in some of the more conventional tourist sights while in the Far North. After three months of driving around the country I finally got the chance to relax and enjoy the sights rolling by when we took a bus tour with Sand Safaris, to the north end of the north island.

Sand Safaris
Had we not signed up for this tour we would not have been able to get up to Cape Reinga due to the State Highway being washed out by heavy rains. The trip up 90 Mile Beach was fantastic and the return trip on a private forestry road the company has access to was quite illuminating.
Sand Dune Surfing
Part of the tour up to Cape Reinga was stopping at the Te Paki Sand Dunes for a chance to try sand surfing.
Cape Reinga
Cape Reinga is not actually the northern most point in the country (but we were not going to do the 3 day trek to get to the actual northern point), but still a very cool destination. From the lighthouse you can see the turbulence in the waters below where the Tasman Sea meets with the South Pacific Ocean.
All Points North
Checking in for the required tourist photo at Cape Reinga.

We spent our last couple of days in New Zealand cruising down the west coast of the north end of the north island. This region has some wonderful views as you head down the coast.

Our view while enjoying a picnic lunch in Omapere.
Rawene Car Ferry
A pleasant surprise was getting to take the Rawene car ferry across Hokianga Harbour.
Kauri Tree
While driving through the Waipoua Forest we stopped to see the largest Kauri tree in the world. This 51.5 metre tall tree is the largest Kauri, by volume. The trunk is 17.6 metres long and over 13 metres around it’s girth. It is massive!
Fig Tree
Our final night of camping was in this reserve beside one of the biggest Fig trees in the world. The Moreton Bay Fig Tree has a spread of over 42 metres. If you look closely you can see Karen standing under it to give you an idea of size.
Sunset over Matakana
As the sun sets on our New Zealand adventure it is easy to say that we will be back. This wonderful corner of the globe is too good not to explore further.

2 comments on “New Zealand Road Trip – The Final Leg

  1. Anonymous

    Your photos are always so beautiful… everything about Your trips has been a treat to follow. If this is indeed the final leg, Colorado
    Shall always be in the offering.

    James n Sandy

    • I am glad you enjoy them. I should perhaps clarify though, the “Final Leg” was just of NZ. No end in sight for the exploring. Colorado is still appealing though.

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