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north island

Across Cook Strait to the South Island

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND — We had an 8:45 a.m. ferry to catch, and of course we picked the ferry company that was farthest from our place, so walking with all of our gear was out of the question. Continue reading “Across Cook Strait to the South Island”

On the road to Wellington

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND – Clouds rolled in for our driving day to Wellington, which suited us fine. New Zealand tourism’s treacherous Travel Time and Distance Calculator had told us to expect a 3:47 drive, so we added two hours to that, and it came out just about right. Continue reading “On the road to Wellington”

A perfect day in Hastings

CLIVE, NEW ZEALAND — On the North Island’s sun-splashed Hawkes Bay, Napier is the main attraction.

We’d made vague plans to backtrack from our cottage in Clive, to visit the National Aquarium of New Zealand or go on a historic walking tour of the famous art-deco buildings. But we hadn’t really warmed to Napier, and we weren’t feeling very ambitious.

Continue reading “A perfect day in Hastings”

Tourist hotspots: Taupo and Napier

CLIVE, NEW ZEALAND — Sometimes, things look better on paper than in reality, as we discovered today as we explored Taupo and Napier, two famous tourist destinations on the North Island. Continue reading “Tourist hotspots: Taupo and Napier”

Total relaxation on Hot Water Beach

ROTORUA, NEW ZEALAND — Why is it that the less money we spend, the more fun we have?

After two nights at the posh Chateau Tongariro, we drove through Taupo to the Rotorua area and a campsite on Lake Terawera that Beth reserved because Taupo was booked solid that Saturday night. Continue reading “Total relaxation on Hot Water Beach”

Hiking in Frodo’s footsteps

TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK, NEW ZEALAND — Today, we hiked the Tongariro Alpine Crossing in this national park, which stood in for Mordor in the “Lord of the Rings” movies. Continue reading “Hiking in Frodo’s footsteps”

Coromandel to Tongariro National Park

TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK, NEW ZEALAND — Today was another driving day. Seven and a half hours from the Coromandel peninsula to Tongariro National Park in the center of the north island. Continue reading “Coromandel to Tongariro National Park”

Lazy day of hiking

CATHEDRAL COVE, NEW ZEALAND — We started today off by driving to Hahei Beach to do the short hike to Cathedral Cove, a popular tourist destination that features two beaches connected by a giant, natural passageway through the cliff. Continue reading “Lazy day of hiking”

A scenic drive to the Coromandel peninsula

MARAMARATOTARA BAY, NEW ZEALAND — We’ve read it before on TripAdvisor, that driving in New Zealand is slow going, even if the distances don’t seem to be too far. Today, we got a taste of it ourselves, as we drove the 350km from Waitengi to Ferry’s landing on Maramaratotara Bay. Continue reading “A scenic drive to the Coromandel peninsula”

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