Did I Mention Hills and Hot Pools Already? – Waikite Valley

Waikite hot poolsOn our last night in Tauranga we stayed at Sulphur Point down by the harbour which is one of our many home-away-from-homes. Our departure from town next morning was a bit disastrous; fuel contamination which is a long story getting longer. Eventually we headed for Rotorua Continue reading

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Another Day, Another Mount – Maunganui

Mount MaunganuiA couple of days after our big walk up Mt Te Aroha we were in Mt Maunganui  and Wyn had an appointment for an hour and I went for a walk for an hour. I was going to go for the walk around the Mount but then decided on a walk up the Mount. It is a wonderful viewpoint and it was a lovely day Continue reading

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A Mountain to Climb – Te Aroha

On Mt Te ArohaAfter doing some motorhome things in Pukekohe and some catching up on the way through Auckland; we headed for the Bay of Plenty. We realised that this gave us a chance for a walk up Mt Te Aroha which overlooks the town of Te Aroha. Mt Te Aroha also overlooks a lot of the middle part of the North Island. We’d seen it in passing several times and it looked like a long way up. It wouldn’t be a proper mountain if it wasn’t. Continue reading

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Starting South – Whangaparaoa Peninsula

WhangaparoaAfter all our adventures up the coast to the Bay of Islands, it was time to head back south. The journey up the coast was in lots of small steps where we could often see where we’d come from. Joining up the dots seems a nice way to travel especially when it involves back roads going the long way around. Going south we took to State Highway 1 which is mostly inland. Continue reading

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Gated Beaches of Northland

Tapuaetahi BeachBeach access is an issue all around New Zealand (and everywhere else I suppose). We do seem to feel that access to our sea shores is a right. We like to go to the beach and we don’t like being told we are not allowed. Access is blocked off up and down the country and the instances are growing and Northland does seem to be a particular case. Northland has some stunning beaches and getting to some is getting more difficult Continue reading

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A Mixed Blessing – Rangihoua Pa and the Marsden Cross

Marsden CrossWhile we were at Kerikeri I was keen to make another visit to the site of New Zealand’s first European settlement at the mission station established by Rev Samuel Marsden. This was in December 1814, at Oihi Bay way round at what is effectively the north head of the Bay of Islands. We made the first journey back in the winter of 2009. Continue reading

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Another Viewpoint – Bay of Islands

Opito BayOne of the things with the Bay of Islands is how to get an appreciation of the bay full of islands. You can visit Russell and Paihia and Kerikeri and wonder what it is all about. Probably boat trips give a better appreciation but one thing with boat trips is that they all tend to be at sea level. And cost chunks of money. Exploring by car from Kerikeri we came across an excellent view point above Opito Bay Continue reading

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Back To The Mainland – Kerikeri

Kerikeri walkHaving reached Rawhiti on the edge of the Bay of Islands by driving up the coast; we had come the long way round to Russell. And Russell is usually reached by ferry from Paihia or Opua. So heading back to Paihia by ferry felt like we were returning to the mainland from an island, even though we weren’t. Continue reading

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A Big Walk Back From Cape Brett

Cape Brett lighthouseThe plan was to take the shorter walk in to Cape Brett lighthouse and hut, and then do the full Monty on the way out; walk right back to Oke Bay at Rawhiti. It was a great plan as we’d enjoyed the afternoon hanging out around the hut and reading up on the lives of the lighthouse keepers and their families. So that just left the part about walking all the way out Continue reading

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A Little Big Walk To Cape Brett

Bay of IslandsEarly last week the weather gods granted us a couple of good days for our planned walk to Cape Brett, out from the Bay of Islands. This walk had been on Wyn’s radar for over a decade and she gradually introduced the possibility to me this winter. And I gradually warmed to it although I wasn’t so sure about the “advanced” level for the track and the warnings about big cliffs. Continue reading

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