Travel Story «The Far North»
18 April 2006
Last Update 05 May 2006
It's actually quite a drive from Auckland to the Far North, Bay of Islands and the Kauri coast, but we made very interesting stops enroute. First we went to Waipu, a village mainly settled by Scots from the Highland that moved via Nova Scotia to New Zealand. We visited the house of Memories in Waipu, a tribute to all these people and their long voyage from Nova Scotia to New Zealand. We even met a direct decendent, but he had never been in Scotland nor Nova Scotia.
After our heritage stop we drove through Wangarei (read: Fangarei) and were stuck in traffic for half an hour. Gridlock direction Bay of Islands. It's Easter for the Kiwis and they went up north, just like us.
We arrived late Thursday (13 apr) evening in Paihia (Bay of Islands). A very nice little village with a harbour, but the town is mainly catering for tourists.
the Next morning (Good Friday) we took the relatively small vehicle ferry to Russell and spend our Easter over there. We had awesome weather. Russell has a actually similar to Paihia but more romantic, nice restaurants just of the jetty and the beach, teeming with seabirds.
We didn't really do much in the Bay of Islands, we just relaxed and enjoyed the camping atmosphere and went for an evening walk downtown Russell. Sunday, it was time for some NZ history and we else can you soak up more history than the Bay of islands? Sundaymorning we went to Waitangi, the birthplace of the nation: New Zealand. Waitangi is the place where the Waitangi Treaty was signed, a rather questionable statement signed by the representatives of Queen Victoria and Maori chiefs in 1840. Strange that the Waitangi Treaty grounds are not funded by the current NZ Government...
Sunday afternoon we drove to the other coastline to discover NZ's massive Kauri trees. The journey through the Waipoua National park was one of the greatest journeys we've done. Giant Kauri trees, Silver fern threes and other native bushland... the whole north of NZ used to be covered with kauri trees and it was at the time one of NZ best trading stuff. We didn't go to Ninety mile beach and Cape Reinga, we heard some reports from traveller's that it's a hell of a drive and not really worth it. So we skipped that and stayed one of our last tenting nights in Dargaville (Sunday), the Kumara capital of NZ. another natural resource from NZ are these lovely sweet potatoes, the Kumara. Monday we went to Leigh and spent some time there, had a lovely picnic. Leigh is just 45 minutes north of Auckland.
Yesterday we arrived in Auckland and went straight to the Backpackers car market where our car was sold in just 40 minutes. I reckon we were pretty lucky. Deal done, no more petrol cost and car. We'll stay in Auckland for about 5 days, and plan to go the outer islands like Rangitoto, on a clear day. Today (Tuesday), it is raining cats and dogs.
that's the news from down under!
enjoy our pictures,
have a lovely day!
22 April 2006
Last Update 03 December 2010