The Giblings in New Zealand 2013 - 2014                  Page 2
Back     Home ....
On our travels we are often amused by roadside signs.  New Zealand has a talent for wording to catch the eye.  The latest to make us giggle was yet another that I didn't manage to photograph so you will have to believe me when I quote you this ... 


We have often seen direction signs for a place called Port Albert which conjures up visions of a thriving commercial port and maybe another busy marina scene.  Well, we managed to get there this year; picture right.

The gist of the plaque is this ...

On the 29th May 1862, 2 ships left London carrying 688 souls and in September, arrived in New Zealand. The plan was to form the new town of Port Albert in an estuary on the west coast of New Zealand to the north of Auckland.  Those settlers were totally unprepared for the hardships that lay ahead and the port of Albert was all but abandoned because of the isolation of the area.

Today, there is still almost nothing there! Just a few die-hard cattlemen amid great scenery. The west coat of New Zealand is very like the west coast of the UK; it rains a lot.

We spent the night here at Atiu Park and didn't see a soul, just two chickens for company.


In Whangarei, there is a marina and delightful eateries and art galleries and goody shops.  The harbour area has been opened up a bit since last year. 

It is also a motorhome friendly town and provides good facilities for movanners.

Parking is permitted right in the marina, here's the view.  Three nights only mind you.  Thank goodness for that, I've spent a fortune here.

This is December 8th and look who I spotted.  I think he's Christmas shopping too?

We do tend to find like minded 'vanners.

Northwards, and we decided on lunch at Kawakawa.  That's a small town right on SH1 (the main road) that you have to pass through to get up to the Bay of Islands. 
We have never actually stopped there before despite knowing about the famous Hundertwasser toilets!!

The information below is from Wikipedia

   It is one of few toilet blocks seen as an international work of art and a tourist attraction in its own right.

The toilet facility was designed by the reclusive expatriate Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser, who lived in Kawakawa from 1975 until his death in 2000, aged 71. The decorative toilet block is the only project designed by Hundertwasser in the Southern Hemisphere and the artist's last project completed within his lifetime.  The style is typical Hundertwasser, with wavy lines, irregular ceramic tiles, integrated small sculptures, coloured glass and a live tree incorporated into the architecture. Recycled materials, including the community's spent glass bottles and bricks from a former Bank of New Zealand branch, were used throughout. Hundertwasser requested that any vegetation removed for construction should be replanted on the building's green roof. The toilet was opened in 1999. Functionally, it does not differ from other 'normal' public toilets. There are separate men's and women's areas, but both sides are sometimes viewed by the more curious visitors after giving suitable advance warning.

The public toilet is the main attraction of Kawakawa and the most photographed toilet of New Zealand. The bus-loads of tourists who visit to photograph the toilets far outnumber those who visit simply to use the facility.


Having paid our visit, we crossed the road to this Food Market, which turned out to also be a super café; one of the day's specials was an avocado and chocolate smoothie - then, for $2 (£1) you can go 'out back' (right) ...

so we took a selfie ...
If you are travelling to the Bay of Islands/Pahia, which is in the north of North Island, you MUST stop in this town and visit the loos and the cafe, you just have to go there !

On the subject of Gaudi or gawdy, we treated ourselves to this paperweight by Peter Viesnik in a gallery in Whangarei.

Below, the view from the new footbridge in Kerikeri.  The apparent walkway across the river was the location of the old road bridge.  It's deck was only about 4ft above the water and was quite incredible to drive over.  It was single track for the traffic and in times of heavy rain, debris used to get caught up on the bridge causing a blockage which would then back up and flood the town - so they removed the bridge!  A new bypass was built first though.  It still seems strange that this used to be the route of the main north road.

Above, the clock museum in Whangarei.

Love a purple tree and come window shopping with me ...

Back in Auckland we get allowed out with the grandies, they look after us ever-so well.

On the right, we are at Orewa Beach.  We got a great parking spot for the camper, right behind the lifeguard station so we had no worries about the kids in the sea.

Below, Christmas Day at 'The Spencer on Byron'


Lunch at 'The Spencer' where the dress code is 'anything goes!  What Dan isn't showing here is that the rest of his attire was running shorts and sneakers!  (The trousers were too long)
Our family know us well.  How's this for a Christmas pressie.

Page 3         Home .....