Page 2        2015 - 2016         New Zealand

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We headed south through and then out of Auckland amid heavy traffic.    The roads are very good.  Driving tends to be quite fast but it's easy to get into the right lane

Probably the only time I will ever overtake a Ferrari with the campervan! 
Yes, I did overtake it, but, OK I was on the inside.  My lane was going faster than his.


At our overnight stop we found some hungry sparrows who were also glad of some fresh water. 
It's getting hot here.  That's one of our gold pans by the way.

Right above; Typical Kiwis on the shore waiting for the fishing boats to come in.  How like one of Barry's paintings is this?

   Opoutere beach
Along with us, very many people thought the Coromandel is the place to be for the New Year.  On the way there we stayed for a night at Opoutere and one at Onemana

Who needs waves anyway?  This lot leaving the beach are not teenagers !!!


Onemana (Oh-knee-marna).  I still love these trees with their natural star at the top.  This one has been decorated.  We think it must have been the local fire brigade.  Love it.


We met a great group of people there.  Baz and Christa gathered some mussels and shared lots of their other goodies too. 
Mike and his lovely lady created dessert. 
We added some wine, cheese and chocolate. 
Thank you all for a great evening.


Here is one of our favourite 'shops'.  This is the fruit and flower stall on Julian Road just north of Whangamata.

The road as you are leaving Opoutere.

We enjoyed New Year at Hot Water Beach.  Sadly, it rained almost continuously for 3 days!  No-one cared, not least this tui.  Photo taken from inside our camper at the super Hot Water Beach Top 10 campground.

   Jan's paella dinner


Now here's something different.  I found this in the supermarket in Whitianga, it was new to me.


Yes, you do eat it, no cooking needed but you do spit the pips out. 
I'm glad I checked it out on the internet, I would never have believed it.
Click here to see

Oh, and we did like them by the way.  They are a bit like a fruity date.

A country music festival at Tauherenikau  was a little disappointing but the company was great and the chips were pretty good too.
You couldn't choose a better backdrop, could you.

Nearby, at Featherstone, we got around to visiting the little Fell Museum.  We've been going to go for ages.
It's all about the railway that used to go over the Rimutakas (they're the big hills between Wellington and the east main road) before the tunnel was built.
The line was so steep that there was a third 'braking' rail. 
The brake shoes had to be replaced every downside trip and usually 5 Engines (sometimes 6) were used for the pull up to the top.
Now I'm not at all interested in trains but I did enjoy this little place, and especially the 20 minute film show.



On to Wellington where we discovered a scrap yard crazy golf.  No photos of that but this was some of the other stuff lying around. 

We'll do the golf next time, there was a school trip in there when we went.


That's $12 to play the golf, $5 to look around.


Nearby, we found Owhiro Bay.  It's a great freedom camping spot with entertainment! 
Passing boats, people watching and some driving, or attempting to, in inappropriate vehicles. 
Where the road ends (just after the camping spot, but in full view) a 4x4 is the only sensible option.

The sign warns of the hazards and on the right, a car being pulled out backwards about 20 yards from the sign!


Below, crossing the Cook Straight to South Island on the BlueBridge 'Straightsman'.  It takes 3 1/2 hours.

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