John and Cynthia:  Knotperfect

New Zealand: November 2022

Our flight arrived late in the day and we spent the first night at the Auckland Airport hotel.  This sign was on the billboard outside the restaurant window.

"To all our visitors, welcome to Auckland and all it's beauty and bounty.  To those from afar, welcome to New Zealand, the land of the long white cloud."

OK, it was a bit cloudy and grey but summer is hardly here yet.  Don't want to be too hot too soon anyway, it can be very humid here.

Our camper had been in the grand storage shed at the RV Centre in Paeroa since March 2020.  Paeroa is 1.5 hours by road from the airport.

It was good to return.

During the time in storage, our 'Tantalus' had a fabulous spray job by Adrian's Carpainters and new graphics, then a service by Grey at Truck & Engineering

Our fab friends at the RV Centre, Jan and Kev had washed it down and cleaned it up.  Fed us fabulously too.  Got us over the longer than usual journey.

We stayed 3 days I think.

This pic taken at the new NZMCA park at nearby Kaiaua.

That's right next to the famous fish and chip shop, the chips were better than ever and the fish very good too.  2 large pieces of Hoki, plenty of chips and a tub of Watti's tomato sauce for $13 (about £6.50)

Note that muddy boots are left outside!

The NZMCA park is right next door to the pub, we parked beside the creek

Then we discovered that we had a power issue.  Our 'house' batteries had completely died.  It hadn't shown while we were plugged in at the RV Centre.  We hightailed it to Auckland to meet up with our family and to get that problem sorted.  2 new batteries cost us NZ$1600, which is about £800, but hopefully, they will last as well as the old ones, we think those had done 11 years!

We also decided to change our fridge.  It had done the life of the van, 22 years so probably using more power than a new one.  It didn't arrive in time for our booked slot for fitting so we took off north for a few days.

Kerikeri is a long run and much of it is uninteresting.  The road has deteriorated since we have been away too.  Bumps and shaking for miles,  poor van.

The Makana chocolate factory was the same as ever, a freebie taster as you walk in, but sorry all, they didn't have enough to share (she lied), it's just very expensive!


That's our favourite, Macadamia Brittle

The weather was wet and the NZMCA field boggy.  Then the custodian was annoying so we left after one night.  Not sure we'd bother making that trip all the way north again.

So, it was back to Whangarei to look at that new building.  I've been looking forward to seeing it since the plans for it were released.

The Hunterwasser Centre 1


This is the Hundertwasser Art Centre.  The building and the exhibits inside it are a celebration of the life of Friedensreich Hundertwasser.

I had hoped that there would be more, but probably didn't do it justice.  John found the uneven floor and low lighting were very difficult for him and I was having to watch out for him more than looking at the displays.

If you want to know more about that, click here

Coffee and food at Mokaba, the café next door was a much better idea.

Mokaba cafe

Later, a stroll in the harbour area, we found the new ball clock.  We visited the prototype a few years ago and truly, didn't think it would actually be created.   I was so wrong!  It's dramatic, and it does tell the time accurately!  Here is a photo which does not give the slightest idea about it.

Whangarei Ball Clock

I do have a video but it is too big to add here. I need to work on it.

It does have it's own web page, click here

We paused for a night at the RSA in Warkworth, very handy thank you, and it was a shame that the centre was closed, it was Sunday.  One of the local car clubs also paused on the road outside, this is about half of them.

car club meet

Back southwards to Auckland, a brief visit to the boatyard near Sky Tower (to empty the loo!)

Sky Tower in Auckland

then later to Henderson.


That's a strange place, much of it is owned by a religious organisatisation who set the local by-laws. 

You cannot buy alcohol in the supermarket, that's is the main law that affects us.  Strange that this statue is close by, it is dedicated to the pioneer winemakers of the region.  "Their hard work enabled the New Zealand wine industry to grow".  We didn't stay long.
The weather isn't great but we do see the sun some of the time

Rainbow over  Te Aroha

That was Te Aroha, which is rocking a bit as I write (January 2023)


The east coast walkway, walking is much encouraged here!

Below, Kaiaua Boating Club Pokéstop, which I am proud to have nominated about 3 years ago.  Nice collection of Pokémon there.


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