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New Zealand – opposite to south america

November 5, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

New Zealand is a place we have always wanted to go, it is so far away, yet there is something comforting and homely about the mention of New Zealand. It is everything that we expected, and it comes in bucket loads – the scenery, the welcoming people, the active lifestyle, the remote solitude, the amazing quiet (when we can get the kids the be quiet!) and the overall feeling of quality of life. You have to love the outdoors, but what an outdoors!

 

campsite in Goat Island - guess we are out of season. Liked the bamboo rugby posts.

We picked our motorhome up (a batered old 6 berth thing that we got cheap)  and on the advice of Paul (it was Paul and Jana’s wedding at the start of September – see previous blog) we headed straight north to Goat Island (one of hundreds of Goat Islands named after ancient mariners put goats on the islands for return visits). We stayed in a hippy kind of place just back from the beach and spent the afternoon recovering from the flight playing in the rockpools. We kept willing ourselves to go fo a swim, but frankly, we were not brave enough for the cold water. As a second best, we got in the glass bottomed boat that goes around the marine reserve and had a great up close and personal view of all the snappers, rays, goat fish and marine life the place has to offer. The main thing I remembered was the fact that there is a scientist working here, who has studied the same 1 square meter of sea floor continuously for the last 26 years! That is dedication.

a full spread for breakfast in the back of the van. PROTEST!

Some serious squeaky beaches

Next morning we headed for the white sands of Pukai beach, (any lingering cobwebs blown away with the wind) drove up around the vineyards and headed round to another little reserve called Scandretts Point. Until the 1980’s this was a working farm run by Irish immigrants from 1886, and is now a romantic recreation of life in the bay.  You can park up here and get permission to stay overnight from the ranger by walking down to the cowshed and calling the number on the wall. This phone is a hotline to Auckland Council who register you before you put your money in an envelope in a hole in the wall of the milking shed. Then, at 9pm, the National Park is locked up and you can enjoy the place to yourself.

the bay at Scandretts Point

view into the bay

scandrett farm followed by a visit to a "famous log" in Puhoi - kids are suitably impressed

After a walk round the point, a bit of homework and a quick tidyup, we are off to Coromandel Peninsular via lunch at the little town of Puhoi, a settlement created by Bohemian immigrants just south west of Prague.

With the landscape, cleanliness, lack of dogs and greenery, this place could not be more different to South America.

inside the pub in Puhoi


Auckland drive by

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Categories: New Zealand Tags: , , , ,
  1. November 25, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Like the image of you surfing Alan!!! – kept that talent a hidden secret!!
    I would happily emigrate to NZ – brilliant place
    I can not see myself taking a year out for a while yet – but the idea is incredibly attractive!!!

    Have fun
    Ian

    • November 27, 2011 at 7:21 pm

      Yes, surfing was pretty cool!!!!!
      I do really like NZ, but to be honest, you need to be 100% into nature and the outdoors to really appreciate it. Makes a nice change to be understood though. As far as taking the year out, I think you would love it and I could not recommend it more – surely you can make space in the diary for some time out?
      Take care, thanks for the comment,

      Alan

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