The next day, whilst I was at work, Amy did some research and it seemed that we had found a camper to rent for the long weekend. She planned to collect it that afternoon and we would leave that evening to Paihia in the Bay of Islands. Later on, I rushed back from Papakura in South Auckland, made a beeline for the shower and quickly packed my monstrosity of a suitcase for the weekend. I was so excited for my second road trip of New Zealand and to properly get to travel with Amy. That evening, I was picked up from my hostel in a massive, bright orange, ‘Spaceship’ with the name ‘Lord Crum’ on the side. When I got in, I totally got why it was called a spaceship, It was huge. We dropped her friend back to his hostel and went on our way Northland bound. When we arrived in Paihia, we found a great camping spot and so we set up the back of the van and prepared for our first night of the trip. Our van, which came with all your usual utensils, a lot of space, a large bed and even a top notch dvd player/tv, was perfect for us. We fell asleep that night to the DVD ‘Going the Distance’. The next morning we awoke to the beautiful sun outside the car complete with and incredible view of the ocean and islands. We headed into town to book our Dolphin trip for the next morning and then set off to Matauri Bay, to see the Greenpeace ‘Rainbow Warrior’ memorial. We walked across the beautiful beach of Matauri Bay and bushwhacked our way up the side of the mountain to reach the awesome memorial. Later on we set off to Cape Reinga, the most northern tip of New Zealand. The scenery was amazing along the way and the closer we got to the cape, the less cars there seemed to be around us. It felt like we were in the middle of nowhere. And we were!
But with no options left, well, we followed him anyway!
He led us to a New World supermarket car park opposite the police station where we stayed for the night, very obviously. We closed our curtains and prepared to get a good sleep! The next morning, we awoke to people pulling up to do their shopping, while we hopped out to the first sunlight and prepared to find a campsite to get ready at. After getting ourselves prepared for the trip, at a Paihia campsite, we parked in town and set off on our boat out to the Islands. Unfortunately the weather from the previously day hadn’t stuck around and it seemed to be a gloomy day upon us. Nevertheless we wouldn’t let this disappoint us, and the day surely didn’t. That day was great, we saw tonnes and tonnes of dolphins, a rare blue penguin, went swimming by an island and had a lovely BBQ onboard before going sailing. Unfortunately we couldn’t swim the dolphins as there were baby dolphins who were milking. It didn’t take away from the amazement of watching them being playful and doing crazy tricks in the water. It was awesome. After the trip, we planned to couchsurf at a local guys place, but instead decided to head towards Waipoa Forest where we saw Tane Mahuta, the largest Kauri tree in the world. The forest was awesome, and with the rain it seemed much more tropical. We found a rest area in the Forest where we pulled up for the night, drank some beers, made some dinner and watched our other DVDS in bed. It was like a proper house in there and we loved it!
The next day after two hours of off road driving on gravel roads, we nearly ran out of petrol (having decided to take a ‘shortcut’). When we luckily reached a garage in Whangarei , I was given yet another lecture from the lady serving me having answered her question of ‘Where have you guys come from’, with ‘Ah we’ve just come from Waipoa Forest where we stayed last night’. She was definitely not happy about that! Having seen some awesome countryside along the way and listening to the Lumineers on repeat, we ended having lunch in Whangarei by the water.
After getting some info from the ISITE, we drove further south and ended up at the Waipu caves on our way back home, where we saw some epic glow worms. We then headed back towards Penrose in Auckland where we dropped the car off at right on time at 4pm. We cleaned the mess we had made from cooking the past few days and packed all our belongings up, ready to catch the bus back to our respective hostels. Our trip was amazing and we saw some incredible scenery whilst having such a fun time together. We couldn’t get over how awesome this country was, the fact that it is so small, yet has so much diversity when it comes to landscape. It beat Australia by far!
New Zealand is sweet as bro…………! !