Follow me around Waiheke!

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It took me just 40 minutes from Auckland downtown to get to this wonderful green island in Hauraki Gulf. Perfect idea for a short getaway! Here I have found everything I needed – fresh air, clear blue sea and the nature which is hard to describe in a few words.

This island you can explore by walking over the several trails. That was my way because I didn’t want to miss anything while I’m here. I was ready to walk for hours and it is easy to wander around the places like Waiheke, great scenery is just pushing you to go further! Lot of people come here to walk so called Te Ara Hura Trail – 100 km of walking path which lead them all over the coastline, through the native bushes and across sandy beaches.

My first stop was Oneroa, island’s main village just 20 minutes from the port. I just sat for a while on the Little Oneroa Beach and the sound of the ukulele played by this guy in front of me just perfectly completed the picture…

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Then I got here. Wandering around the Promenade led me to this small, peaceful beach called Surfdale. I can easily imagine it as my little secret place!

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Wiheke is famous for its vineyards. I saw those places on the photos and I was really excited about finally getting there! You can take a vine tour and taste the product of this wonderful green fields…

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Beaches here really look like those from the brochures which are inviting you to go and visit the dream destinations. After a walk through the bush I arrived to the sandy Palm Beach. It is one of those places!

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After almost eight hours walking I had to go back to the port to catch the ferry. All I need to do now is plan my next trip to this island because Waiheke is definitely worth visiting more than once…

 

 

Under the stars and near the sea: Camping in the Far North

Are you for a bit of wandering around the Far North? Let me take you on a trip! Last weekend was the perfect opportunity to open the camping season. We had a few days off, tent was ready, weather forecast wasn’t so good but, of course, it didn’t stop us.

Our first stop was Whangarei, nice town hundred and something kilometers from Auckland. Here we spent our first night under the stars, it just reminded me how much I love camping! There’s a few free camping spots but even if you need to pay for it, it is really cheap, under 10$. To make your traveling a bit easier you can find all the information about the camping spots via the free travel app called CamperMate.

It was pretty obvious that while visiting New Zealand spending time outdoors, surrounded with the magnificent nature, will be our favorite thing to do, so it was during this short trip too. While walking through the woods, over the bridge all the way to the Whangarei Falls the only thing we could hear was the song from the birds, sound of the water and rustle of the leaves under the feet. It was the best music ever…

Our second day on the road was the day when the rain didn’t stop for a minute. We are almost five months in NZ and it never rained that much 🙂 After a few hours of driving we arrived to our next stop for the night. Camping area just under the Cape Reinga is one of the most beautiful camping spots I’ve ever seen. Sun rays and the rhythm of the ocean woke us up in the morning. We couldn’t ask for more…

Tapotupotu Campsite, Tapotupotu Bay

Cape Reinga is the place from where the big number of adventurers start their Te Araroa venture, 3000 km long walking trail that goes from here all the way to the Bluff in the South. At this point the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean and you can really see the swirl of currents. It was a great feeling to stay there, at the end, where the only thing you see is the huge blue vastness. This cape is not quite the northernmost point of New Zealand, Northern Cape has that title but it is not open for the public so we couldn’t go there.

Sand-boarding on the Te Paki Sand Dunes was something that we really wanted to try and this was the perfect chance to do it because those giant piles of sand are close to the Cape Reinga! You can’t even imagine how huge those dunes are, it was like in the middle of Sahara. You can bring you own board or you can rent it for 10$/hour. Ohhh we enjoyed it so much! It is a bit hard to climb up to the top of the dunes but when you slide down you just have to climb up and do it again!

Last stop before heading back home was the Ninety Mile Beach. Beaches in New Zealand are really something special and I’m telling you, this one looks like it doesn’t have the end! It is actually “just” 55 miles long and it is officially a highway but it is suitable only for 4W vehicles. One day I’ll definitely take a ride but this time happy jump on it is more than enough…

A slightly different view of Auckland

This time I’m not going to talk to much, just want to share with you a few of my favorite photos of Auckland from my instagram profile. It doesn’t really matter which angle you will take while discovering everything that the biggest city of New Zealand has to offer because it will definitely fulfill your expectations.

Here are my favorite moments. Enjoy…

Sun, surf, sea… Here are the best beaches in the Auckland area!

Our first month in New Zealand is already behind us! I can’t believe how fast the time goes by. This whole month we spent in the Auckland area and there are still a lot places to see so we will extend our stay here for a few more weeks. As we have spent a week on the east coast and now we are housesitting (more about housesitting I’ll write in my next post) on the west side we had the chance to enjoy on a few of the most beautiful beaches in New Zealand. We are already thinking about the summer and how great it will be. There are so many new things that we want to discover and this beaches seems like a perfect places to do that. One thing you have to have on your mind: car is a must here because there are spots which you can’t reach without it so think about buying one, cars here are pretty cheap and you can sell it very easy before you head back home.

So, here are those magnificent sandy places!

Bethells Beach

Bethells Beach (Te Henga), black sand beach on the west coast, is a place for riding the huge waves! Beside that you can enjoy walking over the sand dunes which accumulated over the last 4,500 years. It is a very windy place and can be really cold so take a wind jacket. I have to say that this is my favorite beach for now!

Piha Beach

Piha is one of the most popular beaches in this area and it is located only 45 minutes from Auckland. Here you can take a surfing lessons or choose one of the trails through the woods and just walk around the bush.

Karekare Beach

This beach is part of the Waitakare Ranges Regional Park. It is situated between Piha and Whatipu Beach and it is a great place for picnic and for swim but have in mind that you can swim only between the flags. While you are there take a ten minute walk to the Karekare Falls, it’s really beautiful!

Milford Beach and Takapuna Beach

This are long, very peaceful, not windy sandy beaches on the east coast. There is a great walk from Milford to Takapuna all the way along the beach and over the lava rocks. This places are not spectacular like beaches on the west coast but are definitely worth of visit and if it’s a hot summer day it can be a great place to take a swim in the clear blue sea.

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Orewa Beach

Only 20 minutes north of Auckland you can enjoy on the beautiful 3 km long Orewa Beach. If you are for kitesurfing, kayaking, windsurfing or surfing this is the place for you. Also, only few minutes’ drive from here you can visit Waiwera Thermal Resort and jump in the geothermal hot pools.

Next week we are going on a road trip toward the south of the north island. On the way down we are going to stop in Tauranga, Rotorua, Taupo and lot of other places all the way to Wellington. If you have been here, give us a few good suggestions what we shouldn’t miss 🙂

All about the trip you will be able to read here!

Happy travels!