North Island New Zealand 2014

 

It is 10-years since we last visited New Zealand, when we toured South Island. On this visit we explored North Island.

 

We spent 4-nights in each of four centres: Paihia (Bay of Islands), Tairua (The Coromandel Peninsula), Rotorua and the Tongariro National Park. Here is a selection of photos giving a flavour of our trip.

 

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After more than 30-hours in transit, we finally arrived at Auckland. We spent our first day visiting the island of Tiritiri Matangi, a must see nature reserve a little north of Auckland.

 

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Fantails and Tuis

 

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Pukekos and North Island Robins.

And many many more birds.

 

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We headed north to North Land and the Bay of Island. We spent 4-nights at Paihia, and our first day we took the Cream Run.

 

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We saw lots of dolphin

 

 

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Walked on one of the islands.

 

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Powered through The Hole in the Rock on Motukokako Island.

 

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On another day we did a walk from Paihia.

 

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Walking past reminders that we are in a geologically active part of the world.

 

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The walk took us through unfrequented woodland filled with birds as curious about us as we them.

 

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A Kiwi family moving house!

 

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New Zealand’s first licensed hotel where, as their web site proudly proclaims:

“Refreshing Rascals and Reprobates since 1827”

 

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We visited the sight where the Maori and the UK signed the Treaty of Waitangi.

 

We spent 4-nights at Tairua, Coromandel Peninsula.

 

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We visited Mercury Bay, so named by James Cook, the location where he recorded the transit of Mercury in 1709.

 

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Mercury Bay.

 

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We visited Cathedral Cove.

 

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Magnificent coastline.

 

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The cove floods at high tide.

 

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Our accommodation looked out on an estuary populated by wading birds and kingfisher.

 

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We walked at Broken Hills, filled with mining remains from gold mining. Collins Drive runs for 500m through a mountain.

 

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We saw Tom Tits, and the carapace of cicada.

 

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We climbed the local volcanic cone for fabulous views.

 

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The Pacific beach one day and the next: Cyclone Lusi swept through on our first day

 

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We spent 4-night at Rotorua, and visited geothermal sites.

 

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Crazy volcanic features in the Waimangu Valley.

 

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Boiling blue water.

 

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The fabulous Sport of Kings motel had en suite geothermally heated bathrooms.

 

 

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We needed a boat to get us to the trailhead for our walk along Lake Tarawera.

 

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Remote hot water bathing. Pete, (from the Sport of Kings) made sure we kept our feet dry!

 

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The lake is surrounded by native jungle.

 

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The lake is a flooded volcano crater, last erupted in 1886.

 

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Rotorua is never far from steaming and bubbling mud!

 

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We visited the “Craters of the Moon”.

 

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Still steaming volcanic blast craters!

 

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We spent 4-nights at the Tongariro National Park, with Mount Doom (Ngauruhoe) from “Lord of the Rings”.

 

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We had long wished to do the “Tongariro Alpine Crossing”.

 

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The clouds slowly dropped on Ngauruhoe, and we saw Mount Taranaki (a much bigger volcano) in the distance.

 

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This volcanic area is still very active, last erupting in 2012!

 

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Often looking more like Mars than Earth.

 

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Crazy colours of solidified lava.

 

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Lava oozed out of the Earth.

 

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Volcanic lakes with amazing colours.

 

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Still steaming.

 

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Time to rest and take in the landscape.

 

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The actual debris from the 2012 eruption: steaming lava and ballistic craters!

 

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For our last two nights we visited friends in Hamilton. We walked at Raglan, looking out on the Tasman Sea.

 

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Raglan, and its estuary, viewed from a local summit.

 

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Walking again through terrific woodland.

 

 

 

 

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