A Travellerspoint blog

May 2021

North Island Roadie, Napier

Estuary bike ride

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Southerly cold cloudy

large_82fbcd00-aafd-11eb-a977-2945c744b27a.jpgOur night at the freedom camping spot at Perfume Point has cemented in concrete our resolve to stay in camps for the rest of our holiday. We had considered ourselves fortunate with the spot we secured overlooking the entrance to the harbour as it was so picturesque.
Trouble was every drunkard and hood in the area also thought it a good place to frequent during the entire night, consequently we got very little sleep as we were checking every car that came into the area. It was heightened by our neighbour (a very nice farmer and his wife from Kapiti )) in a big Mobilvetta recounting his experience there some while ago when there was an aggressive and belligerent protest there one night by people wanting to reclaim the Point. The Police were called and no-one was hurt but they were shaken. He also told of a story when he was freedom camping at Castlepoint and in the early hours of the morning a ute with flashing lights and men in hi-vis told them to hurry up to high ground as a tsunami was coming. Well the long and short of it was that it was a hoax, so we were well warmed up for trouble. We resolved in the middle of the night that it was the last freedom camp we will stay in in the North Island.

When we spoke with him in the morning he said he regretted telling us. Some drunk and loud men who had been mouthing off around our van he described as harmless - well who would know! Anyway we booked ourselves into a Motor Camp for the next night.

The weather also took a nasty turn for the worse with very cold southerly winds. We still wanted to go the National Aquarium of NZ so after groceries that was our first visit. It was full of very excited children being both a Saturday and the school holidays. Sal loved seeing her tropical fish again.

After this we headed out to the camp at Bay View where we did some serious washing and chores. It is a lovely spot and in the afternoon, despite the wind we had a lovely bike ride through the wetlands and estuary. large_837a24c0-aafd-11eb-bb16-f5e503c1cef8.jpglarge_80baddb0-aafd-11eb-a977-2945c744b27a.jpg
A nice relaxed meal tonight finished with an awesome dessert with figs from Mark’s property. We are looking forward to a relaxed night sleep.

Posted by Sallyj66 04:16 Archived in New Zealand Comments (2)

North Island Roadie, Mahia Peninsula

Mahia Peninsula

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partly cloudy
about 16

We had such a lovely stay at the Napier Beach Holiday Park Camp - a very relaxed night. We had nice showers and good company and felt so much more relaxed after a safe and secure night.

Left relatively early to head up north. Our first stop was Lake Tutira. large_IMG_4170.jpg
We spoke with a man who was kayaking there and he told us about the journey to rehabilitate the lake. They use an “air curtain” which oxygenates the water to counteract the algae bloom, also they have put male only carp in there to eat the weed. Good thing is it seems to be working as the first lake is quite pristine and the other one murky.

It was a windy road through high country and forestry. Signs along the way state “ Forests don’t feed people” and “you can’t eat trees”- we wanted to add “but they do build shelter”. A nice road with plenty of passing bays which makes it easy to travel. Onto the Mohaka Rail Viaduct-95metres, built in 1937 and an engineering feat. large_IMG_4175.jpg

Made it to Mahia Beach Camp - the only people here I think, $50 per night which is a very high price to pay for peace of mind. However we have settled in and went for a big long walk along the beach and up the Mokotahi Hill for some great views. large_IMG_4197.jpglarge_IMG_4193.jpglarge_0e0e01f0-ab04-11eb-b063-35fe41bb8177.jpg
At the bottom we saw a plaque commemorating Moko the dolphin who was an icon here from about 2007 till his unexplained death in 2013. large_IMG_4202.jpglarge_IMG_4207.jpg
We are surprised at the size of the settlement here and the flash houses-unexpected. Seems a nice place in spite of an out of the way place.

Posted by Sallyj66 05:04 Archived in New Zealand Comments (1)

North Island Roadie, Morere Hot Springs

Morere Hot Springs

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16-18 degrees
partly cloudy

We woke to a cloudy day at Mahia, therefore could not catch the sunrise. We had a quiet and restful night much to ourselves.Once we’d done our chores we decided to try the Morere Hot Springs as Sara had recommended them to us.
We enjoyed our drive back out the peninsula as the vantage was different and we gained another perspective. Turned off at Nuhaka on the road to Gisborne.

These hot pools are salty-the water coming from Mahia and it taking hundreds of years to reach this spot. Our first walk was up through Nikau Bush (20minutes) to 3 pools of increasing temperatures and a freezing cold plunge pool. large_69dd3c30-ac80-11eb-9df4-7d9066851fbd.jpg
One of us went in the cold pool and it wasn’t me! Very nice, then we walked back through Nikaus to a larger pool where we met some nice locals. Once again one cold and one hot. It was enjoyable and very relaxing . It had got busy by the time we left.

Our discussion with other travellers told us that we could stay with the camper at the Eastwoodhills Arboretum. That was definitely on my to-do list, so took off towards this destination. Amazing countryside, we climbed high through forestry and lots of road works, then came down to the fertile plains nearing Gisborne. Kiwifruit, grapes and lots of citrus grown here. Turned up Patutahi Road for 24 km to reach the arboretum.

We have a choice of 6 walks and only did the yellow one this afternoon. We have been able to camp up for the night, along with another 2 vans, and will be able to do at least another walk tomorrow. No pets allowed but as long as Maddie doesn’t go into the arboretum itself she is fine here.Has got dark very early (5.30) and we re hoping for a clear sky with no light pollution.It is a very special place with such a serene atmosphere.

Posted by Sallyj66 02:27 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

North Island Roadie, Gisborne

Tairawhiti-The first light

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20 degrees, brilliant sunshine

As Gisborne is known for being the city that gets the first light of every day, we checked on sunrise and made a decision to be up on the beach greeting this new day. We were just gobsmacked at the natural beauty of this area. large_IMG_4368.jpg
We are surprised at how many surfers are here-even at that hour (6.30am) and in fact we found a statue as a way of noting the importance of them to this area. Beautiful beach, waves and light with huge surf club room. large_IMG_4356.jpg
Walked along the beach to a statue of Young Nick first sighting land here, then onto Captain Cook himself. large_IMG_4373.jpglarge_IMG_4374.jpg
This is by the wharf and the amount of logging trucks that go continuously in and out is amazing. There are 5 ships waiting in the bay to come in and get loaded so very busy.

Feeling fairly parched by then so bought a nice coffee from a kiosk and wandered back to the van. As i had my shower Sal got talking to other people in the park and came to the conclusion that tripping around the East Cape was not something that felt right. As it happened Kate rang and a new plan was hatched which involves a day trip to Tolaga Bay and then back to Gisborne and up to Opotiki. We can go with her to places of interest and this seems much preferable.

Driving north out of Gisborne towards Tatapouri where we are for the night ,the bays we passed are drop dead gorgeous with lots of people surfing, very pretty indeed. We have settled into a nice beachside camp with glamping in urts, we could feed the stingrays but not that keen.large_IMG_4380.jpglarge_IMG_4359.jpg

Posted by Sallyj66 03:17 Archived in New Zealand Comments (1)

North Island Roadie, Gisborne



18degrees, brilliant sunshine but still a cool breeze off the sea

A very quiet sleep 24 km up in the Gisborne Hills, our attempt to look at the night sky with no pollution was marred by our neighbour with his outside light on all night. Still the only noise was the plaintiff cry of a morepork. We woke early to take Maddie for a nice walk in the trees-really don’t think she could have any better than that.

Then we asked if it was ok for us to take another walk round the Arboretum before the 10am start. Absolutely no problem, so did the native tree walk in absolute peace-really very serene and idyllic.
No internet coverage at all up there which does become an issue for various reasons. We tried to address this in Gisborne with the people at Spark but no success.

We drove another 12km up the road from Eastwoodhills and found the Rere Falls, well worth the effort. Did not venture any further to find the rock slide. large_6ba41980-ac80-11eb-bc35-0fc9687ac627.jpglarge_6b499d70-ac80-11eb-aedc-a7c26d32a6ae.jpg
Then into Gisborne itself and finding a place to settle for the night. Have parked at the NZMCA park which is by the sea and a perfect spot to see the sunrise. We biked into town along the beach front but have been somewhat underwhelmed by the town centre. But this has been counteracted by friendly people so that is more important than fancy shops. large_IMG_4377.jpg

Posted by Sallyj66 03:24 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

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