The land of the long white cloud

It isn’t the first time that I’ve been to New Zealand and won’t be the longest as I have been lucky enough to visit New Zealand a few times even to represent my school for the youth exchange programme, that was on 26th November 1996, What an opportunity for a young kid tho that for another day.. Today and many years later I have arrived again to a place that I am very fond of there has always been a soft spot spot this place.. So why not start my endless holiday here..

Hello Auckland, taken at Stanley Bay Park..

Hello Auckland, taken at Stanley Bay Park..

The flight was early and after a huge night with my friends back home it was tough, tho it was the smoothies flight. Sometimes it felt like we paused in the air not a sound not a bump just smooth as a hot knife thru butter but we made it and I am here writing the first of many entries in a campervan on the waters edge at Takapuna Beach holiday park, just prefect.

329.6kms later I have made it to Tauranga my old stomping ground I checkout the old school that I went too and the sights of what I remembered yet of course they have all changed, but during my drive that was meant to take only 3 hours took about 9 the roads are to beautiful to drive fast and if you speed you may miss out on some natural beauty like this place I found karangahake gorge an old goal mine.

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Mount Minden Heights lookout, a random find in Taraunga.

Mount Minden Heights lookout, a random find in Taraunga.

Today and now 425.3kms are clocked on the campervan checking out the sites of Rotorua. I made it to TE Puia the Te whakarewarewa Geothermal valley where I have been a few times before with the student exchange program and my family so I found some old photos and tried to reenacted them the best that I could, tho things have certainly changed in 20 plus years. It was fun re-tracing the steps that I remember of this place..

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After a day of pouring rain and earthquakes it was time to set off from Taraunga and head further down the North Island clocking up over 645kms now on the campervan parked next to a river off Lake Taupo it was a photographers dream today of waterfalls and blue skies. But be for that I need to tell you I MADE IT TO MIDDLE EARTH that’s right I visited the Hobbiton movie set in Matamata. It was so awesome seeing the little town and having an ale at The Green Dragon and of course knocking on Bilbos Baggins house tho you guessed it he wasn’t home but worth a try..

The Shire - Bilbo Baggins House at Hobbiton Movie set

The Shire - Bilbo Baggins House at Hobbiton Movie set

Well today was a re-act a family photo on Lake Taupo and a little me time, time taking out to just sit back and say I am in New Zealand my first leg on an endless dream holiday so Daryl don’t burn yourself out you don’t need to do everything it isn’t a holiday to see as much of one country you are seeing the World.. So today I was just a marksman fisher and caught a famous Lake Taupo trout just like my old man did over 28 years ago on a family holiday when I was out on the lake the skipper of the boat took me me Ngatoroirangi a rock craving on the side of a cliff that leads to the water then after we got back I went to soak up that geothermal heat by relaxing in the Wairakei Terraces hot springs all afternoon..

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A few days I have seen this Mountain lurking behind the clouds with snow-capped peaks and many of times I wish I saw it come out and shine on my last day at Taupo the clouds disappeared and showed the the beauty of Mount Ruapehu. I remember the last time I saw it and the was no snow that time, the earth was shaking and the lava you could see for miles away a little boy watched all night as plumes of smoke, ash and lava spilled out from the top but all I could think was there goes my ski trip but there’s nothing on Earth that can compete to the power and sight of a Volcano erupting..

Last time I saw this I was in a wood camping ground to the right at the base of the Mountain 1996 the eruption of Mount Ruapehu.

Last time I saw this I was in a wood camping ground to the right at the base of the Mountain 1996 the eruption of Mount Ruapehu.

Now an extra 200kms on the campervan not far from hitting triple numbers, I have been to the Otorohanga Kiwi house saw a real kiwi they are funny looking animals but something that you will remember as our next generation may not be able to see them after a hello I said my goodbyes and adventured underground in the Waitomo caves to see the glow worms in their natural environment.

1237kms is what it took for me to see some amazing sights of the North Island after a night in a free camp at Onewhero I manged to take in the last view of New Zealand at Hunua falls, I just stood there saying to myself this is what it’s all about, no office, no meetings, we are made to explore.

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Thank you for following my adventure across the North Island of New Zealand, if you would like to continue the journey please follow my endless dream holiday blog, It would be also amazing if you liked any of my images that you share, comment and even pick up a print or product of your own.