Caves, Hobbits, and Country

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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Dargaville
October 14th 2010
Published: October 14th 2010
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The next day we headed north a little more and spent the night at a beautiful place right on a river. We were able to camp there for free in the vehicle. We got our chairs out and made supper by the water. I took pics of the sunset and Tyler read his book. That night I was paranoid. The place was great but it was out of the way and I thought a creepy old man was going to come by and kill us. Don’t ask me why. LOL! The next day we headed on the road, no creepy man came by that night. We realized we were close to Hobbiton (the place they filmed lord of the rings, the shire and hobbit houses) we had to go on a tour! From what we have been told the tour was only for really big fans of Lord of the Rings because the hole set was taken down. The only things left in Hobbiton were the hobbit holes with nothing on them. But we figured we were here might as well go. We got to the place and bought two tickets, the next tour was leaving in 20 min. When we got on the bus the tour guide told us the cool news, Hobbiton was being re built. Why? Because they are making The Hobbit into a movie! COOL! So we got to see some really great stuff. The hobbit holes were all made up for the movie, they were building the pub and so much more. I’m not even into the movies, and really only watched the first one, but I had a great time. I even got made into a hobbit 😉 All the work they are putting into it! Wow you wont even see half the detail in the movie. It was a great time. I was very camera happy there, Ithink Tyler was a little embarrassed lol. At the end of the tour they did a sheep shearing demo (the owners of Hobbiton are sheep farmers) and I got to feed a baby lamb. FUN! That night we slept in our vehicle again at a rest stop. The next day I woke up with the worst kink in my neck! We were going to head to the coramandle peninsula but decided to go all the way north first the hit it on the way back. So drive drive drive we did that day. We passed Auckland and went looking for a place to stay. We went towards the west coast and ended up in Piha, a small surfing town with a great beach! We set up our tent and had a great night there. The sunset was amazing to watch sitting on the beach.
After Piha we were heading up to the very top of Nz. It was a long day of driving with all the twists and turns of the highway and my neck was giving me problems still. We called it a night at Dargaville at a crappy campsite in the middle of town. It was a little sketchy but whatever we were just there to sleep. The next day we packed up and were ready to go when Tyler wanted to check the oil before we left. Something was leaking, maybe a hose he thought. We called a mechanic and ended up at the Toyota dealership in town. Bertha’s water pump was broken. Yay for us...not! We couldn’t get it fixed until the next day. We kept positive. Got a great place to stay right down town, it was a train car converted into a cabin!! The owner told us of a great place to get fresh fish so we went there to eat lunch. Yummy and cheap!! $5 for two pc of fish and two pc of mussel and chips. It was the best fish and chips we have had on our trip, we weren’t too crazy for the mussel. We stopped at a store and got some wine, then went back to the train car to have a glass or two. YUM! NZ wine is great! We then decided we needed some cheese to go with our wine, good thing the grocery store was across the street. What a great day, how can you be mad when you have wine and cheese and a bed to sleep in? In the morning we decided we liked the cabin so much we wanted to stay another night. I dyed my hair, Tyler laughed at the brown stains I got on my face when it was done. We got Thai for supper, not as good as New Plymouth!!! Tyler thought the chicken wasn’t chicken...maybe dog?? YUK! We got our vehicle back we were ready to hit the road the next day!
The next day leaving Dargaville we got a call from dad. Bad news, Grandpa passed away. Sad for me because I was so sure he was going to be fine for a long time. And being on this trip made me realize how important he was, and how selfish I was for not visiting him more often when I could have. I told myself that when I came back I would visit him so much more, and now I can’t. Its hard to deal with because I never really went to see him before I left. I never got to say goodby. It was a hard day for me. The day goes by quickly we do a forest walk and a 4x4 drive. The 4x4 track turns out to be way more over grown than what we were told and half way through the bushes turn vicious towards Bertha. We were getting sick of the bushes and were almost finished when there was a gate in the middle of the path and a sign saying “track closed due to harvesting please turn around”. LOL!! Wow so we have to turn around and go through all the bushes again! Poor Bertha was scratched to shit when we got out of there! Most of them came off when we washed the vehicle but she did come out with a few battle wounds. It was our fault, should have called doc to make sure the track was open the whole way. Oh well we had fun. We drive further north and find a campsite right on 90 mile beach.

So three hours after high tide the next day we hit the beach with Bertha! It was great! Tyler loved it because it felt like we were driving back home-flat and straight. It was wonderful to feel the sea breeze on your face while you drove. We passed by a seal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yah he was just sitting out on the beach by himself just hanging out. Tyler did a u-turn and we went back to check him out. He moved away a bit, but just laid back down on the sand. So cool! Haha I wanted to stay there and watch him, or take him with us! But we drove on. We also saw half a vehicle all rusted part sticking out from the sand, must have got stuck or something. Tyler had to drive along a stream to get back to the highway, which was really cool! The stream bed was slightly filled with water so you couldn’t slow down or you would sink into the sand. Bertha made it out just fine. We found a DOC campsite by the beach and set up camp for the night. That night the weather turned nasty. It rained and the wind was blowing hard. When we woke up in the morning there was a layer of sand inside and outside the tent. We cleaned up and shook out the tent and made the 2 min drive to Cape Reinga. Now since we got to NZ we thought it was called Cape Regina, and thats what we called it when we talked about going there to people. No one corrected us! LOL until one local guy in Dargavill finally said “you mean Reinga?” then I looked closer at the map and realized I can’t read properly Haha! Oh well we got there and it was such a beautiful spot. You have to walk down to the light house, but the views are better from the top. You can see the ocean and the sea collide together its just beautiful! I could have spent all day just watching the water, but the weather turned bad halfway to the light house. We spent two seconds there trying not to get blown away. We could see the storm coming; it was so cool to see! It started to rain so we ran back up to the carpark (ran maybe for two min then walked fast, out of shape from all the NZ wine, cheese, and chocolate) It was great to see the lighthouse and just be there even if it was cut short because of the weather. We wanted to do a day hike here but because my neck is still sore and the weather was crap, we didn’t. We decided to drive as far as we could that day. The wind and rain didn’t go away no matter how far we drove. The wind got worse and it became harder for Tyler to drive the twisty steep roads. We were both tired and got a cabin in Whangarei. The next day we bought some internet time from the campsite and booked another night in the cabin. My neck still wasn’t better so maybe a few nights in a real bed with pillows would help. It was nice to have internet! We got to talk to everyone back home. I found out Kendal was getting married-congrats!!! And I got to web-cam with Patty!!!!!!!!!! YAY!!! I finally got some Patty time!! Tyler called home and got to talk to everyone they were all together for Thanksgiving. I called home too and it was nice to talk to everyone, haven’t talked to my bros since I left!!! We need the internet more often, for our sanity I think :D We ordered Pizza and called it a night.
The next day the weather still hadn’t cleared up, we took a while to get everything together and check out. It was another long drive, but we had some new music downloaded so it was a nice change. Passed Auckland again driving right through, It didn’t take us as long probably because we knew where we were going this time. A hour outside of Auckland there was another 4x4 tack Tyler wanted to check out, when we got there it was closed-bummer. We got to the Corramandel Peninsula around 3ish. The rain was still coming down and the wind was nasty. We were wanting to camp at a DOC campsite that was in a vally and right by a day hike we wanted to do. When we got to the DOC site we pay for the campsites they were closed. The weather was getting worse and we decided it was a sign that we shouldn’t tent in this weather. Neither of us wanted to sleep in the truck either - its small and you really don’t get a great sleep, pretty cramped, you wake up grouchy and sore. So we got a place to stay in a small town right close to the DOC campsites. It was above a pub, i thought it would be sketchy but turns out it is pretty nice. This town is called Thames and it is great! I love it! It is right on the ocean and close to mountains and hikes. Beautiful! I think I could live here, I wonder if the pub is hiring? Lol Just kidding we are going to find jobs in New Plymouth when we go there in November. We have Indian food for supper -YUM! And then tell ourselves we are not going to eat out anymore. We did set a budget for ourselves but it only gets followed when we are camping. When we are in a town usually we have addictions to Thai, Pizza, Indian, and Sushi we just can’t stay away! And I wonder why my pants aren’t fitting right anymore LOL! The next day we have a lazy morning, then go do our laundry. It was way overdue, we were out of clean socks, and Tyler was down to his last shirt. I am typing this up while we wait and he is reading a book. When we move the cloths into the dryer I sit back down and he stands by his chair awkwardly hesitating. I know exactly what he is thinking and wanting to do! Then he goes “do you want any KFC...?” LOL!! I KNEW IT! The laundry place is right beside a kfc i knew he was smelling that place out right when we passed by it. Hahah so much for not eating out. I had toasted tomato sandwich for breakfast before we came so i wasn’t hungry at all. When the laundry was done we went to the waterfront. Got to see little ducklings swimming together, so cute! The weather has cleared up and the sun is out and the sky is blue!! Beautiful clouds in the sky as well. It’s a nice change from grey. Out into the bush tomorrow to camp and hike for a few days. Wish us luck!

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