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Published: December 12th 2015
Ah the freedom of the road.....
We collected our (motor)home away from home on Thursday, and it's pretty great! As in HUGE. As in I feel like a bloody trucker driving around in it. When we stop somewhere we usually get a few raised eyebrows when people see a chick getting out of the drivers seat. But it's soooo much fun!! First things first:
We spent about 2 hours at the Wilderness office, going through paperwork and instruction videos and the lot. Then the big moment finally arrived: I had to get behind the wheel and take off. Preferably on the left side of the road. Luckily there weren't any onlookers at that exact moment, which gave me the peace and quiet to just get in and go.
The rental place was at the airport, which meant I basically had to dive straight in to busy Auckland traffic. Gulp. The lady from Wilderness had given us directions to a big supermarket in the area, so we could stock up our Bertha. We drove straight there and obviously took up 4 parking spaces. After shopping and lunching in the parking lot we were finally off. For about 10 minutes,
then we got stuck in traffic. And more traffic. And then Steve the Satnav abandonned us, so we got lost in a suburb of Auckland. By the time we were finally past Auckland it was almost time to call it a night!
We managed to make it up to Dome Valley, and found a holiday park/theme park called Sheep World. The owner looked like he walked straight out of a hobbit film, he was very friendly though and showed us a camping spot with ensuite bathroom(how very fancy right!?). And then we FINALLY got to unpack our suitcases and fill all the little cupboards for the next 4 weeks!
Friday morning we woke up to the sound of rain on our roof. As we sat eating breakfast in our luxury home we saw people crawling out of tents and getting soaked the minute they stuck their heads out. awww...
We wanted to drive to the seaside campsite in Tauranga Bay that my mum had stayed at before, so we had to get going to be able to make it in one day. We drove to Whangarei, had a little mosey in the tiny harbour there, drove to
Whangarei Falls, had lunch in the parking lot, and carried on up to Waitangi to go visit the Treaty Grounds(where the Maori got done over by the English). The carved wooden house and massive war canoe there are pretty impressive and humbling.
Then quickly back on the road, upwards and onwards. The way to this particular campsite is a long, winding road off a bigger highway, with mostly just hills and swamps around for kilometers on end. When we finally drove onto the site, the trees and hills opened up to reveal the most breathtaking sight of blue sea and lush green islands in the background. We were a bit worried because we hadn't booked a spot, but there were literally only six people in the entire campsite, including us! It was stil a bit cloudy when we went to bed, but I woke up to a gorgeous sunny day, with a view of the ocean straight from my bed.
After peeling ourselves away from the awesome view at Tauranga Bay, we were back on the road, towards Waipoua Forest. In this forest is the oldest Kauri tree in New Zealand, the Tane Mahuta. And MAN that was
impressive! And mindblowing, and intens, and it shut me up! To be fair, the road through the forest was pretty challenging to drive on with big Bertha, so by the time we got there I was already quite drained, but still... An awesome tree to look at!
Coming out of the forest at the other end, we found a campsite and parked up early. Did some washing, sat in the sun, got my first sunburn... We are now holed up in our cozy shell, surrounded by Germans with screaming babies. Fingers crossed they don't wake us up tomorrow!
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