Blogs from Wellington Region, North Island, New Zealand, Oceania


Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Wellington Region November 27th 2018

26th November It rained all night. I woke up at 6.30 and it was still pissing it down, my chair, table and cooker were we through. The bucket with my washing up in had about 2 inches of water in it. Sod it, I really did not want to attempt breakfast in such heavy rain. I loaded the van up, went to the loo and got dressed and was left the site by 7.15, breakfast would be at a bakery. Every small town has a bakery, which serves as a cafe as well. Got to a place called Freetown and spotted The Corner Bakery, did a u turn and parked up. Got quite a stare from a local who was drinking a cuppa. Looked at the menu, Big Breakfast, that’’ll do, I could a full one ... read more

Day 13: Masterton to Welington, 140km, lots of socialising and a spectacular fall The Donkey was up before the crack of dawn and set of in the dark at 6.30 a.m. It was cold. The donkey could not find his cycling jacket, must have left it somewhere, he thought. He was not surprised as he always lost stuff. Butterfly usually came to the rescue as she had an uncanny ability to know where any of the Donkey’s lost items would be. But Butterfly was not there (yet) so he could not ask her. As expected the Donkey got lost trying to find his way out of Masterton. Perhaps he should have waited till it was light as by the time he finally found Colombo Street, the street he was looking for, dawn was breaking. There was ... read more
The Donkey and Butterfly have to get of the bike at Siberia Gorge
The Donkey and the bulldog
The Donkey with Butterfly and the busy little hen

Day 12: Palmerston North to Masterton 104km. How much misery can a donkey take? What one can do to oneself, it beggars belief, contemplated the Donkey while he was climbing a massive hill, just outside Palmerston North. The hill was so big that no amount of sticks you threw at it would cover it or even put a dent in it. The road he was on was called Pahiatu Aokautere road, 'a popular training hill for local roadies' it said in the instructions. That is all nice and well for a roady with a 7kg bike but it is a different story for a donkey on a fully laden mountain bike, weighing around 30 kg, plus of course the weight of the donkey, even if he surely must have lost some weight since the start of ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Wellington Region February 1st 2018

Our first full day in NZ was a busy one. We left the hotel about 9-30 and stopped for breakfast at Pandoro's near the docks area. We then went to Te Papa. This is a wonderful museum which we had visited before. Today the main attraction was a special exhibition about Gallipoli and especially NZ's part in the landings and the subsequent fighting there in 1915. The first room immediately confronts the viewer as it contains a giant figure of a soldier firing his pistol. These amazing statues are peppered throughout the exhibition. There were also interactive dioramas of the terrain and demonstrations of the battles. Not a huge number of artefacts but the confronting nature of the large sculptures certainly made this memorable. We spent over an hour looking through this and reading the stories ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Wellington Region October 15th 2017

Marie got a ride to the airport with a colleague and set 'camp' up a corner with a precious power socket. A cancelled meeting enabled Emma to catch a slightly earlier flight. After a quick change and some trading of packing, we bought water and headed out of the building, with the sign Emma had made saying 'South' We'd had a brief discussion about what to say to people that were kind enough to give us a lift. Maybe not everyone would appreciate giving us a ride if they knew we'd turned down a paid flight home (Marie) and in fact paid to fly up in order to hitchhike back (Emma) and that actually we were just seeking an adventure. It was tempting to invent a story, a whole new exciting fictional life. But that doesn't ... read more
IMG_3169 (1)
World's smallest 2 person room...

Nous arrivons le soir à Porirua, une première puisqu'on s'était promis de ne pas rouler de nuit. En hiver, le soleil de Nouvelle-Zélande se couche encore plus tôt qu'à La Réunion; vers 17.30. Cette ville en bord de mer est très jolie et bien plus grande que ce qu'on imaginait. On gare le van sur un terrain: derrière nous 2 stades de rugby pendant que l'océan et un parc nous font face. Y a pas à dire, les parkings self-contained de façon générale proposent de beaux emplacements et proches de commodités: de quoi passer un moment agréable. On a (toujours) de la chance puisque le soleil est au rendez-vous donc on décide de se promener, prendre une douche (2$), faire des emplettes dans un outlet et bien sûr passer à la bibliothèque pour recharger nos appareils ... read more
Whitieira park

Geo: -41.2865, 174.776We were very nervous as we were flying into Auckland. We'd been looking into the best and most financially viable option for transport and accommodation around New Zealand and still hadn't really 100% decided what to do. We'd looked into buying or renting a camper or a car, we looked into bus tours and we looked into air b and b and hostels. We decided (with a bit of persuasion from and a kick up the arse from a friend) that we'd hopefully save money and have an awesome time buying a camper and travelling around for 10 weeks on the road and selling it for a slight loss at the end of our road trip. This was easier said than done. We were looking at campers and converted vans with all sorts of ... read more
Strolling along the sand dunes at 90 mile beach
Waterfall no.1... didn't catch the name of it
Oooh rainbow!

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Wellington Region » Wellington February 12th 2017

Geo: -41.2865, 174.776This morning, we borrowed the bikes from our hotel and explored the geothermal springs in Rotorua. Then, caught a 50 passenger, 2 prop plane, for the 1 hour and 10 minute flight from Rotorua to Wellington. Wellington is a small city on the southern tip of the north island, with a number of restaurants and bars. It has about the same population as Richmond, Virginia.... read more
Geothermal springs
Geothermal springs
Geothermal springs

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Wellington Region » Wellington September 9th 2016

Geo: -41.2865, 174.776Well, we awoke to still-unsettled weather outside, but warm hearts inside.As soon as Everard had finished his business appt, we headed off across the bay to climb Mt. Kaukau, part of the "Northern Walkway" - an hour's climb in rain and windy and over 1200' above sea level. Pretty steep but we made it - thank goodness for those brasher sticks! When we got to the top the view was amazing - but so was the wind - est was over 50 mph, so the stay was brief.We then had a delightful lunch of seafood chowder and whitebait fritters!!!! and coffee on another delightful little spot by the sea.Then off to climb up to a memorial for a former Prime Minister. Good views from the heights behind, where we found gun emplacements from many ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Wellington Region » Wellington September 8th 2016

Geo: -41.2865, 174.776We received a call from our hosts for Thursday and Friday at 7:45 am - leave asap, the main road from Taupo to Wellington is closed due to freaky weather!!! Uh Oh.We headed out from this lovely apartment overlooking the lake-larger-than-Singapore and drove the same way south we had done to climb the giant volcanic mountains - because it was the road to the East that was closed. The so-called "desert road," probably because the wind sweeps over a plains. We did encounter some little squalls of rain, then snow, then tiny hails, but nothing out of the ordinary for Ohioans :)We came upon rolling hills, flat lands, lots of cows and sheep (we expected the sheep, but the cows are everywhere - black and white Friesians, sweet-eyed Jerseys and Guernseys, brown ones, even ... read more

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