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Take a road trip through New Zealand

Take a road trip and travel New Zealand to discover the best things to see and do in the land of the Long White Cloud.  A 2 week whirlwind trip was all it took for us to fall in love with this magical country.

There is something special about holidaying with no fixed itinerary.  There were just 3 things we wanted to cover off on our trip to New Zealand – visit the Bay of Islands, spend some time with our Kiwi friends and head to the Hawkes Bay wine region for some wine tasting. Tick, tick and tick!

Surprisingly, we did so much more!

Exploring the North Island of New Zealand was so much fun but with just 2 weeks, we didn’t have enough time to do it all.  We’ll have to go back!

Discovering New Zealand in full sunshine was a big surprise!   On previous visits it rained constantly so we couldn’t believe our luck when we hit beautiful warm sunny days.  The only day it drizzled was the day we visited Hobbiton, but that just added to the middle-earth atmosphere!

Taking so many great photos I don’t always have an opportunity to share them all.  Some of these photos are ones that didn’t make it into our posts.

Discover the stories behind the photos here:

The weather was perfect which enabled us to do lots of walking.  Much of it was uphill and  many walks through National Parks featured aerial walks or canopy platforms.  It was an opportunity feel at one with the dense rainforests, see the amazing kauri trees.

These photos are the fun shots along the way.

Take a road trip to Cape Reinga – the northern point of New Zealand

Cape Reinga was one of our day trips from our central base of Paihia.  We drove about 3 hours each way, stopping along the way to do what we do best.  See the sights!

Cape Reinga Lighthouse

Relax and enjoy the view

I couldn’t resist photographing this guy relaxing and enjoying the view.  The whitewater is where the 2 oceans meet at the top of New Zealand.

Cape Reinga - where the oceans meet

Dedicated cyclist pushing it uphill all the way to Cape Reinga

Feel the burn!  These hills were steep and there were lots of them.  Congratulations to this fit young man for achieving this massive feat and cycling all the way to Cape Reinga.

A tough ride to Cape Reinga

Watch the sets roll in from 90 Mile Beach

We saw a sign that said 90 mile beach, so turned left to find this magnificent beach and a few surfers catching the early morning waves.  Apparently 90 Mile Beach is only 55 miles!

An early morning surf at 90 mile beac

Paihia in the golden glow

Paihia is a central point in the Bay of Islands, and a great little town to base yourself if you’re planning day trips to see all the surrounding sights.

Paihia - the golden glow

Russell – in the Bay of Islands

An historical township that was on of the first settled areas in the Bay of Islands.  The Museum is worth visiting and if you have time, stay for lunch at one of the cafes or hotels.

Russell in the Bay of Islands

The Hole in the Rock

A bumpy boat ride out of the Bay to see Motukokako, the Hole in the Rock and Cape Brett Lighthouse.  For us the bonus was the seals on one of the nearby rocky outcrops.

The Hole in the Rock - Bay of Islands

Waitangi Treaty Grounds in Paihia

Visiting Waitangi Treaty Grounds was interesting.  Our guide, Daniel Busby shared his family history flavoured with his own sense of humour.  I recommend this as a ‘must see’ on your visit.

Waitangi Treaty Grounds

A bush walk to the base of Whangarei Falls

Take the path over the top of the falls to follow the short trail to the pool at the base of Whangarei Falls.  Its an easy walk chipped into the hillside though the Kauri pines and native tree ferns.

Wangarei Falls

AH Reed Memorial Park – a canopy walk high off the ground

Possibly one of my favourite walks in New Zealand, this canopy walk was set into the giant Kauri pines, palms and tree ferns.  Plenty of birdlife in amongst the trees but hard to photograph as they moved so quickly.

Wangerei tree walk

Sitting Gulls on the Waiheke Jetty

Sitting Gulls

Waiheke Island – a divine lunch with spectacular views

We loved Waiheke and will plan to stay on the island to see more of its attractions, next visit to New Zealand.  Lunch at Mudbrick Winery was amazing!

Mudbrick at Waiheke Island

Oopps!  Who’s mistake was this?

Sea Shed - who will take the blame

Spiral entrance to Ruakuri Caves

One of the newest inclusions to the Waitomo Caves system.  A unique spiral entrance takes you deep into the cave, and is touted as New Zealand’s longest underground walking tour.  A spectacular tour featuring up close viewing of glowworms and many of the cave features.

Spiral entrance to Ruakiru CavesCaves

Ruakuri Cave – where everyone’s a photographer

Everyones a photgrapher at Waitomo

Rising early the photo of the day

Sometimes its hard work to rise early to Shoot the Golden Hour, but sometimes its worth it!  This shot was taken on the east coast of Napier in New Zealand.

Sunrise in Napier New Zealand

Wine tasting in the Hawkes Bay wine region

Hawkes Bay is one of New Zealand’s premier wine regions so we were excited to have this on our hit-list.  Tastings at 4 local wineries didn’t disappoint so watch this space for a wine post (coming soon).

Wine Tastings at Hawkes Bay Wineries

#LoveTaupo was a bit of fun


Lord of Taupo – L’arte Cafe and Gallery

L'arte Cafe & Gallery

Father of the year on Lake Taupo

Father of the Year

My favourite fun photo

Sometimes holidaying is exhausting!

and ... relax!

Loved this School Bus Sign in Tirau

Tirau was a funky little town on the way to Hobbiton where we found a number of giant signs advertising businesses in the town.  They certainly got my attention!

Yellow Schoolbus

Visit Bag End in New Zealand’s Middle Earth

One of our fun experiences in New Zealand, visiting the Hobbiton Movie Set was surprising and after this experience, we’ve come back hyped up to watch the movies.

Bag End - Hobbiton Movie Set

A Pukeko fossicking at Hobbiton

Glass windows at Hobbiton

These mysterious creatures where everywhere

Mysterious Creatures

New Zealand is an easy place to visit and an absolutely perfect place to take a road trip.  New Zealanders have a certain quirkiness about them, they understand Australians, have an odd sense of humour and is one of the most extraordinarily beautiful countries you will ever visit.

If I’ve inspired you, why not pin this for later.

Take a road trip through new zealand

For us, New Zealand was the place to enjoy a relaxed holiday, there is a ‘no rush’ factor with everything, and when you’re on holiday that is a pretty nice zone to be in.
Have you been to New Zealand yet?  Plan your trip soon!