Claudia, Peter, Lasse & Sil discovering the world

New Zealand - northern island

Leaving the inter-island ferry we split up: Claudia and the kids would drop off the rental car, while Peter was picked up by the lady from the camper rental company to get the camper. First stop was Wellington, a very nice and cosmopolitan city, full of energy and (night) life. Now we had a camper we could stay where we wanted. Our first night we stayed at a down-town camping which in fact was nothing more than a converted parking lot. Location was perfect, but it scored low on ambiance. We spent a day in Te Papa, the great national museum of New Zealand. Really awesome and well done. The weather was nice and we also spent an afternoon hiring roller-skates and skating along Wellington's boulevards. We visited Kedron and Lorenzo, living in Wellington, where we stayed another two nights at a beautiful spot overlooking the ocean. Claudia met Kedron 26 (!) years ago as an exchange student and we spent two nice evenings, dinners and a day together, also visiting and joining in on the local school with their sons. Lorenzo was a musician and we bought one of his CD's to listen to in the camper. Good Italian music, as he himself called it ‘mature music'.

From Wellington we went to Tongariro National Park. Peter wanted to do a two-day hike on the ‘northern circuit', a classic hike in the Tongariro National Park that circumvents Mount Nauguharoe (or Mount Doom for LOTR-fans). Claudia, Lasse and Sil spent two nice days on a DOC campsite (department of conservation) in the park, being lazy and playing games, but also doing some schoolwork. Peter came back a new man, with a fresh sparkle in his eyes from walking in the mountains and at the same time smelling like a pig......

Then it was time to hit the road and explore the North Island by Camper. Having a camper at our disposal meant we were actually traveling nearly every day. Not good for finding our ‘ohmmm', as we would call it. And although NZ is supposed to be covered with so-called ‘dump sites' for unloading our toilet and waste water, they are pretty hard to find at times, which meant we had to stay on regular campsites every now and again. These nights were most loved by Lasse and Sil, as there would be a trampoline available and sometimes even a swimming pool, but Claudia and Peter preferred to camp ‘wild' so to speak. But still, we were fortunate enough to spend nights at the most beautiful places and we met quit some nice people where we stayed for one or two nights. And in between it was either a wild spot along the road or at the back of a roadside inn, or at a holiday park to charge all our electronic equipment and dump our liquid wastes.

The northern island is known for its volcanic activity. After staying a night on a Top 10 holiday park at Rotorua, we went to nearby Waikite Thermal Valley. This was a camp site enjoyed by the whole family. Water from a local hot well (98 degrees C at the surface) was tapped, cooled down and fed into a series of warm pools, all beautifully made for everybody to relax and enjoy. Every night the water was refreshed, so no chemicals, all pure nature.

Near Taupo we spent a morning in a hot spot in a local river. It was just a spot in the river used by locals. Here we met Stacey, who spontaneously invited us to come to Te Aroa and stay at her house. She lived in a lovely little cottage, living mostly from vegetables she grew on her land. Lasse and Sil gave her dog a real good time and lots of attention. We cooked together and spent the evenings either talking or having a dip in her private spa outside on the deck under a star-spangled sky. Stacey gave us an insider tip to go and visit the old Crown goldmine in the neighborhood, which we did. It was a little bit creepy to walk through dark tunnels with our headlights on, but it was well worth the experience and we even saw a small colony of glow-worms.

After a night of wild camping on the parking lot on Mangawhai Head, we met Karen from the Netherlands while walking on the beach. She heard us talking Dutch and we got to talking with each other. We invited ourselves for lunch and ended up staying a night at the beautiful house of Karen and Tom up on Mangawhai Hill, with an even more beautiful view over the green hills and the sea. We cooked dinner together, while Sil played with Storm who was his age, while Lasse was being adored by Mikki, their two-year old daughter.

Another place we dearly wanted to see was Cape Reinga, the northern-most point of New Zealand. It's just one of those things people want to do, spent time on the extremities of a country. In any case Cape Reinga was beautiful, with only very basic DOC-campsites available, just the way we liked it. We stayed on a campsite with beach access, so every morning, afternoon and evening we took a dip in the sea. Lasse and Sil built their own little hut with all kinds of stuff from the camper and things they found and collected on the way. It was also a magic place; where of old people (Maori) came to feel the energy of the land and the two oceans colliding.

Going down south again, towards Auckland, we stopped over at thermal mud pools (our clothes and our skins still smell of sulfur...) and at Waipu Forrest, home of the largest Kauri trees of New Zealand (the real big Close above Auckland it was time for one last stop. We had been touring around in the camper trying to find a suitable location, when we met Clyde and Pam, just returning from looking after their cattle. They let us stay at their second house, with a very scenic view over Kaipara Harbour. Then time for our last stop in NZ, we would visit Henk an old colleague from Peter at Corus. Henk and his wife Jenny and their four children live in a marvelous house they designed and built themselves in one of the sea-side suburbs of Auckland. We had dinner together, Peter talked a lot about Corus and the kids enjoyed playing with some fresh lego.

So our time in NZ was finished. And with that, also our year of travelling was nearly finished. Time flies when you're having fun! Next stop would be Raratonga, the capitol of the Cook Islands. Curious wha to expect we boarded the plane, Lasse and Sil already excited that everybody had his own television set in the chair before him. Great! A child's hand is quickly filled, we then say.



Karen en familie

Wat leuk om weer jullie update te lezen. Mooie foto's!!! Bijna koninginnedag... Hier alles goed. Vriendin gisteren opgehaald van vliegveld dus veel bakkies doen en kletsen, kletsen en kletsen. Tom en Storm nu vakantie. Beetje wisselvallig weer, maar nog wel fijne temperaturen. Veel plezier nog en tot later. x


Hallo Ihr Globetrotter,

auf dem Weg zu den Cook Islands und in die USA begleiten Euch unsere Gedanken.
Ganz herzliche Oster-Grüße!

In freudiger Erwartung des baldigen Wiedersehens Euere

Oma+Opa = Bruni+Norbert


Hee wereldreizigers,
wat een geweldige avonturen beleven jullie toch. Spijtig dat er binnenkort niets meer te lezen is.
Gelukkig verkeren we hier op dit moment ook in tropische temperaturen. De paaseieren smelten waar je bij staat;-)
Goede reis terug!

John en Immy Nota

Ook wij hebben met jullie meegeleefd, al deze avonturen zijn toch onbeschrijfelijk, maar heel goed weergegeven.
Wij wensen jullie een hele goede reis terug, en nog even, dan zijn jullie weer thuis in the good old Holland

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