Category = ‘north-island’

The long journey

The holiday began with approximately 30 hours of packing and sorting... split by the London fireworks in the middle.


We were collected from the airport in our own campervan by Michaela, who runs Campervans New Zealand. She told us our van’s name is Cleopatra... and here she is:

Day 2

Today was all about getting ready. We got up at 7 - Jess slept well, and I ‘slept’ - and wandered down to Kohi beach for breakfast (my first proper coffee since we left home!) - and my water baby wife had a dip in the Hauraki Gulf...

Hot Water Beach

We started the day as we did yesterday: down at Kohi Beach, where Jess went for a swim, Ben drank a nice coffee, and then we sat and had breakfast in the beach-side café. Today was the day the advent..

Te Whanganui-A-Hei

The Te Whanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve is a few miles North of Hot Water Beach, so it was our next port of call. Jess was particularly excited, because Gemstone Bay is supposed to be one of the best pl..

McLaren Falls (1)

Jess drove her first long journey today, from Hot Water Beach to McLaren Falls, via Tauranga (toe-run-gah), for some additional supplies. Along the way we passed through various small towns, which are..

McLaren Falls (2)

There are various walking tracks in McLaren Falls Park, so we headed off for a viewing point, before walking down into the valley to see another waterfall. The viewing point was beautiful – the f..

McLaren Falls (3)

And so, it was back to the van for some dinner and clothes drying... Jess made herself a little cooking nest behind the van, using various plastic lids to shield the camp stove from the wind that was ..

McLaren Falls (4)

Jess and I nearly didn’t go on the glow worm walk at McLaren Falls – it was twilight, not properly dark, so we didn’t think we’d see anything. But, it’s one of the major attractions of McLaren Fa..

Hobbiton Movie Set

Where do I begin... the attention to detail is incredible, ridiculous even, because so many of the details never made it on screen. But before we get there... on our way we stopped off at Matamata, wh..