North Island New Zealand 2014

 

It is 10-years since we last visited New Zealand, when we toured South Island. On this visit we explored North Island.

 

We spent 4-nights in each of four centres: Paihia (Bay of Islands), Tairua (The Coromandel Peninsula), Rotorua and the Tongariro National Park. Here is a selection of photos giving a flavour of our trip.

 

After more than 30-hours in transit, we finally arrived at Auckland. We spent our first day visiting the island of Tiritiri Matangi, a must see nature reserve a little north of Auckland.

 

Fantails and Tuis

 

Pukekos and North Island Robins.

And many many more birds.

 

We headed north to North Land and the Bay of Island. We spent 4-nights at Paihia, and our first day we took the Cream Run.

 

We saw lots of dolphin

 

 

Walked on one of the islands.

 

Powered through The Hole in the Rock on Motukokako Island.

 

On another day we did a walk from Paihia.

 

Walking past reminders that we are in a geologically active part of the world.

 

The walk took us through unfrequented woodland filled with birds as curious about us as we them.

 

A Kiwi family moving house!

 

New Zealand’s first licensed hotel where, as their web site proudly proclaims:

“Refreshing Rascals and Reprobates since 1827”

 

We visited the sight where the Maori and the UK signed the Treaty of Waitangi.

 

We spent 4-nights at Tairua, Coromandel Peninsula.

 

We visited Mercury Bay, so named by James Cook, the location where he recorded the transit of Mercury in 1709.

 

Mercury Bay.

 

We visited Cathedral Cove.

 

Magnificent coastline.

 

The cove floods at high tide.

 

Our accommodation looked out on an estuary populated by wading birds and kingfisher.

 

 

We walked at Broken Hills, filled with mining remains from gold mining. Collins Drive runs for 500m through a mountain.

 

We saw Tom Tits, and the carapace of cicada.

 

We climbed the local volcanic cone for fabulous views.

 

The Pacific beach one day and the next: Cyclone Lusi swept through on our first day

 

We spent 4-night at Rotorua, and visited geothermal sites.

 

Crazy volcanic features in the Waimangu Valley.

 

Boiling blue water.

 

The fabulous Sport of Kings motel had en suite geothermally heated bathrooms.

 

 

We needed a boat to get us to the trailhead for our walk along Lake Tarawera.

 

Remote hot water bathing. Pete, (from the Sport of Kings) made sure we kept our feet dry!

 

The lake is surrounded by native jungle.

 

The lake is a flooded volcano crater, last erupted in 1886.

 

Rotorua is never far from steaming and bubbling mud!

 

We visited the “Craters of the Moon”.

 

Still steaming volcanic blast craters!

 

We spent 4-nights at the Tongariro National Park, with Mount Doom (Ngauruhoe) from “Lord of the Rings”.

 

We had long wished to do the “Tongariro Alpine Crossing”.

 

The clouds slowly dropped on Ngauruhoe, and we saw Mount Taranaki (a much bigger volcano) in the distance.

 

This volcanic area is still very active, last erupting in 2012!

 

Often looking more like Mars than Earth.

 

Crazy colours of solidified lava.

 

Lava oozed out of the Earth.

 

Volcanic lakes with amazing colours.

 

Still steaming.

 

Time to rest and take in the landscape.

 

The actual debris from the 2012 eruption: steaming lava and ballistic craters!

 

For our last two nights we visited friends in Hamilton. We walked at Raglan, looking out on the Tasman Sea.

 

Raglan, and its estuary, viewed from a local summit.

 

Walking again through terrific woodland.

 

 

 

 

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