Did you have an exciting weekend in Auckland or where have you been?
We spend it on the road…
Without a GPS we decided to make a Roadtrip to a region in New Zealand which is ignored by most of the tourists…
Saturday, 6:15 am
We started really early to get the most out of this trip. But we were stopped really soon cause one of our fellows didn’t want to get up…so we had to wait…It wasn’t too bad ..just 20 minutes later..we laughed about it and made our way south at daybreak. The first stop we made at one of the beautiful surfbeaches near Urenui.
We went on to the beautiful Lake Mangamahoe and visited Tupare afterwards. It’s one of New Zealand’s most beautiful and distinctive gardens and also in winter worth seeing.
In New Plymouth we spent a lot of time in the famous Pukekura Park and got lost in it while searching the giant Ginkgo…but it was fun to find the way back to the car park. There’s really much to see in New Plymouth and of course we couldn’t do everything in one day but also had a short look at the famous Wind Wand at the coast while sitting in Arborio Café in the building of famous Puke Ariki Museum. Definitly check this out, if you plan to go there. We didn’t do this cause we decided to see the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, which was impressive and if you like movies that’s the right place to go. You can choose between a big range of New Zealand made films and watch them in the Gallery.
But that’s not everything, we also visited the oldest stone church in New Zealand, St. Mary’s and in the twilight we climbed the really, really steep Paritutu Rock. Arriving on top we had a wonderful look-out, changing our cameras between the famous Mt. Taranaki on the one side and the sunset over the sea on the other side.
After this long and exciting day, we arrived at the lovely little Sunflower Lodge with a familiar atmosphere at 7:00 pm. We were just able to cook some pasta and relax before we went to bed early.
Sunday, 8:30 am
Most of the way ahead, we started our road trip along the coast on the famous Surf Highway around the Vulcano. We were sooo lucky because we had the best weather you could imagine for our plans. Amongst all the photo-stops was also the side trip to Cape Egmont and the Lighthouse. And on our way round Taranaki there was always this Mountain that came up for heaps of pictures. In Opunake we left the Surf Highway to get closer to the Mount and made our way to the famous Dawson Falls. We walked a short Round Trip and were amazed by steaming streets, the mystic falls and the magic of this Vulcano.
The walk gave us new energy for the next stages of our trip. We continued the way to Stratford where we provided us with food before entering the next famous Highway: The Forgotten World Highway. Yep, we think this Highway is a little bit underestimated cause we enjoyed it in the late afternoon sun and it was absolutely amazing, especially the first stop, the Strathmore Saddle. We could see the snowcovered Mountains of Tongariro National Park on the one side and the Mt. Taranaki on the other side. Awesome!
But we also know now what forgotten world highway means now. We couldn’t resist the temptation to make a side trip to the “Bridge to Somewhere” on unsealed road and through tunnels. It took us about 40 minutes to get there and it felt like we were driving in the absolutely nowhere. It was lonely but a great experience especially to drive the car. This is also the reason why we drove most of the Highway in the dark, which was a lot more forgotten to go through nowhere where landslips, winding roads and dense fog made the journey really mystical.
So we arrived back in Auckland around midnight and were really happy to go to sleep after this long and challenging day.
Our result…damn happy to have seen this place!
Tell us what you think about this or where you spend your weekend and check out http://www.flickr.com/photos/42564157@N06/sets/72157627219523290/for more pictures!