Check out this picture of the view from one of the farms on our Farmstay program!
Keeping in theme with our last post about the Devonport Food and Wine festival, I thought I would write a little bit about Devonport and North Head as it is definitely one of the top things to do in Auckland.
North Head, located in Devonport, offers beautiful views of the Hauriki Gulf, Rangitoto, Auckland CBD, Devonport and the surrounding areas.
North head has been an important lookout and defense site for early Maori inhabitants and later for European settlers. It is home to a network of tunnels, guns and other structures, offering insight to the military history of North Head.
Things to do at North Head include cycling, dog walking, exploring the historical remnants, swimming at Cheltenham Beach and plenty of photo opportunities.
Devonport area: Devonport is a beautiful seaside village with a great selection of cafes and restaurants, history and heritage, shopping and scenery.
Getting there: You can get to Devonport/North Head by car or ferry. Fullers operate a ferry service departing from the ferry terminal at 99 Quay Street, Auckland CBD for $11 return. This service departs regularly (approximately every half an hour) and takes around 10 minutes.
Picture of the Week:
This week’s picture of the week is of Long Beach in Russell. Russell was the first capital of New Zealand and one of the first places where Europeans settled. This town has a rich history and is a great place to visit for tourists and New Zealanders alike. Passenger Ferries operate continuously from Paihia (See last week’s Picture of the Week) to Russell. Russell is a popular holiday town, with a variety of restaurants, accommodation, shops and bars as well as a beautiful beach.
Picture of the Week:
This week’s picture of the week is of a beautiful New Zealand sunset taken by one of our lovely interns. With the weather slowly getting warmer everyone is starting to look forward to long, hot days at the beach. Some of New Zealands best and most famous beaches include Hot Water Beach in the Coromandel- here you can dig a hole in the sand which will fill with naturally hot water!), Piha beach west of Auckland with its amazing surf, Mission Bay in Auckland, Ocean Beach in Mount Maunganui, and of course Ninety Mile beach at the northernmost point of New Zealand.
I hope you are well wherever you are in the country,
We have just been told by our favourite surf company, MOJO, that they have a really good special on their 5 and 7 day learn to surf trips in March
This trip include transfers from Auckland to Opoutere, (a really beautiful white sand beach on the Coromandel), then to Raglan, one of the most famous surf spots in the world with its black sand beach, and then back to Auckland as well as very cool dorm accommodation (I have been to both spots and they are great!), a local tour and surf guide, at least one 2 hour surf lesson per day (5 for the 5 days trip and 10 for the 7 days trip) the equipment (surfboard and wetsuit), and of course the company of other young like minded people from around the world.
Normally the 5 days trip is at 645NZ$ and the 7 days trip at 845NZ$ but with this deal, if you book and starts your trip before the end of March you get 150NZ$ off, making it at respectively at 495NZ$ and 695NZ$ and moreover if you book with INTERNeX we are going to give you 5% of this making the total cost $470 and $660. The Mojo mini coach leaves Auckland every Monday and brings you back on Friday or Sunday depending on your trip.
For the meals, at the beginning of the trip everyone on the bus pays a $100 food kitty and you go to the supermarket where the meals including breakfast, lunch and dinner are purchased for the whole trip. If you have special meal requests these are taken care of at this time.
So even if you never surfed before or you are already really good I can highly recommend this trip as it is really heaps of fun and a real taste of New Zealand. My favourite part is Karioi Lodge where you stay in Raglan is amazing, set in the bush in the heights of Raglan with a sauna and a scenic point to relax in the evening… I can tell you all of that because I have been on this trip myself thanks to Chris who sent me on a famil trip last November.
The picture below was taken in Opoutere.
Hi everyone, I hope you had a great Christmas and that the new year begins well for you. I came back from holiday so I’ll be more active on the blog than the last weeks.
Unfortunately I can’t organise a Pub Night this week because I won’t be there again but next week you can reserve your Thursday night.
After those last weeks of rain and storm it seems that finally the real summer’s here so it’s time to discover the best beaches in Auckland and in the near areas.
Be aware of the tides on http://www.metservice.com/marine/tides/auckland
Takapuna is a very popular beach close to the business area with good parking and a large boat ramp. There are toilets and a changing block, as well as a picnic area. On a clear day enjoy great views of the volcanic island of Rangitoto and other Hauraki Gulf islands.
Milford Beach is a popular family beach with a large grassed area and areas for beach volleyball. It has a children’s playground and a toilet block. It is also home to a marina, sea scouts and the Milford Cruising Club. There is a boat ramp and parking off Milford Road.
Thorne Bay is a spot favored by young people and is situated between Takapuna Beach and Milford Beach. It is only accessible by foot.
Source : http://www.northshorecity.govt.nz/
Mission Bay – Kohimarama – St Heliers
Situated East of Auckland those beaches are also at the proximity of shops and cafés, the beaches are shorter than in Takapuna but very popular as well.
Point Chevalier Beach is one of the best beaches on the Waitemata Harbour, and certainly the best west of the city. The beach is well sanded and offers good swimming near high tide.
Out of Auckland
Piha is one of, if not the most famous beach in New Zealand. It is reknowned for its superb scenic beauty and its surf, all just 40 minutes drive from Auckland CBD. Piha has black iron sand swept up the coast from the entrance to the Waikato River, the sand produced by the eruption of Taupo eons ago.
This weekend we went to the Coromandel. The Coromandel is a region on the North Island and has some of the best beaches of New Zealand. It is a great option if you are stuck in Auckland for work of your internship and you can easily do it on the weekends.
We stayed in Cormandel town. This wasn’t a very special place, but we had an amazing drive all the way to the north of the Coromandel. We saw some incredible rocky beaches and at night we enjoyed the pool at the hostel Anckor Lodge.
On Saturday morning we had to get up ridiculously early in order to do a sunrise kayak tour at Hahei beach. Although I was very much against getting up early and the others had to put up with a rather grumpy Lotte, it was very much worth it. We saw an amazing sunrise at Hahei beach while we were waiting for our kayaks. During the kayak tour we went to see Cathedral Cove and to Hoho Rock, one of the most photographed rocks in New Zealand. We also say some stingray’s at Stingray Beach (surprising…) and had a very nice coffee on the beach. The sea was calm, clear and the weather was just perfect.
After the kayaking, we relaxed on the beach, as it was one of the first very summery days and afterwards we took off to Hot Water Beach. It is a really strange experience to feel the cold seawater and then suddenly you are almost burning your feet when you are at a ‘hotspot’. Unfortunately, the Germans of our group couldn’t live up to my high expectations of Germans being great at digging holes at the beach and the French tried to conquer the sea as well, we failed miserably in making our own hot pool.
All in all it was a great weekend and I can definitely recommend the Coromandel as a destination. At least I stayed true to my nationality and turned fabulously red in the sun!
As some of you may know, we are back from a trip to Opoutere on the East Coast and Raglan on the West Coast where we have been surfing and enjoying the sun… well almost.
We left Friday at 4:00PM in front of the Stray office on Fort St. for a three hours journey to Opoutere. On the road you could clearly see the rural side of New Zealand, far from the buzzing of Auckland.
We arrived just before the sunset in the Opoutere YHA which is a really great backpackers hostel, for the view first, (on a protected bay with the ocean a bit further) but also for the features with table-tennis, volley-ball, free kayaks…
The morning after we took some time to unpack the new surfboards arrived earlier at the hostel and we took the mini-coach to get into the action.
Arrived on the car park, and after a 10 minutes walk in a little pine forest, we arrived on the beach. A long white sand beach surrounded by a forested reserve and a sand spit which is a breeding ground for several endangered species of sea birds like the “New Zealand Dotterel”.
After the basics safety instructions given by our two Raglan-born instructors, Hemy and Ryan, we jumped into a quite warm water and took the first waves. Not easy to stand-up but most of us reached it finally after several times. Quite exhausting to battle against the current but the feel of the wave pushing you is really awesome.
Another three hours journey and we arrive in Raglan to take the boat and have a scenic view of the harbour with the typical Pancake rocks.
10 minute drive we arrived in Karioi Lodge, a backpackers hostel lost in the middle of the bush in Raglan heights. We arrived a bit too late to see the sunset this time but the next morning the sight was still pretty amazing even more from Inspiration point, a panorama point at just 5 minutes walking from the lodge where some come do their yoga on a wooden deck.
Then we took the mini-coach to go to the beach (this time a black sand beach due to the volcanic activity of the region) and take our second lesson where we could realize that everybody has already improved from yesterday. The rain took part in the game but as we were already wet, well it did not really have an impact on the fun…
It was already the end of our stay in Raglan and we had to head back to Auckland, hopefully we had a stop in a wonderful and accessible place Bridal Veil Falls, 55m high.
Thanks a lot to all the MOJO Surf crew for this awesome weekend, and even if I still can’t say that Keanu Reeves is an amateur, we had a lot of fun !
Summer is back and even if those last two days have been rainy, it’s already the return of the surfing season !
And surfing in New Zealand is definitely a must-do. Apart from telling to your friends and family that Keanu Reeves in Point Break is now an amateur compared to you it’s a super experience that everybody enjoyed last year, in one of the best spots of New Zealand : Raglan.
Usually at 299$, the price dropped to 289$ for a student special price, including : the transfer to Raglan and back to Auckland, one night accommodation in a dorm share, a BBQ dinner, a continental breakfast, and of course the surf lessons with the wetsuit and the board hire.
As there are currently quite a lot of interns in Auckland, we would like to try to have you altogether on this surf weekend. So let us know if you would like to take the wave and if the weekend of the 19th of November suits you. Of course you can do the surftrip any other weekend as well and you’ll meet lots of great people on the bus anyway.
Most of you have never surfed, me included, and so don’t worry to be apart, and even if you are not going into 4 meters high water tubes, you can still expect to have really good sensations.
If you want more infos, don’t hesitate to drop us a mail at email@example.com.
P.S : I think you have heard about the oil slick that is happening right now off Tauranga coasts and which is really a huge environmental disaster for the country, with no doubt the worst in its history. Raglan is not concerned by it so no problem for the surf weekend, but if you want to help I will keep you informed soon on this blog and on facebook for the volunteer options.
PR-Department, INTERNeX New Zealand.
the Picture of the week is found! It shows the Beach of Motuihe Island. Robert choosed it because it impresses him all the time.
Fair enough, I think. But look at it and make your own decision…
As prize, Robert won two tickets for the Rugbygame on Friday, where he can see the Blues vs. Highlanders. Hope you really enjoy the great Kiwievent Robert!
And I am really excited to see your pitures. Send your funny, weird or just beautiful picture of your time in New Zealand to firstname.lastname@example.org.
After making Robert a lucky winner the 7th Pubnight went on with some really nice chats and drinks at the usual bars, because we had another fellows last Pubnight…so we visited all the typical places where we had been the past Pubnights.
And I was really lucky to see some new faces at the Pubnight yesterday…that makes it always so interesting…so please don’t hesitate to bring your friends.
We finished the evening at Danny Doolans with some really tasty drinks, a great atmosphere and LIVE MUSIK! I will try to find more of it in this city…;-)
Thanks to all attending yesterday and especially for the new travel ideas…;-)
Have a nice start in the weekend!