The end of the world…

05 November 2016 – 566,4km

Takaka is an hippie town and the organic market is every Saturday. You can find really great and delicious product, people are peaceful, happy and smart and worth for sure a visit!

Takaka Saturday market

The same I should say about Pupu spring, the cleanest spring in the world. A short track drove us through the bush full of fern until the spring. The water is so pure and crystal clear!

Pupu spring

When we arrived to Westport, after 270km, we were quite depressed about the weather and the ugliness of the city… so we decided to leave our luggage at the hotel, where you can feel as being in Biennale

At “Biennale” hotel

and to drive 100km more in the north to visit Karamea… the end of the world!

Driving to Karamea…

The road to Karamea is winding, with plenty of house to sell and a great spectacular path through the rainforest, 

Inside the rainforest

then appear an improbable city, where there should have been a petrol station… but closed!!! So tank before!

Petrol? Available in 100km

All the people wear plastic boots and should remove their shoes to enter into the supermarket…

Take off your shoes at Supermarket

Close to the beach of Oparara, a men with his child on a Quad, driving like crazy taking the dog out for a run through the beach…

Dog walking

We drove to the end of the road, with a foggy and variable weather, with the complete feeling to be close to the end of the world…

Driving to the end of the world

Just few people, some houses, and the magic of being at the end of the world…

The end of the world
Kohaihai Beach

Cook strait… welcome in South Island!

Arriving at Picton

03 November 2016 – 357,4km

Driving around Napier is really strange, it seems to be arrived in a Charlestown movie!!! The city was completely destroyed by an earthquake and rebuild in the 30es. Worth a visit!

Napier city center

The road between Napier and Wellington is simply gorgeous, full of vineyard and pasture… every corner should be immortalized, but then you need really to spend your whole life in New Zealand… sounds good, isn’t it?

On the highway to Wellington

I was thinking that Wellington was a terrible city, basically because of the weather… but we found a beautiful sun, with blue sky, lovely temperature and wind. I love Wellington, I guess that is my favorite city until now… the one that I would choose if I ever decide to move in New Zealand. Great shops, full of life, pub and I would have love to see the great explosion of night life… unfortunately I plan to move on, passing through the Cook strait… next time then!

City center harbor
Wellington

I must say that if you have a car and you will travel with Interislander ferry, you should arrive 2 hours before the departure, in any case not later that 1 hour before! Unbelievable!!! A waste of time, but the cruise it’s magic, spectacular, fabulous! We did it around 17:00 and we arrived in Picton at 20:30 just few minutes after the sun set. Really amazing!!!

Interislander ferry at Wellington bay

The north coast of the South Island

04 November 2016 – 398,1km

I must say that this part worth at least 2 days.

Picton is a little town that seems to be painted on a rock.

Picton

From here you can drive the beautiful and winding Queen Charlotte Drive. A must to to and see, as this 30 km that drives you to Havelock, are full of scenic lookout on the Sounds.

Queen Charlotte Drive

I do suggest ask to drive a part of the road to French Pass. Very demanding, but with spectacular view. We just drove until Okiwi Bay.

Okiwi Bay

Then we continue until Nelson. I do not know why, it could be the weather or other, I did not like at all Nelson. It is a flat city with some industry and wineyard. If you need to stop, don’t choose Nelson!

Havelock, the world Capital of the green mussel!

And then we start driving thorough the “Hell” to arrive to the Golden Coast… magic!!! Takaka, where we slept, is an hippy town.

The “Hell”

We spent the full afternoon visiting the north part to Wharakaiki beach. Spectacular, breathtaking! And if you have more time, I do suggest a walk to discover the tongue of sand of Cape Farewell. We just saw it from Puponga. Amazing!

driving to Puponga
Wharariki beach
Farewell split
Wharariki beach
The red sunset along the way to Takaka

Then we are at the Mussel inn, to try the green mussels, homemade beer and the pavlova cake. Everything completely organic!

Pavlova cake
Green mussel

The whole “champagne” day

Champagne pool

02 November 2016 – 290km

Waiotapu is only 30 minutes drive from Rotorua, but a must to see!

opal pool

We arrived around 8:45, the park opened at 8:30. We waked the first loop, until the Champagne pool, the most known attraction of the reagion.

Devil’s pool

Amazing, all the park is spectacular, and you must stay over there at least 3 hours!!! Please keep always in mind that the Lady Knox geyser is on his top at 10:30 punctually every day, and you need to go there with the car around 10:00 to get the best seat. The show will last from 10:30 until 11:00 and it is a must to see!


The other 2 loops should also be done, in my opinion… in any case you could spend in Rotorua the complet stay of your New Zealand! So amazing!!!

Waiotapu

We decided to have a quick look of the Huka fall and the lake Taupo.

Huka Falls
We did not spend so much time in lake Taupo because of rain, but as in any place in New Zealand, you could stay there at least 1 week doing every day something new!

Acacia Bay – Lake Taupo

We spend the end of our day in a winery, the Mission estate, one of the best of New Zealand. Please be advice that the cellar and the tasting is available until 17:00. Anyhow you could eat at the gourmet restaurant of just taste some cup of wine in the grass I front of with a good and tasty selection of cheese and home made bread!

Mission estate
Already tipsy
Cheese, homemade bread and wines

Oceania, I’m coming!!!

In few days I will be in Frankfurt airport ready to leave for my first trip to Oceania.

I will fly via Shanghai to Auckland where I will take another flight to Kerikeri to visit Bay of Island!

I will try to post every day, some information, picture and story.

Follow my dreams!!!