19 août 2010

Tauranga to Auckland

We catch breakfast with the seagulls on the beach in Tauranga before hitting the road. We pass some empty cities and wander around in a city where shops seem specialized with antiques, they call it the antique trail. It feels like the notion of time does not exist here as we stumble upon dust-eaten books, old-fashioned china and colonial era pieces. Our driving skills in New Zealand do not prove as good as we’re about to reach Auckland. We spent hours in the traffic and awkward road and neighbourhood logic. We can’t seem to find... [Lire la suite]
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15 mai 2010


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10 mai 2010

Fly like a Bird

  The weather looks promising as the day starts. Here we go Tongariro! We had planned to walk until the Red crater as the Alpine crossing could be too much for Noemie. The path is well maintained and goes through wonderful scenery. We start climibing our way close to the Red Crater when we notice that Noemie is not enjoying the ride in the kangaroo. In reality, although the weather is magnificent, there are some cold winds brushing her face, a bit too much for a 6-month baby. We turn back and rest for no more than 10 minutes... [Lire la suite]
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19 janvier 2010

Holy smoke

This morning, a glimpse out of the curtains is enough to predict the weather… Ok. What do we do here in bad weather? The Tongariro Alpine crossing would not be doable with strong winds and snow, and the skydive cannot be done with these clouds. We surf our brochure-flooded campervan to help us decide on the course of the day. There are all sorts of information here, maps, activity guides, things to do under the rain, accommodation and restaurants directory. The Lonely Planet could be obsolete in this country… We drive 40 min... [Lire la suite]
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16 janvier 2010

Napier to Taupo

  Today t-shirts come alive out of our suitcase! Yoohoo! Sunshine and warm temperatures. Visit Craggy range winery (one of the best red in NZ) in Hastings for with nice setting. Take a walk in Napier’s busy streets, observe art-deco architecture and enjoy summertime for a few hours. Lunch at the Mission where Jeremie experiences Kangaroo meat (didn’t know it is eatable). Very good food here but we find the wines a bit flat. Overdosed with all drinks white and red - but in good condition to drive - we head for Taupo. The... [Lire la suite]
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14 janvier 2010

Grey and windy Wellington

  It rained throughout the night in our city parking lot. Apparently parking is hard in Wellington for campervans, with camping grounds at least 10 km outside the city center. We had chosen the best option without knowing it. In fact, parking grounds exist, except that you have to pay for it and it remains way cheaper than camping grounds. So we get wet and cover Noemie as we do parts of the walking tour mentioned in the LP. The shopping streets we find of little interest and we fail to notice the artsy shops which we thought... [Lire la suite]
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12 janvier 2010

Go North

Our ride to the North Island is scheduled for 1 pm on the Interislander, one of the finest ferry trips. But first we have to figure out how we get out of our hidden heaven: last night we got a little stuck in the mud as we parked but we stayed there hoping it will dry till morning. Not quite… We spent nearly an hour going back and forth, filling the soil with gravels, until we finally made it. We end up wet, muddy and ready to have another shower, but time is not on our side and the road ahead is one of the most challenging so far.... [Lire la suite]
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09 janvier 2010

Wine, lands and shores

  Marlborough country. The real one is on this island. Here, Sauvignon blanc and Riesling dominate the landscape, rain and clouds rule the sky. Perfect day for savoring the region’s wine caves. We treat ourselves to a fine lunch at Twelve Trees located in the Alan Scott winery before sampling the wines at three other wineries. We found the wine too heavy on the taste at Mahi (and very expensive as well). We got excellent Gerwutstraminer and Pinot Gris at 'The Grove Mill', and we finished with the best wines of all (so far) at... [Lire la suite]
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07 janvier 2010

Bliss roads, kiwi version

  Even though there is no set itinerary for our trip, it was agreed that we’d go north of the South Island towards Abel Tasman NP. [How come the islands don’t have names? could at least have made it simpler with Zealand one & 2 or sheep bird island and human island (not creative, ok)]. So we visit some jade shops in Hokitika and I get some nice necklaces in local pounamu stones. To tell you the truth, we were a bit disappointed with the West Coast scenery and attractions and the ride north seems long with only the... [Lire la suite]
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05 janvier 2010

Of tropical forests and glaciers

The itinerary takes us West where the plan is to skirt the coast of glaciers and beautiful beaches. We pass through Haast which is supposed to be of great scenery but the lush tropical rainforest on both sides of the road makes it a bit dark to see anything else. We have a small mechanical problem and waste around an hour to get it fixed. As we arrive at Fox Glacier town, we find out we can’t join a tour on a Glacier walk with Noemie (no babies allowed!) so we settle for the walk leading to around 200 meters from the ice. The Fox... [Lire la suite]
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