New Zealand: North to Paihia

Leaving Auckland

Driving out of Auckland

After a quick shower in the campsite we filled the camper's water tank and headed off. We pulled out of our site in one movement, obviously it is easier to leave than to park. The same ease of movement followed us on our way out of Auckland. Of course it helped that now we knew we needed to stick to the middle lane!

New Zealand Ferns

Just in case, before leaving Auckland we pulled in to a service station to double check our route on the map.

As we drove we spent most of our time admiring the huge ferns that border the road and we were delighted when the picnic site we selected for our breakfast stop turned out to be surrounded by these impressive plants.

Mid-morning coffee

New Zealand Countryside

A sign for toilets prompted a stop in an I-Site in Whangarei. This was our second experience with these tourist offices that are found all over the country. The sheer quantity of information is amazing and we gathered various leaflets on cruises in the Bay of Islands.

As we sipped our coffee we studied the various options, unfortunately they all seemed to have one thing in common: an early departure time. We wouldn't be able to take them today, although there is one that we could barely make if we rushed but we decided that it was too early in the holiday to get stressed.

We also took advantage of the stop to revise the next part of our route and our next stop. We decided to go to the toilet in Kawakawa.

Toilet stop

It may seem strange to plan a toilet stop so far in advance but the Hundertwasser toilet is well worth a visit!

Hundertwasser toilet 1 Hundertwasser toilet 2 Hundertwasser toilet 3

We also took a short walk around the town and stocked up on some supplies before continuing on our way.


We had selected a campsite for the night based on the fact we could walk to the Treaty Grounds from there. We were happy that it was so easy to find and surprised when we realised that we would be sharing the campsite with just one other camper!

Kauri stump War canoe

We didn't tarry long in the campsite but walked across the bridge to the other side of the estuary where we visited the place that the treaty between Maori and British was signed almost 170 years ago.

Maori Carving

A short audio visual presentation introduced us to the treaty and we headed out into the rain to visit a Maori war canoe. The canoe and meeting house in the Treaty grounds were the highlights for us. The quality of the wood carvings is incredible.

The gardens were also worth visiting although due to the weather we didn't complete the coastal walk. We skipped through the Treaty House quickly but were impressed by the amount of detail on the information sheets.

Back to the campsite

Once again dusk heralded our return to the campsite. We did manage to stay up until a more normal time, helped perhaps by a delicous soup cooked by Cris and by a wireless internet connection. Although Joel did have a short nap before supper!

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