A great day of riding with a comfortable temperature climbing to 31C but the scenery didn’t disappoint with lovely rolling hills to rugged mountains, rolling fields and dense forests and both sandy and rocky inlets and coastlines. Couldn’t ask for more.

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Early farewell to Paihia.


A quirky lookout resident.


A view from the lookout.

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And another one.


And at yet another lookout.


And the view.


And a chance to talk to a local truckie and tell him how impressed we have all been with how courteously and well the truckies have been on many challenging roads.

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Awesome sights on the way.

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Oversize sculptures complete with mansion beyond the hill (Gibbs Farm) not visible from the road. Saw it on Grand Designs once.


Entertaining ourselves at roadworks.

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Cute old buildings at Helensville, our lunch stop.


And another.

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And a caravan with a difference at our afternoon break spot.


Tonight’s accommodation, very comfortable and nicely presented and a huge lock up garage underneath. Central Lake Hamilton, 2/19 Ruakiwi Rd, Hamilton Lake. Ours is the second door and the garage entry is behind the building another level down.

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The girls had a day off the bikes and took the time for a massage and some window shopping since we don’t have luggage space for real shopping and the guys rode to Cape Reinga the most northerly point of New Zealand.

A picturesque little bay early in the trip to the cape.

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Two of the intrepid explorers.

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The lighthouse in the distance. 


Great view across Cape Reinga.


Walking to the lighthouse.


And here it is. 


Are we there yet? Lots of places and directions.


Morning tea enjoyed by the troops.

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The rest of the troops headed off on the Dolphin and Hole in the Rock tour so we headed to Kerikeri to hopefully get my riding glasses fixed which was a pointless exercise but saw some yummy sights then we headed back and got the car ferry to Russell to catch up with the others for lunch followed by a leisurely afternoon in our apartment, more hot tub time and a roast lamb dinner currently being cooked. Yummo!


Beautiful stone building at the River Outlook Kerikeri.


And a lovely building plus cute little chapel there also. Lucky to get a couple of shots in before we were overtaken by a tide of coach passengers from the cruise ship.


The lovely shore including the wharf at Russell.


And in the opposite direction.


The Marlborough Hotel where we all lunched. Was just beautiful out on the veranda.


Coming back on the vehicle ferry.

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And a quirky building and some yachts as we head back. Tranquil.

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An awesome day riding today and largely cool and cloudy until late this afternoon when it got very warm. We saw a huge variety of countryside and loved taking it all in. Again, the pictures tell the story.

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A quirky building in Paparoa, our fuel up stop.

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Coming out of Dargaville, a delicious scent of saltwater.

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Continuing, lots of flax as we have also seen all over the country thus far.


Getting ready to see the Largest Kauri Tree in New Zealand and thankfully only a short walk. Hmmm supposed to be portrait shot.

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Awesome! 17.7m trunk height, 51.5m total height, 13.8m trunk girth, 2,445cubicm trunk volume and incredible to see.


Heading for Paihia.


Looking out over Omapera Beach and the sand dune beyond...I remember this car park from last year and I'm not going into it!

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Looking out over Omapera beach.

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This is how you get your boat home apparently.



Haruru Falls, almost into Paihia.

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The view from our balcony and yes that's a hot tub. Yummy BBQ dinner tonight, the boys excelled!


Our accommodation for the next three nights. What a lovely warm and accommodating welcome by our host to our accommodation and what a delight to find an exceedingly clean and well-appointed and maintained property. We joked perhaps we needed a bit of deprivation for the last two nights to appreciate an awesome place here, actually that is rubbish, but we certainly appreciated coming to the Blue Pacific Quality Apartment at Paihia tonight. Aaahhh.

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The pictures tell the story. A lovely kick back day exploring Auckland with a hop on hop off tour.


Cute house across the street from our accommodation. There are lots of pretty and also expensive timber houses throughout the city.

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Parnell Rose Garden.


Holy Trinity Cathedral.


From one side of the city to the other.

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Museum in the Domain, awesome building and awesome Domain with sporting fields of all descriptions.


Skytower. Hmmm, will have to find out how I turn that around, it wasn't like that before....


Viaduct Harbour where we lunched.

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And a lovely sailing ship of some description … can you tell I don't sail?


One of the cruise ships heading out of the harbour.

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A work shot.

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Devonport at the end of our ferry ride. Very cute.


Back to Auckland with the skyline behind the lovely old Ferry Terminal Building. A shame to see it being dwarfed by so many towering buildings.

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Another day’s lovely riding with spectacular snapshot views of awesomely pretty and rugged coastlines as well as lots of views near and far to rugged hill and mountain lines over farmland and forest. Spoilt for choice. Turned out another hot day even though it wasn’t supposed to be.


Heading along the Coromandel Peninsula.

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And another.

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A cute little church on our way.

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Almost into Coromandel Town, a view from the lookout.


And the ones doing the looking.

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In Coromandel Town, originally established to mine gold.


Delicious overhead canopies of foliage as we wind our way along the edge f the beach. Lovely.

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Our lunch spot at the back of the hotel. We discovered this last year so called in again.

We are staying the next two nights at an Airbnb in Cleveland Street Auckland and it is dreadful. Not clean, poorly supplied with anything basic to average needs and the management is happy for the inconvenience to be ours. No photo! 

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Happy Waitangi Day to all our KIWI neighbours! 

A low-key energy day today with a sleep in all round then a ride to the Hot Water Beach where the water coming up through the sand can reach 60 – 65C and can give a start to the unwary. Much digging by many but walking in the water soon finds it. We followed that with a yummy lunch then a kick back afternoon before we head to Grace O’Malleys for dinner tonight. I’m nursing another bumble bee bite on my thigh through my kevlar jeans at roadworks a day or so ago so grateful for a cold pack Lynne packed.


Quirky rocky outcrop on the way out to the beach


Parked up at the beach.


On the beach itself.


And in the opposite direction.


Much digging by many….even hire out shovels for $10 each.


Standing watch perhaps.

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And an old military plane at the local airport.

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Lots more beautiful riding today albeit with traffic hold ups this morning with an accident and this afternoon for the others with very slow traffic but apart from that we saw sights of lovely productive farmland and quirky geography, sometimes together and corners, corners and more corners. We dropped Chris and Adrian and Lynne and Graham off at the Shires Rest Café for their Hobbiton Movie tour and headed off for Whitianga and enjoyed the challenge of the ride.

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A train soon after we headed off this morning, the driver was hanging out the window waving at us all.


Morning coffee to let the accident traffic sort itself out so we could make a mile instead of stop start and slower than walking pace traffic

Lovely corners and country.


The young’uns heading off on their Hobbiton Movie Set tour.

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Yummy farmland.

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Another quirky shed.

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Great scenery.


Break time about 20kms out …was getting a bit like endurance rather than enjoyment.

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More quirky geography.

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Yummy inlet view at Whitianga, will get more tomorrow.

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And again.


And our hotel for the next two nights, Crowsnest Apartments.

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Today was a day of sweeping corners, tight corners and all sorts of ups and downs with spectacular views of white sand beaches, our first for the trip rather than grey or black and a variety of farmland, lush tropical ferns and dense forests and dark canopies arching over the road, oh and did I mention the spectacular views out over the ocean. Just beautiful. We came the long way today having ridden up the gorge the last trip so 397kms instead of around 182kms and worth every jaw dropping vista we encountered. Not a lot of stopping for photos but Norm’s snapping from the bike gives a taste of what we saw.


Kaitij Hill Lookout at Gisborne as we head off for the day. Great views all round and some fun chats with some locals who walk and exercise up the hill.


Logs to China from the Gisborne port. Trucks were lined up at the Napier port yesterday and couldn’t unload so they must have sorted out their import difficulties with the Coronavirus after all. Was looking very scary for the locals here to have their exports shutdown.

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And a view over the town and marina where we had dinner last night (opposite our motel).IMG_8776 (2).JPG


 First white sand beach for the trip.

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A crop duster we think and in rugged hilly terrain, he swooped one way then the other then up over the road to drop down on the other side and … we think landed.

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Quirky little shed.

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Tolaga Bay Wharf, the longest wharf in the southern hemisphere according to locals. Was rebuilt through charitable donations some years ago for around 5.5million dollars.

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The quirky geography continues.

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Bit of a roadblock for a while.


Our lunch spot at Taketa.


Lots of roadwork signs but little which impacted us until we came to this, yuk. I came close to coming unstuck as the stones got huge and loose and nearly got bogged in the stones and had to stop and start again. Was relieved I stayed upright and the others following me managed to get into the other wheel track and stay safe as well.

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Opotiki Memorial. Not far to go now.

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Ohope Beach,


And our hotel for the night, the White Island Rendezvous and no it's not on White Island but in Whakatane.

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Not a huge day’s riding per kilometres but many corners with low speeds, lots of ups and downs and sometimes taxing inclines. Just beautiful riding all day and the bonus was beautiful scenery with scrunched up and folded hills and sharp cliffs and what looked like grass covered and wrinkled sand dunes. B_E_W_D_I_F_U_L!

We had a welcome drink and break just before Wairoa and then got into Gisborne in the early afternoon so booked into our motel early, explored the street and lunched. The cruise ship from Napier is here so several closed off streets while the passengers got ferried about. I’m hoping I can catch a photo of a beautiful old steam engine which choofed off with them when it returns.


An awesome rail bridge on the way into Wairoa. A shot from Lyn in the pillion seat.


And not far beyond an awesome river having gouged its way into a clay cliff face plus lots of plantations, lots of productive logging in the area and terrific sized logs.

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Heading across the river in Wairoa complete with a navigation light.


Lots of big corners.


Lots of roadworks but they generally give us a good go and are cheerful about it.


Some mates in Gisborne.

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And the cruise ship again


The Port across from our motel.


And again.


And the cruise ship patrons returning from their steam train ride. The old engine was just beautiful.

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And the Pacific Harbour Motor Inn where we are staying.

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