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Category: Travel to New Zealand


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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Category: Travel to New Zealand

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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Category: Travel to New Zealand

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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Category: Travel to New Zealand

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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Category: Travel to New Zealand


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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Category: Travel to New Zealand


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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Category: Travel to New Zealand

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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Category: Travel to New Zealand


A lovely restful sleep followed by a leisurely start to the day and then a spectacular ride up Te Mata Peak for jaw dropping views in all directions not to mention on the ride up and down, then a quick look at Cape Kidnappers where Captain Cook and crew had a bit of an altercation with some locals then onto the Elephant Hill Winery for a light lunch. The afternoon was filled with exploring Napier proper, the Art Deco Capital of New Zealand which was wonderful…mind you with a Michael Buble concert last night and a cruise ship in the harbour as well we were sharing the area with an extra 15,000 people. By the time we had dinner and walked back to the bikes the street which was bustling and choked with cars was almost empty so we set off to our accommodation via the Port and new beach areas where it is safe to swim, not that we swam. The beach along the main esplanade is unfit for swimming with a sharp drop off a shelf and strong undertows.


A challenge for the start of the day, a top hanging in the window had blown out onto the roof below and Lynne retrieved it with a fishing rod found in the laundry…just a bit late to snap her in the act.


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On the way up to Te Mata peak.

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And a view from the peak.

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And again with a timber platform where hang gliders launch from.


The road was a great climb.

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Cape Kidnappers.

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Leaving Elephant Hill Winery.

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And onto Napier.


No doubt about Norm, not only found a parking spot but a Donut Caravan as well.

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Napier. We had our dinner in the green domed building, a Lone Star Café. Very nice. We went to one of these in Dunedin last year.


Have to make this the last, way too many pics.

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Category: Travel to New Zealand

A 3.5-hour ferry cruise took us to the North Island, landing in Wellington and then headed off for Napier and travelled through hills, forests, vineyards, farmland and everything in between. We were glad to get in after a hot ride though a good 10 degrees cooler than home in Australia we hear.

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Lined the bikes up for a pic with our ferry (Interislander) in the distance.


Getting ready to head off the ferry.


A specie steep and winding ride up over the Rimutaka Hill which was awesome. This is a look back to where we had come from taken from the lookout on top before heading down.


A memorial on top to the memory of the thousands of infantrymen who marched over Rimutaka Hill prior to their departure to the Western Front as part of the NZ Division in WWI.

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On the road and loving the corners.


Last stop before we got in and stretching everything we could so we could tackle the last 45 mins to get in.


Our accommodation for the next two nights, an AirBnB in the Art Deco style. Rather quaint and the bikes all parked up so the owners can get out of their driveway.


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