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Raglan to Auckland via Hamilton

North Island

We drove towards Hamilton and went for a look around the city. It’s quite nice but if you had to miss something out then I would miss this out.

From here we drove west to Raglan which is a surfers town and I have been here before and remembered loving it. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t great but we still got a feel for the town, it has nice shops and cafes. We drove to the famous surf beach and watched the surfers for a bit then camped in the town.

We then drove to Auckland, we drove around the town and then we went to watch some cricket and then to Ponsonby (a nice part of the city) for a drink. We met our friend Emily once she had finished work and went out in the city for food and beers.

The next day she was setting up an under 20’s warriors rugby league game so we went to watch that. We then picked Luke our other friend up from the airport in the afternoon. He had been in oz visiting family and friends and came over for a few days. We stayed the night in Auckland as Chris had an interview the next morning so went out with Emily again for some food and few beers.

Again I forgot to take photos!! I think the north island so far has felt quite underwhelming compared to the north so nothing really stood out for me to take photos of and we haven’t camped in beatiful places, mainly car parks, so it’s not be worth taking photos out of the back of the van.

Posted by Louisejhcowan 13:47 Archived in New Zealand Tagged auckland beach surf warriors rugby cricket raglan hamilton vanlife ponsonby Comments (0)

Blenheim to Nelson via Marlborough Sounds

South Island

On Sunday we had a lazy morning and went for coffee in Blenheim. It seemed like a cute town with lovely gardens and lots of cafes.

From here we drove to Picton. This is where you get the ferry to the North Island and also is the gateway to the Marlborough Sounds.
The weather since we have been in Marlborough has been beautiful, sunshine everyday and not a cloud in the sky.
We drove through Picton as we will visit it on our way back down and started our drive into the sounds along the windy Queen Charlotte road.
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We decided went just past Double Bay to a place called Ohingaroa Bay and camped on the side of the sound. It was beautiful. There were only 4 campers allowed and we got one of the spots. We sunbathed and chilled out all afternoon as it was so peaceful. In the evening we went for a walk on the beach and there were clams everywhere so we collected some, we noticed a few rogue mussels too and when we got to the end of the beach we found loads on some rocks which we also foraged!
We cleaned them and prepped them ready for tea the next day.
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The Marlborough Sounds is pretty big with lots of no exit winding roads to get to places so we decided to just pick 1 place to get to rather than exploring it all. We drove up to somewhere called Mistletoe Bay which is part of the Queen Charlotte walking track - this is something I would like to do one day as this part of the world is so nice.
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We went swimming in the bay - it was gorgeous! And again found more mussels which we picked and prepped for the next days tea - think we might get sick of mussels!
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From here we set off towards Nelson, driving through a place called Havelock which is apparently the green lipped mussel capital of the world.

We stopped at Pelorus Bridge which is where the barrel scene in the hobbit was filmed. The river here is perfect for swimming in and as it was such a hot day we went and jumped off the rocks and swam here.
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We then continued our drive to Nelson, there wasn’t much to stop for on the way. We stocked up in Nelson and went to Tahunanui Beach for the evening. It’s a shame we couldn’t freedome camp here so had to move to somewhere else for the night. We cooked moules marinere and it was lovely.
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The next day we spent it doing some van jobs and exploring Nelson as this could be a potential place for us to live. There is a nice vibe to the city and it’s great to be so close to a lovely beach. We went for cocktails and beer in the evening, the main square was busy for a week night and again it felt like a nice place to be. We camped in the city centre this night.
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Posted by Louisejhcowan 22:40 Archived in New Zealand Tagged beach bridge bay swimming nelson campervan marlborough barrels sounds blenheim clams hobbit foraging mussels vanlife mistletoe vypsies tahunanui pelorus Comments (0)

Moeraki to Otago Peninsula

South Island

We travelled back to Moeraki to go to Fleurs restaurant for lunch. The food was amazing, we had green lipped mussels and a fish taster to share which included moray eel, monk fish, sole, grouper and orange roughy.
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We then drove inland to the Waikouaiti River where we were going to stay for the night. We were parked in a lovely place next to the river but we didn’t have any reception and I had planned to speak to my friends for the first time since we left so we drove to Karitane and stayed there instead.
We went for a walk on the beach in the morning.
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We then drove to the Otago Peninsular via the coast road. It was a windy road but so picturesque! Every corner and hill we went up/round had a great view.
Once on the peninsular we drove up to the top to Pilots Beach to see the albatross colony and seals. We saw two albatross circling round Taiaroa Head, they are huge! And we saw seals on the beach.
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We then drove to the south of the peninsular to Sandfly Bay to see sea lions and the yellow eyed penguins which are both extremely rare, we managed to see both though!! The beach was stunning and we were able to walk right past the sleeping sea lions.
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We parked up on the road in a lay-by with a great view and stayed here for the night.
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Posted by Louisejhcowan 17:50 Archived in New Zealand Tagged beach penguins campervan seals peninsular otago albatross vanlife karitane vypsies Comments (0)

Black Point to Shag Point via Oamaru

South Island

We left Squids house later after dinner and drove to a place called Black Point irrigation pond about 15mins from Kurow.
Squid recommended this place for some more fishing.
It was very dark when we arrived so we just picked somewhere near the water to park up and camp.

In the morning we fished in the pond and Chris caught a fish too!
We had our first experience of gutting and filleting the fish (squid did this for me the day before) and it went better than I thought it would.

From Black Point we headed to Oamaru which is the next big town/city and on the coast. We stocked up on supplies in Oamaru and headed down the coast to find somewhere to camp for the night.
We didn’t spend much time in Oamaru as it didn’t seem like there was much to see unless you are into steampunk.

We stopped at a place on the beach, right on the Waianakarua River mouth and decided to stay here for the night.
We cooked Chris’ catch of the day and it was delicious!
We did more fishing in the river mouth in the morning but didn’t find anything.
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We continued following the coast line south and stopped to see the Moeraki Boulders. This is a place of interest but really is just come round rocks on a beach.
We went for a walk in Moeraki Village, it was a sunny day and we saw our first seals in NZ!
There is a famous restaurant here called Fleurs and we are coming back for lunch tomorrow as they couldn’t fit us in today.
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We meandered further down the coast, but didn’t want to go too far having to come back to Moeraki tomorrow, so stopped at Shag Point freedom camping area. We found a great spot which backed onto the beach.
We walked the beach and cooked my catch which again was very tasty!
It was so hot during the day it was hard to sleep at night, but this meant we were able to star gaze, the stars were so clear!
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We woke up looking out to sea, but the weather had changed from beautiful sunshine to rain!
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Posted by Louisejhcowan 15:40 Archived in New Zealand Tagged fishing beach black moeraki point campervan shag Comments (0)

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