After 16 weeks based in Auckland with the occasional side trips to some beautiful northland areas and visits to family and friends we packed up the car and waved Auckland goodbye as we headed South on our no plans road trip.
The new owners of Matipo Road the old Shaw family home since 1956 take possession this week and start their redecorating. We look forward to catching up with them on our return to Auckland to see what they’ve achieved.
Meanwhile we are going to let go of all the stress of cleaning out the house and saying goodbye to the property where lots of memories were made and enjoy seeing more of this beautiful country.
After leaving Auckland our first stop was Waihi for James to fuel up his belly and I bought some 3/4 pants which are nice and light for our trip.
Waihi is a cute old town with enough going on to make it a place I’m sure people enjoy living there.
A quick stop off to my niece in Welcome Bay to gift a punch bowl set we headed on to Whakatane for our first night stop.
$99 for the night got us a clean double room with en-suite at The Whakatane hotel in the Main Street. Complete with shared kitchen facilities, laundry and comfortable lounge area with outdoor seating we felt we did ok.
Dinner will be bbq chicken, salad and rolls we bought at countdown. Got to use these facilities when we have them.
Over the next days we traveled the coastline as much as we could stopping for a night in Hicks Bay at the hotel there. Gisborne in a bnb run by two gorgeous older men with lots of little home made treats and luxury aircon.
Napier in another bnb and from which we were able to visit my sister in law Jan and her partner Alan in Taradale.
The scenery was great particularly from Hicks bay to Gisborne.
We arrived into Wellington early evening on the Friday and decided to book for three nights and take the ferry to Picton on the Monday morning.
We lucked in getting a studio in The Terrace, right in the cbd.
A pleasant walk to the waterfront for pizza and a bottle of red wine. A treat as we had been cooking wherever we were at which sometimes was as basic as two minute noodles at Hicks bay when after taking the coast and walking up the East Cape lighthouse we were too late back for takeaway shop or general store.
Our first full day in Wellington was spent at Te Papa museum. After going through the Gallipoli exhibition and New Zealand’s migration and indigenous peoples history we were thrilled to have purchased tickets for their exhibition of The Terricotta warriors from China.
The next day started rainy and overcast so we headed up the Coast after doing a reconnaissance for the ferry next morning to Paraparaumu to The Southward car museum.
We also visited a few of the old haunts from the days I had lived there back in the mid 80’s.
Before we knew it we had been gone from Auckland a week and were lining the car up at the wharf to drive on and start our South Island adventure.
It was an early start to be on the wharf by 7 pm and after a lovely crossing we arrived at Picton around 11:30.