After shopping in Avondale market in the morning, we spent the day in Piha surf beach, tramping in the area
13 April 2018
Last day in Coromandel, spent between Thames and Miranda
We arrived in Auckland late afternoon and met Chloé (a friend of Guillaume, studying in the same engineering school) and discovered Auckland's nightlife
Visit of Auckland's city center, wandering around the shops and eating ice cream 😋 (despite the bad weather !)
View from the summit of Mount Eden on the first picture
12 April 2018
Our 3rd day in Coromandel starts at Hot water beach, a famous beach where you can dig a hole and make your natural jacuzzi with thermal heat !
Then we walked from Wahei to the beautiful Cathedral Cove !
11 April 2018
Coromandel coastal day-walk from Fletcher Bay to Stony Bay : a beautiful blue and green scenery with heaps of sheeps !
10 April 2018
On the road from Onemama to Coromandel town, we climbed the Paku summit in Tairua
Our campground for the night was in the middle of nowhere on the west coast of Coromandel Peninsula !
9 April 2018
First day in Coromandel Peninsula! from Waihi beach, we walked to Orokawa beach, a nice place for a swim with no access by the road
After a stop at Whangamatta, we spent the night on a campground next to the sea at Onemama
8 April 2018
Sunday in Maunganui and climbing on the big rock (Mount Maunganui) to enjoy a view over the city
7 April 2018
Evening in Rotorua, a thermal city
Nice walk in the Redwoods forest followed by a foot bath in hot thermal water!
Wai-o-Tapu, a geothermal wonderland with unusual natural phenomenons!
We saw our first geyser (Lady Knox Geyser), the famous Champagne Pool, bubbling mud pools, a Green pool...
6 April 2018
A great day spent in Raglan, surfing and soaking up the view !
5 April 2018
On the road from New plymouth to Hamilton, we could admire the "Three Sisters". A fur seal was also enjoying the view next to us
After the discovery of the feijoa few days ago, we tried our first kiwi-berries on the road !
4 April 2018
Arrival in New Plymouth
Breakfast (Pancakes!) with a view on the 'surf highway 45'
After, we hiked to Lake Magamohoe for a great view of Mount Taranaki, a majestic volcano
3 April 2018
Road from Taupo to New Plymouth : the Forgotten World Highway. On the way we stopped for a geothermal walk
2 April 2018
Relaxing day in Taupo : Discovery of the impressive Huka falls and bath in a thermal natural hot spring (around 40°).
The first picture is Waipunga falls, on the road between Napier and Taupo
1 April 2018
Day 30 - Tongariro Alpine Crossing
To extend the hike, we decided to climb the volcano Ngauruhoe which is also known as Mount Doom (La montagne du destin) in Lord of the Ring. It was very steep and hard to climb in the ashes but the view on the top was worth it as we could take our lunch above the clouds !
Today we woke up very early to hike the famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing. This day walk is very famous because it inspired the Mordor in the movie The Lord Of The Ring !
The views on the emerald lakes and the red craters were stunning.
31 March 2018
Hike of 19kms return to Cape kidnapper to observe the gannets (a bird colony), a very nice walk along the coast, that can only be completed at low tide
On the way back, we met very friendly Kiwis and they offered us to take us back at the end of the track with their quads ! It was great fun !
30 March 2018
Day 28 - Visit of Napier, a city which was destroyed by an earthquake and totally rebuilt in the art deco style
We spent a great evening with Kiwis, testing some local wine and admiring the moonrise above the sea
Day 28 -
Lunch at Te Papa peak, next to Hastings, where we could watch hand gliding and paragliding
29 March 2018
View from the lighthouse of Cape Palliser and sunset from the campground !
At Cape Palliser, there was a large colony of fur seals : heaps of seals, everywhere in the rocks and at sea, and even baby seals !!
(Took so many pictures, it was hard to choose which ones to post !)
Day 27 -
On the road to Cape Palliser, we hiked to the see the Pinnacles, a location where one of the scenes of "Lord of the Ring" was shot.
28 March 2018
Day 26 - Wellington :
After a view over the city from Mount Victoria, we visited the National Museum of NZ "Te Papa" where we discovered more about the geology and history of NZ
27 March 2018
After a quick visit of Blenheim, it is time to go to Picton to take the ferry to Wellington. We are going to the North Island !
The journey through the Malborough sounds is like a cruise : the scenery is stunning !
26 March 2018
Nice campground next to the sea, and among the vineyards - not far from Blenheim.
A great sunset, and sunrise, for our last night on the South Island !
Day 24 -
Hiking a section of the Queen Charlotte Track, from Anakiwa to Te Mahia, with Onahau lookout as a reward and a picnic at the top
To avoid walking all the way back, we go back to the car hitchhiking
25 March 2018
Our discovery of the Malborough sounds continues in Te Mahia, a peaceful place in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by the sounds
24 March 2018
Day 21 & 22
After a couple of rainy days spent in Nelson, the sun is back and we are heading to the Malborough Sounds
Our discovery of this area starts with a beautiful place : French Pass (through Elaine Bay and Okiwi Bay)
The detour was really worth it, and we found way more sheeps than people in this very remote area !
22 March 2018
Day 19 & 20 - On the road to Takaka we stop at Hardwood Hole, the deepest cave in NZ, and stay there for the night, literally in the middle of nowhere !
Takaka is a very cool hippy city, where people walk barefoot even when it is raining !
We also admire the "pupu" springs - biggest spring in Australasia ! - a sacred place for Maori people
21 March 2018
Day 19 - Arrived at Abel Tasman National Park after a few nice stops on the road ; We visit Kaiteriteri and around
Unfortunately, the bad weather forecast for the next 3 days won't allow us to hike the great walk along the coast.
19 March 2018
Day 17 - Back in Christchurch for a couple of days
Having a pint in that very cool bar, the "smash palace"
18 March 2018
Day 16 - Stunning color of Lake Tekapo !
After a walk close to the lake's shore, we climbed Mount John to get a view from the top
17 March 2018
Day 15 - Discovery of Aoraki/Mount Cook national Park
Mount Cook (3754 m) is the tallest peak in Australasia. Its name in Maori is Aoraki, meaning "cloud piercer".
We did several hikes to explore this spectacular area, including the walk to Tasman Glacier.
16 March 2018
Day 14 - Heading to Lake Pukaki through Lindis Pass.
The campground at Lake Pukaki is very nice, with a view on Aoraki/Mount Cook in the background
Day 14 - Another beautiful hike at Isthmus peak. The reward of 2 hours hiking was a stunning view on both Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka
After hiking, picnic next to Lake Hawea followed by a refreshing bath
15 March 2018
Day 13 - We are heading back to the West Coast to visit the famous Mount Cook. But first we plan to stop again in Wanaka to do more hiking in this beautiful place. On the road from Dunedin to Wanaka we stopped at St Bathans, an historic city of gold diggers.
14 March 2018
Day 12 - Arrived in Dunedin where we surfed for he first time in NZ (in St Clair beach)
We spent the afternoon in Otago Peninsula and came back late afternoon to enjoy the after-work hours in Dunedin city center
13 March 2018
Day 11 - Discovery of the Catlins area : on the road between Curio Bay and Nuggets Point we stopped at McLean falls and Jack's blowhole.
We were very lucky and saw many sea lions on the beach (Cannibal Bay) !
12 March 2018
Day 10 -
We have reached 'slope point' and are now closer to the South Pole than the Equator !
We drove to Curio Bay where we were lucky enough to observe yellow-eyed penguins (the rarest penguin in the world !)
11 March 2018
Day 9 - We drove to the South Coast, and discovered many nice places such as the village of Te Waewae, Gemstone beach and Monkey island
We stopped for the night at Colac Bay where Guillaume caught an abalonia (ormeau in French, paua in Maori) for supper !
10 March 2018
Day 8 - Cruise in Milford Sound, one of the most popular places in NZ
During this 2-hour cruise we could observe beautiful waterfalls and lots of fur seals
Day 8 - Lunch time ! (At Pop's view)
Day 8 - On the road between Te Anau and Milford Sound, many beautiful stops : the mirror lakes, hike to key summit, pop's view...
9 March 2018
Day 7 - Arrival in Te Anau, watching sunset on the campground, after an encounter with lamas
Day 7 - Lunch spot for the day !
Day 7 - Scenic drive from Glenorchy to Queenstown, eye-dropping views on Lake Wakatipu !!
Day 7 - Visit of Glenorchy, charming little village next to Queenstown
Day 7 - Wake up with that view on Wakatipu Lake !
8 March 2018
Day 6 - Visit of Wanaka, and swimming in lakes around the city
Road from Wanaka to Queenstown, with sunset light on the mountains at our arrival in Queenstown
Day 6 - Nap next to Lake Hawea after the early hike
Day 6 - Wake up at 3 in the morning to climb Roys Peak, to admire the sunrise from the top. Very steep track but the hike was definitely worth it. It was freezing but the view was stunning up there !
7 March 2018
Day 5 - Stargazing on the campground
Day 5 - Arrival next to Wanaka, to one of the most beautiful campground we've seen so far, just next to Lake Hawea
Day 5 - On the road between Fox Glacier and Wanaka
Day 5 - Reflection on Lake Matheson
Day 5 - Walk to see Franz Joseph Glacier & Fox Glacier
Sunday in Maunganui and climbing on the big rock (Mount Maunganui) to enjoy a view over the city
6 March 2018
Day 4 - Nice view from the campground to end the day
Day 4 - Hokitika Gorge, river with a beautiful milky turquoise colour
Day 4 - Our tiny campervan VS the big camper-truck
5 March 2018
Day 3 - Heading to the West Coast through Arthur's pass
On the way, we could observe an odd limestone formation
We also spotted the Kea, the only Alpine parrot in the world !
4 March 2018
Day 2 - Discovery of Banks Peninsula under the sun !
We took our first sea bath in NZ and enjoyed French food at Akaroa village (where the first French settlers arrived 1840)
3 March 2018
Day 1 - First Sunset in NZ, in Mount Vernon Park, with a view over Christchurch
Day 1 - Discover of Christchurch's street art
Day 1 - Arrival at Christchurch (South Island of NZ)
We swap our Australian van with the van of a couple of backpackers who just finished their travel in NZ and now want to travel Australia
We met them at the airport of Christchurch and exhange the keys of our campervans, but also tips about the two countries
Here is our new home for the next 2 months ; our adventure in NZ can begin !