Monday, January 31, 2011


Leaving the north point, we headed south along the western side of the Northland, known as 90-mile Beach.  We took a short ferry ride into the district of Hokianga, a series of small beach towns along the Hokianga harbor.  The first few shots, looking across to the sand dunes, are taken from the southern headland of the harbor where it meets the Tasman Sea.  Then, after driving along the motorway, the only town road, seeing the steep hills in the distance, we arrived at our second farm, the home of Gail and John Aiken.  They are diligent farmers, dedicated to the practices of Permaculture and Biodynamics.  With a lovely home and two beautiful and abundant gardens, they nearly fully sustain themselves, their family, and one or two wwoofers week after week.  We learned a great deal from them about their farming lifestyle and how the principles of Permaculture (Earth care, People care, and Fair share) can make a big difference in how we live, consume, and give back to the Earth.  The pictures from their farm include: the view from their home atop the hill on Claussen rd., tomato and bean rows, beds of onions and garlic, a freshly cultivated bed waiting to be planted, dahlia flowers, native strawberry, tomatillos, zucchini, pumpkin, chili, healthy chickens ("chooks"), their swimming hole, and dog Carra waiting to fetch.  They also had a gorgeous sunset view.  After leaving, we drove through a native Kauri forest and stopped for a dip at a swimming hole and stream.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Rarawa to Tapotupotu

As we continued North towards Cape Reinga, the north point, we stopped for one night at Rarawa campground.  It was nice, set back from the beach amongst the pine trees with a beautiful bright white sand beach with sand that squeaked under your feet.  Then, continuing north, we stopped at the last camp on the east coast, Tapotupotu (Tapo-tu-potu).  It was glorious, with the bay facing north, we surfed some real nice waves off to the left side, then set up our camp.  The next day we Hiked from Tapotupotu  to Cape Reinga. We had breathtaking views the entire way.  Cape Reinga is a very sacred place for Maori, it is said to be the place from where the spirit leaves to the "underworld".  Geographically it is also the meeting point of the Pacific Ocean (east) and the Tasman Sea (west).  After stopping for lunch at  the sandy bay one valley in, we returned back to the camp, fixed dinner, and were rewarded with an unbelievable sunset, it had also been Christmas day.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Otamuri to Matai

After we left the First farm, we started heading north, camping at a few Department of Conservation campgrounds.  They were unbelievable! The first one was called Otamuri and although we only stayed one night we got to hike all around the area and got some great pics!  The second camp called Matai Bay was also remarkable, we stayed for three nights, did lots of Fishing and hanging out on the beach which was beautiful.  

Friday, January 14, 2011

Mount Manganui Hike

On our way up North, we stopped in Tauranga and went for a Hike up Mount Manganui.  Check it out!
Mount Manganui Hike, originally uploaded by tacobelson.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pickin Up The Van!

Pickin Up The Van!, originally uploaded by tacobelson.
After seeing pictures of the van on "Trademe" (Kiwi eBay) Tim and I knew we had to get it. We flew down to Wellington a few days later and picked it up, and headed back up north, and it's been crusin ever since!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Kia Ora! Welcome!

This is where I will share Pictures and Happenings from my Travels in New Zealand! Here, I have put together a slideshow of Pictures and Music from the first month and a half of my trip here in NZ. I have been truly Blessed with the fortune and ease with which life has been rolling along for me right now, there is no place I'd rather be! I hope you enjoy the blog and feel free to comment! One Love!