The Forgotten World Highway

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Good evening everyone! S0rry, I’m a day late this week but lets not think too much about that! Tonight’s post is all about our first venture out of the town of New Plymouth to explore the North Island some more.

Our first real experience of New Zealand’s roads was the Forgotten World Highway, the state highway 43, which we joined on our way to Lake Taupo. Having spent the last year travelling Australia’s long straight roads, wide enough to fit two road trains on, the narrow windy lanes of New Zealand were a bit of a shock. The highway itself is only 150 kilometres long, linking Taumarunui to Stratford and passing through the village of Whangamomona, which declared itself a republic in 1989. We broke up the afternoon of driving by pausing at places of interest for photos and a picnic lunch before running into a New Zealand traffic hazard… hundreds of sheep on the road.

Having wound our way along the Forgotten World Highway we arrived in Lake Taupo, where we spent the weekend in a batch (or holiday home) my aunt and uncle had borrowed from their friends in a small lakeside town. The house had a lovely view of the lake, which we spent plenty of time enjoying in the evenings since my uncle had planned plenty for us to do in the days. Our timing was well timed (completely by accident) in order to go white water rafting in the upper section of the Tongariro Gorge, which is normally inaccessible. Twice a year they release water into the river from the dam and our visit that Saturday was one of the two. Jack and I hopped into a raft, whilst my uncle kayaked the river and met us again at the bottom. Unfortunately I don’t have any photos of us rafting but it was so much fun, I loved every minute of it and would have happily gone down for a second time! Having tried our hand at rafting, that afternoon we took my uncle’s kayak out on the lake for a play around before heading home for an early night. The next morning we were taking on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing but more on that next time… Have a great weekend everyone!!

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Te Rewa Rewa Bridge

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Evening! Tonight is my last post on our time in New Plymouth and star of the show is Te Rewa Rewa Bridge. We first came across the bridge whilst taking part on an orienteering night with my uncle, where we ran/walked all around New Plymouth searching for the answers to our given clues. Sadly I didn’t have my camera on me that night and didn’t have time to stop for photos with the clock ticking… So a few days later Jack and I walked along the bridge and coastal path all the way to the bridge. Shaped like a wave the bridge frames Mount Taranaki and from what I can see on Google, makes a stunning picture! As I mentioned in my previous post the weather was not playing ball for me while we were in New Plymouth and no matter how I tried I did not manage to snap a clear picture of Mt Taranaki… you can see my best attempt below. Have a lovely rest of the week everyone, see you next time!!

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Black Sands

Happy Thursday! I mentioned last week about trying to get back into blogging and sharing with you all, just what it was that we got up to while we were away and have decided to do this like a kind of “Throw-back Thursday” type deal… so maybe a little slowly to begin with but I’m sure we will pick up steam soon. But for now keep your eyes peeled on a Thursday.

Back to New Zealand… and in particular the beaches of New Plymouth. Whilst staying with my aunt and uncle, Jack and I got into a bit of a routine of going down to one of the three beaches every day to go swim in the ocean, which I loved! The beaches of New Plymouth were unlike any I had ever been to before, the sand is black. It took some getting used to, but soon I loved it, especially how it looked against the bright blue of the sky and sea. But my gosh it was SO hot from the sun – a lot of quick stepping from the towels to the sea!!

A few more photos for you this week – think I’m getting the hang of things again. Next week will be the last of New Plymouth, so look out for that… some pictures of a very cool bridge to look forward to. Enjoy the rest of your week!

New Plymouth, NZ

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Hello! It seems like forever since I have written anything for this blog… but with faithful followers still asking when they will hear about what the heck we did with the rest of the time we were away and some new people just discovering my little space I thought I really should try and get everyone caught up with our travels. So here goes…

Last February our visas for Australia came to an end and so we packed our bags and headed off to the next stop we had planned. Luckily we didn’t have to go far, we hopped across to the north island of New Zealand to visit my aunt and uncle who live in New Plymouth. It was so nice to see family again after being away from home for a year and we really enjoyed being looked after and shown around the place they have made their home. New Plymouth is a harbour town based at the bottom of a volcano, Mount Taranaki, which unfortunately during the entirety of our stay was hidden behind clouds! You can’t plan the weather! This photo of the harbour was taken at the top of a hill(?! – I’ve included a picture so you can decide for yourself what it is…), which Jack and I climbed to take in the view before heading down to the beach for a dip. I’m afraid this post isn’t very picture heavy, I’m trying to ease myself back into the swing of doing things (it took me a while to remember my password!) but hopefully I will be putting up some more posts soon of how we spent our time in New Zealand, so there are plenty more photos to come don’t worry!