|The 'Lucky' Campervan|
|Cheese press - not the books|
The next morning we picked up our camper from Lucky Campervans. These are Previas like the one we had in Australia. The price was good but it didn't have the outside sleeping concept nor an electric fridge. We thought NZ was going to be colder than Oz so it wouldn't be too hot sleeping inside, wrong.
The fridge was no problem except we were always buying ice and dealing with melted ice water on everything.
We headed north up the west coast to the Kauri Forest. The trees were spectacular but not much in the way of wildlife.
|Russell car ferry|
|'Lucky' on The Paihia to Russell ferry|
|Anglican Church in Russell|
We did some hiking, found some deserted beaches and think we saw a Kiwi bird.
Ended up at the oldest tavern and had a beer.
|The town of Russell|
|Sundial on Flagstaff Hill|
|Russel and Bay of Islands|
|New Zealand Wildlife|
|Cooking in the 'Lucky Van'|
|Booker at the Falls|
We went hiking to the Whangarei Falls. Fortunately it was an easy hike since the Russell hiking had done a number on our bones and feet.
|The relocation Campervan|
|Hiking in the Taupo Thermal Valley|
|Thermal vents at Taupo|
|Dave at the heavy petting zoo|
|Grapes at the Elephant Winery|
|The Tui Brewery Bar|
|Men's Room at Tui - Great Urinals|
|Beer Keg Sink at Tui|
|Tui Beer Sampler|
|Our parking spot on the ferry to Picton|
We turned in the 'Lucky' and had another hotel night prior to picking up our new van. This van needs to be relocated from Auckland to Christchurch. It's essentially free to us except we pay the ferry and fuel. We felt like Rock Stars compared to being in the Lucky.
It turned out to be a long day so when we stumbled upon a campsite when checking out the Taupo thermal vents, we stopped early. We hiked among steam vents on the hills and valleys. The campsite had kind of a petting zoo with llamas, sheep, and rabbits.
Our original first day goal was Napier/Hastings in the Hawkes Bay wine region. We ended up there the second day and somehow, right around happy hour we ended up tasting the local wines.
The next day we were heading to Wellington where we would take the ferry to the South Island. Along the way we stopped at the Tui Brewery. They had some nice beers that aren't available anywhere else except here at this brewery.
I have seen lots of great stainless fabrication in New Zealand but this has to be the best use of old beer kegs that I have ever seen.
We had an early ferry departure. The weather was nice and ended up at the South Island at noon.
It was a 3 hour trip but it looked like we were in a different country.
That's it for this blog. Will post the South Island when we get done. Cheers mates.