New Zealand North Island
First Waterfall we encountered. Located in a park in a small town on the northeast coast of the north island.
looking up at the fall
downstream of the fall going through the native flora. Awesome New Zealand
First New Zealand Tree Fern. Remembering the dinosaurs ...
First Camp in Russell overlooking the Bay of Islands
Kayaking in the bay across from Russell. Temperate but never freezes. Great Location
Winter paddling through the mangrove
new day on the west coast. Crossing to the little town with personality Rawene on a ferry over the Hokianga River. We'd just been on the far north where Sand Dune Mountains look over the beach at a town called Ahipara. Seems to be the place to surf - or one of them anyway... For some reason we didn't get a photo of the area.... something about dead batteries in the camera or something. We stayed at the Pine Tree Lodge ( US species imported for timber ) owned by Bill and Jean. 09.409.4864
Great little harbor on the Hokianga River. Lots of Camping at places for backpackers.
The view looking back at the harbor from the point at the inlet
Small protected park at the south point of the inlet high on the hill
what a place
Looking across the inlet to the sand dune mountain on the north side. From here to where we spent the previous night these same mountians block access to the sea. A very remote and isolated part of the north island.
This fern forest is on the edge of the protected Kauri forest perserve. These ferns are the understory to mature forests and the main part of the young forest recovering from logging.
The god of the forest Kauri tree we encountered on entering the park
Another big guy ( or girl ?)
We drove long and hard to avoid Auckland and headed to the southeast part of the North Island which is the volcanic area around Rotorua. This took an extra day and we were forced through bad planning to spend the night in a parking lot. ( RV's make it at least comfortable ) Too much driving .... And then when we arrived at the town, we were disappointed to find it a bit like Cherokee NC. Great place as long as you leave town.... This place is a bit of a tourist trap but still a great example of the hot springs and bubbling mud pools the are literally everywhere here. Christie heard rhythms like African drums in the small bubbling cauldrons. We discovered that a bit south is a far nicer place with an ample town w/out all the slick tourist trap sort of stuff....
recent volcano with fern forest. Lakes on either side ( caldrons ) where there are still regular tremors. What power and beauty in this place ... just south of Rotorua on the way to Taupo
Lucked into finding this wonderplace through a wonderful guy / guide. Tony Donovan in Taupo - 07.377.6980 or 025.755294. Zig Zag Fun email him: email@example.com
We were referred to him by the folks we stayed with at the Pine Tree Camp owned by Bill and Jean Simonsen in Ahipara. This was a Kayak and hiking trip through a volcanic heated river and lake, streams and hills surrounded by dormant ( or not so ) volcanoes.
After starting at a small resort, we paddled for a half hour 'down' the lake ( dammed ) and went through the bracken to the first warm creek flowing into the lake.
Hot slot. The rocks are soft and easily eroided. They also 'float' for a long time till waterlogged and sink. Strange stuff
an exotic place. Steaming creeks
Well into the slot canyon. This place also has the glow worms on the walls ( at night one can see them )
Close Call. Dangerous place no doubt !
Water's getting hotter as we get closer to the source
out into the world again
paddling back to the take out over the lake where steam rises from the edges
Farewell to the geyser
City of Wellington from distant nature preserve and wind generator
Wind power generats enough power for small village. New Zealand at its best. No Nukes !
Panaramic view of Wellington
Devin and Gwyneth looking out to sea for the south island from Queen Victoria Hill ( mtn ?)
South Island Page