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Auckland and the northlands road trip

The adventures with the Rutt brothers

storm 20 °C
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Day 62 (Sun 25/12/2011)

Lawrence picked me up from the city and we headed back to his house and had Christmas dinner. After chilling out for a bit we walked to his friends house for an evening party. There were about 20 guys there and I was the only one who was straight.

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Day 63 (Mon 26/12/2011)

Lawrence picked Oliver (his brother) up from the airport at about 08:30. When they got back to the house we went out for a canyoning adventure gorge run. We drove out to the coast and parked the car. From here it was a 20 minute run to the beach, up and down a mountain track, the terrain was pretty tough so great for adventure running. 40 minutes later we arrived at the beach with Lawrence realising that we’d taken a wrong turn; we now had a long run up the beach to the start of the river. During this time Oliver’s sandal strap broke (he was running in sandals because he didn’t want to ruin his new trainers) so we fastened it back together using a combination of sea kelp and flax leaf.

We had gone the long route from the beach to get to the start of the river so now had to cross through about 500m of overgrown stinking swamp that was at times, waist deep. It was like tough guy all over again. Eventually we made it to the start of the river and the canyoning part was incredible. We had to make our way up this beautiful rocky river with crystal clear water through an impressive gorge. At some points we were wading up stream, at others we were hoping along rocks, others we were swimming through calm pools with steep cliffs on either edge and other parts involved semi-technical free rock climbing up waterfalls.

It ended up taking most of the day so we headed back, Oliver was pretty jetlagged so he fell asleep whilst Lawrence and I went out to get takeaway.

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Day 64 (Tue 27/12/2011)

We got up early to leave for our northlands road trip. We first stopped off at Lawrence’s office to see where he worked, this was followed by a short visit to see a small Auckland train station he had designed.

We were heading north from Auckland and stopping off at various points of interest along the way. We climbed a small mountain peak, I did this one in bare feet; some pretty awesome views from the top. We saw the largest Kauri tree, possible 2000 years old and it really was massive.

In the evening we found a really cool camp site to stay at called Ngawha springs; it was situated in a geothermal area. It had some makeshift hot springs next to it. Pretty much just holes dug in the ground, held open by old bits of wood. The many small pools were varying temperatures with varying amounts of heat bubbling out of the ground. The bottom was just natural mud and sand; the bottom of one of the pools was so hot you couldn’t touch it. The water was about 45 degrees and you could only stay in for a bit. Another pool was the perfect temperature to laze in for ages.

After putting up the tent and eating we stayed in the hot springs for ages. Lawrence and Oliver got out before me to have a shower, once they were done I went. The toilet and shower were located in the darkest and scariest place ever, there were no lights, the wind was howling; it was just like a scene from a horror movie, I thought I was going to be murdered with an axe at any moment. I had a quick, cold shower in the dark and swiftly made my way back to the tent across the ghostly looking field.

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Day 65 (Wed 28/12/2011)

As soon as we woke up we went back into the hot springs – so good! Then we had breakfast and packed away the tent. From here we drove to a place called Ahipara, we were going to do an activity like blow karting, the kart thing with a sail that you drive along the beach. Unfortunately the wind was too strong so we decided to carry on up to the far north of the country.

On the way we stopped at an amazing place with huge sand dunes that you could climb and then sand board down them. The wind was getting stronger and we were being sand blasted on the top of the dunes.

We carried on to cape reiang and the most northerly point of New Zealand. The weather was getting worse; the winds were now stronger and it was lashing it down with rain (This was the start of 48 hours of very heavy rain). We walked out onto the cliffs, I was being blown around by the wind, parents were holding onto their kids. The interesting thing about this part of the coast is that it’s the point where the pacific ocean meets the tasman sea. You can actually see the line where the waves from the 2 seas are hitting each other causing an extremely rough sea with waves going in all different directions, very cool to watch. Some of the waves crashing in were huge.

That night we found a packed holiday camp site place, we got our own plot, set up the tent in a brief break from the rain then had dinner. That night there was some serious rain. Lawrence and Oliver didn’t want to go outside in the night to go to the toilet so they pissed in a 3L bottle which they filled up then carried on in an empty port bottle with no lid, this later fell over spilling on the ground sheet.

Lawrence owes an old ‘long wheel base model’, ‘Sherwood forest green’ Jaguar car. He is very proud of this car and likes it to be kept spotless. The thought of going away camping with it for a week makes his blood boil, especially when car bloopers occur. That day Oliver managed to rip the passenger side handle clean out of its socket as Lawrence was driving round a corner too fast. I was attempting to throw an apple core out of the window when I missed, hit the side of the passenger head rest which then ricochet off hitting the roof, spraying small bits of apple over me and the car. To top it all off, Lawrence had started filling up the car with petrol when a random attendant comes over to ‘help’, accidentally pulls the nossle out, spraying petrol all over him and down the side of his car.

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Day 66 (Thu 29/12/2011)

The weather was still dreadful so when we got up we packed the tent up wet and headed south towards our next destination. On the way we stopped at a few places. Firstly in Paihia at the bay of islands; the weather was too bad to do jet skiing so we carried on.

Next we stopped at some 27m waterfalls, got absolutely soaked in the torrential rain. With the weather being so bad, we changed our plans and instead of going to the camp site, we visited a friend of Lawrence’s who happened to live just down the road.

When we arrived, Neil wasn’t home but instead we were greeted by another guy called Mark. Mark was a German guy, our age, wwoofing at Neil’s house. Wwoofing is where backpackers work for food and accommodation. Mark was pretty cool and ended up hanging out with us for the next couple of days.

Neil is a private GP and is pretty wealthy, he owns a very nice mountainside house near the coast. His house has very nice grounds with an outdoor spa pool. That evening the 5 of us went for food in the local town of Waipu at a pub. The food was pretty good but in the words of Lawrence, “It looked like something out of a crocodile Dundee movie”. We stayed for a few drinks there then chilled back at the house.

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Day 67 (Fri 30/12/2011)

The weather was horrendous and I had access to the internet so I pretty much stayed indoors all day on the computer. I helped Neil improve his home entertainment system by connecting up a few devices to it.

In the evening Neil cooked dinner for everyone and then we had a spa party in the rain, entertained by an awesome thunderstorm during the continuing bad weather.

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Day 68 (Sat 31/12/2011)

We had to get to the camp site at Eurtiti pretty early so in the morning we packed up the car and drove down in convoy with Mark. As we arrived the weather got a lot better and we actually had a decent sunny afternoon. Once we got to the camp site we quickly set up the tent then headed straight down to the beach.

The campsite was run by the department of conservation, it was pretty big and open, you could choose where you wanted to pitch. It was situated just behind the sand dunes of a huge beautiful beach with a long and clear shallow sea that was great for surfing.

We went in the sea then did some exercise on the beach. The sea was so good so we went back in. When the others went back I stayed for ages body boarding in the waves then managed to get in a bit of sunbathing.

We had dinner, then went to a small cocktail party at a neighbouring tent for some pina coladas. We then got a tour of 2 peoples converted bus mobile homes. It seemed to be the trend there to buy an old bus then kit it out with everything and travel round. The buses were incredible; imagine an old bus having everything ripped out then packed with a double bed in the rear, shower, kitchen, washing machine, living area, external cooking area, 500L water tank and 30 batteries providing enough power to last 17 days. We stayed at the party outside one of the buses before we had to escape back to the tent after I was molested by a world famous in New Zealand TV weather man. As we got back to the tent there was a down pore so we stayed in there and played cards until just before midnight.

We headed down to the beach party but we were a bit late so midnight struck as we were walking down the beach, it was pretty cool as we got a good fireworks display in the distance. We stayed around the bonfire for a while and then headed to bed.

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Day 69 (Sun 01/01/2012)

As none of us were that drunk the previous night and we didn’t really get to bed too late, we got up fairly early and went to the beach. The waves were amazing, consistent rolling and dumping. They were massive. I’ve not been on the pacific coast much before so I’ve never really seen big waves; it was pretty scary seeing them building up right in front of you. At least if they were too big you could just duck under the water and you wouldn’t be completely wiped out. I played in waves for ages, body surfing and body boarded.

We headed back to the tent and quickly packed up. We then drove back to Neil’s house but he was still out surfing so we met him for lunch in Waipu.

On our way back to Auckland we stopped at another beach to take a quick walk, this beach has a river flowing down the sand into it which was pretty cool.

When I got back to Lawrence’s house, we didn’t have much time before my flight so I quickly packed up my stuff and we headed to the airport. I was flying to Christchurch to start my tour of the south island. – That was what was supposed to happen.

What actually happened was: I got back to Lawrence’s house, checked my flight time to find out it had been book for a month early. There was no way I could get a flight down now at such short notice. I even had accommodation booked in Christchurch. The next best option was to book a coach; luckily there was availability on a coach in an hours time. I quickly booked it online, threw all my stuff in my bag and headed into the city to catch the bus to Wellington... again. I wasn’t prepared for a bus journey and had no accommodation sorted out the following day. It was a 11 hour overnight bus and it wasn’t actually too bad; before I knew it, it was the next day and I was in Wellington.

Posted by kendrick 07:55 Archived in New Zealand Tagged beaches

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