Going South

Lars Alfredson
Sun 15 Jun 2014 10:39
Pos 41:17.57S 174:47.20E

Well I'm back again after alllllloooooonnnnnngggggg time in the Yard and then
a few days sailing and feeling sea-sick every morning. Yukk.
I was protesting but we got started again and all is well again.

On our way to Wellington we stopped at a few places that I would like to share
with you all.
Our first stop was in a lovely Camp Ground called Sandspit and the people
there had saved this very old tree.  It was huge with lots of roots going
everywhere and the branches stretched out over a wonderful childrens
park.  It must be packed in the summer but while we were there it was so
quiet and peaceful, it was fantastic.

                      One of the most beautiful tree's I've seen.                                                     I'll find out soon what all the tree and plants are called

      Buzy-Lizzy as one (1) plant. It grew just beside our Camper Van. Lovely.

Lars took a walk to the Waterfalls below. He said it was very impressive.  It was too
far for me to get there and the paths were not built for Rosie, we just stayed in the

                                   The Bridal Veil Falls                                                                                       The Maori name for the falls

We thought it might be interesting to see what "The Forgotten Highway" was all
about.  A Woman from Yorkshire called Doreen named the Highway 17 years ago.
Doreen now owns a Camp Site that we visited  while driving along the Highway.
At the end of the Highway we came across these carved figures that were part
of the seat that we were sitting on.  All around the Park were these seats and
everyone had 2 different figurines carved into the top part of the seat.  The whole
thing was solid wood and very well looked after.

            The solid wood seats with a couple of my favorites.                                                                        Figures of Lars and myself

The valley's are wounderful to look at.  A lot of work has been done to clear
the mountains and the cattle have made the layers after walking up and
down for ages.  In the valley's there is nearly always a river or brook that
collects the water that runs off the hills.  Sometimes we came across cattle
that had broken out of their fields and it was difficult to know if we should
inform someone or just leave them for the farmer to deal with.

                 The wonderful hills and valley's all over NZ                                                                                    Cattle on the run.

We found a very strange Camp Ground, mostly by mistake.  We had turned off
the Highway and didn't seem to be able to find the Site that was shown on the
main road.  On our way back we came across a sign that said "Café and Accomodation".
We turned down this very small road and found a place that had Closed in
the window but the gates were open.
I heard voices so I went in with Lars and asked if it was possible to stay over night
to this older lady that was talking to bushes, I thought at first, but there were
several people looking at the brook that surronded the area.  We talked to a
man named Shane that was very drunk and told us we could go anywhere we
liked.   The cabins were made out of Containers, Yep, Containers.  Most of them
looked rusty and it looked like a very Arts and crafts place.  Many who lived
there looked like they had arrived in the 60's and never left.
Just a few steps away from the Container Camp Site was this amazing beach.
It is one of the spots where a little Blue"Fairy" Penguin is suppose to live. 
We took a walk in the morning and even with binoculers I wasn't able to see any
penguins but it's not the season for them to have young so most of them
must of been hiding from us. The sand was unbelivablely Black with gold and
silver bits shining in it. Alot of driftwood was all over the beach and there
were houses all along the beach.  We wondered how the Blue Penguins ever
got any peace if the beaches were full of people but while we were there,
we were the only people on the beach.

                  The Black sandy beach and the Tasman Sea                                                            One of the biggest driftwoods we had ever seen

              My new hairdo and I've grown a beard as well                                             From the beach we could see Mt. Taranaki top and the snow

                       The little Blue "Fairy" Penguins beach   

Many of the roads that we've been on, have been very windy (lots of curves),
up and down hills and mountains.  Most of the time the roads have nothing at
the sides that stop anyone from going over the sides and alot of sides have
been on my side.  If you look over the side it just drops away, far down into
the valley's below and all that's to stop anyone going down to the bottom are
tree's, shrubs and grass.  I nearly always try to move over to the middle of
the van, just so I don't have to look over the sides, it's an awfully long way
down.  On some of the roads there are signs "WASHOUT" and just around the
next bend part of the road has been washed away and fallen down into the
For the past couple of days we've had nothing but rain.  We heard that in
Auckland the storm was terrible and damaged alot of houses.  Where we
were it closed off a few road where part of the mountain side had washed
away and fallen across the road.
There are not many tunnels in New Zealand.  So far we have only been through
one (1) and that was called Mount Messenger Tunnel.
We took a detour to look at Mount Damper Falls.  This time I thought I would
go with Lars even though it was raining.  The Sign said 1 km to the falls, crossing
farmland where sheep had been and on to the Reserve where we found the
Waterfall.  It wasn't as impresive as the last one Lars went to, but for me it was

                  I've just crossed the Bridge into the Reserve                                                                         Mount Damper Falls

               I just love to see the small plants that are growing along the sides near the Falls

  This is as far as we got to Mount Taranaki, rain and Gales force winds.            I braved the elements so we could say we had been on Mt Taranaki

The rain and Gale Force winds on Mt Taranaki had taken the temperature down to
6.5 C.  We couldn't see the top because the clouds were too low.  It was a disappointment
for Lars as he had hoped to go to the top but it wasn't in the cards that day.

On our way to our next stop we passed through Norfolk Road.  It didn't look anything
like Norfolk but we did come across alot of Cockerels which was a surprise.  I thought
you could only have one cockerel around or they would fight.  There were only 5 hens
and we could see at least 13 or 14 cockerels.  All of them were beautiful with different
colours and styles that I have never seen before.  We were told by someone that was
passing that they had been left in this park and some had had young, so they all got
on well with one another.  They were greedy chickens and ate all the bread we gave

                          A few of the Cockerels.                                                                                             One of the most beautiful hens, I think.

We've finally in Wellington, the Capital of New Zealand, (for those that might get it
in a quiz sometime or another). I always thought Auckland was the Capital but that's
wrong.  Wellington is in a Valley and alot of the old houses were knocked down but
a few remain as people protested against all the older building being knocked down
for new ones that sometimes were awful.
Lars had to leave his camera in Auckland to get fixed as he dropped it while we were
sailing, so, the first thing we had to do in Wellington was to find the Post Office and
get his camera back.  After that he booked us on the Ferry The Interislander that will
take us to The South Island.

                        Some of the older houses still in Wellington                                                                            The WaterFall in the Bay          

           What do you think I did? Washing of course just so I would use this machine.

Great idea from one of the Top 10 Camping Grounds.  Alot of people were living in this
Camp Ground permanently and our next door neighbour worked in the site, weeding
and keeping the place nice.  I never asked his name but his cat was called Zoe and his
white rabbit Snowy.  He thought it was great living there, cheap and lots of friends.

Well that's the North Island for now.  South Island here we come.
Be back soon with more news and photo's.

Lots of love to all who read our Blog.
Caroline and Lars x