New Zealand

My Photos of North Island, New Zealand

Thursday, November 24, 2016

New Zealand, a beautiful scenic country with much greenery. I was awe struck by the white dots of sheep grazing along the hill slopes while driving on the road. "Sheep! sheep!" What a lovely sight indeed, especially to people who come from the hot tropical climate like Malaysia. Yes, as people say, there are more sheep in New Zealand than people.

Auckland

a. One Tree Hill - Maungakiekie

Taken from One Tree Hill Domain, Auckland.  

A huge park with joggers, picnickers and tourists. You can drive all the way up the hill with sheep grazing on the grass along the way and the gardens of Cornwall Park. The highest point has a monument of Sir John Logan Campbell, the founding father of Auckland. Good for photography and view of Auckland city.

b. Queens Wharf


Queens Wharf

Queens Wharf is near the harbor and you can take Fullers Harbor cruise or just the Fullers ferry to cross over to Devonport

c. Devonport


View of Auckland city taken from Devonport

A quaint Victorian town easily accessible by ferry which costs only NZD 12 return. To get there, make your way to Auckland Downtown harbor, next to Queens Wharf (it is also at the end of Queen Street). It is a well worth trip which can be done in half a day with the Fullers ferry running every half hour.

d. Mount Eden



Mount Eden - Maungawhau

Mount Eden (extinct volcano crater) was a former Maori settlement and the volcano crater which was formed some 20,000 - 30,000 years ago.

There are many other places to go in Auckland and of course the first thing is walk along Queens Street. Cross over to Rangitoto island for a refreshing hike, or to other islands further north if you have time. I head down south to Waitomo Caves for the glow worms (but you can miss it if you have a tight schedule). I get a headache by bending my head upwards for long time to look the glow worms above.

Matamata

a. Hobbiton
A must visit if you are a fan of the Lord of the Rings and Hobbits. Better to stay overnight in Matamata.  I drove down to Matamata after taking rented car in Auckland town and a short stop over in One Tree Hill Domain. Reached Mata Mata in the evening and managed to get the last Hobbiton tour at 4.30pm. Motel host advised us to take the evening tour as morning tour is usually more packed with people.



 Hobbiton Movie set consist of 44 hobbit holes, including Bag End (Bilbo's house). It is about 2 hours tour including walking in the Shire and given a free drink in The Green Dragon cafe.



Oh, I couldn't stop taking photos. It's a dream come true to be in the Hobbiton movie set and able to walk around Peter Jackson's Middle Earth, into the hobbit holes (hobbit's homes). Amazing!

b. Wairere Falls

Go for a relaxing hike at Wairere Falls, the highest fall in North Island which is just 10 minutes drive form Matamata town.


Wairere Falls 
Rotorua

Some of the things that can be done in Rotorua are a drive around downtown, the garden, Museum, Kairu Park, Maori village, Lakeside waterfront, Blue Lake, Green lake, Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, Mud pools and Redwoods. On the whole, there are lots of things to see in Rotorua, therefore we stayed 2 nights there.

Sulphur pond in town for tourist near the Museum and Polynesian SPA

a. Ohinemutu
Maori village with sulphur ponds, Maori houses and the St. Faith's Church


b. Redwoods

Drive to Redwoods, Long Mile Road, Whakarewara, Rotorua. The entrance is free and you can enjoy the magnificent view of towering native and exotic trees. Just choose any trails that suits your time and take a relaxing walk inside. More details at my previous blog :  Tall mighty Trees at Redwoods

Panoramic view of  Redwoods

c. Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

It can be about 1-2 hours to walk inside with various types of colorful sulphur pools and nature trail. More photos and details at : Blog on Waiotapu

Champagne Pool 

d. Blue Lake 


Tongariro National Park, Whakapapa Village

Woo, it is very cold up here as this is actually a very busy ski resort during winter. The ski season is just over when I was there last week. 


A short climb up the hills to get the scenic national park below with the Chateau Tongariro Hotel in background.

Mount Tongariro

Mount Tongariro looks like Mount Fuji? But notice the bushland in the foreground?And of course the tip of the mountain is different, Mt. Fuji has a sharper tip on top.

Wellington
Oh yes there are lots of places to go in Wellington, but my whirlwind tour schedule is tight. Therefore, I manage to go to Te Papa Tongarewa the Museum of  New Zealand (no entrance fee) and walk along the Te Aro seaside and have a great view of the harbour.


Crossing Over to South Island via the InterIslander ferry from Wellington to Picton. 


InterIslander ferry with a fantastic view of Marlborough Sounds


Ferry ride is from 9.00am - 12.30pm. This ferry carries big huge container trucks, lorries and lots of car. Mind you, we can drive our car to make a U-turn inside the ferry itself! 

Personally, I feel that South Island is much more beautiful. Blog post on South Island will be coming soon. Stay Tuned!

Related post and more fantastic photos on New Zealand:




5. Devonport: Devonport Chocolate Shop

6. My trip to South Island New Zealand - under construction

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