New Zealand – Aotearoa………Land of the long white cloud

I have finally answered the call; ever since I spent 6 months in New Zealand as a young man, I have felt this inexplicable calling to return……………Yes, I know, it has taken me more than 30 years to embrace this inevitability, but no apologies, I’m here now beneath these southern skies………………..yippie ….(*_*)

Aotearoa, by the way, is the Maori word for New Zealand; the most commonly accepted interpretation of this is “Land of the long white cloud” although it has been translated as “land of abiding day” in reference to the length and quality of the daylight in New Zealand

 

I arrived at my motel on the perimeter of Auckland airport at 23.00 hours on Thursday, having left my Bangkok hotel at 18.00 the previous day; it was not as bad as it sounds, given that Auckland is 6 hours in advance of Bangkok, so I was only traveling for a mere 23 hours………….but that’s what you get when you take cheap flights and ride at the back of the bus!

 

I felt surprisingly fresh at 7am on Friday when I woke for breakfast and a badly needed shower; by 10am I was back inside the airport terminal to collect my hire car, a new Toyota Corolla with only 8,000 km on the clock; it has air-con, sat nav, an excellent stereo with a usb port to plug my iphone into; it is quick and nimble and is much more than I could ever have  hoped for when I booked it at a budget price……………

 

I left Auckland and headed north towards the bay of islands on the north eastern coast; a few miles out of Auckland I had a “light bulb” moment, as I rejected the motorway I was approaching and turned off onto the old Highway 1 route; what a great decision, within no time at all, nostalgia washed over me, as I was transported back to a time when driving was a relaxed and pleasurable experience………….there was little, and for periods of time, no other vehicles on this fantastic road, and along both sides of it, wonderful, ever changing scenery; palms of all sizes, from small plants to huge trees, enormous pale blue and purple hydrangea blooms, grass verges covered in swathes of daisies, dandelions and buttercups………. to one side, a rusty old single track railway line, and on the other, a verdant green field full of grazing sheep or cows, back-dropped by  a row of Lombardi Poplars cresting a distant hill, the vistas just kept coming………….and not a scrap of litter to be seen anywhere………..I found myself driving more and more slowly as I became absorbed with the scenery…………..the “variable speed limits”of the M25 Motorway seemed to be a dim and distant image….

 

Re-energized by this lovely drive, I pushed on past the bay of islands as far as Kaitaia, where I booked into a motel for the night; this served to reduce my drive the next morning to my eventual destination, Cape Reinga, on the northern tip of the north island……..

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Zealand………….where men are men, and sheep are consequently nervous…………..

 

It’s quite hot at this time of year, especially if you’re wearing a sheepskin coat, so any shade is sought and appreciated……………………….

I’m on a bit of a roll with good decision making at the moment; this is very much helped by how easy it is to stop anywhere at the side of the road and study your map, and of course, the appetite to do so that is generated within you by this beautiful country…………..I deserted Highway 1 for the costal hugging route of Highways 10 and 11 and found designated picnic areas along these roads at different scenic spots; they all had permanently fixed tables and chairs, were spotlessly clean and litter free, and naturally had panoramic views to drool over………………….I’m still drooling………….

 

View from one of the picnic areas………………and below from another……………..

Keep watching………….more to come soon…………….love to you all……………(*_*)

3 thoughts on “New Zealand – Aotearoa………Land of the long white cloud

  1. Hi it looks a bit to good to be true! A very magical trip in a very real world, that takes you back in time! Enjoy the moment and happy motoring!

    • Thanks Liz………yes, I still think that I’m dreaming; if you ever make the trip to see brother Richard in Australia, it would be criminal not to spend a few weeks visiting this wonderful country……….Auckland is only a 3 hour flight from Sydney!!