Tag Archives: New Zealand

A New Zealand Drive Along the Firth of Thames.

Roadtripping around New Zealand is beautiful no matter where you are at. Driving along the southern and southeastern shores of the Firth of Thames is no exception.

Firth of Thames, North Island, New Zealand

firth-of-thames-nz-002

The North Island stretch of road just south and west of the town of Thames, along State Route 25, features picturesque views of the rocky shoreline, mountains sitting off in the distance across the Firth and more.

Firth of Thames, North Island, New Zealand

firth-of-thames-nz-005

Firth of Thames, North Island, New Zealand

Firth of Thames, North Island, New Zealand

Firth of Thames, North Island, New Zealand
You will want to get out of your vehicle often to enjoy the water views, just like the sheep do.

Firth of Thames, North Island, New Zealand

Also a part of New Zealand’s Pacific Coast Highway, this part of the country is easily accessible from Auckland. It is about a ninety minute drive, making it great day trip option. As you approach Thames you will be entering the Coromandel Peninsula.

Tip: Continue on along State Route 25 past Thames and you will embark on a 150 km drive around the hilly and forest-covered peninsula, winding up along the Pacific Ocean.

Coromandel Peninsula, North Island, New Zealand

What other New Zealand day trip options would you recommend from Auckland?

#ExploreTheElements: A Photo Challenge.

It had been awhile since I took part in a travel photo contest, so my face it up when Francesca of Working Mom Travels nominated me to take part in the Thomas Cook Explore the Elements photoblogging competition. Thank you! 🙂

I have to choose photos, one that represents each of the four natural elements of earth, water, fire and air.

If my photo wins any of the four categories I will receive either a MacBook Air, a Fujifilm X-T1 camera or an iPhone 6 with Bose noise cancelling headphones. There will be a best photo chosen between all of the categories, with the winner receiving a £5,000 travel fund.

Well without further ado my choices with a New Zealand twist:

Earth

Represents the hard, solid objects of the earth. Associated with stubbornness, collectiveness, physicality and gravity.

Explore the Elements - Earth - New Zealand

Kia Trail, Mount Cook Village area, New Zealand

Walking or hiking on the Kia Trail, you just want to stop and stare at the scenery in front of you, in awe of all the natural beauty that exists on this Earth.

Water

Represents the fluid, flowing, formless things in the world. Associated with emotion, defensiveness, adaptability, flexibility, suppleness, and magnetism.

Explore the Elements - Water - New Zealand

Owharoa Falls, New Zealand

There is something about water and relaxation. Watching water flow from one spot to the next no matter the sound, puts the mind at ease, even in the case of a waterfall.

Fire

Represents the energetic, forceful, moving things in the world. Associated with security, motivation, desire, intention, and an outgoing spirit.

Explore the Elements - Fire - New Zealand

Kerosene Creek, Rotorua, New Zealand

A natural hot thermal pool, like at Kerosene Creek, can get hot in a hurry like a fire, depending on whether it’s raining a lot or not.

Air

Represents things that grow, expand, and enjoy freedom of movement Associated with will, elusiveness, evasiveness, benevolence, compassion, and wisdom.

Explore the Elements - Air - New Zealand

Piha, New Zealand

Being up-top somewhere, like here overlooking Piha Beach, leads to lots of air between you and the ground straight ahead.

As part of the challenge, I need to nominate five other travel bloggers to take part. Below are some great travelers whom I invite to share their photos representing each of the four natural elements.

Anis of Five Foot Traveller
Amanda of UnrestingSea
Cheryl of CherylHoward.com
Holly of Holly Dayz Travel
Arnette of Round The World Girl

Out on the New Zealand Open Road in Pictures.

Being in New Zealand will make you feel like you are in your own version of Lord of the Rings as you go from rainforest to mountains to prairie to countryside in the blink of eye when roadtripping. Along the way you will come across waterfalls, hot springs, meat pies, backpackers, new friends and countless sheep. Some of my best memrories traveling have occurred when being on a road trip in the Land of the Long White Cloud.

It makes me think back to my original post: New Zealand: On The Open Road. Below are enlarged versions of the photos in that post along with some additional ones highlighting what it is like to be out on the New Zealand open road.

State Highway 8, South Island, New Zealand road trip

State Highway 8 heading towards Lake Pukaki and Mount Cook Village.

State Highway 8, South Island, New Zealand road trip

State Highway 8 heading towards Lake Pukaki and Mount Cook Village.

State Highway 8, South Island, New Zealand road trip

State Highway 8 staring at Lake Pukaki and Mount Cook.

State Highway 80, South Island, New Zealand road trip

State Highway 80 heading south away from Mount Cook Village.

State Highway 6, Cromwell, New Zealand road trip

State Highway 6 along the Kawarau River in Cromwell.

State Highway 6, Wanaka, South Island, New Zealand road trip

State Highway 6 along Lake Hawea.

State Highway 6, Wanaka, South Island, New Zealand road trip

State Highway 6 along Lake Hawea.

State Highway 6, West Coast, South Island, New Zealand road trip

State Highway 6 along the West Coast of the South Island.

State Highway 13, South Island, New Zealand road trip

State Highway 13 between Arthur’s Pass and Christchurch.

State Highway 73, Wanaka, South Island, New Zealand road trip

State Highway 73 heading towards Christchurch.

Speaking of countless sheep. 🙂 Lots of mingling time.

Mngling with the sheep, South Island, New Zealand road trip

What are your favorite memories from being on a road trip in New Zealand?

The “Magical” Place in New Zealand for me is…

When a lot of people think of New Zealand they think of Lord of the Rings, which showcases one magical scene after another. Road tripping around the country in real life gives off that same feeling.

While driving the North Island, an off the beaten path spot instantly became the “magical” place in New Zealand for me. That place is the Kerosene Creek hot springs.

Kerosene Creek, Rotorua, New Zealand, hot springs

The Kerosene Creek hot spring is a place that makes me dream. It’s a place that makes you put all your worries aside. It’s a place that makes the body feel relaxed sitting in a hot thermal pool alongside a waterfall. It’s a place I got to experience with my best friend.

Kerosene Creek, Rotorua, New Zealand, hot springs, waterfall

Kerosene Creek, Rotorua, New Zealand, hot springs

To get to Kerosene Creek drive along State Highway 5 in-between Rotorua (30 kilometers from) and Taupo (55 kilometers from) and turn onto Old Waiotapu Road. Go about two kilometers, on gravel not in the best condition, and park alongside the road. There will be minimal signage. Once on foot it will be a ten minute or less walk along some lush native bush.

There is the elATLboy! 🙂

Kerosene Creek, Rotorua, New Zealand, hot springs

Kerosene Creek, Rotorua, New Zealand, hot springs

Kerosene Creek, Rotorua, New Zealand, hot springs

You feel like you are in a fairy tale, a million miles from nowhere.

Kerosene Creek, Rotorua, New Zealand, hot springs

The great thing about Kerosene Creek is that it is free! Because you are in the middle of nature you won’t find a restroom or a place to change. When you are ready to hop in it’s very easy to sit in the pool as it is shallow all around. The water temperature was perfect for us, though I hear it can vary depending on how much rain it gets. Also, the creek does have a bit of a smell, hence the Kerosene name. 🙂

Kerosene Creek, Rotorua, New Zealand, hot springs

Kerosene Creek, Rotorua, New Zealand, hot springs

It was a great place to soak in (literally) with my best friend. I hope to get back to the “magical” place for me in New Zealand again soon. It is definitely classified as a #NZMustDo!

What is the “magical” place for you in New Zealand? What other hot springs would you recommend around Rotorua?

Standing alongside Owharoa Falls in New Zealand.

New Zealand is home to countless scenic waterfalls, one such being Owharoa Falls on the North Island.

Owharoa Falls, Waihi, New Zealand, waterfall, North Island

Owharoa Falls sits on the Taieri Stream and within the Karangahake Gorge right off State Highway 2 about half-way between Paeroa and Waihi.

It’s actually made up of three waterfalls with the most accessible being only a five minute walk away from the main parking area. You can also see the falls as part of a walk/hike along the seven kilometer Karangahake Gorge Historic Walkway.

Owharoa Falls, Waihi, New Zealand, waterfall, North Island

Owharoa Falls is a staircase waterfall with a trapezoidal shape and stands is six meters tall.

Owharoa Falls, Waihi, New Zealand, waterfall, North Island

Owharoa Falls, Waihi, New Zealand, waterfall, North Island

Owharoa Falls, Waihi, New Zealand, waterfall, North Island

Owharoa Falls, Waihi, New Zealand, waterfall, North Island

Owharoa Falls, Waihi, New Zealand, waterfall, North Island

Owharoa Falls, Waihi, New Zealand, waterfall, North Island

Owharoa Falls, Waihi, New Zealand, waterfall, North Island

It was a 90-120 minute drive from Auckland, making it a great day trip option. A fun experience standing alongside Owharoa Falls, with swimming next to being another plausible option.

Owharoa Falls, Waihi, New Zealand, waterfall, North Island

What waterfalls would you recommend checking out in New Zealand?