(February 12th 2007)
It was a good idea at the time, deciding to travel north and across the top before heading south towards Auckland and beyond. The thought was we could see the west coast and the giant Kauri trees in Waipoua forest, however we let ourselves in for a lot more driving than we imagined. We left the beach house at 9am and headed northwards sp we could catch up with the west coast highway heading south to get another view of NZ that we hadn’t got so far. The forest was amazing and the views spectacular, and the ‘daddy’ of all Kauri trees was immense (photos to be added later). The problem came when we decided to drive as far as we could to minimise the driving the next day. Most the drive after you leave the forest is incredibly boring and consists of very long, very straight roads. Eventually we go through Auckland and decided to head towards Hamilton to stay the night there. We figured it was Monday night so we shouldn;t have much trouble getting a room in a motel of hotel there as it’s NZs biggest inland city. How wrong we were. All of the motels we passed along the way had ‘no vacancy’ signs outside and the main hotel we tried was also fully booked. As a last resort we checked the guidebook and phoned another hotel rather than simply turning up on the off chance. They did have vacancy but only an executive suite which was about a twice as expensive as we’d hoped but beggars can’t be choosers at 7:30 in the evening. On the upside, it is opposite a terrific restaurant which we have just returned from, the room has a spa bath and is absolutely huge.
Tomorrow we head for Rotorua and are looking for some pegs for our noses.
It’s 9:15 and after 11 hours of driving I’m off to bed 🙂