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Sera in New Zealand: Cape Reinga & Ninety Mile beach

Cape Reinga

The Historic Cape Reinga Lighthouse built in 1941 marks the extreme north-western point of New Zealand. Take a day for this outing, book an organized tour along 90 mile beach to Cape Reinga and the Lighthouse, toboggan down giant sand dunes on the way, or experience the isolation and the widerness with the drive along 90 mile beach, travel alongside Auporuri forest, which runs parallel to Ninety Mile Beach. Enjoy the walkway from the carpark to where the Lighthouse perches atop a steep headland looking out to where the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean meet.

 

The meeting point

 

The Lighthouse

Ninety Mile Beach

Ninety-Mile Beach is the fabled strip of sand that stretches from Ahipara to Scott  Point, five kilometres south of Cape Maria van Diemen. Truth be told, it is actually 88 kilometres long.
 

Ninety-Mile Beach is officially a highway, but is really only suitable for 4WD vehicles and is safe to drive only at specific times of the tides. Rental companies won’t allow their cars on the sand, mostly for safety reasons. The easy way to drive along the beach is to catch a coach tour from Kaitaia. If you are short of time in Northland and staying in the Bay of Islands, coach tours and scenic flights up to Cape Reinga depart from Paihia daily.

 
 
 
Beach activities range from surfcasting and swimming to bodyboarding down the sand dunes. A special treat is digging for tuatua (a native shellfish) in the sand at low tide. Flanking the beach is the Aupouri Forest, which provides a green escape from the hot sun.



Once a year in late February or early March, 90 Mile Beach hosts a five day fishing competition. Hundreds of anglers surf cast from the beach hoping to catch the biggest snapper, a delicious white-flesh fish found in New Zealand waters.

Here it is common to see wild horses on the beach and around in the countryside.

Sera in New Zealand: Opononi

Discovering Opononi

Opononi and its twin settlement Omapere provide a slice of beachside living in the heart of the Hokianga Harbour. You’ll find a choice of places to stay, from motels and resort-style beachfront units to private holiday cottages that can be rented for almost any duration.

Must do in Opononi

Opononi offers you a white sand beach stretches all the way to Opononi Wharf, where you can catch a water taxi to the giant sand dunes on the other side of the harbour. Dune surfing on boogie boards is a thrill that leaves you sandy but extremely satisfied.

If you like fishing, fishing trips can also be arranged at the wharf.

Arriving in Opononi

 









Did you know? Opononi was made famous in the mid 1950s by the tame dolphin Opo, who used to let children ride on his back.

 


Go back to the starting of my trip in New Zealand here:

Sera in New Zealand: North Island Sand Dunes

Discovering North Island Sand Dunes

 

Did you know the New Zealand’s desert? Do you dare to DO THE DUNES?
The Giant Te paki Sand Dunes merge with the infamous 90 mile beach. These beautiful giant sand mountains will definitely get euphoria pumping through your veins as you take on the steep slopes, but don’t freak, there are dunes of all sizes to suit your level of thrill capacity. 
 
 
Go back to the starting of my trip in New Zealand here

Sera in New Zealand: Auckland

Discovering Auckland

 

NAU MAI, HAERE MAI – WELCOME TO AUCKLAND

 
Auckland is the New Zealand’s largest city, a place where city style and spectacular landscapes go hand in hand.
 
 
Breathtaking scenery, beautiful beaches, outstanding food and wine, great shopping, exciting nightlife and plenty of action and adventure – you’ll find it all here.
Shop up a storm or explore native rainforest. Dine at waterfront restaurants or go to meet the dolphins in the Hauraki Gulf. Dive into the nightlife or bungy off the harbour Bridge. Canyon down waterfalls or climb volcanoes. Escape to as idyllic island or sip on cocktails up the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere.
 
New Zealand Maori called this land Tamaki Makaurau, a maiden desired by a hundred lovers. It was a place fought over for its vast riches, including its forested hills, productive volcanic soils and harbours full of seafood.
 
 
Today, Auckland’s striking natural beauty and vibrant urban lifestyle combine to make it one of the most desirable places in the world to live or visit. In fact, Auckland is rated the third most liveable city in the world in the Mercer Quality of Living Survey.
 
 
 

TOP PICKS

 
Get out the Waitemata Harbour with sailing, jet boating, kayaking or a harbour cruise, or get adventurous with a harbour bridge climb and bungy jump.
 
For a panoramic view of Auckland, you must climb to the top of the Sky Tower, which will offer you a spectacular 360-degree views. Don’t miss to try the exhilarating SkyJump and SkyWalk!
 
 
Explore the vibrant Viaduct Harbour, where waterside restaurants and bars sit alongside sleek superyachts.
 
Find vintage buys and quirky cafés and bars on K’Road, or high-end fashion and dining in High Street, Chancery and the surrounding laneways.
 

 
Take on the stunning panoramic views from the top of Mount Eden – Maungawhau – one of the region’s 48 volcanic cones and the highest natural point in Auckland.
 
Play a round of world-class golf at Whangaparaoa Peninsula with breathtaking views over the Hauraki Gulf.
 
Go swimming, kayaking, boating or fishing at Orewa Beach, or horse riding along the white sands of Pakiri.
 
In the Northern Auckland, head to Goat Island Marine Reserve for some of Auckland best snorkelling and diving, or watch the sea life from the glass bottom boat.
 
Experience authentic Maori culture at Te Hana Te Ao Marama Maori Cultural Centre, with its incredible 17thcentury fortified village replica and powerful cultural performances.
 
Enjoy skiing or snowboarding any time of year at New Zealand’s only indoor snow resort.
 
In the Western Auckland, go canyoning down waterfalls and gorges deep in the rainforest.
 
In the Southern Auckland, explore the remains of early Maori settlements at the Otuataua Stonefields and follow the market trail to the top of Mangere Mountain.
 
You can also go surfing, fishing, horse rifding, blokarting or paragliding at the magnificent black-sand surf beach of Karioitahi.
 
In Hauraki Gulf & Islands, jump on a whale, enjoy a dolphin safari and head out to see these beautiful animals in their natural habitat.
 
The Matakana region will offers you idyllic, tranquil, white-sand beaches at Omaha, Tawharanui and Pakiri. While their beauty and accessibility make them popular summer holidays destinations, they never feel crowded.

 

Go back to the starting of my trip in New Zealand here:

Sera in New Zealand: Kerikeri, the Rainbow Falls and Manginangina Forest

Discovering Kerikeri

Where everything started


Kerikeri is the largest town in Northland New Zealand, a ‘must visit’ town full of charms, character and friendly locals with its central Northland location. Situated in the Bay of Islands, Kerikeri is a wonderful part of the world, a place of historical significance, where Maori met missionaries and history changed forever
Kerikeri is a popular tourist destination about three hours drive north of Auckland, and 80 km north of the northern region’s largest city, Whangarei. It is often called the Cradle of the Nation, being the site of the first permanent mission station in the country, and it has some of the most historic buildings in the country.
The village was established by New Zealand’s pioneering missionaries, who called it Gloucestertown, or Gloucester Town, but neither name endured. The Māori word Kerikeri was spelled and pronounced as Keddi Keddi or even Kiddee Kiddee, but the town’s name is today generally pronounced Kerry Kerry but with a rolled r by Māori.
In 1814 Samuel Marsden acquired land at Kerikeri from Hongi Hika for the use of the Church Missionary Society for a payment of forty-eight axes.The protector of the Kerikeri mission station was the chief, Ruatara, a nephew of Hongi Hika.





KERIKERI’S STORY

 
Kerikeri has been a part of the European history of New Zealand from the beginning. The first European to visit the area was Captain Cook, who named the region the Bay of Islands in 1769. Until the founding of Auckland and Wellington, the Bay of Islands was the centre of European activity in New Zealand.

 

Samuel Marsden, after meeting Te Pahi, the paramount chief of the Ngati Rehia of Kerikeri, who was one of the earliest Maori to start trading with the early Europeans, went back to the Church Missionnary Society in London and a decision was made to set up a mission in New Zealand.

 

Established in 1819, the Kerikeri Mission Station is one of New Zealand’s first places where Māori invited visitors to live among them. Built under the protection of local Māori chiefs who were keen to harness the trade and technology of Europe, Kerikeri Mission Station grew amidst a backdrop of tribal warfare and ever-increasing visits from foreign ships.






Located next door to Kemp House, the Stone Store is NZ’s oldest stone building. It was designed by Wesleyan missionary John Hobbs, and built by Australian convict William Parrott.















Kerikeri was also the first place in New Zealand where grape vines were plantedSamuel Marsden planted 100 vines on 25 September 1819 and noted in his journal that New Zealand promised to be very favourable to the vine. 

Kerikeri is also a gateway of choice to the Bay of Islands, which boasts 144 subtropical islands accessible from Paihia. With a warm sub-tropical climate there is something here for everyone with much to offer in outdoor activities, forests, coastal walks, championship all weather golf courses, lakes, waterfalls, maritime playground, beaches, fishing, diving, yachting. 
Source: Wikipedia and SeraTraveller
 

The Rainbow Falls

The Rainbow Falls, Māori name Waianiwaniwa, (Waters of the Rainbow), are a single-drop waterfall located on the Kerikeri River near Kerikeri in New Zealand.
Unlike most New Zealand waterfalls which are created by the erosion of soft rock, the Rainbow Falls are sited on a hard basalt layer of rock beside softer mudstone. The falls were formed when water eroded the mudstone. The 27 metres waterfall is popular with tourists and is regularly photographed from an adjoining Department of Conservation area.
 











 

The Manginangina Forest

This forest represent how the whole New Zealand was only 150 years ago, before the arrival of the firsts colons.
 


The Kauri forest

Inland from Kerikeri are the forest of the mighty Kaury, Puketi and Omahuta. Tese forests form one of the largest continuous tracks of native forest in Northland. The area is a treasure house for native plants and animals, and includes populations of kaka, kiwi and kokako. Puketi is also home to the largest living Kauri, which stands at a height of 50,9meters. The forest has a range of walking, tramping and camping opportunities.


 The circle I am sitting on is actually the diameter of a tree named Kauri, which was at this place





 

The Kauri is a conifer of great antiquity. Its ancestors arose during the Jurassic period – 150 million years ago- when dinosaurus roamed the earth.

The Kauri’s wood is very strong and was employed to build the towns.







 
Go back to the starting of my trip in New Zealand here

Sera in New Zealand: Matauri Bay’s Beach and Paihia

Matauri Bay

Matauri Bay is a bay in New Zealand, situated 30 km north of Kerikeri, in Whangaroa county, just north of the Bay of Islands. It has over a kilometre of beautiful white sand and crystal clear water. It is particularly popular in the summer when thousands flock there to stay in the local camping ground.

Some of the first Polynesian navigators to New Zealand landed at Matauri Bay. It was a site of early Maori contact with Europeans, such as with the missionary Samuel Marsden in 1814. Today Matauri Bay is popular with surfers, divers, fishers and those on holiday. The water is incredibly clear and fishing can be an extraordinary experience.

As for all the NZ coasts, the water is very beautiful but its temperature is very cold despite the warm  weather, and the beaches are never crowded.

 

 

 

A transparent, pure water like I have never seen before

 

 

 




 

Paihia

Paihia is the main tourist town in the Bay of Islands in the far north of the North Island of New Zealand. It is located close to the historic towns of Russell and Kerikeri, 60 kilometres north of Whangarei. Missionary Henry Williams named the mission station Marsden’s Vale and eventually « Paihia » became the accepted name of the settlement.

 

 

 

 

 

Paihia offers its own unique attractions. After having visited the Waitangi Treaty House, enjoy the beautiful waterfront, shop in the small town, or book an excursion trip and swim with the dolphins. Visit Urupukapuka Island ans many other islands, see the Hole in the Rock or take a ferry ride to the « Romantic Russell ».
Go back to the starting of my trip in New Zealand here

Sera in New Zealand: Celebrating the New Year on a sailing boat and… Meeting the Dolphins!!

Just arrived in New Zealand, I was offered the best gift ever: a two days cruise on the Sjostrom: a fabulous 30 mt sailing boat, to celebrate the New Year in a very special way: 14 people from different countries,  meeting together on the boat for a cruise on a paradise island in the archipelago at the North of New Zealand for a all night party!


The Sjöström




Italy, France, Nederland, Great Britain, Sweden, USA, Canada, New Zealand and Austria were represented and enjoyed a two days cruise at UruPukaPuka Island (North of New Zealand).

















An extra-luxe kitchen
The dining room



The Lounge bar


One bedroom with private toilets and shower




Another bedroom with private toilets and shower


Another bedroom with private toilets and shower


The shower








Captain Hans







 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 








 

 


 




 




 

THE PARTY







 

MEETING WITH THE DOLPHINS AT URUPUKAPUKA ISLAND!

This was probably one of the most beautiful moments of my life. Can you imagine how amazing is having a group of dolphins a few meters at hand … They were so happy to see us, they accompanied our journey… If the weather wouldn’t had been in « storm » mode, we could have stop stopped the boat, dive and swim with them

 




 

Go back to the starting of my trip in New Zealand here



Sera in New Zealand: A long journey

New Zealand is a fascinating country to visit. Landscapes, wildlife and tormented history create a unique blend that really make a nation apart.
Having seen this kind of video about New Zealand, I couldn’t wait to go to see it with my eyes!!! After a journey long up to 34 hours, I am ready to discover the other side of the earth: New Zealand!

First of all, let’s talk about the flight. I highly recommend to fly on a Airbus A380 which is, in my opinion, the most comfortable airplane ever for long journeys. To go in New Zealand, only two air companies use the A380: Emirates and Singapore Airlines. I have choosen to fly with Emirates.

 

 

 

 

The airplane is equipped in external cameras that offer to passengers to see the landing as they were with the Pilot.

 

 

 

 

My flight from Paris included three stops, the first in Dubai city. I love the United Arab Emirates for their ability to innovate, for the  organization, the beauty, the safety and the luxury everywhere. I discovered this country few years ago, as tourist. I was happy to see again Dubaï, the most cosmopolite city in the world.

Baby strollers at the Dubaï’s airport

 

Showers at the Dubaï’s Airport

 

Christmas Three at the Dubaï’s Airport

 

The biggest croissants ever seen, at the Dubaï’s airport

 

Airbus A380

 

 

Airbus A380

 

The second stop was in Melbourne, Australia. Here again, it was my second experience in Australia and in Melbourne.

Melbourne (Australia) Airport

 

 

 

I was finally arriving in New Zealand, but the journey was not finish, as I would had to take another flight to reach the North of the island.

Landing in Auckland, New Zealand

 

 

 

 

The airplane that took me to Kerikeri is the smallest I have never seen before: only 30 seats and 1 hostess! I wondered if she was also the pilot.

The duration of the flight from Auckland to Bay of Islands is 45 minutes.