LOVE TO WANDER
We drove up Highway 1 today towards KeriKeri - a 3 and a half hour drive. Although this is the main road north, there is only one lane, so passing is difficult. Thankfully, it is a bank holiday today, so there is very little traffic. It makes you realise how far behind New Zealand is though - compare Highway 1 to the M1?!
We passed through Kawakawa, where the main point of interest was the Hundertwasser toilets, which had a grass roof, god balls, bottle glass windows and a living tree in the centre!
We arrived at Keri Keri just after 3 to a warm welcome from- Auntie Mo and the rest of the family in their beautiful Riverview development.
Lovely apartment style hotel - centrally located and withe a reasonable restaurant for breakfast/dinner. Very close to the car hire depots, which adds to the convenience.
It was a long flight - 24 hours in total. Emirates made it quite bearable though and the time passed soon enough, albeit with little sleep. Now, it is just a question of staying awake long enough to go to bed at a reasonable time before collecting the hire car tomorrow and setting off for the Bay of Islands.
We visited Sky Tower briefly the tallest free standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere it stands 328m high. www.skycityauckland.co.nz.
We decided not to climb it as it was very hot here today. New Zealand is experiencing a heat wave right now. It is up to 40 degrees in South Island and the news reports are full of heat casualties. Thankfully, it is supposed to be cooling down later in the week.
Today, we begin our discovery of New Zealand. We are exploring the North Island first and then moving onto the South Island before returning home to the UK via Australia (Sydney) and Dubai.
We are expecting a wide variety of landscape on the trip as the northern part of North Island is subtropical and volcanic whilst the Southern tip of South Island is sub Antarctic.
Once, although there were insects and birds here, there was only one species of mammal here - a small bat. Many of the birds were flightless as there was no exposure to predators.