We saved the Northland and Auckland regions of the north island for the end of our New Zealand adventure since our flight back home was out of Auckland Airport. Highlights of Northland include: Karekare falls, Piha beach’s “Lion Rock”, Waipoua Kauri Forest (the towering Kauri trees are a sight to behold), Koutu boulders (everyone flocks to the “Moeraki Boulders” on the south island but head to Koutu for a crowd free experience), Te Paki sand dunes, Cape Reinga Lighthouse, St Paul’s Rock in Whangaroa, Kerikeri’s waterfalls, quaint Russell, Kukutauwhao Island’s “lighthouse walkway” near Tutukaka, Whangarei Waterfall, Mangawhai Beach, and the Bohemian town of Puhoi.
Once we reached Auckland, we lucked out big time because our dear friends Goodie and MJ had coordinated a whole range of activities for us to do along with a fabulous free place to stay. Plus we got to hang out with them for a few more days before flying out of New Zealand so it was the perfect send off to an amazing adventure in what has quickly become one of our favorite countries on earth!
Returning our campervan back to Travellers Autobarn was a bittersweet moment as we had grown quite attached to our mobile home over these past 3 months. After finding out we now hold the record for the most kilometers driven in a campervan, we were shown photos of what the previous renter had done to our sweet ride (she refused to evacuate despite numerous flood warnings throughout the night and as a result, woke up the next morning to a flooded campervan in waist deep water). After a thorough repair job, we were the very next renters and we are happy to report that our compact campervan did the job perfectly. Two thumbs up for Travellers Autobarn! And two huge thumbs up for New Zealand!! Even though we spent a whopping 3 months driving 17173 km on both the south and the north island, there is still so much we want to see and do so we will be back. 100% Pure New Zealand – we are counting down the days until we return.