Wild Wild West

From Titirangi to Karekare, a family day out in Waitakere Ranges, NZ

West of Auckland stretch Waitakere Ranges, a wild regional park. We left Auckland suburbs driving up to Titirangi, a big village lost in the bush with a hippie artistic feeling.  It’s the last occasion to fill up your car with petrol, or buy a picnic before entering in Waitakere forest.

If you have the chance to go in Titirangi last Sunday of the month, don’t miss Titirangi Village Market, a marvelous place to find food & crafts stalls, mostly organic of course! It’s there that we had a crush for the fox engraving now watching our bedroom. When it’s sunny, many groups play and you’ll be able to support Titirangi Steiner school, at the origin of this market, savoring their delicious veggie nems.

Fox well installed in the car, we pursue our journey to Waitakere.

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Black sand

Piha Beach, in Waitakere Ranges, Auckland

Auckland region forms an isthmus; East side is Hauraki bay, so peaceful. Its many islands and beaches invite to relax under a pohutukawa shade.

Going on the Wild Wild West, West coast is offered to impressive waves and tempests of Tasman Sea. Hidden between cliffs, those deserted beaches are reknowed worldwide for surfing. Piha Beach is undoudtedly the nicest of them.

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Sittin’ on the dock of the bay

Travel diary of Auckland – Devonport

Already 5 weeks since we came back from New Zealand, as much as spent days there. But this trip was possible only thanks to a home exchange in Auckland. This wonderful human experience made it so special for us. We already travelled through New Zealand twice and this time wanted to experiment kiwi way of life, practice English, and continue to discover Auckland area, that widely deserve to stay longer.

We settled in Devonport – do you remember our small video about it ? We already knew a bit Devonport, a small town facing Auckland harbor. We immediately loved it, and I must admit it was hard to leave this charming place. It’s in an ancient wooden house typical of Devonport that we were hosted by the most adorable home exchanging family.

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From Totaranui to Awaroa

Walking on Abel Tasman coast track

Abel Tasman National Park, even though New Zealand smallest national park is one of the most famous. Countless golden sandy beaches succeed one another along Abel Tasman coast track, one of the most famous NZ walking tracks which follows the coast on 52 km. It’s possible to go across it in autonomy in 3 – 5 walking days or only make a portion with water taxi lift.

It’s also the most accessible NZ great walk, there isn’t any particular difficulties even for hiking beginner. DOC campings & huts are numerous and well equipped – at any moment it’s possible to be brought back by water taxi or combine this walk with paddling. It’s even possible to ensure camping equipment and backpack transport by boat while you tramp. But, victim of its success, Abel Tasman coast track is very visited in high season.

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Rich & golden

A couple of days in Golden Bay, New Zealand

Behind Takaka Hills is hiding a wild bay. Golden Bay is since long occupied by Maoris, who call it Mohua, ” the rich bay ” –  as hunt and fishing are good here. So, it’s a rich and golden bay, rather nice, isn’t it ? In 1642, Abel Tasman, first European to shore in New Zealand, found there a calm anchoring for his ship after sailing along south island inaccessible west coast.

But as soon anchored, his boat, the Hemmskerck, is attacked. Maori assault to protect their territory forces him to leave in emergency. It’ probably why no other European came back in Aotearoa before James Cook, in 1769 with his famous Endeavour boat.

Time peacefully passes in Golden Bay, now linked up with the rest of New Zealand by one only road crossing mountains. We discover a contrasting landscape, between pasture with Switzerland feeling, golden sandy beaches of Abel Tasman National Park, dunes and lagoons.

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