Katai to Kauri Coast to Orewa, New Zealand

Our drive to Cape Reinga was followed by four days of rain and wind and we adjusted our plans accordingly.  As I write this several days later, the motor home is rocking from high winds again along with a downpour : >(  After leaving Cape Reinga we stayed one night in Katai at a small motel that had a few camping spots in the back and the next morning took off for a rain forest on the west coast.

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The shortest distance from Kaitai to the Kauri Coast and Waipoua Forest required a ferry ride across Hokianga Harbour.  Evidently this route is not very popular as the ferry goes once an hour and in that hour only 8 vehicles showed up to take the ferry with us.  Our route took us up and over the mountains in the distance.

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 There is a little store and visitor center in Omapere at the mouth of the harbour. The guy in the small motor boat was having some fun in the rough water spinning his boat around.  The bad weather doesn’t stop the kiwi’s from having fun or else they would be sitting inside most of the time.  Many go barefooted, even older people, no matter the weather.  Lawn bowling is popular here and the people are out in every kind of weather.

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There are a lot of Apollo RV rentals on the road and this one probably does not have a bathroom. I should mention that we see many more young people from all over the world in motor homes than we do oldsters.

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 This mural that tells some early history with many scenes and stretching for 100 feet is worth seeing next to the visitor center

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Kauri Forest and a rare bit of sun between squalls.

Kauri 31We are taking this walkway to see a 1500 year old Kauri tree named Tane Mahuta (Lord of the Forest).

Kauri 36It is not possible to get a picture of the whole tree at once but I can say it was a shock to see it compared to all the other smaller trees in the forest. There was a German tour bus stopped here and the Maori tour guide (dark hair) sang a beautiful song to the tree. We were so lucky to stop here at the same time.

DSC 6185After spending a night in Dargaville at another small motel/camground with hardly any sleep because the wind and rain was so strong all night, we decided it was time for a two day break and set our sights on Orewa. Orewa is about 15 miles north of Auckland on a loop road around a toll portion of Highway One that we avoided having to pay.  At first glance Steve said if he worked in Auckland that he would live in Orewa.

P1020141We stayed at a Top 10 Campground with a beach front site.

P1020150Jucy has a good reputation and we would have rented from them but their website only showed various small campers such as this one. However, we have seen a few new ones very similar to ours on the road. They also rent cars where you can sleep in the back.

There were many permanent trailers in the campground – probably Auckland weekenders.  One person at another campground told us that school would be out soon and then the campgrounds will be very crowded.  We haven’t seen any children and so far the places we have stayed in are less than 1/2 full.

You might be interested to know what we are preparing for our meals in the motor home. Since we are only here for two weeks we naturally did not want to stock up too much.  While in Australia we discovered the most delicious soups I have ever had that are made in Thailand and come in pouches.  This concoction is our lunch and dinner every single day except for two when we had lunch out:


The internet has recipes for these soups.

P1020138When we can’t find these mixtures, we use brown rice that also comes in pouches.

I cook about a cup of frozen vegetables on the stove but would use a microwave if we had one. Drain the water off. Add a pouch of soup and 1/2 pouch of rice. Heat, top with optional cubed avocado, and eat. Delish, easy, cheap and nutritious.  It is a pain to wash lettuce in an RV and takes too much water so we have salads made from cut up tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and a tiny bit of dressing.

When I lived in Germany, I bought 1 liter cartons of thin vanilla pudding which I have missed.  It is available here and so we just cut up a kiwi or strawberries or mandarin and add some pudding for our dessert.

Breakfast is instant coffee (the only yuk) and muesli mixed with yogurt.  Every other day we have eggs with the muesli.  Our pantry (actually the top of the refrigerator) is pretty sparse but we eat well and  are saving the lives of a few animals.

We easily ate these exact same meals while traveling around Australia last month by car.  By having a small collapsible canvas insulated cooler and a freezer pack along with some little square plastic containers with lids, we could carry along leftovers and whatever frozen veggies and yogurt we might have.  Every room has a refrigerator and if they don’t have a microwave there is a community kitchen to prepare food.


    • Yes, very beautiful. The New Zealanders are lucky to be from such a nice country. As far as Maori, the GPS voice does much better than I. Interesting that the name places have not been Europeanized which shows a lot of respect for the Maiors.


  1. Very cool seeing the soup packets- love your recipe! Gorgeous pics, as usual. Interesting about going barefoot. Is it their rainy season, or is this unusual weather for NZ? Thanks for sharing!


  2. Wow, looks like you are having a great time. Wish we were there also to travel around. We are heading for the east coast of Mexico again. Hope to be there by the first of Dec. Love the pics you are posting.


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