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Vanlifers NZ - Tauranga to Wellington

One more time we felt like home at Marcela’s and Sergio’s house. It’s amazing how distance can turn friends in a family. They were like our family in New Zealand. It was hard to live the comfort of their house and the long conversations we used to have with them. It was so good to be there. But we had good plans for our time in New Zealand and in order to become a reality we needed to move on. Next stop, the first toilet we found as soon as our road trip started.

New Zealand has to much to offer: amazing scenarios, clean public spaces, safety, and the list goes on.

The main goal was to arrive in Wellington 1 day ahead this day. So, we needed to sleep in somewhere between Tauranga and Wellington and to visit places along the way. So, as we already knew the west and interior of the north island we decided to get to know Napier. Our first option was to sleep in Napier, that we wanted to know because everybody said good things about this place. We actually found a place that we possible to sleep for free in front of a beach. However, it was too windy and as we still had a bit of daylight we decided to keep driving. We passed by Woodville and found a cheap community camping site (NZ $5 a night per person), but the objective was to get to know Palmerston North and to sleep around there. The road between both cities is amazing, in the middle of mountains with a river passing by and with loads of wind turbine. The city is actually bigger than we thought and is forbidden to sleep in many public places. So, we decided to sleep in Woodville. The funny part about this camping was that in order to get the keys of the toilet and pay to stay there we needed to go to the gas station near by.

The schedule for today was to arrive in Wellington, at Jamie’s house, by 7 PM. So, we had time to drive to Cape Palliser, the south end of the north island of New Zealand, to check a lighthouse. The road is incredible! The place is around 1 hour far from any other town and most of the people who live there are fishermen. The road to get there is a lot different of the ones that we are used to, sometimes you need to share the road with a car coming from the other direction in the middle of a curve, that means that maybe you don’t know that another car is coming. Other time you need to cross a little waterfall by car. Sometimes it’s asfalt other is just mud road. To get to the lighthouse you need to go 251 steps up the stairs. It was really wind and hard to stay steady.

After that, it was time to visit one more group of friends, Jamie, Angela and their daughter Kora. Kora has grown a lot since August. Now she has more teeth, eat some real food (not just milk anymore) and she is really smart.

We slept in Jamie’s house, to be honest, on Kora’s bedroom. We were tired and we slept early that night.

Roberta