Peloris Bridge scenic reserve and Abel Tasman N.P.

Heading westwards through Havelock on route to Abel Tasman park we stopped off to stretch our legs along the river bank at the Peloris Bridge scenic reserve.

Then we carried on through Nelson

 and found a place to stay overnight with lovely views over the park. It was close to Canaan road which we needed to take the next day to visit Harwoods Hole. A vertical 176 meter Marble Shaft.


Arranged for our ferry trip to the South Island on the 25th so spent the night of the 24th and the next day exploring Wellington.
We parked in the Te Papa museum car park and visited the town.
We walked around the harbour area to the Parliament Building (The Bee hive ) and then climbed up the hill to the Botanical gardens and after a walk around the gardens took the Funicular back down to the town.

We spent the whole afternoon in the Te Papa Museum. This is a fantastic complex and we could have spent a whole week looking round the exhibits.


Southward car museum and Queen Elizabeth park.

Along the Kapiti coast to Paraparaumu to see the Southward car museum. It houses a Gangster Cadillac from the 20's and Marlene Dietrich's Limo amongst hundreds of other amazing vehicles. One of our favourite cars was a 1918 electric car by Rauch and Lang. We could have spent all day here just wandering, we were sorry to leave.

Further down the coast we popped into Queen Elizabeth park to see the Tramway museum which was closing just as we arrived. Instead we took a walk around the wetland areas and down to the sea.

We planned to go to a campsite at Porirua but after a quick look decided it was not for us, it looked like a gypsy encampment. Consulting our Sat Nav we found another conservation site at Battle Hill farm forest park. A Great site just inland from the Porirua harbour.


Castle Point

As we were around the centre of the island near Masterton we decided to drive over to Castle point to see the Lighthouse there. We parked up at the end of the beach and walked out over the sand to the rocky point keeping our eye on the tide so as not to get stranded. It was very windy but had some great views.

We then drove back over to the west coast going through Greytown.


Pukaha, Mt Bruce National wildlife centre.

Heading south on a very wet day, we stopped to visit Mt Bruce Wildlife centre home to a White Kiwi called Manukura as well as many other endangered indigenous species.
We saw many bird species, including the Kokako (a very friendly blue bird),



 and some vicious looking Eels.

Thee kiwi house was designed mimic night time hours during the day to enable day time viewing.

The centre was also a rescue and conservation facility collecting birds from dangerous areas throughout the country.

New Plymouth and Wanganui

Travelled down the mountain into New Plymouth and took a walk around the Pukekura Park.
This is an Arboretum style park with a Ginkgo Biloba tree planted in 1880

 as well as a two thousand year old Puriri tree.

There was a lovely lake with an outdoor Concert arena which had hosted many top stars.

Further down the coast we went past the Cape Egmont lighthouse and then on to Hawera to walk up its Water tower, which was famous because an Earthquake during construction left it leaning. 

We spent the night at Wangnui on the waters edge and took a stroll to visit the centre of the town which is lit by gas lamps.

Tangarakau Gorge, Damper Falls and Mt Taranaki

Carrying on further west towards New Plymouth we go past the Makatote Viaduct and then on to the "Forgotten World Highway"  this amazingly scenic road takes you through the Tangarakau Gorge deep in rainforest. Very little traffic on this route defines its description as it was an old mining route.
The weather was very nasty but probably appropriate for a rainforest.

Donning our wet weather gear we go on a walk to see Mt Damper Falls which were very damp although worth the walk.

We then continued westwards along many tight gravel roads and through tunnels toward Mt Taranaki.

We again were very lucky to have a spectacular view of this amazing mountain as the weather had completely cleared by the late afternoon.
Winding up the mountain the ski slopes and passing several possible stop overs we finally decided to cam up on the very top car park just below the snowline.
We had a beautiful sunset, a very cold night and an equally beautiful sunrise the next morning. The valley below was completely shrouded in cloud and looked like a feather Duvet.