Our mini holiday to New Zealand's beautiful North Island was thanks to Kelly & Deans killer wedding which I had the privilege to shoot in Puketapu. Check out their wedding post here!
We began our third trip to this beautiful Country in Auckland. We explored the town the first day, plus lapping up the luxuries of the hotel we stayed at while we could as we were picking up our Britz campervan the following day.
On the first day we decided to power through to Taupo, as picking up our van this time took a lot longer than last time, Auckland Britz was so much more busy than Christchurch. So we've taken notes to leave extra time for next time ha. We then headed to the nearest Countdown (Woollies) for some food as it was well past lunch and we were so hungry so we stocked up on snacks and headed for a lunch spot.
Our first stop was Huka Falls. Such a cool place to see the beautiful blue flowing water. It was a great spot for lunch too. Right by Huka Falls was Creators of the Moon - a geothermal walkway through craters and steaming vents. We stopped in there to check it all out. Once we finally arrived to Taupo, the road that was to take us to Puketapu for the wedding was closed due to flooding. There was a warning stating it may re-open in 3 hours, or we could take the scenic route around the mountains adding an additional 2.5 hours to our already 1.5 hour drive on the original road. We thought 'Oh well, we may as well take the scenic route and see a bit more of this place', so we headed off on our 4 hour journey.
After arriving in Puketapu we met with Kelly & Dean (the first time besides Skype). We went through the wedding plans and got to know each other better. It was awesome spending time with them and their families.
The following day was the Wedding, where Bryce drove me to each different location in the morning in the campervan haha (very professional) before he settled in at our caravan park while I partied on with Kelly & Dean and finished shooting their amazing wedding.
After all the buzz and hype from the wedding, the next day we headed to to relax and camp the night by a waterfall at Kaiate Scenic Reserve. It was a great place to camp for the night where we could also enjoy a short hike to the natural pool at the bottom. A lot of stairs but it was worth it to see this.
The next day we came across Waiotapu Stream Hot Springs which was a natural hot spring. We made friends with some locals and shared their hãngi. While in the stream we chatted to a few people, we met some aussies, some new zealanders on holiday themselves and some just there to cool off after a long day at work. It was awesome meeting and sharing the whole experience with them. Our aussie friends ended up heading to the local bottle shop and came back with beers for us to enjoy together in the van. This day was an experience we wont ever forget.
Making our way to Rotorua the next day so hubby could show me all the tracks he'd ridden on his bike and be my little Rotor tour guide for the day, through the Redwoods, up the Gondola and pointing out the best coffee places in town. Once you got past the sulpher smell it was great!
Before we had to head home we had one more day to explore so we went to Owharoa Falls where Bryce swam out to the waterfall while I umm..supervised? Haha, it was way too cold for me to brave those waters. Then after Bryce thawed out we headed to the Hauraki Rail Tunnel for one last little hike before making our way back to Aus.