NEW ZEALAND, THE NORTH ISLAND | weekend post cards

I'm back!

I plan on doing a few more specialized posts about New Zealand over the course of October (to try and not over-saturate my blog with travel content). Mostly because when I was doing research on things to do in the north island there was hardly anything because most travel to the south island. Bryon and I didn't go to the south island so I can't compare, but what I can say is that my trip was beyond beautiful.

We rented a van (an RV really) and clocked 1700km in 5 days! There was a lot of driving involved, but that's the best way to see this country. We for sure want to go back - especially to Pia (a lovely little surfer town (pictured above) that would be amazing in the summer. We left on Friday and landed in Auckland on Sunday (because you lose a day traveling with the time difference...but gain a day when you return) and then drove north right away to Paihia (pronounced Pie-Here) in Bay of Islands for a sailing excursion. This was my favourite part of the trip. Then we drove south and staryed in Warkwork..just a little north of save us some driving for the following day. Went to Hot Water Beach / Cathedral Cove for the night, and then to Rotorua, and from there to Waitomo for Black Water Rafting and THEN we stayed in beautiful Pia and ended our trip with two nights in Auckland. I would have rather spent one night in Auckland and two nights in Pia, however we had a wedding to attend on the Friday, which forced us to stay in Auckland.

I want to indulge in more details, but this is just an at-a-glance right now so you guys can see what I've been up to. I'm going to write a mini guide to the north island based on my trip soon, and of course I'll have a few videos as well. I just got back Sunday night so I'm actually so exhausted and I went back to work yesterday as well. I'm trying to kick my jet lag - and it 'aint easy my friends!

While I recover from my jet lag, take at look at some snapshots below! Also - I've just started repsonding to blog comments etc. I'm so sorry for the delay - I appreciate all your comments!

<3 Caitlin

Sailing in Paihia

Sailing in Paihia

Stingray Cove, Bay of Islands

Stingray Cove, Bay of Islands

Stingray Cove, Bay of Islands

Hot Water Beach

Hot Water Beach

Stingray Cove, Bay of Islands

scenic drives

Wairere Falls (Te Wairoa) accessed via The Buried Village

Trail to Cathedral Cove

Gemstone Bay

Rotorua, geothermal park (this is a small thermal lake - just getting a facial lol) #SpaDay

Scenic Drive - hills en enroute to Hot Water Beach

Blue Lake, Rotorua

Geyser at Te Pao, Rotorua

Haka at Te Poa (Great experience!!! Expensive, but worth it)

Pia - view from the top of the road above. The rock is called Lion's Rock and there is a trail that leads to the top of it

Pia - Bryon walking toward Lion's Rock


Coffee in Auckland

Ice cream from Giapo in Auckland (UNREAL)

Britomart - great spot in Auckland for casual drinks and dinner

Seagul in Viaduct Harbour (great spot for to-be-seen-at restaurants. All of them were very upscale and classy. We ate at Oyster and Chop one night)

Bristomart lights

Queen's Wharf

The Bristomart Country Club

Viaduct Harbour sailboats