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No Exit Road: Kaiwaka Road (30km north of Napier)
After having admired Australasia's highest viaduct over the Mohaka River, passed Lakes Tutira and Waikapiro on the way south from the East Cape we got a little frustrated, as we could not stop along the spectacular winding road south of Tutira to photograph the fantastic landscape (this was before the digital age where you just shoot from the driving car!) which looked like the Grand Canyon in green. So we were looking where we could find a way to stop for views, and just turned right into a farm road, named Kaiwaka Road, a no exit gravel road, about 30kms north of Napier.+
It did not disappoint us. Not only the landscape was fantastic (although not as Grand Canyon like as the one before) but we also saw a lot of sheep. I admit, sometimes we stopped in a curve for a photo - but as there was no one apart from us and all those sheep it did not really matter. (And at least we kept an eye on probable traffic...) We remember this hour-long drive dearly.Related to:
- Road Trip
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After our road trip round the North Island we spent some relaxing days at Matarangi Beach on Coromandel peninsula. Matarangi offers more than 4 kilometers of beautiful white sandy beach were you can swim or simply lay down reading a book.
If you want more activity you can go fishing, diving, hiking, sailing, water-skiing or play golf in a beautifully located course.
Matarangi is a luxury retreat with holiday-homes of wealthier New Zealanders. As far as I know there are no hotels or motels. But they have some rental homes. We stayed at the Matarangi Beach Chalets.Related to:
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Wairere Falls, Matamata
We never would have seen this waterfall, if I hadn't known VT-member kiwi. Pam, who lives in Matamata, guided us to this attraction which isn't mentioned in all the travelguides I've read about New Zealand. And it turned out to be one of the most impressive things we saw during this vacation.
The water of a normally small river drops over the egde of the Kaimai Range building the highest waterfall of the North Island. When we visited it it had rained a lot over the previous days and the amount of water coming down had increased dramatically.
It wasn't easy to go up to the falls, because we had to follow a small track along the river bed that had been flooded at several places. But the efforts were well worth it. Even Pam, who lives nearby, had never seen the falls with that much water.
see Pams 'off the beaten path tip' about the falls. As a local she can describe the way much butter than I can recall it.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
- Jungle and Rain Forest
On its way from Tongariro National Park to Wanganui highway #4 follows the very scenic valley of the Mangawhero River. About 27 kilometers behind the small village Raetihi you should look out for the Raukawa Falls.
The falls are located next to the road. From a lookout at the highway you have a splendid view over a green gorge where the river falls 35 meters into a basin surrounded by forest.
A small path leads down to the falls (about 5 minutes) but if it's rainy it's a dangerous walk.
House in Taihape
This little house in its fantastic colours was originally a railway workers house. Taihape is in the middle of the North Island and a junction stop for the trains which travelled from Auckland to Wellington.
Out of the way places
There are many small country towns and out of the way places to see in New Zealand. Its worth visiting some to get a taste of local life
This turn -of -the -century cottage is in Norsewood near Dannevirke Southen Hawkes BayRelated to:
North Island Hotels
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