We join Sarah Harrison and her little tribe once again, this time through New Zealand’s Northland. From walking the pristine shores of the Tutukaka Coast to feasting on freshly shucked oysters in Bay of Islands, we follow her family's picturesque journey. Here are a few snapshots from her trip, with some travel tips to accompany.
Photography and words by Sarah Harrison of Our Young Hearts.
The best thing about travel in New Zealand is that as soon as you hit the road your adventure begins. The roads in New Zealand are like no other – time seems to slow down and even if you know where you are going, you cannot even begin to imagine what you will see along the way. The roads very much become a part of the story and connect you to the land.
On a recent school holiday adventure, my husband and I packed up our tribe and flew north to Auckland where we picked up a big motorhome for a five-day, quintessential kiwi road trip, northbound.
Over the next couple of days we discovered the incredibly lush Tutukaka Coast. We camped at Sandy Bay just north of Matapouri Bay. We witnessed the most incredible sunrises followed by ocean swims in crystal clear waters on pristine white sandy beaches. We ventured out on a few coastal bushwalks through to Whale Bay and over a steep cliff to the mermaid rock pools. Although we didn’t see any mermaids we felt pretty magical having the whole place to ourselves.
Further north, we passed through the Bay of Islands, an enclave of more than 140 subtropical islands. We were lucky enough to buy some fresh oysters from a local fisherman on the side of the road. The Bay of Islands is a fisherman’s heaven and a seafood lover’s dream. We got as far north as Taupo Bay, paddle-boarding and surfing against lush green cliff faces drenched in native bush.
Our trip ended at Mangonui, where we ate fresh seafood – a pot of mussels and seafood chowder – at the famous Mangonui Fish and Chip Shop.
Just before returning our campervan we turned west and visited the rugged beaches of Piha and KareKare, just 45 minutes out of Auckland. With their black sand and rocky beaches we felt a million miles away from where we had just been – but isn’t that just the beauty of travelling in a small country with roads that will take you anywhere?