Last weekend, I went on a fun road trip with my friends from YOYO group (You Only Young Once), where all of us are on a Working Holiday Visa. Monday happen to be a public holiday – Auckland Day, so there is no work for everyone. Our journey starts on Sunday morning and ended on Monday late evening.
Getting Around in New Zealand
It is advice to either rent a car or have your own car if you wish to explore New Zealand. It is much more convenience and you can always invite few friends to join in the road trip together so you could share the petrol cost and also food.
Our accommodation during our road trip are FREE. We camp at the campsite near Urquharts Bay. We have a tent that sleeps maximum of 3 adults and some of us are sleeping in the car.
Mermaid pool which is near Rangitapu Pa, north of Matapouri Bay. Our first stop on Sunday morning. The journey from Auckland is around 213KM (roughly 3 hours), and we reach there around near noon.
Mermaid pool is beautiful and breathtaking, but it is also consider one of the dangerous place to go. It is only recommend to go at low tide and also at your own risk. Many people went there for a cliff (not so high) jump so experience the thrill. Of course, there are some spot at mermaid pool are not deep, so you can enjoy soaking yourself inside the cold pool under the hot sunny weather.
Getting to Mermaid Pool needs a little effort of hiking up some rocky, slippery pathway but when you reach the destination, is jaw drop moment.
Is best recommend not to bring too much stuffs with you as the climbs will need both of your hand. We bought our lunch (sandwiches) there and is pretty awesome.
Located in Whangarei Scenic Reserve. The classic curtain waterfall is part of the Hatea River and one of the most popular swimming spot in the area. Easy access and a well-maintained Scenic Reserve make this waterfall one of New Zealand Must See Waterfalls.
It is easy walking path over to the falls that do not require any hiking or trekking. You can bring your lunch or cook your lunch there. There have some tables for you to relax your day.
This is the place where we call a night off. Our lovely camp area having a very relaxing sea view and weather. Also not forgetting the beautiful milky way at night.
There is a clean public toilet at the campsite and also a water refill station so it is definitely a great place to call a night.
We do not have campfire at the place, so we build our own paradise with touch-light. We cooked our dinner and also not forgetting chips and beers to keep us company.
Is just located 15 – 20 mins walk away by foot from our campsite. It is recommended to go for that little hike / trek, whatever you want to call it.
Just beware of a lot of cow poops. Ha-Ha.
About 10-15 min drive from Urquharts Bay. Probably the most tiring journey of the trip for ME, but is a great experience (Because is my first time to do a hiking for long hours). The hiking journey to the submit takes for about 2 hours – 3 hours (return). It all depends on your own speed and time you going to spend inside.
Bring enough of water , energy bar and your lunch. Trust me, once you are up there, you won’t feel like coming down that soon but to enjoy the breathtaking view. Make sure you have a good walking shoe or hiking shoe.
The trekking level are easy, is just there are a lot of up hills and stairs that drain your energy. I can do it, so do you! Don’t miss it!
When you are passing the first wooden bridge (about 40 mins from starting point), there is actually a small de-tour road (30 seconds), make sure you take it, and you can see a magnificent 180 degree view. From there, you will know, you are already halfway to the submit. So don’t give up!
When you reach, you can choose to continue on the really top of the submit or just stay. It all depends on yourself and no forcing. Because if there is no guidance from experience climber, it is best advice not to go for it as you need a little of rock climb around the cliff. We are lucky that one of our friend is an experienced rock climber, so we manage to climb over with his help. Of course not all of us went to the very top of the summit to view the 360 view as we are lack of confident to go up high so only 3 of us (excluding me of course) went all the way up with no fear. BRAVO!
A big shout out to Nat to overcome his height fear!!
A glowworm cave. Yes, everyone heard about Waitomo Cave but Waitomo incurred an expensive entrance fee while Whaipu Cave doesn’t. Yes. You are right. It is possible to see glowworm without paying any single cents and Waitomo is over-rated as tourism.
Is good if you wear a short pants and a slipper to Whaipu Cave as you will get wet. You need to crawl and put your feet into the cold water (not deep, don’t worry). Remember to have a touch-light with you too as it is really really dark inside the cave.
When there is lessor people, is time you off your touch-light and see for yourself for the beautiful galaxy inside the cave.
Finally I have to do a shout out to Nat (you can follow him here: Follow him on FB ) who had planned all this journey and prepare all the food. He is one of my favourite backpacker and a vlog/blogger. So don’t miss him out as he will continue on to share you a lot of amazing journey in New Zealand and around the whole world.
We also are grateful to have photographers in our groups that help us to get really nice photos. Credit to: