The Wasabiies

Road Trip in Northland New Zealand

IMG_7535Last 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

IMG_7420Mermaid 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.

16491259_10154774612905090_1092697432_oGetting 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.

Whangarei Falls

File_001Located 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.

Urquharts Bay

16265207_394100427597631_3381227008019484606_nThis 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.

IMG_7447We 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.

Smugglers Bay

16473372_395502544124086_6655042386196422963_nIs 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.

IMG_7461Just beware of a lot of cow poops. Ha-Ha.

Mount Manaia

IMG_7486About 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.

16402684_393554417652232_5741324033243835128_oBring 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.

IMG_7482The 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!

IMG_1383When 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!

IMG_7515When 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!!


Whaipu Cave

16472822_395603354114005_483888573066547484_nA 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.

16473957_1552288188122357_8849321313206946473_nIs 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.

16406949_1552288098122366_2820078868113660055_nWhen there is lessor people, is time you off your touch-light and see for yourself for the beautiful galaxy inside the cave.

Final Credit

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:


Beh Beh


Fong Chun Hui



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