Monthly Archives: March 2012

Northland Roadtrip

Twenty-four of us divided across a minivan and three campervans roadtripped to the northern part of New Zealand’s North Island. The four-day, three-night trip took us from Paihia to Ahipara to Cape Reigna and finally back down to Pakiri Beach.
What I’ll never forget:
  • the old people who run campervan/camping parks. They charge you $10-$20 a head for some running water and a patch of grass. Then, they yell at you for being loud. I’m not sure why the government doesn’t just have a special spots for rowdy teenagers where they can keep a watchful eye on them?
  • hiking and watching people jump off a cliff next to a waterfall. Then being bombarded by rain and forced to slug through muddy terrain back to our car. By the end of the run back, it was all sunny again. Typical New Zealand.
  • Cape Reigna is the very tip of New Zealand, where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean. Maori legend has it that one body of water is female and the other one is male. You get the picture.
  • A 45-minute hike down from the lighthouse at the cape is arguably the best beach I have ever been to. Its seclusion means no one was around. The path into the water wasn’t terribly rocky, far or full of shells. The beach was surrounded by rocks and tide pools, which was perfect for spotting these purple crabs that liked to hide in the crevices.
  • When the clouds aren’t out and you’re sitting on the beach in pitch black, you have no idea how many stars you can see.

Do Buses In Auckland Arrive On Time?

Yes, Auckland’s regional public transportation system, known as MAXX, almost always arrives at a stop right at its scheduled time. I haven’t had to wait anymore than five minutes past the scheduled time. Even in the worst cases, MAXX stops in urban areas generally have an electronic signage board that lists estimated arrival times of the next few buses.

The buses are also amazing clean. They definitely do not smell as nasty as L.A. buses.