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|Touring and Sailing in New Zealand 2010 - Introduction|
The writing-up of the 2010 NZ holiday nearly failed to come to pass and was completed in December. We came out to New Zealand on the Cunard Liner the Queen Mary 2 which took us 53 days and we had seen so many new places and had spent so long writing it all up that we did little more than take pictures after we arrived. Finally we decided that we should at least put up some of our pictures and write up a couple of new places. This is a complete contrast to previous years where we have tried to make the 'travelogues' completely self contained to the extent of duplicating material from previous years. So this is not the best series of pages for a newcomer to the site looking for ideas on a holiday in New Zealand but more for our own continuity.
We had 37 days in New Zealand which broke down into two main parts. Time in the Auckland area with Ralph and Chris then on Waiheke Island with Jenny, Kev, Kerri and Jaz before sailing Kev's beautiful Trimaran Shanti which we took out to Great Barrier Island with Kev, his first visit to Great Barrier. We then crossed back from Great Barrier to Tutukaka, where we met up with David Bott who has a similar Piver Lodestar Trimaran and was on his way down from the Bay of Island to the Hauraki Gulf and then on up the coast via Wangamumu and the old whaling station to the Bay of Islands where we stocked up at Russell before returning back down the coast, again stopping at Tutukaka then Kawau and back to base on Waiheke. We were lucky on the weather most of the way and had three days where we covered more than 55 Nmiles.
The second part of the holiday was touring - a rapid journey round many familiar places in North Island. Our Campervan came from Rental Car Village as usual,we have been using them for twelve years. We did not have our usual Thrifty or Economy Campervan - instead we tried their new Micro Campervan. The Micro Campervan is an estate car modified to sleep two people using a shower proof rear tent which fits over the rear door providing standing room, storage whilst in sleeping mode and space to change clothes etc. You would normally sleep inside the camper van with the rear door up and tent attached. The intention is that one cooks meals beside the vehicle using the foldable picnic table, folding chairs, single ring cooker, and cutlery set. There was the usual a water bottle, light, and a power connection to attached when staying in a camping ground provided. It is a great (and very economical) idea for the backpacker class of visitor who is coming with only a couple of rucksacks or cases of 20kgs and it keeps the options open for all types of camping along with the odd cabin or motel in big towns where you really want to be central. We have a large tent so we used it more as an estate van but with all the other facilities available if required. We had to be quite selective with packing for the microcamper - after twelve years we have built up a lot of kit including a portable BBQ and lots of fishing gear which we keep in New Zealand - even then it was very full.
These travelogues are usually written as we go. They started as a regular series of lighthearted Emails sent out as "News from The Antipodes" where the text was written on a palmtop and copied into emails with little polishing and only a superficial spell check. Now we have two MSI Wind U100 Netbooks running Linux for security on the move. One of the reasons we were late starting our write-up in New Zealand was that Pauline is still continuing with her Open University teaching and had been asked to take a double size load as another tutor had been forced to drop out at the last minute. This gave her a lot to do as she had a double batch of Tutor Marked Assignments due as we landed from the Queen Mary in New Zealand.
We keep taking pictures as we go and select the best at the time into 'print' and 'web' folders - they are mainly from our Canon A720 IS cameras - we now have two. We also try to reuse the best previous pictures from film and stills from Peter's Sony digital video camera (MiniDV Tape). This year we also took a simple Vivitar waterproof video using an SD card, bought with snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef in mind.
All the pictures on this and the following pages provide details of where they were taken if you hover the cursor over them and they can all be clicked to open a larger version in an Overlay (Lightbox style) or Popup Window. The image display options can be changed using the settings links at the bottom right corner of every page which includes pictures. The 'Spanner' icon or the following link takes one to a page covering the Image Display Options in more detail including bandwidth reduction options.
After each visit we also try to extract more from the chronological organisation and consolidate the content into specific pages. Some background pages which may be of interest are: