New Zealand
Whangaparaoa

Here you’ll find travel reports about Whangaparaoa. Discover travel destinations in New Zealand of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

7 travelers at this place:

  • Day45

    Birthday celebrations in Auckland

    October 30, 2016 in New Zealand

    Returned to the Spratt household this weekend and had a lovely time celebrating Rebecca's birthday on Saturday. Crazy how the years fly by... we had fun looking at a couple of photos of us when we met all those years ago in South Cave! Might not have seen each other in years but it doesn't matter 😁

    Went for a great lunch of Mediterranean food, has some drinks in the sun back home and then headed out with Becks and her friends where we got rather merry! Great night and met some lovely new people... mad... but lovely! 😁

    Today we had a chilled out morning, went to the beach in the afternoon where Rob tried paddle boarding (he was annoyingly good at it) and the headed back to the house where we helped out cooking a huge roast dinner and a delicious chocolate and pear pudding!

    Great weekend all in all!
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  • Day19

    Death Road with Barracuda Biking

    October 4, 2016 in New Zealand

    Getting up at 6 in the morning after the long day and night yesterday was not fun. Nine of us wanted to get uo and it was especially difficult trying to creeo around and not wake anyone else.
    We left to head to the meeting point which was a restaurant which did breakfast and was looking forward to food. We ended up ordering a great breakfast of eggs and bacon with tomatoes and bread and the bacon and eggs were delicious. So tasty! Perfect start for a day of biking.

    The guides eventually arrived and we were ushered onto a small bus with a ton of bikes on the roof. They looked really good so we figured the review reading we had done had paid off. Except for one white bike which didn't look great, we hoped none of us had the shirt straw with that one.

    The journey took us through La Paz and then uo into the mountains. We met our guides, Jubert (or Jubee for short - and weirdly for Spanish he pronounced it with an actual J, not an H) and

    Jubee did most of the talking and was a really good laugh, made us all feel at ease and reminded us it was not a competition and to just take our time.
    We put in some tunes and listened to music the rest of the way to the too, looking out the windows at the volcanic sandy mountains and the clouds that crept around them. We got higher and higher and thankfully anxiety did not rear it's ugly head. I knew we were going the highest yet but for some reason felt OK this time. Eventually we reached a point where we stopped. It was 4700m and from here we would begin our descent to 1200m, a journey from cold, rocky mountains to lush and warm Jungle.

    We had been given out kit on the bus and now had to get off and step into the cold to putnit all on. I was so glad to have brought many layers and my thin gloves as I felt quite toasty once I had this on with their overalls and helmet. The buff scarf came in very useful indeed and my eyes were the only thing visible once we set off.

    We were soon given our bikes, each set up to our height and with the brakes matched to our country, and we had a ride around on the gravel getting used to them. We were all given some advice and instructions and told what to expect and then we were told we had to do a blessing. It is a tradition that has apparently gone on for years and drivers and bikers alike will usually participate to keep safe. Basically we were given a bottle of 97% alcohol and told to pour some on the right of our bike on the ground, onto the tyre of the bike and then take a small sip. It tasted gross, and I barely had it touch my tongue. So so bad. They took photos of our faces after trying it (some definitely gulped more than others, they were the ones with twisted faces) for us to laugh at afterwards. After making our journey a little more dangerous with alcohol :/ (maybe that is why people die!?) we headed off down the Tarmac section of road where we could get used to the bikes and how to lean and turn correctly. We were riding above and through the clouds which was stunning and every now and then you found yourself crouching down and speeding past a slow moving truck. I saw an eagle or condor, absolutely huge, take off from the side and into the clouds which was incredible. It just disappeared into the silvery fog. The feeling when speeding past the trucks was awesome, but the cold... Wow. It was freezing and after stopping half way down this section we were all huffing and puffing on our hands to get some feeling back.

    We carried on down shortly after and then came to a stop by a tunnel. We went around the tunnel on some rocky terrain which was a bit of a mini test to see if would be OK on Death Road. Me and Rob took a bit of a stupid route and ended up going over the bumpiest parts and through all the puddles. We finished up covered in quite a bit more mud than anyone else but I was glad to have felt quite secure. Having never mountain biked before it was still going to take more convincing that the bike could make it over the bumps OK, but so far so good.

    We got back on the bus and continued along up a hill before finally reaching the beginning of the Death Road.

    There was a sign to warn you and the ground was definitely not smooth. Green forest clung all around to the walls of the mountains which dripped off edge of the road, in some places vertically. We set off after some more instructions about which side of the road to ride on (the left....the side closest to the sheer drop!! 😱 whaaaat!?) and just hoped we wouldn't come across any cars, especially on the corners.

    I soon got added to the bike and the terrain but still wasn't so keen on picking up crazy amounts of speed and so Rob and Richard gradually disappeared into the distance. We all met up at the next stop where an old town existed. It used to be a stop for cars on the road but since the highway has opened it is a bit of a ghost town. We took some photos of the stunning backdrop, the clouds still lingering through the trees and I was lucky enough to see some giant bird of prey swoop over our heads and glide into the distance which was awesome. You really get the feeling up here of it being quite desolate and wild, despite all the people around you on bikes.

    We set off down the next track and were told there were more corners here and to be careful. One of the worst corners was here in terms of car accidents and there was a large cross that marked the spot of one of the worst disasters where over 300 people died. We took it slow (or at least I did) and wound our way down the next few thousand km. By this point I was getting pretty bad pains in my hands and arms from all the vibrations. Looking back it was probably because I was basically always holding the brakes and so my hands were quite tense, but it was becoming very uncomfortable,. Rob came and chilled near the back with me for a bit, I almost fell into the wall trying to stop at one point (I don't think mountain biking is for me) and I also rode under a waterfall which apparently we had been told not to as it can put people off and they skid (fortunately I didn't, I was probably going too slow lol - got a good photo of it though!).

    Along this first stint we also came across the sheer cliff that is famous for photos and we all gatherered to sit along the edge. The drop below was just straight down and so we didn't lean too far forward. Really awesome picture and great to be able to stop and take in the breath taking views.

    The next leg would be the last of the first section. This was when I started to get frustrated by one of the Italians riding with us. He kept on darting past to my left, where there was barely a gap, and making me jump out of my skin. Over and over he did this, no shouting to let me know he was "passing left" like we were supposed to, and each time he got past me he would stop and wait for his girlfriend at the back and then do it all over again. Not fun when someone does this to you and you are already terrified 😣😡😠 stupid man. Even Rob noticed it and was getting annoyed.

    At the next stop we were aware that rain was coming, you could see it and hear the rumbling in the distance. We were told we could have the planned snacks and brave the rain sat still or we could carry on and try to outrun it. The vote was to outrun. I however chose to spend the second leg on the bus, my hands hurt so much that I couldn't safely rely on being able to press the brakes and so so I figured that wasn't very safe. Very annoying as it looked like an awesome bit of road and half and half way down it seemed a lot less bumpy. Also on a bike you can avoid being right by the edge, you can't on a bus 🤔 I think it was scarier on the bus than off it! I did get to appreciate the view more though as my eyes werent permanently fixed to the road ahead. I took the opportunity to capture some photos on the good camera.

    Eventually I caught up with the rest of the gang who had come to a stop under a shelter for some lunch. We were greeted by chickens and a young girl who liked to climb trees and ask if we wanted some home made honey. We were told they sell juice in the right season which might have gone down better. We had some nice sandwiches and a drink and enjoyed the break and chance to take more photos. We were two thirds of the way down now and the view had opened up alot more so that you could see the river and jungle at the bottom making its way through the valley.
    Rob and Rich were caked in mud as the rain had outrun them despite their efforts and Rob had managed to get Grit in his eye half way down and Rich had had chain problems, although Jubee fixed it on the promise of free beer if it broke again (it didn't).

    For the last leg the road was a little easier and again Rob came and rode with me for a bit. The rest had made everyone's hands and forearms ache so it was a bit of a painful ride for everyone. We got to ride through another stream but unfortunately we all had to stop alongside another group of cyclists whisky we waited for some cars to get through which meant we were all going a lot slower than we wanted to through the water. Bit of a shame as at speed the photos would have been awesome.

    It was a fun ride to the bottom though and with a more open road and less of a drop I gathered a bit more speed, I actually thought I was going quite fast but Rob informed me it was still slow 😥😖😔
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  • Day26

    With the Ferry to Auckland

    March 27, 2017 in New Zealand

    Wir wohnen etwas nördlich und außerhalb von Auckland und deshalb haben wir nicht das Auto und auch nicht den Bus und schon gar nicht die Bahn genommen um nach Auckland zu kommen!Wir sind stilecht über den Pazifik mit einer Fähre in der "City of Sails" angekommen!Super!Noch geiler wäre es wenn wir die Fähre jeden Morgen zur Arbeit nehmen könnten,wie so einige Kiwi's hier an Bord!

  • Day23

    Dicke Berta auf Vordermann bringen!

    November 8 in New Zealand

    Heute haben wir die meiste Zeit damit verbracht Sachen platzsparend im Auto zu verstauen, mit Kisten, Hacken usw.
    Mittlerweile ist es schon sehr gemütlich :)

  • Day85

    Beautiful day

    December 20, 2016 in New Zealand

    Today was a very very great day! We went to Whangaparaora to wash our clothes and to take a swim in the ocean. We explored Whangaparaora a little bit and found nice little bays, amazing houses and great nature. Before we got our clothes from the laundry, we went to a Turkish restaurant and ate a delicious kebab. Not a german one, but a good one. The Turkish waiter told us that his grandmother used to speak german to him when he was a child and he told us proudly 'Lederhut' and with it that he doesn't remember really much. But it made our day!

    For dinner we had lovely teriyaki chicken from the sushi shop. They are knowing us know, cause we are there mostly every day and they start calling Tim "half half guy". Because you can get half half sushi and that's what he is ordering the most😂
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