Vlog by Ludivine: see below
Before going to New Plymouth, we decide to spend the morning in the camping. We are nearly the only ones (as usual, during the day, all the campers are gone).
Kids do one homeschooling session while I work on the reshuffling of the trip. I indeed realized yesterday evening that there was no single accommodation available in Kaikoura (on the northwestern part of the South Island) during the 4 days where we are planning to stay. It’s a major setback.
We leave around 1pm.
We eat on the way, in Taumarunui, at ‘Mr. Pizza’… The names says it all… No comment on the quality of the pizzas…
We take the Forgotten World Highway, the remote 155 km road between Taumarunui and Stratford. The drive winds through hilly bush country, passing abandoned coal mines. Just a short section (12 km) is unsealed road. It’s nice but long (4h), with an average speed of 40 km/h. The weather is not great.
We arrive around 8pm in New Plymouth. Isabelle goes to Countdown while I go and register at the camping site.
Nice spot; very good amenities. I leave the kids there to take their shower and I go and pick up Isabelle.
We eat a salad. I prepare the sandwiches for tomorrow picnic. We indeed decided, despite the weather, to do the Pouakai Crossing, an arduous 8-hour walk (19 km). I booked the shuttles for tomorrow, on the road, with Taranaki Mountain Shuttle (very efficiently through Facebook Messenger).
I work till 1am, trying to find a solution for the itinerary on the South Island…