Triumph Landscapes Around the World
Dina Nicolaides

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Dina Nicolaides

Triumph Landscapes Around New Zealand

Visit the land of the long white cloud. My husband and I live in Auckland we started riding motorbikes & discovering the roads less traveled 12 years ago.The true NZ experience is about Natural Landscapes, Pristine beaches, Spectacular Mountains/ River and of course the Coffee stops,

North Island Roads Less Travelled

Quaint coffee stops, Eat n Play

Image - Ringawera Cafe
Place
Ringawera Cafe
Dina:Matakana is situated 1hr north of Auckland. It’s a great day out visiting coastal beaches and lunch at Ringawera cafe, the cafe is situated amongst the Morris and James pottery. There is a free factory tour around 11am daily.
Image - Bugger Cafe
Place
Bugger Cafe
Dina:Middle of the north island you will find friendly service with a smile, Best coffee/cakes or lunch stop. Vegetarian and vegan available.Plenty of parking for bikes. 👍 M&M’s are awesome thanks.
Image - Pūhoi Valley Cheese Co
Place
Pūhoi Valley Cheese Co
Dina:If you love cheese you can’t go north of Auckland and not stop for some creamy treats, The cheese boards are great value and a sumptuous selection to taste some of the best cheese in NZ. The country roads are an awesome ride. Overall a great way to spend a few hours north of Auckland, Drive via Orewa beach as the scenery is beautiful and you save on the toll.
Image - PUHOI RIVER CANOE HIRE
Place
PUHOI RIVER CANOE HIRE
Dina:Family friendly experience kayaking down the Puhoi river through native bush and farms. Great for groups or a romantic day out finish with a picnic on the beach or lunch at the cheese factory in Puhoi. The trip is around 2hrs depending on your experience, it’s one way from Puhoi historic village to Wenderholm regional park where the team will pick you up and bring you back to base.
Image - Te Uku Roast Office
Place
Te Uku Roast Office
Dina:If you find your self At Raglan and want a quick Coffee and Go this is the place to stop. The coffee is freshly ground on site you can even take some home with you. Cool friendly service.
Image - Leigh Sawmill Cafe
Place
Leigh Sawmill Cafe
Dina:1hr north of Auckland you will find the Sawmill on the Hauraki Gulf Coast. The Sawmill is a rustic kiwi style pub with lots of character, Perfect fro brunch,lunch and dinner, locally sourced fresh produce. Known for their clean yummy food selection and awesome Pizzas. Check their website to see what bands are playing on the weekends, they have lots of great gigs. There is also accommodation available in a kiwi batch. So close to beautiful beaches and Goat Island marine reserve, so much to do in the area.
Image - Matakana Village Farmers Market
Place
Matakana Village Farmers Market
Dina:Matakana Saturday Market is a treat for wholesome organic local produce, Buzzing with people,freshly squeezed juice bars, home style cooked breakfast, white bait fritters in season, seafood,meats,herbs,wine you will find everything you need plus more. Visit the local boutique shop and galleries so many nice shops to wonder through. It’s a beaut day our North of Auckland 1 hr drive into Country and Coast.
Image - Goat Island Marine Discovery Centre
Place
Goat Island Marine Discovery Centre
Dina:1hr North from Auckland you will be swimming in the Goat Island Marine reserve, surrounded, spectacularly coast line, crystal clear waters, abundant marine life, there is a glass bottom boat also doing tours, check out the website for more details and restrictions on self diving and snorkeling.
Image - Mangawhai Cliff Walk
Place
Mangawhai Cliff Walk
Dina:Mangawhai 2 hrs north of Auckland, Great Coast town with arty shops, beach side cliff walks, super beaches and great cafes. If you find your self here a great place to have brunch lunch or dinner is the Frog&Kiwi restaurant on 6 Molesworth dr Mangawhai village, very French provisional in NZ, awesome food,
Image - Sculptureum
Place
Sculptureum
Dina:Art lovers paradise 1hr north from Auckland near Matakana village. Internationally renowned for original artworks from local and overseas artists, probably one of the finest private collections in NZ. Set amongst beautiful manicured gardens with a host restaurant catering for lunch and dinner, delicious cuisine. You could spend hours wondering the galleries wine dine and relaxing in the sun. Book ahead in order particularly if you are visiting with a group. 5 star all round.
Image - Whangarei Falls Scenic Reserve
Place
Whangarei Falls Scenic Reserve
Dina:Via Mangawhai follow the coast road to Langs beach, drive through Waipu and continue to Whangarei harbour for lunch then visit the Falls. Great day out from Auckland or stay for a few days to explore more in and around this area.
Image - Apotu Road
Place
Apotu Road
Dina:Just north of Whangarei - Apotu Views B&B & Camper Park over. A great base if your wanting a few days to explore Whangarei,Ruakaka beach, Mangawhai, Waipu Cove, Glowworm caves,Waterfalls, Lang’s beach, and Northland. A great stopover lifestyle property offering a self contained 1 bedroom, lounge,kitchen,spacious bathroom, views and a few friendly farm animals. Beautiful views over the valley with a sheep, goats, cows and chooks in the padlocks. Modern and contemporary complemented by wonderful hosts and scrumptious breakfast provisions, attention to detail here is of a high standard. The owners have lived in Northland for many years, their local knowledge of sightseeing is extensive not to mention where the best seafood & fishing spots are locally and up north. Pleasant relaxing and comfortable, worth a B&B stopover or with your camper van as there is plenty of parking. Super friendly, find them on AirBnB or FB.
Image - 3-Day Bay Of Islands Trip From Auckland_160557
$ 702
Experience
3-Day Bay Of Islands Trip From Auckland
Dina:Northland NZ, Bay of islands, Visit Cape Reinga lighthouse the northernmost tip of NZ. 90mile beach and the Sand Dunes,Kauri National Parks, Beautiful Secluded Beaches, Great Swimming and Coastline. Staying in Paihia is lovely, lots of restaurant and bars, you can take a ferry across to the historic township of Russell or even try a bit of thrill seeking and go out on a fast jet boat ride. Take the catamaran out to the Hole in the Rock passing dolphins along the way and secluded islands. Visit the best of the Bay of Islands in 3 days definitely worthwhile.
Image - Auckland – Bay Of Islands Day Tour_160791
$ 176
Experience
Auckland – Bay Of Islands Day Tour
Dina:If you only have a day to go north is worth the trip. Offering a Catamaran boat trip to the Hole in the rock off shore passing bye the secluded islands and coast line is the highlight. We have often seen many dolphins in these waters. Paihia is a lovely quaint seaside town, you can catch the small connecting ferry to the historical town of Russell for lunch. Russell has very nice cafes, art galleries and a lovely safe beach for a swim if you have time.
Image - Waiheke Island
Place
Waiheke Island
Dina:Be transported 40min by ferry from Auckland to Waiheke island, indulge and awaken your taste buds to the scrumptious cuisine at many of the award winning restaurants and vineyards. Walk through beautiful scenic vineyards, swim in crystal clear waters, sail around the island, host a party or event at the many vineyard event centres or just sit back walk the many coastal trails and bask in the sun. One of the best day trips so close to auckland
Image - Muriwai Gannet Colony
Place
Muriwai Gannet Colony
Dina:A short drive to Aucklands West Coast beaches to see the rugged coast line and Gannet Colony is not to be missed summer or winter. Treat your self to fine FishnChips on the beach, or for the adventures type try Paragliding off the cliff side. Many walking trails and cliff top walks to get a birds eye view at the Gannets. The surf is great however swim in patrol beaches with families in the summer months. There is also horse riding at selected beaches on the west coast of Auckland.
Image - Lake Rotokakahi
Place
Lake Rotokakahi
Dina:Centre of the North island Relax in a lake edge thermal hot pool or explore the Green Lakes at length discovering glow worm caves and fresh water springs, kayaking, camping, bushwalking or visit the many attractions in and around Rotorua
Image - Taupo
Place
Taupo
Dina:Lake Taupo has a perimeter of approximately 193 kilometres and a deepest point of 186 metres. It is drained by the Waikato River (New Zealand's longest river), and its main tributaries are the Waitahanui River, the Tongariro River, and the Tauranga Taupo River.
Image - Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Place
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Dina:Mount Tongariro is in the Taupo Volcanic Zone of the North Island. It is located 20 kilometres to the southwest of Lake Taupo, and is the northernmost of the three active volcanoes that dominate the landscape of the central North Island. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing in Tongariro National Park is among the most popular day hikes in the country.The Tongariro National Park is a World Heritage site. I did the crossing several years ago and was lucky to have had great weather, I was not a fit climber however I managed the crossing and got to the TOP, it is by far one of my favourable days of my life. The views are spectacular....
Image - Chateau Tongariro Hotel
Place
Chateau Tongariro Hotel
Dina:The Chateau is located close to Whakapapa skifield on the slopes of Mount Ruapehu, and is close to the volcanic peaks of Mount Tongariro and Mount Ngauruhoe, within the boundaries of Tongariro National Park, Chateau Tongariro Hotel the building was completed in 1929. I stayed here 10years ago and arrived when it was snowing, very magical place for me. I have since visited and had high tea and lunch on the way up the mountain on day trips, always worth a stop or a drink, There is also a nice museum of the history of the volcanoes, worth viewing if you have time.
Image - Mount Ruapehu
Place
Mount Ruapehu
Dina:Visit Mt Ruapehu in Tongariro National Park for skiing or summer for hiking. This area was made more famous by its star appearance in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, like so many places in New Zealand. The alpine, volcanic scenery is the setting of Mordor, in which stands Mt Doom, aka Mt Ngauruhoe. For the entire trilogy, Frodo and Sam are trying to get to Mt Doom in order to destroy the infamous ring. Spectacular scenery and great skiing adventures.
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South Island Roads Less Travelled

Quaint coffee stops, Eat n Play.

My Recommendations

Image - Bay of Islands
Place
Bay of Islands
Dina:Beautiful tranquil clean waters with amazing places to stay, eat and explore.
Image - Cape Reinga
Place
Cape Reinga
Dina:Cape Reinga the northernmost tip of NZ. Spectacular coastline, White sand dunes of 90mile beach - worth driving on the beach if you have a car, do take note of the tide though or slide down the sand dunes for fun. The Cape is about 100km north from the nearest small town Kaitaia. Great fishing and camping in Northland, safer swimming beaches are on the East Coast. Awesome roads on a bike and self driving northland is easy and well signposted. New Zealand road trips are filled with natural history and culture. You will eat the best FishnChips in Northland..