New Zealand – Part I (North Island)

It was a trip of a lifetime.  We have been planning for months and finally the day has arrived when we were ready to take off on a two day journey from Bogota to New Zealand.  The plan was to spend approximately three weeks traveling around the country on a motorbike starting in the North Island then making our way down to the South Island where our journey will end.  We touched down in Auckland on a Saturday afternoon and after a very long journey and given the 16 hours difference, we were completely exhausted to say the least.  So, the best thing was to rest and get a good night sleep as our adventures start the very next morning.  After a very well rested evening, we started bright and early with the first leg of the three week tour leaving Auckland for Tairua.  We packed our belongings onto the Harley Davidson bike that was rented there in Auckland and set off on probably the best adventure of our lives.  I still remember that incredible initial feeling when we set off into the sunlight, both excited for what is to come but not sure what to expect.
That first leg was absolutely fresh, new and so exciting.  After spending a night in Tairua, the next day we left for Rotorua where it is famous for the Hobbinton Village and then onto Gisborne thereafter.

Gisborne was so breathtaking.  Our hotel was the Ridge House which sits on a cliff overlooking the vast coastline.  This is certainly a surfers paradise and early mornings are the best time to go as it was so beautiful to watch the surfers immersed themselves in the impending waves.  I really enjoyed Gisborne, probably my favourite city on the North Island of New Zealand.
Then on to the last stop on this side of the country which was the magical Lake Taupo.  It was the longest and most wonderful part of our journey on the motorbike thus far because the weather was absolutely perfect and that was exactly what we were hoping for on a 350km journey from Gisborne to Lake Taupo.  Once arrived at the gorgeous Acacia Cliffs Lodge, there was the 2 day break we were waiting for.  Travelling on the motorbike is very exciting and amazing, but also extremely tiring.  We were at the mercy of the weather and up until this point, we had lovely weather with not even a drop of rain, so that part was wonderful but being on a bike did require a lot of concentration.  Up until this point, we were only spending one night at each passing town so being that this was the first 2 day break at this beautiful hotel, it was the perfect end to the North Island adventure as we were setting off to the South Side shortly thereafter.  Lake Taupo is so charming with lovely restaurants and shops but the best part of our stay was when we spent a day sailing around the lake.  It was so peaceful and a glorious end to what proved to be an unforgettable time in the North Island.

North Island Hotels:
Rotorua – Cresent Hotel (beautiful boutique hotel but not so wonderful service ) 3 1/2 out of 5*
Grisborne – Ridge House (gorgeous glass house that sits on top of the mountain with wonderful hosts ) 5*
Lake Taupo – Acacia Cliffs (B&B and was the best place we stayed on the North Island.  Amazing service and in house dining was spectacular) 5*+
Wellington – Bolton House (just a one night stop over stay before we set out to the South Island but hotel is great, no complains here)  4 out of 5*

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