As the chaos from all the walking last week settled, we decided to slow down the pace for a few days and spend some time by the coast. The weather was on our side for the week too which helped a lot.
We started in Patea at Long Beach and Cave Beach on the West Coast. This was a great freedom camping spot with access to both beaches. The black sand was so fine and glittery and like nothing we had seen before. There were sea stacks and so many caves along the beach to explore.
Our final roadside view of Mt. Taranaki before we ventured further south.
With rain due to arrive on the West Coast we decided to move East to Castlepoint. We got the best ice creams before walking up the hill beside the beach to catch the view. In the evening, we went up to the lighthouse for an incredible purple sky sunset. We'd definitely recommend a visit here to everyone.
The aftermath of the best sunset we'd ever seen. Colour in every direction.
After Castlepoint we continued further south to Cape Palliser and the further south we went the better the weather got! We spent a day exploring the area and visiting the Putangirua Pinnacles. The seal colony and lighthouse at Cape Palliser topped off a fantastic few days.
Cape Palliser with the lighthouse in the bottom left.
Afterwards we moved on to explore Wellington to see what the city had to offer. The Te Papa Museum (https://www.tepapa.govt.nz/) was top of our list to visit and it did not disappoint. The Gallipoli: The Scale of War exhibition blew us away with its huge lifelike models of soldiers and the way it told the story of the war. As well as that, the entire museum was free. I would recommend at least half a day to look around the museum as there was so much to see.
We can't believe that a month has already passed on our trip! That means that our time on the North Island is over but it also means that we now get to explore the beauty of the South Island. And just in time as more good weather is on the way!
Lake Rotoiti. Our first stop on the South Island.