Our New Zealand adventure started from North Island. We choose to explore Auckland city, Bay of Islands & Northland for 5 days, then the rest of the trip was in South Island, which I will share the story in another page.
Journey start from Kuala Lumpur KLIA2 terminal by Airasia X and arrives at Auckland International Airport on 11 November 2017. For your info, I was planned the trip a year before the departure date. Flight booking done in November 2016 and accommodation booking done in march 2017. Indeed, there were some minor changes prior to departure date.
This time me and my husband together with my little girl on board for the adventure. Despite of the stressed and drama traveling with toddler, we still smile and enjoy the rest of the trip until we got back to KL.
Travel Period: 10 – 15 November 2017 North Island
Travel Period: 15 – 26 November 2017 South Island
10 November 2017, Friday
Kuala Lumpur -> Auckland (Layover Gold Coast)
D7 206 Low fare
Depart: Friday10 Nov 2017, 2355 hrs (11:55PM)
Arrive: Saturday11 Nov 2017, 1755 hrs (5:55PM)
Day 1 – Auckland | 11 November 2017, Saturday
Landing in Auckland;
We flew in with Airasia X from Kuala Lumpur and transit in Gold Coast, Australia then landed at Auckland International Airport after 13 hours flight.
We grabbed a simcard deal at the dutyfree shop (before the arrival exit door). Spark 3-IN-1 sim travel pack only at $25 (normal price $29). What’s included? 1GB mobile date + 200 local & 100 international minutes + 200 local & 50 international texts + Free WIFI 1GB per day at designated wifi booths.
We rented a car from Drive NZ for 4 days. They don’t have counter at the Airport, hence we called them for pick up. Cost for renting the Toyota Corolla was MYR343, paid during booking. We travel with toddler so we have to top up another NZD30 for child seat.
Our Accommodation was a guesthouse at Takapuna, 10km from Auckland city. Name of the place is iHoliday cost 1 night for economy double room was NZD79. The room has private entrance and private bathroom. They only have 2 rooms with private bathroom, so make sure you check first which room to book. Common area and kitchen are shared. They also provide Self-prepared breakfast in the fridge such as egg, milk and bread.
After we checked in to the guesthouse, we seek an information where to eat around the neighborhood area from the host. He’s very friendly and helpful. The neareast town was Takapuna, only few shops are open late night. We managed to get fish & chips for takeaway.
Day 2 – 12 November 2017, Saturday
Auckland city – Paihia, Bay of Islands.
Total KM: 231km
From our stay, we just drive for 10 min to Devonport Ferry Terminal. At this terminal, they have several parking type, from 24hr free parking to charged parking space. We were lucky to get 24hr free parking when we were got there.
We bought return ferry ticket for NZD12.50 per adult to Downtown Auckland via Fullers Ferry. It just a short ferry journey, as you can view Auckland city from far. My kid enjoy it!.
Nothing much to do at the Queens Street, apart from cafes, restaurants, shopping outlet and souvenir shops. We spent time for lunch and shopping at grocery store, Countdown Auckland Metro.
Around 3pm we continue driving to Paihia, its about 3 hours drive.
We reached Paihia in the late evening. We had nice dinner at Alongside, Paihia. Its a seaside restaurant. The blue hour at Paihia was so amazing but a little bit cold though. Make sure to wear thick jacket if you want to stay longer outside.
Our accommodation was Aloha Seaview Motel. Cost NZD110 per night for 1 bedroom apartment. The room complete with kitchen, kitchenette and electric blanket in bed.
Day 3 – 13 November 2017, Sunday
Total km: 222km
First in the morning, we heading to Opua Ferry terminal and cross over to Okiato. 2-way vehicle ferry tickets are NZD26.
Bay Of Islands;
Located at Kerikeri.
We stopped at Kaeo for takeaway lunch since we were late to reach to Ahipara. You can buy Fish & Chips here or have a meal at Indian Restaurant.
We arrived at Ahipara at 3pm. We stayed at seaside holiday home called Escape to 90 mile. This very nice house cost us NZD145 per night. The house complete with kitchen, balcony, living room and 2 bedrooms.
Nearest big town is Kataia. You can get your grocery from Pak’NSave. Distance from Ahipara is 15 min drive. Very small town
We did a bbq dinner that night and stargazing.
Day 4 – 14 November 2017, Monday
Total km: 530km
Giant Sand Dunes;
When it start drizzling we decided to leave the place and continue our long journey. We stopped at Kataia for dinner at Indian Restaurant. Then freshen up at public toilet before continue our 4 hours driving to next destination.
We experienced the most scary route i ever encounter in North New Zealand. Why I called it scary? because we were driving at night and its raining on winding road, foggy and dark. The visibility was so bad, we can’t drive fast and whenever we encounter the car from opposite direction, we have to be extra careful because the road is bit narrow. We passing through Raetea Forest and become so foggy.
Finally we arrived at Kawakawa around 9:30pm at night. We stopped for awhile for toilet break and stretch our legs. There’s only reason why we stop here in Kawakawa is because of infamous public toilet, The Hundertwasser.
The Hundertwasser Toilets is a public toilet located at 60 Gilles Street, the main street of the town Kawakawa on New Zealand’s North Island. The structure was completed in 1999 and named after architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser, who conceived the project. It is one of few toilet blocks seen as an international work of art and a tourist attraction in its own right.
After the break, we continue another 2.5 hour drive with 1 stop at Wellsford to refuel.
Our stay for tonight was Duncansby Road, whangaparaoa. Distance to Auckland Airport is about 60km. Cost for a night was NZD100. Nice & cosy guesthouse room. Very warm-hearted and friendly hosts, very clean and comfortable accomodation made with love. The views from the room were beautiful, and the location quiet at night.
Day 5 – 15 November 2017, Tuesday
Total KM: 60km
Heading to Auckland Airport after breakfast. We flew with Jetstar direct to Dunedin (South New Zealand). Fare for 2 person was NZD148 and additional NZD17 for baggage checked-in. Infant is foc.
Continue to next pages for South Island adventures!.