The drive from Auckland to Waitomo is magnificent… if you take the road less traveled…
After picking up our Britz camper we immediately drove south. We begun on the freeway, but quickly realised that we would never see anything worth seeing if we kept that up, so we took a random right, heading west. The traffic slipped away and we were left with beautiful country roads, surrounded by farm land.
Even the farm animals were strangely chill. They just posed for the photo every time we stopped, looking straight down the lens.
We kept on heading west until we hit Kawhia where we grabbed some fish and chips for lunch. Delicious food with a delicious view! There are also some hot springs in Kawhia, but we decided to get back on the road.
Until… what’s that… on the side of the road? A sign? Waterfall? We’re in! Less than a 5 minute walk from the road side, through a lovely bit of bush, is the AMAZING Marokopa Waterfall. Seriously. Amazing. It was like a beautiful fairy tale! Lush greenery surrounded the thunderous falls, rainbows appearing in the spray of the falls as the sun shines brightly. So wonderful!
Our eyes were open after that: slow for all roadside signs! Next we found Piri Piri Cave! A small cave that has stairs to the bottom of the cavern. Take your torch for this one!
And then we found the Mangapohue Natural Bridge. The natural wonders never end here! Natural Bridge is a beautiful 17 meter high arch over a limestone gorge. The fauna was thick and smelt amazing, and the water running through the gorge was so clear you could see trout swimming through it.
After clambering over a weird cow proof fence, we followed the 700m loop and saw cows grazing in the fields, oyster fossils (lol what) and picked fresh blackberries from the side of the trail.
Just when we thought there was nothing left to see, we happened upon a weird sight… boots hanging off a fence. Hundreds of them!
After a day of sightseeing we were glad to finally reach Waitomo, and boy were we extra excited to see the Tomo Bar! We sampled some New Zealand beer and had the most amazing NZ steak. Deeeeeelicious!
Have you ever been to Waitomo? What’s your favourite natural site in the area?
Love exploring there – great photos – was the Piri Piri cave in the Hidden Valley ? I’ll never forget the Hidden Valley. The cave Looks similar – at The bottom near the little creek you look back up to an opening of ferns & palm trees . There was plaque about a folk tale.
Also remember a very good bottle shop in Taupo – the owner showed us down into the cellar , must have thought we looked rich.
Hey Suz! Nah, this cave was in Waitomo, closer to the west coast of the North Island. We did stop in Taupo later in the trip though!
Did u visit the glow worms cave?
Sure did! So so good!