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CNS1802: The North Island Extension. Summer is coming (We hope)!

Friday, November 30, 2018 | Anthony Fairweather / Thomas Ritt | Pacific

Day 5: Karikari - Russell

Another amazing day in the paradise down under. We ride the Million Dollar View Road, have coffee in next to New Zealand's oldest buildings, marvel at the world's most photographed toilets and finally surf the endless twisties of the Old Russell Road. Heaps of fun as the Kiwis say...

The Honey House Cafe in Kerikeri is a little paradise
John and Helmut, enoying their well deserved coffee break
The Stone Store from 1836 is New Zealand's oldest stone building
The group in Waitangi, Bay of Islands.
In Kawakawa the Austrians pay tribute to Friedensreich Hundertwasser, the famous artist and architect who built the public toilets here.
... and Rudi put them to the test...
Great views from the Old Russell Road, one of the best rides in the country.
The legendary Duke of Marlborough Hotel in Russell

Day 4: Restday in Karikari, the ride to Cape Reinga

We wake up to a clear blue sky, hop on our bikes and ride north, for the last time on this tour. Because Cape Reinga is the place where the road ends, and what a road it is! It gets increasingly scenic and culminates high atop a windswept cliff from where a short walk leads down to the lighthouse. This is where the Tasman Sea and the Pazific Ocean clash and where, according to Maori mythology, the souls of the dead laeve the land and embark on their journey back to Hawiiki, their ancestral land. For us it is the major highlight of our New Zealand Extension.

Cape Reinga lighthouse
Cape Maria van Diemen, NZ's westernmost point
This is why we can't ride on 90 Mile Beach...

Day 3: Whangarei to Karikari

Once again the weather forecast is looking poor, but we set out all the same. Riding across Northland is pure motorczcycle bliss, with hardly any traffic to get in our way. Our route takes us into the Kauri forests, full of giant kauri trees and lush, green ferns. The roads are narrow and increasingly twisty, seemingly designed for motorcycles. As we leave the forests behind we ride along stunning Hokianga habour, take a short ferry ride across to Kohukohu and tackle one of the best roads in the world. Mangamuka Gorge, a 20km section of Highway 1, without a single straight in sight. It is so good we turn around and do it again. And again....

Day 2: Tairua - Whangarei

Blindly believing what the weather forecast predicted we were prepared for the worst as we woke up this morning. Thunderstorm, hail, cyclone, but what we got was clear blue sky. Disappointed we climbed back into the vans and headed straight back to Auckland to pick up our bikes...

A happy group of "6 people and 1 German". Helmut, second from left, has enough humor to get all of New Zealand covered
Spectacular view of Piha Beach and the Lion Rock. Note the blue sky!

Day 1: Auckland to Tairua

Torrential rain and storms are forecast so we ditch the bikes at the hotel and hop in a van to take us to Tairua. Along the way we drive along the beautiful coastline east of Auckland. After a fantastic lunch of award-winning fish and chips we tackle the final miles across the Coromandel peninsula and end the day with a celebratory Armangnac on the porch.

This is how one makes a TG happy. A heaping portion of the best fish and chips in New Zealand!
Goodbye Auckland, we will see you in a week.
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