After thousands of kilometers on the road, our North Island road trip quickly reached the three-week mark to return the rental car in Auckland. North Island was filled with beaches, waterfalls, iconic attractions, public gardens, and fish and chips. Sad to acknowledge that this wonderful road trip has to end, but I am excited for the well hyped scenery of the South Island. Three weeks is a good time frame to explore North Island at ease.
We stayed in Pollock, southeast of Auckland, at an AirBnB for our last night before returning the car. At first, I was a bit skeptical about the choice of this AirBnB host since she did not have any reviews and the pictures of her house was not very flattering. Thankfully, our stay was unexpectedly gratifying. Pollock is a rather remote town with beautiful rolling hills to give us a nice last look at the North Island scenery. Our host has this tree swing that gives you a gorgeous view of the landscape. She said it is amazing during the summer when the sun sets right between the mountains.
Our host is a sweet lady with adorable dogs. She welcomed us with warm smiles and even gave us a private tour on her buggy, Boris, in the private land that visitors would not have been able to access otherwise. We were brought to this secluded beach without anyone else in sight and acres of land all to ourselves to enjoy.
After we returned the car the next morning, we later boarded the overnight Intercity bus from Auckland to Wellington. It made multiple stops along North Island where the bus lights would turn on for every stop, making it impossible to have a nice rest.
We spent another week in Wellington before heading to Picton via ferry, the gateway to South Island. Wellington is like the coffee mecca and Washington D.C. of New Zealand. The different points of interest are more closer together than in Auckland. We did not do too much explorations in Wellington, but instead we took it easy and tried to figure out the next steps. Here we are again, searching for new travelmates and figuring how to go about exploring South Island. Everyone that we met along the way had boasted the fascinating landscapes and hikes in South Island. We are excited to see what everyone had crazed about. While the north is often overshadowed by the south, it has its charms nonetheless. The people, the memories, and the hiccups along the way made North Island very enjoyable for me.