Arriving bleary-eyed from the Singapore to Auckland flight and needing a good night’s sleep, we chose a nearby motel offering shuttle service. The shuttle turned out to be the best part of the deal. As heads hit the pillow, one of us immediately fell asleep…Thinking I was over-tired, I could seeing flashing lights even with my eyes shut. Waking Bill to confirm that I wasn’t losing my mind, we both watched as the lights flashed across the room—again and again. This was a highway motel. The lights were from a constant stream of nighttime truck traffic passing the motel! One of us hardly slept a wink. The next day we rented an RV (campervan) aiming for dark, quiet nights away from any roads!

see traveltoon ‘Auckland – Highway Motel’ post

Parnell Rose Gardens…after a full day of sniffing the magnificent gardens, we returned next day to repeat!


Parnell Rose Gardens, Auckland








A tree so giant..



…even at a distance didn’t fit into photo!

see traveltoon ‘Auckland Parnell Gardens’ post



Auckland–truly a ‘City of Sails’.



 ‘Endeavour’ (Captain Cook’s)



Racing Yachts



Ready to leave the big city for the open road…first let’s familiarize with driving ON THE OTHER SIDE!

see traveltoon ‘New Zealand – Drivers’ Ed’ post


Xmas Day entertainment and good cheer when camping in Auckland! 


see traveltoon ‘Auckland Xmas’ post


Not far from Auckland yet light-years away in serenity and peaceful surrounds.





Driving south of Auckland, our first night in a rented high-top van was at Waingaro Hot Springs caravan park. Wow—for a kid who had grown up in downtown Toronto this was awesome. Sure I’d camped throughout Ontario with my British neighbors, experiencing some wonderful locations, however, New Zealand impacted my senses exponentially! My sentiment likely reverberated with my husband as both of us were dazzled by the scenic and geographic displays. The caravan park had large hot-spring swimming pools, birds, critters, numerous species of trees and plants…and plenty of space to explore.


Bill, dwarfed by the incredible landscape at Waingaro Hot Springs

see traveltoon ‘Waingaro’ post