I only had one stop on the way to Tutukaka in Northland. My mate in Wellington told me about another marine reserve called Goat Island that had another snorkelling area. This was the first marine reserve in New Zealand, set up in 1977. Apparently in summer, there can be around 3000 visitors here at a weekend. Being off season I only had to share it with a few others.
The campervan at Goat Island Marine Reserve.
The Department of Conservation do it again with their information signs encouraging everyone to enjoy themselves.
So it was off to Tutukaka. The van ran great, easily breaking the speed limit if required, and if I placed my MP3 player carefully it would play in stereo. Until I hit a bump. Despite already sending a box home last week I still loaded the van up with :
- my main backpack
- my manbag with laptop, 3 external disks, notebooks etc
- my $10 Vietnamese ‘North Face’ hand luggage with camera gear
- a plastic bag with last minute things taken from the car
- a plastic bag with some clothes, recent purchases(hey it was only socks and two expensive British magazines)
- My food bag
- Another rucksack with god knows how many New Zealand leaflets that I feel compelled to send home in the ever lasting hope I’ll write some articles one day
- A plastic box which was meant to be holding everything else that I wasn’t taking to Japan with me. Tent (purchased here, couldn’t be bothered to try and sell), climbing harness, rock shoes, classy ‘Pure Local’ NZ hoodie, classy Cactus Climbing canvas jacket (‘Our clothes get worn in, not out’).
(Picture: Looking to the back of the campervan from the drivers seat)
The passenger seat.