We left Tim's farm on saturday morning and got on the road south. Since we have already seen a lot of highways, we decided to drive some smaller roads and discover the area while getting to our next stop. Unfortunately, we only have a very large scale map and couldn't really decide which was the right way to go to :)
We ended up driving through the whole middle of the North Island, which took us the whole day and loads of petrol, but it was worth it for the beautiful view out of the car window. It is incredible what kinds of landscape you find just alongside the road, from endless green hills to deep forests, mixed with palms that make everything seem like a jungle.
Sam proved to be really great in driving gravel roads again. Actually about 80% of what we drove on saturday were gravel roads, or in other words: a small stripe of mud covered with stones.
Really an adventure to drive here! Especially at one point, where we were driving right next to a river and a truck with a trailer came towards us. He even tried to drive around us, but luckily he got out before anyone could drop their car into the river and helped us finding out that we were on the wrong way and had to go back anyway :)
Now, we survived, and continued south to Auckland, where we collected our mail and found out at the bank that New Zealanders are maybe a bit too relaxed about some things: We wanted to finally get our bank account cards, after they had been rejected at a wrong adress and "were sent back to the branch in Auckland". We went there and nobody knew what we were talking about. So, no bank acount cards for the moment, but luckily credit cards work everywhere here.
These are a few impressions of our one-night-stop at Shakespeare Regional Park, a very beautiful reserve at the edge of a peninsula on our way. They told us that it's booked out in summer, even 6 months in advance, but we had it completely for ourselves :)
Today we've arrived at Geoff & Lynne's farm, a very nice place in Mangawhai area. We will be helping out here for about 5 days. They have some cows, too, but their second business is something completely else: they offer group activities and team building adventures for children and adults. It looks really cool and hopefully we wil get the chance to take a small part in that for at least one day.
Especially their small climbing wall is something I'd like to see in action :)