May 2, 2017
Alrighty! Continuing onwards during that ~4 month road trip around New Zealand’s North Island.. This portion was around January 2016 I believe.. I didn’t take too many photos at these two stops so I combined the towns together. My bad.
The first place was Taupo.. Taupo is in the North Island and located quite central. I am pretty sure I went through Taupo about 6 times throughout my near 2 years in New Zealand. It seems to be a place you are always passing through On my 30th birthday, Andy flew in from the South Island to celebrate it with me and we went bungy jumping. It is the adrenaline capital of the north (while Queenstown is considered the one of the south). So yea, too bad I didn’t take many photos! haha I did make sure to take photos of Taupo’s famous “Reid’s Farm” which is a place where you can freedom camp (aka camp for free) for up to 7 days. Reid’s Farm is slightly out of town but nicely situated on the river. At peak season, I saw upwards of 100+ cars, vans, busses and tents at once. The place had a really cool atmosphere and vibe. Not to mention the constant sound of the river along the camping area. I stayed at Reid’s Farm almost every time I came to Taupo. It was a centrally located safe haven if you will. If I needed to wait out a week, wait for friends to catch up on the road, save money or any other random reason to pass time.. I would come to Taupo and stay at Reid’s Farm. It was the perfect place to do nothing and chill. In the mornings, we would roll out of bed and go swimming. The water was so clean and clear, it was the best way to start your morning! haha I miss it. Oh and yes, it was a chilly as most water in NZ.
After Taupo we headed to Matamata. You know, “a place so nice they had to name it twice.” haha It is a quaint little town. It is where they filmed Lord of the Rings, a tourist attraction now called “Hobbiton.” It’s basically “The Shire.” Matamata had the greenest of green rolling hills. I love this area of New Zealand so much. It was one of my favorites. The tour was nearly $100 and at this point in the trip, we couldn’t justify the expense with what we already had planned. Therefore, we left Matamata after one night. When I left, I told myself I’d return before I left. Then over a year later, I returned and visited Hobbiton during my last trip out of New Zealand.