New Zealand: Surf and Turf

New Zealand's North Island is home to evil black swans, hot springs, and plenty of surf and scenic views.

new zealand auckland boat ride

Cruising away from the Auckland port on a typical February summer day.

new zealand auckland boat ride

New Zealand’s capital is on the North Island and a hot spot for cruisers and urban backpackers alike.

new zealand trees city street

The landscape is diverse: the ocean is just blocks away from this city street.

new zealand green building

Bringing new meaning to the term “green building,” in Auckland. Is that a Prius?

new zealand cows in crater

Cows marched up the same street as cars to munch grass on Mt. Eden, a former volcano.

new zealand black swans sign

Just down the shoreline we saw the evil black swans happily enjoying excessive carbs.

new zealand hot spot

The smell of sulfur was pervasive, but all the warning signs were used on the swans in Rotorua.

new zealand beautiful valley

The valley reaching out from the farmhouse we stayed at in Rotorua.

new zealand sheep

NZ is home to the merino wool baselayer company Icebreaker.

new zealand rainbow

The February temps while we were there: 55-75. Even rainy or overcast days were comfortable.

new zealand flower garden

This garden was our host’s full-time job. After the cows, and the chickens, and the landscaping.

new zealand beach scene

There’s no shortage of surfing spots in NZ. But it’s best to go with a local or a surf school.

new zealand surf boards

The requisite surfboard shot. Off camera is a clothesline covered in swimsuits and wetsuits.

new zealand beach

There was a multi-tiered path along this shoreline. And plenty of fisherman looking for big catches.

new zealand surfer car

The requisite surfer car. We went the surf camp route and it didn’t disappoint.

new zealand silouhette

These trees that lined the beach were reminiscent of evergreens, but looked inside out.

new zealand sunset

A sunset over the ocean from the porch of our ramshackle beach house. What could be better?