Day 31 – Hot Water Beach To Auckland: Hometown Memories, Postcards, Fellow Travellers


On the last day of our summer tour we had to change our route slightly. We were planning to visit the place where I grew up and went to primary school but lots of roads were closed because of the cyclone. I’ll have to bring the camera back another time to show you that. We drove back down the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula and then drove over the Kōpū-Hikuai Road. We stopped to have a look at a couple of Kauri trees. Some roosters were hanging out near the trees. Before driving back to Auckland, we visited a town called Thames. Thames was the closest town to where I grew up so it brought back lots of memories. The town was built during a gold rush in the 1800s and for a while it was the second largest city in New Zealand. It’s not anymore. It now has a population of around 6000. This is Thames Hospital, the oldest hospital in New Zealand apparently. And this is my old high school, Thames High School. This is the radio station where I used to work. I also worked at this cafe for a while, but it was called something different then. And this bar … and this department store. I’m pretty sure this is where I did work experience when I was in fourth form and I wanted to be a hairdresser. The following year I did work experience here. I wrote news stories on a mechanical typewriter. And this is were I watched the Back to the Future movies. So many memories. It was a public holiday, so lots of stuff was closed, but we managed to find a cafe that was open. They were selling Ningabread Men. We had some lunch and coffee and I caught up on some postcard writing. I sent postcards to Wellington and Colombia. We drove up to the monument where you can get a good view of the town. This is a memorial for people who died in World War 1. We left Thames at about half past twelve. Sometimes you have to wait for a long time get over the Kōpū Bridge so we made sure we had a couple of hours to spare. It only took 5 minutes this time. This bridge was built in 1928. They’re now building a new bridge with two lanes so people don’t have to wait to cross it. The new bridge is supposed to be finished in the middle of 2012. We said goodbye to our motorhome at the United Campervans depot in Māngere. At the depot we met some fellow travellers. We’re from a small town in Forestburg, Alberta, Canada. It’s very small, less than 1000 population. But we’re retired and now we’re living the RVer’s dream. We stay in our RV year-round. We’re full-time RVers, is what we call it. So we stay in our recreational vehicle and travel wherever the whim or the wind takes us. George and his wife took a break from their RV in Canada and travelled around New Zealand for 5 weeks in a United Campervans motorhome. We’ve seen a lot of country and your country is beautiful. It’s very and the one thing we do find – the roads might be narrow, but your ditches are clean. You don’t have a bunch of garbage and stuff, like a lot of bottles or whatever, paper and trash. We find the country very nice, very clean. We headed home in our little white car and posted the final postcards of the trip to Wellington, Japan, Vietnam and China�

34 thoughts on “Day 31 – Hot Water Beach To Auckland: Hometown Memories, Postcards, Fellow Travellers

  1. Thank you for the awesome series Sarah! = ) Would be cool if you do the same thing in japan one day : D I'm also looking forward to see the Daily Englisch Show on a "daily" basis again ; )

  2. NZ has always had good road safety advice and campaigns but sadly kiwi drivers, especially in the boonies drive home drunk via the backroads and dont think about the consequences. if you get the chance the sunset from Miranda is amazing.

  3. Oh saddest flows over me at the final video of your holiday but happiness overcomes me at the expectation future language videos.

  4. Thank you for the show! I enjoyed every minute of it! It was nice to see the entire country. Speaking of NZ, I also find it very clean. You know, NZ nature is quite similar to ours, but your country is much cleaner and warmer.

  5. Im looking forward to see you back in studio ;-). So many beautiful impressions of your homeland which made me want to come to New Zealand.

  6. I have watched all the episodes from here in Norfolk Va. USA. Loved everyone of them. Great and beautiful country, music and people. Thank you so much for sharing. What an incredible gift. Please do some more. Your amazing!

  7. WOW! I just finished watching your epic set of videos over the past several days. Soooo well done – the music – the camera work – the information – the voice over & captions etc. etc. You two Kiwis followed almost exactly the route we two Canucks will be doing over 7 weeks this coming Dec. and Jan. so it was especially helpful! I am now even more excited!!!

  8. This video makes me hate living in America 🙁 its so pretty there and you have freaking ninja bread men 🙁

  9. Really enjoyed these videos, good narration and excellent camera work. So many places I hadnt been to in years, really good to see these places again in more recent times and they certainly brought back memories. Sad that they had to come to an end. Will you be doing anymore of these Sarah?

  10. Really enjoyed your vids. If I had the money I would certainly do that trip. My idea of a great holiday. But I think it would break my heart when the holiday ended. Kiwis live in a lovely country. Some of it reminds me a little of Ireland. Anyway if I win the Lottery i'm coming over for a visit.

  11. Thank you for these 31 videos from New Zealand. I've loved them all. I've got a few questions for you though. First of all I would like to ask if 30 days is enough to visit the whole of New Zealand in a camper van, second is it expensive to do such a trip? also I have noticed quite a bit of rain is it that bad the weather? Thank you again for the videos they were bril. X

  12. Also couldve gone thru the road that takes you from Whitianga to Thames on the old dirt road and showed everyone that big as kauri it took half our rugby team to link hands around it oh yea we were only 10 tho lolz

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