New Zealand North Island

Our ship was late and had to be transported from Tauranga to Auckland by train. RoRo ships are unloaded directly in the port of Auckland, but with containers this isn't always the case. If your shipping papers say "Auckland Metroport" your container will actually be unloaded in Tauranga. This doesn't cost any extra charges, but it takes another three to four days. So the friendly manager in our hotel in Auckland was happy to make a few extra bucks, fair enough.

Anyway, others shipping their vehicle to the North Island of New Zealand might consider to ship their vehicle to Tauranga. It's much smaller and most likely it will be easier to get things done there. This is definitely the case for the Port of Nelson on the South island, where you only have to walk a couple of steps to visit every office you need to.

You can't pick up your vehicle at the Metroport itself, so when you visit the customs and MAF (Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry) they will ask you to decide about a certified unloading facility (TCS). We called Kiwibond because several people recommended it.

Joanne from Transcar Heavy Haulage organized the transport of our container to Kiwibond and has been very helpful in many ways. The people at Kiwibond have also been very friendly and helpful.

We paid the following charges: NZ$330 to the Shipping company (MSC) for getting the container from the ship to the wharf, NZ$200 to Transcar Heavy Haulage for transporting it to Kiwibond, NZ$220 to Kiwibond for unloading and using the MAF facilities. We paid another NZ$75 to Zoran from the MAF for checking our vehicle. Zoran invited us for dinner so that our daughter would be able to play with his son, an invitation we gladly accepted.


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Unloading at Kiwibond.

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MAF check. Zoran is inspecting the vehicle thoroughly, which is absolutely OK, since New Zealand is in the lucky situation that many pests have not yet arrived in this wonderful country. To keep it like this, we cleaned our vehicle as good as possible before we went on our trip. Zoran was happy with our job and we where happy to be on the road again.

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Our next stop was at the vehicle testing station. "That's going to be interesting" said the friendly chap who inspected our vehicle. He looked like he was coming directly from the concert at Woodstock, and not from Mangamuka, where he really came from. He told us to try the exceptional water from the Mangamuka springs, when visiting his hometown.

Our exhaust pipe caused some trouble. In NZ it's not allowed that it ends underneath the passenger cabin, which it does in our case. After a long discussion of three inspectors their boss said "Let' be realistic boys, it's only a temporary import". We drew a deep breath, nice blokes!

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Drive along the ninety mile beach. Closer to a motorway than an offroad adventure.

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The exit Te Paki leads through a riverbed for about three kilometers, with some little patches of soft sand. Not a challenge for a Bremach though.

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The lighthouse at Cape Reinga.

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The beach at Rarawa

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New Zealand that means Rugby everywhere.

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Keith's "Zen" motorhome, Bedford 1952.

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At the northern tip of the Coromandel Peninsula

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View from Mt. Maunganui on the Tauranga harbour. The place where our Bremach was unloaded. A wonderful place with stunning views. We visited it on every of our three trips to NZ. There's even rock climbing here!

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Campground at Wharepapa South. The weather forcast: "maybe  some rain, well maybe not too!"

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Mt. Ngauruhoe, one of the three volcanoes in the Tongariro National Park, a little less than 2300m high. For the third time now, we tried the Tongariro crossing each time we failed because of bad wheather. Another reason to come back.

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The "beehive" in Wellington.