Day 1 (27th February 2008) - Auckland to Pakiri Beach
We left Bamber House to collect our camper van from a depot south of Auckland near the airport. The shuttle bus to the airport consisted of 5 winging Aussies who were moaning about how long the journey to the airport was taking and how they were going to miss their 9am flight. The fact that they had only arranged to be collected at 7.50am for a 40 minute ride in the morning rush hour, seemed to go amiss as they continued to harass the shuttle bus driver. We learnt later that they had already missed 2 flights on their trip......... and they deserved to miss another!!!
Once we collected our turbo diesel 2 berth wanderer campervan we headed straight for the local foodmart and stoked up with the usual easy camping food and alcoholic supplies.
The camper van was a decent size complete with gas cooker, 60 litre super cold fridge and its own combined portable loo and shower. The shower cubicle was so small that residents of Lilliput would struggle to use it!!
Once we were out of the Auckland suburbs we headed north on Route 1 and some 160km later we found ourselves slowly descending down, a winding gravel road on the East coast, to Pakiri beach. Described by the Lonely Planet as a secret paradise with a beautiful 9km white sand beach, it took us 1.1 seconds to make it our first stop and we spent the afternoon dozing in the sand dunes under the cloudy sky.
Once the night drew in we settled into our cosy campervan with our fine selection of chilled beers, box of red wine and playing cards.