It was a day of firsts!
I had dreamed of this trip for 20 years and we were finally there. We had landed in Auckland, had our first flat-white, picked up the camper-van, and driven to my cousins house. We took a short walk through the North Coast Memorial Gardens and felt like kids in a candy store looking at birds that we had never seen before; walking under a grove of tree ferns; surrounded by new sights and sounds. The joy of travel.
The afternoon was spent at my cousin’s birthday party with a map of New Zealand and a list of sites that we would like to see. What we lacked was a route. We solicited everyone’s opinion on what was a “must see.” We all have different priorities. Unfortunately, there was no way to see it all in the time that we had so the goal was to develop a route where we could visit the most sites in the shortest amount of time.