Saturday, March 14, 2020

New Zealand Roadtrip: Castlepoint Adventure

Castlepoint, Wellington Region
North Island, New Zealand
Travel Period: May 2018

This part of the road trip was probably the lowest point we've had due to a long and tasking drive, although it ended up nicely, well unexpectedly lovely actually.

We camped in Castlepoint, a very scenic place on the southeastern coast in the Wellington region. Going here was not an easy feat at all, but very much worth it in the end.

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From the Bluff Hill Lookout point in Napier, we are travelling to our next stop, Castlepoint. This is our route:

It's almost 300 kilometers!

We left Napier quite late so after an hour, it was already dark on the road. We realised that this is going to be a longer drive than expected. Moreover, we did not have any accommodation booked. We checked the DOC sites but couldn't find anything we like near Castlepoint. After much googling, we found this Holiday Park & Motel, so we booked it. Little did we know it was closed when we got there.

It took almost 3 hours to get to Masterton and from here the roads were pretty challenging for my sister as it was a long (an hour!), steep and dark winding road to Castlepoint. SisterJ did not have a lot of driving hours and experience under her belt so she had to concentrate.

We are almost there, just another 20 kilometers and we are in Castlepoint! This was already very late in the evening. 

When we finally arrived, we went to Holiday Park & Motel we have booked to check-in, however, the whole place was dark. We managed to get inside the gate and checked the reception but it was locked, there were no lights, no one was around!

We have been on the road for hours and its very late on the clock, around 23:00. We are tired and all we can think of is eat a bit and hit the sack. But now we have no place to camp!

So we decided to drive to town, which is just around the corner and looked for a place where we can camp for the night. It was pretty dark so it was difficult for us to find a suitable place. We want to keep safe as well so we decided to camp on the roadside parking where there is light and in front of the houses. We found out in the morning they were holiday homes and could have been empty.

The parking was right in front of the beach so we could hear the continuous succession of waves hitting the shore. It was pretty chilly that night and the waves were like a lullaby to my ears. I think this was the night that we all slept like a baby.

As usual, I was the first person to wake up in the morning and I was quite excited to see where we have landed in Castlepoint. When I opened the back door of the campervan this is what I saw...

Castlepoint Lighthouse in the distance.

Holiday homes in Castlepoint.

By this time sisterJ and Myrhh were already awake. They had a very good sleep and when they came out to join me, they were pleased with what they saw.

It's breakfast time and it would be a bit awkward to camp with our table and chairs on the roadside parking, so we drove a bit further and found this corner spot behind a house with a much better and closer view to the lighthouse. It was very windy as well, so we used the campervan to shield us from the wind while having breakfast.

I am cooking our breakfast here while sisterJ and Myrhh went down the street for a little walk.

Our breakfast for this morning is bacon and eggs.... bread and a variety of fruits.

There were quite a number of holiday homes in Castlepoint, some were luxurious while others looked like trailer houses. I can understand that this place is very popular in the summer.

After breakfast, we packed up and drove to the lighthouse, the Castlepoint Scenic Reserve and Carpark where campervans can actually park overnight. Had we known, we could have camped here! The car park area is between the lighthouse and the Castle Rock. It is a beautiful place.

We are going to have a little hike to the Castlepoint Lighthouse.

At the bottom of the path, we found this information.

It says, "The rock edifice that you now stand upon is called Te Tokatumoana (the rock before the sea). Traditionally this whole area was known as Rangiwhakaoma "the skies that race" this is in reference to the fast moving clouds when it is windy. The Mao Mythical legend Kupe was said to have given the area this name when chasing the octopus (te wheke o mutarangi) of his enemy, Mutrurangi.

The lighthouse and the walking trail.

You can see the Castle Rock in the distance. It is breathtaking here!

Massive boulder cliffs on the coast of the South Pacific Ocean.

SisterJ and Myrhh, a souvenir photo with the Castlepoint Lighthouse.

The Castlepoint community, which is quite small.

Of course, I need to have my own souvenir photo as well.

The wooden walking path leads you to this lookout.

So it's time for us to be back on the road again. This Castlepoint stop has turned out to be an adventure, and was, well, unexpectedly nice. Not only that, we've had our best sleep here.

SisterJ was not looking forward to the 1-hour steep and winding drive to Masterton, so I volunteered to do it. I have driven on difficult roads and in worse conditions. When we reached Masterton, she took again  the control of the wheel all the way to Wellington.

Yes, Wellington is our next destination!

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Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

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