When travelling from Auckland up to the northern part of the North Island (say that four times fast), there is a toll. Luckily, unlike New Jersey, there are ways around the toll. And that way around runs through a small, waterside town by the name of Waiwera.
Waiwera, which means “Hot Springs” in Maori, is known for its Thermal Resort, where tourists and locals alike can relax in their…hot springs. In fact, the town’s website is really just for the resort. We would have loved to spend the second day of our road trip getting massages and lounging in the sauna, but alas, we’re poor.
That being said, I will always remember Waiwera for Alfred, the leader of the duck army who approached us as soon as we walked onto the beach and didn’t back down when I shoved my camera super close to his adorable duck face. – Jennifer