Road trip around New Zealand’s Northland and Rotorua

Apart from the better-known Bay of Islands, who knew the rest of New Zealand’s Northland was such a gorgeous, unspoiled place. Add Rotorua into the mix and you have the makings of an unforgettable journey. Just don’t expect too much from the roads. With a poor rail system, aggressive, entitled truck drivers dominate.

Here’s my story published in Fairfax Media’s Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Age Traveller in March, 2017:

Northland and Rotorua

The online link on is:



About alisonstewartwriter

Alison is a writer, journalist and travel writer, born in South Africa, now living in Australia. She has had nine books published - two books for adults and seven for young people. Four of them have been translated into Italian, Danish, Dutch and Thai. Her latest project, Cold Stone Soup, an unpublished memoir about growing up under apartheid and migrating to Australia has won the FAW 2013 National Literary Awards (Jim Hamilton Award for a non-fiction manuscript). Cold Stone Soup was also runner-up in the 2010 Penguin/Varuna Scholarship. Her first book for adults, Born Into the Country (Justified Press 1988, South Africa) was shortlisted for the 1987 AA Mutual Life Vita Young Writers’ Award. Heinemann Australia published her next adult novel, Bitterbloom in 1991. Her YA novel, The Wishing Moon was shortlisted for the 1995 Australian Multicultural Children’s Award and was a 1995 Children’s Book Council Notable book. Her YA dystopia, Days Like This, published by Penguin Australia was a finalist in the inaugural 2010 Amazon/Penguin Breakthrough Novel Award in the YA category. Alison worked for years as a news and feature journalist. She is now a regular travel writer for The Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Age and online Fairfax Media publications.
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4 Responses to Road trip around New Zealand’s Northland and Rotorua

  1. Bec J. H. says:

    I’m currently planning a trip to northern NZ and so have been doing quite a bit of reading around on the internet for inspiration. I came across this post and got quite a surprise to find I had actually already read your article on the Traveller website, which had been my first port of call!


    • Hi Bec, It’s a beautiful area to explore. We loved all of Northland – west and east coasts – and will definitely be returning for a more leisurely exploration! Enjoy your trip and glad you found the article on the Traveller website!


  2. There are so many hidden gems in New Zealand’s north island, but I have to confess I still prefer the rugged beauty of the south island. 🙂

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos


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