Popawhiwhi Olives, Freedom camping and accomodation.
What we love about road trips in New Zealand is that even if you didn't plan your trip properly step by step or you are just like us - like spontaneous trips, you can always find an unexpected sign on the side of the road, which might lead you to a very special place.
Thats what happened to us when we were driving down from Maitai Bay back to Auckland.
We still had three days and two night to spare, so we were opened to explore.
Usually on the side of the road we are looking for sings of food, like "Fresh Oysters" or "Organic vegetables", but this time we found breathtaking accomodation - Olive Tree Garden Camping.
To our luck there was no one else camping at that time, thanks to low season, so we had the whole garden to ourselves. We just LOVE nature and to us it was an amazing and incredibly peaceful experience.
At this place we've found happiness. That was our little road trip paradise.
Though it's close to the road (which isn't very busy at all, and tall pine trees create natural wall between grounds and the road) the peace which this place gives you, takes your mind away to another universe. It's one of those places you have to visit for yourself, I truly can't describe just with words how I felt being there. Time stopped, and 24 hours in reality turned into two days subconsciously. That is what we were hungry for, to get lost in nature, to find this peace between olive trees.
We were planning to make a bbq for dinner and we were not sure if it'll be possible where we are, with all the trees around us and the nature of the space. To our surprise the owners said that it's absolutely fine, since our bbq was gas, so our day became even better than it already was! Thanks to guys at Wilderness who provided us with chairs, table and bbq, we had the best nature dining experience!
(Music: Mikhail Glinka- Ruslan and Ludmila Overture)
These are a selfie and bbq process from the video:
The overall experience was very unique and quite romantic.
Except a few photos and time lapse videos of dinner, we had such a good rest from technology and social media. You do need a break from all of it every now on, to reconnect with each other, with nature, to remember the day with our own eyes, and a little bit on my Nikon as well.
If you follow our instagram account, you'll now that we cut consuming alcohol for healthy living reasons, but in the video we both having wine and beer. Our amazing drinks do not contain alcohol! How cool is that, being able to still feel like a part of the party crowd without getting drunk or even tipsy :)
The beer Arash drinks is actually originally from Russia and called Baltika 0%, the amazing Alcohol Removed wine Im drinking now is Australian Edenvale Wine.
This is not a paid advertising, simply our preference in drinks these days. Both of them you can easily find in any Liquor Shop in New Zealand.
After dinner we went around the olive tree plantation to see what else is there, and found a pond. Pond reflective as a mirror, quiet, surrounded by olive trees with a little bridge over it. Absolute bliss. How perfectly some people can make life around them and easily share it with strangers! It is exactly like on this photograph, without any filtering or Photoshop...
The golden hour made the whole place look like from a fairy tale book. I'd really love to go there again and experience that peace and quiet one more night!
Thats exactly where we were parked the whole time, next to the trees, trying to blend in with our cute motorhome from Wilderness.
We went to bed as soon as sun went down. It was the quietest night in the long time. No music, no cars passing, no noise at all!
With a gorgeous full moon shining bright. You can see any constellation in the night sky like this, definitely not a busy city night, definitely a great night to sleep deep and watch relaxing dreams.
In the morning we woke up quite early, it's our usual routine, and then depending on the weather we decide how long we have for breakfast, before we head to our next destination.
There are lots of birds walking around the area mainly geese and ducks, and they lay eggs wherever they walk, which you are free to collect and cook :)
Chickens are not too far away too (though not walking freely anywhere they want). And wild birds as well, though they'll never come close to you, they just friends with chickens haha.
For our freedom camping overnight stay (including two people and motorhome)
we paid NZD25.
There is a tap water on site with a sink for your convenience to wash dishes or get some water to go.
The owners are very friendly and are happy to help if you need directions or would like to explore the area.
If you'll decide to stay here after reading our article contact them (just in case its a high season or the guys can't accept guests for some other reason at that time).
Unfortunately their website is not working at the moment, but you can find them on many other accomodation websites like bookabach, trivago and airbnb under the name of
Poppawhiwhi Olives Apartment or Garden Apartment.
If you are not into camping, you can rent an apartment on site through bookabach website. Here is the direct link to apartment: https://www.bookabach.co.nz/baches-and-holiday-homes/view/11716
Hope one day you'll get to experience this gorgeous place.
Yulia & Arash