A Travellerspoint blog

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Day 1 - Auckland to Paihia


View Paihia on marioz49's travel map.

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We are excited to be on our way on another photography adventure around New Zealand in our trusty red, racing car Ruby to take photos and to have a great time away together. We drove from Auckland to Whangarei which took about 1 and 1/2 hours and we found a lovely place to have lunch looking out over the boats. We had a wander around and saw some glass blowing which was really interesting. It was a shame that we couldn't have stayed longer to see the finished product take shape. We took some photos around the wharf and then we were going to visit the clock museum, but we were keen to keep going and get to Paihia.

We got to Paihia about 3pm. It was nice weather and we had a good smooth drive. We found our room at the Sea Spray Suites but the TV didn't work properly so we changed rooms to a better more private room with a table and a nicer more private outdoor area. I realised that I had left the wine in the fridge of the first room, so I went back to get it. As I was turning the key and pulling the handle to open the ranchslider, I broke my nail that I just got done yesterday. Maybe I should have left the wine there and bought a new bottle.

Anyway, back in our new room, we discovered that the internet wasn't working properly, so we had to phone up the Internet people and they sent someone around to fix it. All is well that ended well though. Now everything is good. After all that we went into Paihia to get some fish and chips and sat on the wharf with hundreds of seagulls squawking around us waiting for us to throw something their way. They were really good at catching bits of food while flying in the air. We should have taken a video of it. Thinking of taking a boat trip tomorrow through the hole in the rock. We might wait and see what the weather is like in the morning though because the forecast doesn't look too good at the moment.

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Posted by marioz49 04:01 Archived in New Zealand Tagged auckland travel paihia Comments (0)

Day 2 - Paihia

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What an amazing day we had today. The weather looked good this morning so we headed off to Paihia to buy some tickets for the Hole in the Rock Dolphin cruise. We managed to find one that was cheaper than the online price, so we booked the trip.

A little while later we were cruising around the Bay of Islands in the Fullers cruise ship. It started raining a little bit and then it was fine after that. We headed out to a number of islands including Moturua Island where Captain Cook visited in 1769. We stopped to deliver mail to a few remote islands and then headed out further to sea. We managed to see a pod of dolphins who really enjoyed swimming alongside the boat and having fun. They didn't seem to want to jump up out of the water much though and so it was quite hard to get a good photo.

A little further along and we say some orca whales. They weren't as close to the boat as the dolphins had come and again it was really hard to get a good photo of them. The wind started to get up after that and the skipper warned us it was going to get rough. I think she was under-exaggerating a bit. The boat started rocking and rolling around and a few people need to use the 'just in case' bags.

Anyway, we finally arrived at Cape Brett and saw the Hole in the Rock. We managed to get most of the way through the hole, but it was very windy.We spotted a little fur seal sitting on the rock, which was a bonus considering we had already seen dolphins and orca whales. It was all by itself and tended to camouflage in with the rocks, but we managed to get a few shots. We headed off after that to Urupukapuka Island where we got off the ferry and had some lunch.

After leaving Urupukapuka Island, we headed on to Russell after that and into calmer waters, but also into the wind. Russell was very windy. We took some photos and had a walk around. There three 3 guys sitting outside the 4 square shop that made excellent models for photos. Then we went and visited Pomapallier House which was also New Zealands first factory. The building operated a printing press, printing over 30,000 books, some of the first in Maori. We also went and looked at Christ Church, the oldest church in NZ built in 1835. We went to the Duke of Marlborough hotel for a glass of wine before catching the ferry back to Paihia.

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We arrived back on dry land at Paihia, relieved to find that we didn't have a parking ticket because we had been longer than the allocated P240. We headed off for a 25 minute drive to Kerikeri. I didn't realise that it was bigger than Paihia, well the shopping centre was anyway. We drove out to the Stone Store and took some photos. We discovered that the road doesn't connect up all the way around any more and that you had to walk around from the car park that we parked in. The Stone Store had just closed when we got there but it didn't matter really. We can say we've been there, done that anyway.

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We went to a Thai Restaurant in Paihia that we had seen the night before. It looked fairly packed through the window and we hadn't booked, but we went in to ask. We had to wait for a table and then wait to get our order taken. When the entree finally came, they didn't have what I had ordered and so I had nothing until our main meal came after another long wait. By then it was really late and I probably would have eaten whatever they put in front of me. I had some chicken curry with a watery sauce. I have to say I have eated nicer Thai meals. By then we were pretty tired after a fun, but busy day.

Posted by marioz49 04:05 Archived in New Zealand Tagged travel new island zealand paihia noth Comments (0)

Day 3 - Cape Reinga


View Paihia on marioz49's travel map.

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We got up early and headed up to Kaitaia to get on the bus to take us up to Cape Reinga, the top of the North Island. We had managed to get some Grabone tickets for a company called Sand Safaris for $27 each, which was really good value and great compared to the $90 bus deals that left from Paihia. We drove on SH1 which got quite windy towards the end and it seemed to be taking a while to get there. Anyway after about an hour and a half we arrived safely and on time and met our bus at the Ancient Kauri Kingdom.

There were three buses leaving from there to head on up to Cape Reinga. Our bus was quite comfortable and we had a Maori bus driver who made us laugh on the journey up to Cape Reinga. He also sang us some Maori songs to which everyone applauded. It was the first time I have been sung to in Maori on a bus. It was really neat to drive up 90 mile beach on the sand and a bit weird to think that it was classed as a highway.

We saw a couple of lonely, stranded seals along the beach, but didn't really get a chance to stop and take photos, however we did stop a couple of times to take a photo just to show that we were there. At one point, our bus driver said that it was only about 8km between each side of the island.

Our next stop was the sand dunes, which didn't look that high from where the bus was, but Peter assures me that it was high especially when he was the one that had to climb to the top. I think it was more fun to stand at the bottom and watch the expressions on everyone's faces as they slid down the sand dunes, especially the ones who ended their slide down by landing face first in the sand. I took a photo of everyone climbing up the sand dune and it looked a bit like Where's Wally with all the coloured taboggans.

We went back onto the road to get to Cape Reinga. It was great to see the place where the Tasman and the Pacific Oceans meet. The Maori people believe that Cape Rienga is 'the place of the leaping' where the spirits of the departed leap from a pohutakawa tree back to their final resting place. We can say, been there done that, now. We even touched the lighthouse. Anyway back to the bus and heading back to Kaitaia, we stopped to look at one of the beaches that had pure white silicone sand that they used to dredge to make glass with. We had one more stop on the way back to buy an ice cream before getting back to Kaitaia and the Ancient Kauri Kingdom.

We drove back from there into Kaitaia township where there really wasn't a lot happening on a Sunday afternoon, had some chips and a coffee at McDonalds, and then drove back to Paihia on the coastal route, SH10, which was a much better drive and more picturesque. What a lot of miles we have covered today.

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Posted by marioz49 04:12 Archived in New Zealand Tagged new zealand cape reigna Comments (0)

Day 4 - Waitangi to Auckland


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We left Paihia this morning and headed a few minutes down the road to the Waitangi Treaty House. As we walked through the native NZ bush, we saw lots of tuis and even a wood pigeon.

We saw the large waka (Maori canoe) and then walked to the Treaty House and flagpole. What an amazing view from there across to Paihia. We walked through the Treaty House and took some photos and then through the marae (Maori meeting house).

We went to the cafe which was situated right by a stream and there were ducks and pukekos right in front of us. It was a lovely, relaxing way to spend a few hours before the long drive back to Auckland. We stopped at Wellsford to have a coffee and then headed home. What an awesome few days away.

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Posted by marioz49 04:16 Archived in New Zealand Tagged auckland island north waitangi Comments (0)

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