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144 Islands in one location

We didn’t see them all but drove (sailed) through one of them.

sunny 24 °C
View 2011 - Samoa, NZ, Hawaii, USA on neilthelr's travel map.

Upon leaving Kaiwaka, we headed North via the Whangerei Town Basin for a spot of lunch in a quayside café in the sunshine (Jo – thanks for the suggestion) and then a stop at some ‘well known’ toilets (seriously – this is the second lot of NZ famous toilets we’ve come across – is this country normal?!) – photo to come. Bay of Islands was our next (and most Northern) stop. Basically it is an area of 144 Islands off the coast. Pretty nice place but did not have the ‘wow’ factor the Coromandel peninsula had. We still had a great time though. 3 nights in 1 place was good (staying in Paihia with our room directly on the sea front) and we had a number of good ‘trips’. First was a boat ride where we saw dolphins, harboured on one of the larger islands (Urupukapuka) where Captain Cook first took shelter, and went out to the famous ‘Hole in the Rock’ – as it sounds – and with tides in your favour it’s large enough to fit a (decent-sized) boat through. Going through this was an experience. The weather at sea had turned rough and the rain came down. We sat looking at the hole watching another boat considering the drive through. Each skipper makes their own decision and the other boat’s skipper chose not to go through but, after a few minutes, ours took the plunge and we sailed right through (although a strong grip to hold on was needed as the waves were choppy on the other side) so we can now say we’ve sailed through the middle of an island! We also spent some time in Russell (a quaint town) across the water and did a tandem parasail (i.e. the two of us together) where Helen, after getting up there, realised that she is not the best with heights (but still enjoyed the views from above despite the rain coming just at the wrong time)! We also went Kayaking down the Waitangi River, which, for those who are not hot on their NZ history, is where the Treaty of Waitangi (NZ’s founding document) was signed on 6th Feb 1840. The kayaking also meant that anything that wasn’t already wet from our dunking at the end of the parasailing got a second chance at a soaking. All in all, a nice place, some new experiences and time to chill all washed down with some good food and of course a little Sauvignon Blanc (oh how we are going to miss this good local wine)! Next stop heading back to Auckland for our final NZ destination and catching up with more old friends.

Posted by neilthelr 23:54 Archived in New Zealand Tagged boats driving sightseeing Comments (0)

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