Before leaving the Coromandel Peninsula we visited Cook’s Bay to see where Captain Cook landed and laid claim to what is now NZ in 1769. A delightful little bay with a bonus of a small vineyard named Mercury Bay Wines. A private vineyard selling only directly from their shop. From there we journeyed to Auckland. What a contrast to where we have been over the past few weeks. A huge city, but with some considerable concentration, we managed to drive directly through the centre on the State Highway 1 motorway. A few miles out of the city we stayed overnight at Orwea Beach, another beautiful beach normally occupied by elderly retirees but we chose a warm Saturday with a fair and market taking place plus a beach wedding that went on quite late so a little noisier to what we have been used to. Next morning headed north to the Bay of Islands, our last real visit in NZ. A good journey through hills and forests and although not as spectacular as South Island, the proximity to wonderful coves and beaches were a constant and amazing sight. Took the ferry to Russell the most enchanting and rustic old colonial port. A lovely campsite so we booked for two nights. Back to mainland Pahia on the passenger ferry for a look around. An OK town but much more commercial than Russell to where we returned and watched the sun going down over a beer or two on the quayside. Next day, 16th feb, our last organised trip in NZ. Wow! What a finish to a great time in this fantastic country. We took the all day sea trip around the islands. Weather was lovely, sea calm and we ran into a pod of dolphins almost immediately. Not permitted to swim with them as they had youngsters with them, but that didn’t detract from an epic display of leaping and playing alongside the boat. We then did some boom netting where we jump in the sea in a big net alongside the boat. The skipper then drives the boat in circles and tries to throw us out of the net, great fun. Also a did a bit of snorkelling. Learnt a lot more about the early settlers, all in all a superb day once again. Tomorrow we head back to Orwea Beach for our last night in the van and then onto Auckland airport, hand back the van along with the mobile WiFi. After a night in an airport hotel we catch the flight to the Cook Islands for our 10 days of “rest”. So that’s it folks, unless anything exciting happens in the next 24 hrs this is the last blog I’ll post for our trip. We hope you have enjoyed our notes and a huge thank you to those of you who have been keeping an eye on our home and family for us. We couldn’t have embarked on this adventure without your vital help. Kia Ora Clive & Sue

Leave a Reply

You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>