Day 4: When it rains, it pours!

Day 4 of our trip, and we are still in Paihia. Good place to be. We started our day with an excellent breakfast at Blue Marlin B&B after which we went our merry way.

As the forecast told us the afternoon would bring us showers and a chance of a thunderstorm we decided to alter the plans to not include a long walk in a Kauri forest but instead we chose to do some more local activities which would also take less time.
As the rains would commence around three in the afternoon, we’d be ready before that.

So, stop 1: Kawiti Glow Worm Caves. A mere 20km’s away and much more a local attraction the caves offer a lovely scenery, a short cave, eels, stalactites, stalagmites and loads of glow worms. Unfortunately we were not allowed to take photographs inside the cave, do I cheated the signs and took a picture of the entrance of the cave. 🙂

With the clouds already moving in on us, we decided to drive to Haruru Falls, which are right next to Paihia. We were to walk in the mangrove forest on a wooden boardwalk, but never reached it as the clouds were darker than ever.
Maybe tomorrow?
With some time to spare and empty stomachs to fill the next destination was Kerikeri, home to the oldest stone building in New Zealand. At almost 150 years old it is a huge attraction to the locals. For us, not do much.

We found some more falls over there, aptly named Rainbow Falls. As the falls are directly adjacent to the road, this was a very short visit which meant we could quickly turn our attention to much more important things: food.

During the lunch the heavens opened. A monsoon like showering rain reminded us why the land is so luscious and green. It lasted for almost half an hour and really illustrated the saying in the title of this blog neatly: when it rains over here, it pours.

Day 3: Sailing with dolphins

Yup, the title indeed is just that. Sailing with dolphins.
The business case there is quite straight forward. You take a boat, a catamaran in this case, stick quite a few tourists on it, and go sailing in the Bay of Islands while searching for dolphins.

The kicker here is that you’re allowed to go for a swim WITH the dolphins next to you. If the dolphins are not unfriendly towards you and do not have babies, you can go in the water with them. And try to keep up.
As the animals are wild, they are curious about you in the water, but they’re not inclined to let you set the pace. The dolphins move and swim on their own terms and more specifically their own speed. Which is quite fast!

The tour ends with the obligatory snorkeling, barbeque and sailing back towards Paihia, but the tourists are completely nackered by then because of the full day on the water.

Oh yes, we are living the hard life over here!

Day 1 & 2: Going all the way

Sitting on our veranda, in front of the room of our B&B watching the sun setting behind the mountains on the other side of the bay, one is tempted to contemplate life. And so did I.

Paihia, on The Bay of Islands is very scenic, touristic and tranquil. Perched on a slope, overlooking a part of the bay facing Russell, the B&B has 2 rooms for guests and with us the only couple there, the owners have all the time in the world for us. Unfortunately for them, we are suffering from quite a serious case of jetlag as we both slept next to nothing on the flights from Amsterdam to Auckland.

Starting on Friday morning, the journey took us from our house to Schiphol, Singapore and finally Auckland where we arrived at the hotel in the city centre around half past 12 AM on Sunday. The both of us tend not to sleep in air planes which meant we spent 11.5 and 9.5 hours sitting in a chair and watching movies and listening to music. Luckily the food we received was awesome, the best food we’ve ever eaten in an air plane!

The drive from Auckland to the Bay of Islands is really stunningly  beautiful, and has left us both amazed by the serenity of the land. Let’s just get to the conclusion of this past of the story: NZ is jaw droppingly awesomely gorgeous.
Green, lushious trees and shrubbery everywhere and the landscape is dotted with mountains and other features. Nothing like the pancake we tend to enjoy daily back home!