Mussels and Millions of Miles

Trip Start Feb 26, 2010
Trip End Feb 26, 2011

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Where I stayed
Te Paki Recreation Reserve – The Northern most camp site in New Zealand

Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Sunday, October 3, 2010

We headed off fairly late and visited the 26m high Whangarei Falls, apparently the most photographed falls in New Zealand, I guess that's because they are so accessible. It was a lovely place and got us a little bit of exercise as we were able to do a short walk along some of the tracks there. We then stocked up on more bits and bobs at New World a cheaper much better and well stocked supermarket and picked up ice from a local off license for the Esky. Before we knew it half the day had gone and we were on our way to the Bay of Islands which is the tourist Mecca of Northland.  En route we stopped at Tutakaka the launching point for The Poor Knights Islands considered to be one of the top ten sites in the world for marine life.  There was little going on here and with the temperature and the wind we weren’t keen to don a wet suit and venture out so we moved on, maybe if we had been here in the summer we would have been chomping at the bit to get out there but Eggsy is a bit of a fair weather snorkeler. 

We arrived at The Bay Of Islands and found a nice town with a buzzing harbour but in the end we opted not to get on one of the tour boats where you can do almost anything water related, game fishing, diving, cruising etc as they were a bit too pricey and we weren’t quite sure what we would do there or do with the van in the mean time. There are signs everywhere warning about car break ins and not leaving values on display, the Lonely Planet also continually warns about car break ins.  Oh dear I have been reading my favourite chapter in Lonely Planet again, dangers and annoyances.

Our next stop was Waitangi the birthplace of New Zealand and the place where the original Waitangi Treaty was signed between the Maori Chiefs and the British Crown bringing New Zealand under British Sovereignty. We tried the cheeky approach claiming to be residents as well as having a working visa but without proof the entrance fee was too steep at 25 Dollars each and after a bit of advice suggesting you can see a lot of the good stuff relating to the treaty at Auckland Museum we gave it a miss. We then headed on right up the coast and into the Far North of Northland a densely populated Maori region and not regularly on the tourist route.

We then headed out to Taupo Bay a place where you could look out over Stephenson Island, well we had to really didn’t we? I also managed to pick up a pair of shoes for about 8 at The Warehouse which were pretty handy and I think a good buy, flip flops just aren’t cutting it out here in New Zealand, plus mine are starting to ming.

We also went to Doubtless Bay another beautiful spot but without enough warmth to lie on the beach, no snorkelling gear and no fishing gear we were feeling a little lost.  Instead we horsed up the northern peninsula towards Cape Reinga where we set up camp for the night at the most northern camp site in the country and cooked up a mean moules marinare with the green lipped mussels we had bought earlier and again mused at how fantastic the night sky is here, we are in serious danger of developing crooked necks.  We felt so isolated and removed from civilisation sat in a deserted field on the very tip of the country. It was a great end to a long day on the road.
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