Up and around the Northland

Trip Start Apr 01, 2010
Trip End Apr 30, 2010

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Flag of New Zealand  , Auckland,
Wednesday, April 7, 2010

If you look at a map of New Zealand, you'll notice that the country is divided by a north island and a south island.  For some reason the south island is considered the mainland, but whatever.  Further, the north island is partitioned into districts, one of which is the Northland.  Well, we drove all over that place today.  On Darryl and Nicola's advice, we headed up to Mangonui to scarf down the "world's best fish and chips."  And they were indeed very good.  But I've gotta say the F&C's are getting a bit tired.  How much of this can one really take.  Someone needs to come over here and open up a fish taco stand or 50.  They'd make a killing. 
Mangonui was a small fishing town.  Very nice.  We got a really good vibe from it, but didn't stay long.  It felt like a real town which welcomed the occasional tourist, unlike some of the touristy places further south.  We then headed southwest toward the Herekini Forest.  We weren't sure which way was best so we just kind of winged it.  Got a little lost but no big deal.  Decided not to do Cape Reigna.  Just a lighthouse at the northern tip.  Too far to drive for so little reward.
  Vaughn got really fussy at one point and we thought we might have to turn the car around and go home.  By the way, this threat has no effect on an 11 month old.  Eventually we arrived at the ferry and crossed the bay over to Rawene.  Cute little place.  Had a rest at the Masonic hotel and then shot down to Opononi where we got our first glimpse of the Tasman Sea from the porch of the Opononi Hotel.  Just beautiful.  Molly can't understand why more people don't live here.  I came up with some lame logic, but she didn't buy it.
So we're bunked down at the local holiday park for the night.  Gorgeous view of the bay in front of us.  No internet connection, so I'll have to upload this later.  Molly wrote the last one in case you couldn't tell.
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Ellie on

It's called the mainland because, by land area, it's the largest of the islands...albeit a little tongue-in-cheek since the difference between North and South Island is not that great! :)

John Whitworth on

First, that's a really cute baby! Second, I wish I were there, too--it's beautiful. Third, if more people lived there it might not be as charming. Finally, thanks for sharing. You did a great job with both the photos and the narrative. Love, Uncle John

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