Kia Ora!

Trip Start Apr 16, 2010
Trip End Jul 24, 2010

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Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Kia Ora - that means hello in Maori.


We had a fantastic 3 days in Glenda's plush, open-planned, house in Orewa.  Once again, you were a true diamond Glenda and thanks so much!  We really did live like kiwi kings during our stay, enjoying a sumptuous stew, delicious roast, and a true kiwi BBQ but to name a few of our culinary highlights.  Let's not forget the highly efficient laundry service - whites are white again! The days passed by rapidly, but it was a good chance to recharge our batteries and catch up on much needed sleep (Ollie clocked up 14 1/2 hours on one night).  We spent the days on long beach/bush walks accompanied with a delectable 'hokey pokey' ice cream in hand.  Before we knew it, it was time to say goodbye to the view over the estuary and jump on to the 'Kiwi Experience'! Sweet as!


After an early start, and a 4 hour coach ride, we landed in the Bay of Islands!  It was such a relief to have such an easy journey, with the Kiwi Experience laying on everything we needed: accomodation, transport, and activities.  We soon found ourselves signed up for a day in Cape Reinga the following day.  Although feeling a little tired, we made the most of our day by hiking up to Haruru Falls, and it was well worth the effort!  A gorgeous horseshoe-shaped falls greeted us, followed by a long walk through the tropical bush and mangrove swamps.  Luvly Jubbly!

That evening we cooked (yes, we actually had to make some effort with food!) for the first time this trip as long gone are the days of cheap Asian restaurants.  Where is the local noodle bar when you need it?!  Anyway, we created a culinary masterpiece(!?) in the form of pasta and tomato sauce.  We all got involved, and Dan even did a sterling job cutting the onions. Great stuff!

Today we arose early for our tour of Cape Reinga, not exactly sure what we were going to get for our $89.  Nevertheless, we greeted the 'Awesome NZ' bus with packed lunch in hand and noticed the bus driver, Spike, was far too lively for that time in the morning.  We journeyed for a while, before arriving at our first stop Manginangina, a sub-tropical forest.  It was pretty cool!  And the 4 of us each gave the sacred Kauri tree a hug as is the custom.  After hopping back on board, we enjoyed an hour of Spike's running commentary which was both factual and entertaining, we arrived at our next activity.  To get there however, we had to drive down a stream (yes, in a coach) which was nerve-racking but a lot of fun.  We then arrived in the sand dunes!  Donning our swimming gear and a body board, we headed not for the sea, but for the gigantic dunes before us.  At the top, we duly threw ourselves down, reaching speeds of 50km/hr and praying that we wouldn't lose control of our boards!  It was pretty incredible, and the mark of a good run would be whether you could reach the stream at the bottom or not; we all managed it!  Tim and Ollie we the champs however, with Stef and Dan lagging behind kicking the sand in frustration after a few disappointing runs.  Wild!

After that we headed for Tapotupotu Bay to wash the sand off and have a dip in the Pacific Ocean. We bounded in in a testosterone fueled frenzy and were retreating within 30 seconds thanks to the freeezing cold... We were further ashamed when our bus driver waded comfortably out into the sea for a 30 minute swim, without a wince or scream.

Next we cruised on up to Cape Reinga, the Northernmost point of NZ,
to see the point where the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean 'collide' and take some photos of the lighthouse. We were soon heading home along the '90 mile beach' (only 64 miles in fact but who really cares, we DROVE ALONG THE BEACH IN A BUS!) We soon returned home via a cheeky fush 'n' chups and spent the evening relaxing at the hostel and chatting to some fellow English folks. 

That's all for now folks. We head back down to Auckland at 3pm today for a night in the city before heading to Mercury Bay and then on down South... Hope you're all well!

Comment as always!




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Sue on

Great blog again guys! So glad Glenda was able to look after you. Bless her for all that food and washing! What more could you DOTS ask for?! xx

Ursula on

Kia ora DOTS.... and thank you Glenda for making the boys so welcome. A great way to start your NZ adventure. I loved seeing your photos, it looks as though you've been lucky with the weather so far, all those blue skies and calm seas. Another entertaining blog. I wonder how many pasta and tomato sauce dinners there'll be now you're doing the cooking? xxx

Julia on

Hi you lot, lovely to see you all having so much fun , and still loads more to have!! Looked at the Zephyr trip last evening and you certainly will see lots of NZ. It does look very beautiful even tho you might need your 'long johns'.
Continue to enjoy and keep blogging ,we love it, especially all the photos!
loads of love and prayers for you all Julia x

Aine Kelly on

just after checking out your blog its very good i will have to keep it up now best of luck on the rest of your trip ...Enjoy and ood luck with the cooking

nick,ewa and christian on

the beaches look beautiful , i bet the experience is very different to India and China, keep posting

Nick, Ewa and Christian xxx

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