Trip Start Sep 03, 2007
Trip End Jun 17, 2009

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A dry day at last with some sunshine. We now set off southwards and headed back to have a look at 'Whangerai'. As we climbed away from the bay and over the hills we were stopped at a road block. Due to the heavy rain there had been a big rock slip which had part blocked the road but had also left a tree overhanging which could fall at any time.

We turned back and navigated a way through on the Opua Forest road, a gravel practically single track road across country, through forests and then fields. It was an 'interesting' rally run! We finally reached Hwy 1 and passed through the previously flooded, now wet, fields and still high streams and rivers.

We headed back south eastwards through the drying valley and passed a fruit farm. Yep - big bag of kiwi fruit cost us just over a pound. I mean you can't come to New Zealand and not sample the kiwi fruit - it would just be unsociable!!

We looked round Whangarei, a modern city and then another look at the 'Whangarei Falls', now back to a pretty cascade after yesterday's torrents.

Late afternoon and we were back in 'Tutukaka' on the east coast, where we booked into the modern hotel at Tutukaka harbour for two nights.

Distance driven    157  Km                    97 miles
Distance driven from Wellington ferry  1918  miles

Thursday 29th May

An early start and in the dive centre for 8am, to leave the jetty at 8.30. On the way out I spotted an old RNLI Arun class lifeboat that had served in 'Weymouth' in England, now retired at the other side of the world. The 'Poor Knights Islands', named by Captain Cook, are 23Km offshore and it took us 45 minutes to reach them. Kitted up and into a cool 17deg sea to pass through kelp forests on the slope of the old volcano that had broken up to form the islands. Masses of interesting fish, some of them tropical by the quirk of a warm current that flows down to here from Asia.

Over lunch we motored into the largest sea cave in the world and then passed through a couple of enormous limestone rock arches, several feature in the area, all of which were very impressive. After passing weathered rocky outcrops, we had a second dive through a submerged arch, again with lots of fish. A good day out.

Norah had decided to stay in the quiet harbour area and enjoy an easy day meandering round the bay in the sunshine, the first one for a while where we had not been travelling.
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