Beautiful Bay of Islands

Trip Start Dec 20, 2008
Trip End Sep 12, 2009

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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Sunday, June 7, 2009

Since leaving the Tauranga area we have had the best weather!

We took our first bus in NZ towards the Coromandel Peninsula, to a small town called Whitianga. We stayed 3 nights there and enjoyed the sandy beaches and the huge limestone cliff views. We did some relaxing and pretended that it was warm enough to lay on the beach with our books. Didn't last long. The weather is getting alot colder now... once the sun goes down its really chilly.

The whole Coromandel Peninsula is gorgeous. Its all based on the ocean with tons of farm land and beaches. The roads in NZ have always amazed us and they haven't let us down on the North Island either. We were cruising along in the huge bus on a one way road on the side of a cliff edge. When the road starts to curve they have a mirror stuck up on the side of the road on a tree so that you can see if anyone is coming. It just makes you laugh because its just so layed back!

Spend one night in an even smaller town, Coromandel Town, before heading north. Cute little place, where alot of gold was found in the 1800's.

On the morning of our 8 hr bus trip, Will lost his front tooth!!!! Poor guy was biting into a peice of toast when the thing just fell out. It was a tooth that he knocked out as a kid and had been a fake one since then. We were able to get it put back in with some extra super glue the next day. So he was only "Hill Billy Willy" for a day. hahaha

After along day in the bus we arrived to Whangarei, where our new friends Marlene and Jim picked us up. They are family friends from way back and it was great to finally meet them. We stayed 2 nights with them at their home and it was great. They showed us around the area, took us out for lunch and had a good visit. Met their family and friends as well. They had pictures of me and my sister Jamie from when we were 2 and 4 yrs old so it was neat to look at. We both wished we could have had a longer time to visit, but Will and I had to move on... only one more week in NZ!

Yesterday we arrived to the Bay of Islands, Paihia. Great little town on the beach. The whole Bay of Island area was one of the first parts of NZ to be discovered by Captain Cook in the late 1700's. There is a lot of history here between the Maori's and the Europeans... some good and some not so good.

Because of the winter season we were able to get a 2 for 1 deal on some tours of the area. Today we went on a Bay Cruise and Dolphin Watch. Saw a pod of bottle nosed dolphins and lots of beautiful scenary. Tomorrow we are taking a whole day trip up to Cape Reinga, which is the Northern most point of the country, where the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean collide.
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