23.06.2007 - 27.06.2007 16 °C
We only stayed in Whangarei for a night and headed away early to get to Paihia further north so we could have more time in the Bay of Islands. The drive up the east coast is fab and its scattered with beaches, coves and small picturesque villages. We stopped at Cooper beach for lunch , a gorgeous spot where the sands and stones are actually a pink colour..and meet some cool birds too!
We drove on up to a place called Kawakawa where its famous for its toilets.. i have to say the nicest public ones we have come across!
we stopped at Paihia for a bit and caught up on some email and washing..before heading up to the tip of the north island cape Reinga and 90 mile beach. Our ezy cruisa wasnt allowed drive on the sand so we booked on a cool tour to take us all around the beach and dunes.
We booked into another motor camp Top 10 and it was class as it was right beside the beach so it was right and handy for them to come get us in the morning for the day tour. It also had an interesting way of pot planting too!
We all piled on this big beach buggy still bus and headed up the 90 mile beach it was class, the sea was a bit rough but we wanted a bit of wind as the next stop was sand surfing! We all got out and were given plastic toboggan things and away we went up these massive dunes, and told to simply keep your feet in and go for it! It was class although the climb to the top was a killer but you got some speed coming down!
and yes we had some fallers - Ger just before he crashed out!
We stayed here a good bit before heading on up to the tip and the lighthouse, it felt like a real achievment for us both as we had been from the southern tip of the south island and now we had arrived at cape reinga at the northern tip of the north island...it was a great way to round off our driving adventures round NZ.
We stopped just at a beach round from the lighthouse for lunch before we started the 2 hour drive back down the beach for sunset.
But we left our mark on one of the glass/silicon squeaky beaches we stopped at which was lovely..
We arrived back down at beach for sunset and it was great, it was practically god like looking at the sky!
Ger looking very cool on the beach!!
We were heading away the following morning to get back to Auckland to srop off the van - finally! but we stopped off at the Kauri Kingdom to see the worlds largest wooden staircase first! - pretty cool place with loads of class carvings, thankfully says ger none of them small enough to buy and bring with us!
It took us about 4 hours to drive to Dargaville about half way to Auckland so we stopped here for the night , but the drive down through the Kauri forest with huge tress was mad and we even managed to stop off for some sight seeing and rubgy playing!
We arrived into Auckland the next day at about 1 and said goodbye to our wee cruisa van... we had clocked up 4973km in it driving and it has been one of the highlights and achievements we have done so far - if you want to test a relationship that is the way forward! All good memories though.
So we booked into our hotel for the next 2 nights staying in Auckland and i have to say it was great to have space again and a proper bathroom! Auckland is a pretty cool place and teh skytower is class, i was going to jump off it but thought i would save the money and look for a sky dive somewhere as well as i am craving to that more..the views were class though and some building looked as though they had tv's on them..
Apart from chilling out, going to the sky tower the only other place we seen in Auckland was the kelly Tarlton's underwater world - great for kids so we gave it a go and i have to say the best thing about it is the snow mobile ride through the penguins ice home where you can get up close and personal with even the baby ones..
We left Auckland on wednesday the 27th June heading for San Francisco and the next stage! But NZ had been great from start to finish and hopefully we will get to go back to do the tongariro crossing some day!