Travel Journal

Northeast and Northwest coastline

(Monday 29 June 2009) by Dopps Family
Northeast and Northwest coast, Paihia and Omapere, New Zealand (June 25-29th)
Since Thursday our weather has been warmer but also wetter as the high pressure that’s been keeping NZ sunny for the past week has left. Oh well, the dreariness of the rain and grey skies will make the tropical temps of Tonga and Samoa even more enticing. The northlands here are very beautiful with a subtropical climate, rolling green hills, forests and white and gold sand beaches – even more so in the summer – which is why one can understand why many people want to immigrate here to work or retire. There are B&Bs and motels everywhere along the coastline here, especially around the “Bay of Islands” and the towns of Paihia, Russell and Kerikeri. You can literally spends weeks here hiking, diving, boating, ski-diving, and relaxing as you drain your bank account away. The activities here are quite expensive compared to everywhere else we’ve been, but that’s to be expected when traveling on a budget. We’ve also learned the difference between a motel and a hotel, at least here. Motels all have rooms that are self-catering with stocked kitchens as well as the amenities of a normal hotel, whereas a hotel doesn’t have any kitchen but typically has restaurants and activity centers.
So with the weather not cooperating, we’ve spent more time inside and looking for indoor activities (and driving many hours in the car as we repeat our ritual of looking for a place to sleep, unpacking, then repacking the next day, drive to the next town and do it all over again). When we made it to the west coast by Omapere, where we stayed at a nice cottage on sea, the sun finally came out and provided us with beautiful views. Today we spent most the day driving the distance back towards Auckland and through the Kauri forest where we visited the largest ancient and still alive Kauri tree in New Zealand. It’s an impressive 13.8 meters in diameter around the trunk and over 51.5 meters high. They estimate this particular tree is over 2000 years old, sprouting from a seed during the time of Christ. Once through the forest with the slow winding road behind us Cianna asked when we would be home. “Why do you ask?” we asked of her. “Because I’m tired of all the driving and looking around for places to stay.” My response: “And so am I”.

  • Inspiring by Trish


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