Today was the day we started off our own journey. While playing tennis, Mirte got invited by Robyn to her bach (Kiwi word for cottage). So on our way to Oakura, we stopped to have lunch at Langs Beach with Robyn and her friend Gillian. It was a lot of fun to meet them and we got a lot of tips for the rest of our journey. With a full belly we continued our journey. We slept on a campingsite in Whangaruru Harbour along the beach with a beautiful view! The next morning we did some real life Tetris and packed our car
During the night we were freezing, however it was really hot in the morning. We left the campingsite early and headed on to Russell. On the way there we stopped alongside the road at a beautiful place! Once we arrived in Russell we went to Orongo Bay Holiday Park to stay there for two nights. We hiked to the village to get groceries and the rest of the day we just relaxed a little.
Today we had a nice relaxation day on the beach. It was a bit chilly because of the wind, but looking and listening to the waves was wonderful.
We wanted to go from Okiato to Paihia today, but before we left we were strongly adviced to visit the museum in Russell and so we did. It was an interesting museum which showed the history of Russell (formerly Kororareka which is Maori for sweet pinguin). There were a lot of stories and myths of the Maori tribes. When we arrived in Paihia, we decided to stay in a hostel. We went to the YHA hostel in a dorm room with six other people. In the evening we met two German guys, Max and Mario, and decided to go on a Cape Reinga tour together the next morning.
We woke up at 6 am this morning and drove to Awenui to catch the tour bus. During the trip we sang along to songs because that’s our number one car rule :p. The trip was amazing because we had a very funny Maori guide, who even sang some Maori songs for us.
First stop: A lake
A quick stopover by a beautiful lake to stretch our legs and do some fotoshoots with the 4 cameras we brought alltogether.
Second stop: Tapotupotu Bay
We stopped for a barbecue lunch this time. We got meat and salades and after that we enjoyed the view. But only for a while because the bus was already leaving to go to Cape Reinga.
Third stop: Cape Reinga
The most northern point of New Zealand, where according to Maori tribes the spirits leave the world to begin their journey to the afterworld. The view was amazing again and if you looked closely you could see the Pacific Ocean and the Tasmanian Sea come together.
Fourth stop: Te Paki sand dunes
This was a part we were all really excited about, because you can slide down the enormous sand hills with a bodyboard. It was a lot of fun, a bit dangerous and really dirty. However, because of the combination of sand and water, we got a great afterwards picture.
Fifth stop: 90 Miles Beach
Our last stop was at the 90 Miles Beach. We got so enthusiastic we ran into the water immediately and we didn’t see a big wave coming. With wet shorts as a result, but worst of all Mario caught it on camera. The horror on Miriam’s face is hilarious. Then the tour bus left again and as we went on, the tour guide burst out in to a song again. There were also a lot of great people on the bus, we talked with some Israeli travellers which made the tour even more interesting.
Back at the car, we wanted to have even more adventures so Max drove us to the Rainbow Falls in Kerikeri. Of course we had to take a lot of pictures again as it was really pretty. The rest of the evening we had a lot of fun together cooking and chatting away.
This day was our ‘resting day’. Which meant a tough workout in the morning with our personal trainer Max and tennis in the afternoon with the 4 M’s (we felt it for 2 days). After that we packed and prepared for the leave the next day. Then we ate dinner and ice cream afterwards with some chocolate sauce and a banana we got from another German guy we met. So a meal with a German touch you could say.
Kai Iwi Lake
Today we had to leave the hostel :(. We went off to Waipoua forest and watched the Tane Mahuta, which is the largest Kauri tree with its 51.2 metres. Afterwards we did a two hour hike on the lookout track where we had to disinfect our shoes for four times to stop the spreading of the Kauri dieback disease. It was a really nice track, but because of the rain it was really muddy. We changed our shoes and then went on to the Kai Iwi lakes where we also set up our tent on the camping site. We were really tired after all the adventures so we decided to get into the tent early.
In the morning we took it really slow and went for a wake up swim in the lake. It was a bit chilly, mainly because of the wind, but it was really nice! The rest of the day we drove to Auckland to Mirte’s uncle and aunt again to stay for two nights. On Monday we’re travelling onwards to Coromandel :).
Love Miriam & Mirte