Trip Start Jan 13, 2010
35Trip End May 28, 2010
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
Puketi Scenic Reserve
We headed back into Whangari, and saw Whangarei Falls, the most photographed falls in NZ. Curtis wanted so badly to jump off of them, but thank God the local lady he asked looked at him like he was an idiot and told him no. Crisis averted. We went out to Abbey Caves, which were out in the middle of nowhere, like all the caves around here seem to be, and then in the farmer's fields you could see all these weird rock formations. The one cave we went into had amazing rock, and we ended up climbing up out of the far end of it and getting mildly lost, but not for long
In this town near Paihia, called Kawakawa, there are these bathrooms called Hundertwasser's Toilets that were designed by an Austrian guy (I think). So we stopped (luckily I had to pee), and they were amazing! Odd, but great.
When we got to Paihia, the little town that's kind of the gateway to the Bay of Islands, we found out it was not the cheapest place to camp. We ended up heading out to a DOC (Department of Conservation) site out in Puketi Forest, 45 min away but dirt cheap. It was beautiful, but as soon as it got dark we were attacked by hoards of mosquitoes. It sounded like it was pouring rain because the bugs were beating on our tent, trying to get in and murder us. It was actually a bit terrifying, but the tent held up:)
Next day, we went to try to find these hot springs, which turned out to be cold springs, and which we never did find... When we finally made it back to Paihia, we spent the day dealing with practical stuff, emailing and banking and trying to get my camera fixed. We managed to find a place we could afford, which turned out to be really nice, with a kitchen and a great view of the waterfall. We met a couple from California and one from London, both very cool.
We spent another weird day doing more annoying practical stuff, and trying to decide whether to go on a tour/cruise thing, and then we got sick of all that and hopped on a boat to go to Russel, across the bay (it was called the Happy Ferry, nice). We wandered around, and checked out NZ's oldest church (1836). Then we bought a litre of discount ice cream, sat on the beach, and ate the whole thing. We felt much better:) Back in Paihia, we looked in another super old church, and then I basically crashed (some sort of sinus/throat cold thing).
We headed out the next day, having not done any of the "must-do" boat cruises or dolphin swims, and feeling pretty good about it. The Bay of Islands was beautiful, but not our favourite place.