Published: May 4th 2012May 4th 2012
Easter weekend at the Bay Of Islands
Easter is not only good for eating a lot of chocolate and hot cross buns, the best off it all are 4 days off work! So I packed my bags to have a wee holiday at the beautiful Bay of Islands. I went with the Nz backpacker bus "Stray"
, because they offer a great short trip (Patch pass) to see the Northland in 4 days - perfect for a long weekend!
So off we went in the little red bus from Auckland city to Paihia
. We had a great stop at a huge Kauri tree on our way. I have seen many of those trees in NZ already but this was definitely the most impressive one. Our driver told us so many great stories about the region and the nature that went past our bus windows. Just before we reached our destination we did a little side trip to have a look at the public toilets in Kawakawa. The toilets were designed by the Austrian architect Hundertwasser. Plenty of photos were taken from this ordinary toilet with its shiny colors and strange uneven walls where trees grow
out. After this we reached the beautiful Bay of Islands
. The warm sunny day was just perfect for a day at the beach to relax and have yummy fish’n’chips from “Vinnie’s”. The best ones I have tried in NZ so far! For the next two days we stayed at the “Saltwater Lodge” in Paihia
. It is a pretty lodge with everything that you need (even a TV and ensuite) and the staff looked after us so well. I can highly recommend this accommodation!
Paihia is a great spot in the Bay of Islands and offers plenty of activities from boat cruises, sky diving, kayaking to horse rides and tours up to Cape Reinga
. The last thing mentioned was out plan for the next day and was included in out “Stray” trip. Early in the morning we head up north to our destination of the day: New Zealand’s most northern point! I have already traveled around NZ but this spot was definitely one of the most stunning ones! This place hosts so many Maori tales and it actually felt so mystic and special. It has an amazing outlook on the Tasmanian Sea that is meeting the Pacific Ocean. This
land looks so untouched and the sea seems like it is endless. The next stop on the tour was the huge sand dunes not far from the cape. All the passengers went crazy and had such much fun while sliding down the massive dunes. What a great free activity stop! As we had a very busy day with lots to see we went on to have a ride with the bus on the 90mile beach
(which is actually only 55miles long). By the way the beach is an official road with all the normal road rules. Our last stop was a nice dinner at a fish’n’chip shop (again). Not as yummy as the one in Paihia but with an awesome view on the bay. This is how our exciting day ended with lost of great impressions! I was really excited about the next day because I was going to go on a boat trip for a night with “The Rock
”. We went aboard at 4 in the afternoon and got to know our awesome boat crew and passengers for the next 22 hours. “The Rock” is such a cool houseboat with a huge bar and lounge area to hang out
(even with a pool table, a piano and a fire place) and our cute rooms upstairs. First thing we did to get to know each other was a clay pigeon shooting with an introduction of everyone. Lots of fun and time for our first drink that night! After watching the beautiful sunset on the deck of the boat, the next activity was already coming up. As we were suppose to have a bbq at night we needed to do some fishing, so we can put fresh fish on the barbeque. It was the first time that I fished and I loved it. We all caught plenty of fish but unfortunately most of the snappers were too small and we had to give them back to the see. But not without kissing them first – an old fishing tradition. We deserved our dinner so much after fishing so patiently. The crew organized such lovely food, many salads, bread rolls, sausages and steak. Yum! Even though we had full tummies the adventure went on. Night kayaking was the next activity. That was just an amazing experience to be out on the dark sea in the kayak, lying on the back and looking
at the gorgeous sky full of stars. When we were back on the boat we sat around the fire to get warm again while listening to someone playing the guitar. Could this get any better?! At 12 the lights on the boat went off to get some sleep for the next exciting day. Waking up in the next morning was amazing! Seeing the sun rising and the first people were already in the sea instead of a morning shower. The crew prepared a yummy breakfast for us. Today’s plan was snorkeling and a visit on one of the islands. Snorkeling in the middle of the sea around a rock formation was such a good experience. We tried to catch urchins that stuck on the rocks. The last thing we were going to do was a visit on the Roberton Island
. An amazing small island surrounded by crystal clear water and a stunning outlook. A fantastic place to relax in the sun and to discover the bays with the kayak. This was my last highlight before I went back on the bus to Auckland.
What a great short break that felt like being on holiday for weeks. I highly recommend
and also “Rock – The boat”!
There are more photos below