Published: August 5th 2007July 25th 2007
Silvereyes are very partial to banana and chocolate muffins.
After a long and deep sleep I awoke to find my lock had been tampered with, so I breathed a sigh of relief that i'd thought to wear my tracksuit bottoms and a T-shirt to bed as it meant a trip down to Reception to ask for some lock cutting equipment.
With the lock sorted I found the quay and bought my ticket over to Rangitoto island (a volcano which last erupted 600 years ago). The trip across was quite calm but perishing cold, i almost reconsidering sitting out on the deck but persevered so i could get the most of the sights around me. The route up to the summit was quite challenging at times which you'd expect of a volcano with the black basaltic rock and mangled roots which made up the pathway. I soon worked up a sweat and peeled off my layers so i was in my T-shirt by the time i reached the top (A hawaiian lady was quite concerned that i would freeze but the Australian I'd been chatting to explained..."It's alright love she comes from Wales!" . I reached the crater first which was filled with pohutukawa trees. The summit offered stunning views of
Auckland from Rangitoto Island
It was a pretty good view it has to be said.
the Hauraki Gulf and the skyline of Auckland, easily visible were the harbour bridge and the Sky tower. There were also some incredibly friendly greenish birds at the top, that decided that they liked the look of my banana and chocolate muffin, which to be fair was pretty tasty so they kept taking bits of out my hand. (Yes i was a geek and did google them later, they were Silvereyes!). It was a great trip up Rangitoto and the trip back across the harbour was great, i did get off in the wrong stop and they were just about pulling away when i yelled to get back on, i blame the jet lag!
Thursday 26th July
I'd booked myself onto a tour type bus to get myself around the North island and having never been on a tour i had no idea what to expect. the company is called Stray travel and the driver is a crazy bloke called Catwalk. (Think of a cross between a young Mel Gibson and george Clooney) We went up Mount Eden first which offered a superb vista of pretty much all of Auckland, more volcano spotting for me! Our next stop
Kidney Fern Glen
I got a little lost in here...yes I was by myself but I have an inbuilt sense of direction!
was Paku hill, a fairly steep walk up but another chance for some great views of the Coromandel which is the peninsula to the East of Auckland. Again, some more very friendly birds kept hopping around on the off-chance for some crumbs or some grubs, these ones were fantails! (I didn't have to look those up, Catwalk knew what they were!) We were staying in Hahei Camping ground and Lodge which was a 2 minute walk to the beach where i had the most awesome few hours of Kayaking on Mercury Bay. I shared a Kayak with the guide Mike (He reckoned i looked most trouble), we went through a marine reserve to a small bay called Gemstone Bay and then on into Stingray Bay, so named for all the stingrays that come to feed there. We spotted about a dozen or so just cruising through the water. The other side of Stingray Bay was a cave where we just paddled into and watched the rain that began to fall! Through the rain we moved onto Cathedral Cove which was just outstanding we stopped under the Cathedral rock where Mike made the most delicious Mochaccinos, (I've been told that i
Just for you Geology geeks!
need to work on my adjectives!) While we were sipping out hot drinks, trying not to let the cold show, the sun came out and made for some great photo opportunities. We kayaked further out into the Bay and around Motueka Island, lots of shags on the rocks. (Thought the jokes couldn't get worse after the Steve Irwin ones in Stingray Bay but oh yes they could and did!) The trip ended up back in Hahei and i have to say i'm totally converted to Kayaking and now want one of my own. I rock at Kayaking...Lol.
(Photos will come when i get round to it!)
There are more photos below