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Published: January 31st 2011
Barbara Has returned home. Weather and flood derailed the week RVing in Australia. David is doing train travel across Australia now. Decided to give you a final message and pictures on our time in New Zealand.
After leaving the thermal pools in the Waikite Valley we headed north past Auckland. Rained most of the day, but turned nice as we approached Whangarei on the northeast coast of the North Island. Relaxed the rest of the day in a very nice, small, family-owned campground located only about 500 m from a beautiful waterfall. Waited until the next day to walk to the waterfall and then on to a Kauri tree forest. Kauri trees are very old (many 500 years or older), but disappearing in New Zealand with only a few protected areas left. We should not have waited. The next day was a gray and drizzly day. Decided to go on the walk anyway. Entire walk was beautiful, but drizzle turned to a steady rain part way to the Kauri tree area so were all pretty wet when we got back to the RV. Fortunately there was a laundry at the campground so all worked out.
Headed back south the
next day to go to the Waipu Glow Worm Cave. There are many caves in NZ with glow worms. This one was listed as very nice with few tourists and no entry fee. Another gray day, but no rain. The cave was amazing. Walked about 100 m into the cave in a small ankle deep stream. Cave opens into a large chamber. Once you turn your flashlights off the entire ceiling looks like the night sky on a clear starry night. Beautiful. The glow worms are so small you can't see them in the light, only in the dark. Hope they show up in the attached picture. Headed from the cave to the coast for a beach cliff walk described as one of the best in the country. By the time we arrived the rain had returned along with stiff winds so cancelled that activity.
We continued south to just north of Auckland and returned to the campgroun in Orewa which we loved because it was right on a beautiful stretch of beach. Rained hard the next day, but then started to clear so the last 2 days in NZ were lovely and got to do some relaxing beaching
walking. A good way to end the trip.
On Jan. 26 we flew to Brisbane where we stayed near the airport. I flew home the next day and later in the day Paige flew home to Missouri. David is traveling on his own for the rest of trip and will be sharing things with you from hear. I am a little sad I didn't get to see any of Australia (will need to return) but also glad to be home. Barb
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