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Published: March 26th 2017
Our second week in Bay of Islands and our last week in New Zealand was super fun and relaxed! We cooked most our meals in so enjoyed cheffing up oysters, mussels, fish, steak and burgers. The barbecue was great to have and helped us keep on budget!
One day we took the ferry over to the mainland and drove about 30 km north to the town of Keri Keri which is known for its oranges, kiwi fruit, vegetables and wine. Here we visited the Stone Store which is New Zealand's oldest stone building dating back to 1836. We also took the Keri Keri River Track leading to the beautiful Rainbow Falls. All in all, it was a great day!
A highlight for us this week was the dolphin sighting cruise. And yes we spotted lots of dolphins!! It was just hard to get a picture of them jumping, you just never knew when they would appear. However, I did get a few fairly good shorts of them swimming. The kind we saw were the Bottlenose Dolphins that are around 3 meters long and live and play in pods typically of around 10 to 30 members. It was very cool
Hole In the Rock
Named Pearce Island by Captain Cook in honor of one of his sailors
to see them in their natural habitat.
As well, as seeing dolphins we past about 6 different islands in the bay. A very interesting sighting was Robertson Island where captain Cook anchored "The Endeavour". We also stopped at the famous "Hole in the Rock" which is a giant hole formed by wave action over thousands of years. Captain Cook named this rock Piercy Island which stands 478 feet above sea level. The hole is big enough for a huge boat to pass through on a calm day. We also stopped at Urupukapuka Island and walked to the top of the islands for a spectacular 360 degree view of the breathtaking region. As I have said before, my camera just doesn't capture the true beauty!
We are very impressed with the many hiking trails in the area. They are well marked and maintained. Some of them are sponsored by The Rotary Club. We kind of did a hike a day ranging from 30 minutes to a few hours. One in particular we enjoyed right across the street from our place consisted of a few kilometers of boardwalk across the mangroves.
There are a couple of wineries in the
area that we visited for wine tasting and lunch. The settings were beautiful and one of them had a little walking trail through the vineyards with amazing views. Something we found interesting is that the grapevines are all covered with netting to prevent the birds from eating the fruit. We have not seen this in the Okanagan vineyards so obviously the birds are not a problem there.
We have been hoping to see a "kiwi"! Apparently these furry little birds are plentiful but are nocturnal so difficult to spot. I always wondered why New Zealanders were called "kiwis". Dogs have to be on a leash in the bush as they have a tendency to kill them.
We decided just to tour the North Island this trip and maybe do the South Islands another time. As it turns out many of the highways have been closed in the south due to damage from recent earthquakes so our plan worked out for the best.
As mentioned in a previous blog the price of things in New Zealand compare to those in Canada except for the gas. We were surprised to pay almost $2 a litre when we pulled up
to the gas station!
Well that's about it for New Zealand. Tomorrow we take the bus back to Auckalnd and then fly on to Bali.
Thanks for reading!
Mallory and Warren
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