Auckland & Bay of Islands

Published: May 14th 2018
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After another “fun” day of sitting in a bus for 11 hours (with a bus driver named Gollum), I arrived in Auckland. Since Auckland isn't exactly my favourite city, the next morning I took the ferry to Waiheke island with Eva and Marina (met them earlier on my trip). The island was gorgeous. You could see the ocean from most parts of the island and it was all so green! We walked around a little village called Oneroa and slept on the beach for a bit. It was a lovely little getaway from the busy city.

The bus to the Bay of Islands felt like a school trip. The bus driver, Muesli, made us introduce ourselves with our name and country. It worked, it broke the ice. When we arrived in Paihia, we all took the ferry to Russell together to visit a small museum, a small walk up a hill and a church with bullet holes from about 200-300 years ago. No place was sacred in Russell (nicknamed 'hellhole of the Pacific”) during that time; it was inhabited by pirates and sailors who hadn't seen land for months, so they all drank and fought a lot.

The next morning, a tour bus took us to Cape Reinga. Despite the clouds, it was gorgeous to see the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean meet - there is a clear line since they’re both a different colour and they don't blend. We also saw some enormous Kauri trees, which continue to grow not only in height but also in their diameter and they can reach ages of thousands of years old. The bus driver was cute and he loved talking. He told us about every tree, animal and tractor that he saw, and on the way back he started asking us “did we remember the name of that tree?”. Of course, no one did.
Near the end, we got to try sandboarding: laying on a bodyboard and sliding down a steep sand dune. It was a lot of fun, even though a lot of us crashed into the shallow stream of water, myself included.

The next activity was a boat ride to the “famous” hole in the rock, which the boat could sail through. My personal highlight were the dolphins. They were bottlenose dolphins, who love to surf on the waves that boats create. They swam around the boat and one little dolphin of 2,5 months old showed off a couple jumps, it was adorable!

Then it was time for the rest of the group to leave, but I still had to more nights, leaving me alone in Paihia. Completely alone, since I didn't get new roommates either. While I enjoyed my very cheap, surprise private room with my own bathroom, some company would have been nice. Regardless, I sat on the beach and walked around, eating ice cream and enjoying the sun so it wasn't that bad 😉.

My last few nights in Auckland, I spent in a private hotel room. I had my own bathroom, mini kitchen and - wait for it - DOUBLE BED. Needless to say, I enjoyed this luxury. Now it's time to leave New Zealand. I'm very excited for my next adventure: a road trip with a girl I have yet to meet (we skyped and texted though)!

Additional photos below
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Ferry Russell back to PaihiaFerry Russell back to Paihia
Ferry Russell back to Paihia

Turned out it was the wrong ferry - different price - but the captain told us that he "didn't give a fuck" so we could hop on anyway!

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