Blogs from Bay of Islands, North Island, New Zealand, Oceania


Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Bay of Islands » Paihia February 28th 2020

The less I say about Auckland the better. People seem to be flocking there to live, but we failed to see the charm. Perhaps in the suburbs it is better, but downtown is crowded, noisy, congested, and lacking in charm, at least for us. The museum is magnificent - more about that later. After a night in Auckland, we headed back out on the road, this time going up the west coast of the North Island and then crossing over to the east side and the Bay of Islands area. In particular, in addition to just seeing more of the North island, we had our sights set on the kauri trees. Among the largest trees on earth, these also represent one of the oldest tree groups on earth, with representative species extending back to the Jurassic ... read more
Kauri slab
Kauri gum
Swamp kauri slab - 7600 years old

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Bay of Islands January 21st 2020

Na dnešek dobře spím a to značí, že budu mít dost energie na nabitý program. Kousek od našeho ubytování se nachází místo podpisu smlouvy z Waitangi, a tak se jdeme nechat poučit o tom, jak to vlastně bylo mezi Brity a Maory. Dnes již víme, že Maoři Britům v podstatě ustoupili. Nechali je zemi vládnout, přitom tu zůstali, aby obývali a uctívali svou posvátnou půdu. Měli jsme tu čest seznámit se s maorskou kulturou a tradicemi při tradičních tancích včetně bojového tance mužů "haka", viděli jsme největší vyřezanou válečnou kánoi měřící 37,5 metrů i blahočet ztepilý ("norfolk pine") z roku 1836. Nadšení odcházíme za dalším neméně zajímavým poznáním, a to do jeskyní Waiomio. A nebyly to jen tak nějaké jeskyně. Nacházeli se zde červíci se svítícími zadečky. Focení bylo přísně zakázáno, ale kdybych to měla... read more
Větve blahočetu ztepilého
Nejdelší válečná kánoe na světě
Buše v okolí jeskyně Waiomio

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Bay of Islands January 20th 2020

Musím uznat, že kontroly i odbavení v Hong Kongu byly vůbec ty nejrychlejší, co jsem doposud zažila. Tak odlétame i přilétáme do cílové destinace na čas. V Aucklandu už ty kontroly tak lehce absolvovatelné nejsou. Nesmíte dovážet žádné jídlo, Vaše turistické vybavení musí být důkladně očištěno od semen cizích rostlich, aby nehrozilo riziko zanesení nechtěného plevele do unikátní novozélandské přírody a to vše pod pohrůžkou pokuty 400 NZD (novozélandských dolarů). A věřte nebo ne, jeden pár, co s námi cestoval byl zadržen za přenesení mandarinky a musel tuto částku na místě uhradit. Ještě jsem se předpokládám nezmínila o tom, že hned první den, a to na letišti v Londýně, přišli první ztráty. Z celkových 11 členů výpravy je nás tedy už jen 10. Tím odpadlíkem byl bohužel 84letý pán, který se při ... read more
Cestou k památníku
Novozélandské dolary
Naše ubytování ve Whaitangi

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Bay of Islands » Paihia January 13th 2020

This was out luxury stay of the trip. Again we had been behind on finding accomodation, and it turned out that New Years was even busier than Christmas, because everyone (many pleople) stay at home for Christmas, but go on summer holidays after. I had stryggled for days searching all over the North Island for something appropriate, and in the end it was Nick who found this website for time-share, where we contacted this guy directly. We ended up letting his week of time share in an appartment four times the size of the room we had just checked out of. It had a pool, lots of local families on holiday, and plenty of fun and games. Paihia was busy, touristy and noisy. Totally opposite of chilled out Russel, just on the other side if the ... read more
The pool - we have the corner appartment in the back
Our waterfall hike
Not much water in the river

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Bay of Islands » Russell January 2nd 2020

Finally we’re off to the beach! Russel is a peninsula in the Bay of Islands, 3-4 hours north of Auckland. It’s an area of 150+ small islands scattered around an area with a rugged coastline, amazing beaches and beautiful nature. Almost everywhere you look, you can see the ocean. So straigh away, we felt right at home. We arrived in the late afternoon, but the boogie boards had to be testet straight away, so we headed for the beach even though it was a bit late. The water was freezing (about 19 degrees), but it was so much fun in the waves that you forget about it when you’re out there. It’s only when you come back in with blue lips and tingling fingers, that you really start feeling it. Luckily we all brought full wetsiuts, ... read more
Russel Beach
Ollie and Alba
More crazy big trees

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Bay of Islands December 15th 2019

Two days ago, I bought a really cool hat for way too much money. It's real leather and also handmade - and I spent the hat-budget for my whole life on it, so it's just gonna be me and this hat, forever. The aesthetic of New Zealand reminds me a lot of North America for some reason. The houses and shops, especially in the countryside, seem very american to me. Also the cattle and sheep everywhere. I've also seen honest to God signs with weird religious phrases on them on the side of the road. I thought that was just an USA-thing, but here we are. A memorable one was: "It matters to me." - God. What is it that matters to him? Why does that sound so ominous? I feel threatened.... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Bay of Islands December 12th 2019

I spent the past two days with two girls from the hostel. After we met, we talked a lot. We had some noodles with pesto for dinner and went out to the beach for ice-cream after; it was a nice day. The next day I went on a tour to Cape Reinga; it was a lot. A lot of places and activities for one day. The cape itself was impressive - we had great weather and all that. More important, though: In Maori culture it's a very spiritual place, where the souls of the departed enter the underworld. I felt a weird sense of peace when I was heading down to the lighthouse, so maybe there's something to that. We also went sand-boarding, which was fun. I got sand in my mouth and almost ran over ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Bay of Islands » Paihia December 10th 2019

I've left Auckland and I'm glad for it. The bars weren't bad, but I wasn't too fond of the rest. I'm in Paihia now; it's considerably smaller and has quite a nice beach. On the drive there, I got my first real impression of New Zealand. It's very spread out, with lots of cows and sheep dotting the landscape. The houses are mostly bungalows, and there are plants here I've never seen before - also some birds with very strange songs. I enjoy them. Staying in hostels is also a lot more chill than expected - I was nervous about it, but it's easier to meet and talk to people you already have a big thing like leaving home to travel in common. In other unsurprising news, I still miss my friends and family. Oh well, ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Bay of Islands May 14th 2018

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 ... read more
Hello Waiheke Island
Waiheke walking buddies
Auckland by night

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Bay of Islands February 10th 2018

Thursday morning we awoke to grey skies and showers. Our plan for the day was to visit Paihia and the Waitangi Treaty grounds. Having done British Pacific History at Uni (48 years ago) I remembered some of the history of this area. We drove to the ferry and had a safe, though, wet crossing. Then it was a short drive into Paihia and through the town to the Treaty grounds themselves. This is now managed by locals. It is $50 entry fee and no discount for Seniors, but there is plenty to do here .The pass gives two days to explore and also see a cultural show as well as have a guided tour, neither of which we bothered about. Our first stop was the excellent Museum. This is very modern with interactive displays and video ... read more

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