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Published: February 20th 2011
Hahei Beach to Auckland
Hahei beach has been described as “ A little bit of Heaven”. It certainly is beautiful. Norm was up early to catch a beautiful sunrise while I made breakfast. Sunrise was lovely but sky is dark, full of clouds and surf is rough. Toast and cereal then, check out and off to find Cathedral Coves kayaks- an original “desk on the beach” – literally- with mobile VISA ! Looking at the weather I am not optimistic we will be going out.
One lady spies my Calgary shirt and our Tilly hats and asks us where in Canada we are from. She is from London with a cottage in Port Elgin. We have a lovely chat and visit. She is truly an inspiration – she is 75, travelling New Zealand on her own, driving and somewhat disappointed as the full day kayak she had booked was changed to a half day due to surf conditions. She has just spent a week in Hong Kong with a friend and has 3 weeks in NZ then off to Australia where she will be joined by her two daughters for a week’s sailing ( as in rent
a boat and off you go !), celebrating her oldest daughter’s 50th birthday. She does ask to go in a tandem kayak so she is not kayaking on her own.
Waves are high, but clouds are clearing – so off we go – launching into waves about 1 metre high – this is a challenge. Needless to say – we get very wet as the waves literally break higher than my head. It’s tricky to keep the kayak straight until we are in deeper water then things are fine. Still quite wavy but ok. We wander down the coast to Cathedral Cove with our guide explaining the history of the area and its Maori significance and names as well as information on the sealife. At Cathedral Cove we go in one at a time as waves are still high and we have a narrow area to land in without tipping over due to the high waves. Beach is beautiful, warm sand – almost deserted. As we relax and swim Hayden prepares a lovely snack – café latte, mocha latte, hot chocolate, teas or other hot drinks. Looks like a connoisseur snack when he is done. Norm tried snorkelling but
the waves were stirring up the water too much to see the bottom. Then another challenging launch into the waves. The one we get launched into is about 5 foot and our kayak is very wet. Lovely way to spend 4 hours.
Then a short hike as Norm tries to find our way to Stingray Bay to try snorkelling. After quite a hike, up and down hills- the only way in NZ – we turn back as the last part is a mud slide. Good exercise. Lunch is ice cream.
Back to Hahei beach for one more swim. Carefully though as we still have big waves. Water is LOVELY!
Off towards to Auckland – back through the twisty hill roads (major highway). Run into some construction which is a challenge as there are no shoulders. Keep getting passed by motorbikes who seem to think that the double yellow lines are their private bike lane. There is NO ROOM ! keep seeing signs that indicate this is an area of high motor bike crashes. I wonder why. Oh yes – speed limits are still 100 km on these twisty roads except in a few places.
Finally - Auckland.
Our home away from home is a lovely motel room with an upstairs- queen bedsitting room and spa tub, downstairs is a full kitchen and two single beds and patio. Tomorrow – Auckland tour.
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