A Travellerspoint blog

Catamaran to The Hole in the Rock

February 7th


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Blogging takes time. I’m almost falling asleep now. So I will try and do this one quickly.

Rained quite heavy during the night and was very cloudy when we woke up. Went to breakfast and it started to rain again, not heavily though.
Made the most of the laundry facilities this morning.

Arrived at the Pier for our trip this afternoon. We decided to go onto the top deck as it wasn’t raining. It was very rough in places and we all got quite wet from the sea spray. Then in between it rained. We were told from the outset that we would not be going to The Hole in the Rock. A big sigh from everyone. They had tried in the morning and not been able to get anywhere near due to the bad weather. It was just too dangerous.

The crew spotted a shark but it didn’t hang around. It we did see lots of dolphins. I tried to video them but it was quite choppy.. I had hoped to get something but it was rubbish! I managed to get 2 small dolphins but very distant. 😣

Had a tour of some of the Islands, so many of them. We were taken to Urupukapuka Island for lunch, a barbecue type but indoors due to the weather. The sun did come out for at least 5mins.

Pests have been eradicated from the island and birds have been introduced there with great success.

Zane Grey who I mentioned earlier was a great fisherman and was invited by the NZ Government to show people how to fish mainly for Marlin. He fell in love with New Zealand and built a lodge on the Island. There were many famous people who came to visit over the years. He died in 1939.
Anyway it’s a beautiful place and I can only imagine what it would feel like to be here in glorious weather. We would have had the option of kayaking, walks and swimming. We did have our costumes on, being forever optimistic. Even the crew were shivering. We are hoping that we do not luck out on any future tours we have planned. We have not been lucky with the weather so far.

Back on dry land. Shower, change. Walked to town. This time for an Indian meal at ‘Green’s’. It made a change from the usual menu of fish & chips, burger etc.

Bedtime now. 💤💤

Posted by JanSpencer 01:58 Comments (0)

Leaving Hokianga - Wednesday 6th Feb

Driving to Paihia


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Another scorching hot day. A helicopter had landed on the grass in front of our hotel. I thought it was noisy but hadn’t realised it had landed.
Left around 9am and decided to stop off somewhere to have breakfast.
We had read about The Boathouse at Rowena and decided to give it a go. We almost missed it. Main signs on the road are good, but some tourist attractions aren’t very w ll signposted at all. We have driven a few circles! Anyway, breakfast was nice in an absolutely beautiful spot. We had the veranda to ourselves.

Made our way to Kerikeri where the Rainbow Falls are. The signs seemed to disappear, so after asking someone for directions ended up at Kororipo Heritage Park where a sign said you can walk to the falls. It would take 2 hours for a round trip. We didn’t have that amount of time. Whilst here we visited The Stone Store which is the oldest store in New Zealand. We asked if we were able to drive to Rainbow Falls and luckily we could and were given directions.

Saw the Rainbow Falls and also the Haruru Falls. Had a bit of a traffic jam through Waitanga as it was where the Treaty was signed and there was a big festival. It was a Public Holiday due to commemorating the signing of the Treaty. And what a beautiful day they had for it.

Paihia is the next resort along and we arrived at our hotel. 2 nights here. On arrival we were told the bar was closed as they had no staff. Unloaded and walked I to the town. Ended up at a restaurant/bar on a raised jetty called Zane Grey’s The Dock. Had a nice meal here and stayed looking out to sea. Beautiful. Zane Grey was an American author and explorer. See our trip to The Hole in the Rock.

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Footprints Waipoua and Crossings Hokianga

Twilight Encounter


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An early evening pick up took us back on the road we came in on to the Waipoua Forest. Firstly you have to scrub your shoes and then wash them in disinfectant. This is to stop the spread of disease that is killing some of the trees. We were given information on the various trees in the forest. The guide showed us some of the largest Kauri, pronounced ‘Cody’ trees. And they were huge. We also saw the effects of the disease killing some of these trees.
We saw the largest surviving Kauri tree in the world. Largest as in girth not height. It was absolutely amazing. The guide was a very proud Maori and told some legendary stories on the tour. She also did some Maori singing.

We drove then to another part of the forest to view another of these trees. It was dark by this time and we were provided with torches. The mosquitoes loved us and I’m glad I was covered in insect repellent. Hoodie up. Time for me to get our of here!!

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Leaving Auckland

Copthorne Hotel and Resort Hokiana

Left the Rydges Hotel to pick up hire car. Very nice blue Mitsubishi. Needed to be quite big for all our luggage. Set the sat nav to get out of the City and onto Hokianga. Stopped off at Kauri Museum. Nice museum with history about the Kauri (prounounced) Cody trees. The examples of the wood were exquisite. Well worth the stop. Onto the Copthorne Hotel and resort. If you can manage to get a beachfront apartment you are lucky as they looked lovely. We were at the back with no view. But hey you probably pay a premium for a better view.
The room was well equipped but oh no there was no air-con and it was hot hot hot. We asked for fan but oh dear they didn’t have any. Perhaps the weather was better than usual.
The room could do with some tlc. Cobweb cleaning etc. Otherwise fine for 1 night.

Beautiful beach. The pool looked very inviting but we didn’t have time as we were being picked up for our tour early.

Out in the evening for the Twilight Footprints tour.

Posted by JanSpencer 22:53 Comments (0)

Auckland Sunday

Skytower etc.


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There was something wrong with our safe and a member of staff who came to look at it said they would have to call maintenance. As we were wanting to go out, our valuables were held in their office safe.
Off to the shops and there were lots of them. We had a coffee and sandwich in a nice quiet covered small precinct.
Managed to buy a holdall at a reasonable price. This is so that we don’t have to worry about the weight going back and be able to buy a few things.
Onto the Skytower. $23 each for OAP’s. Have to prove age with ID. Fast lift up (with a part see-through floor) to the Observation Deck with fantastic views 360 degrees. There are also some glass panels in the floor around the tower.
Then up one flight to the Sky Deck. You can also do a Skywalk if you are brave enough. You are tethered by a safety harness and walk around the outside and lean over the top. Not for us!!
There is also the opportunity to bungy/abseil type fall. I managed to record some people doing this. Again not for the fainthearted.

A lovely hot and sunny day. We went to a restaurant on the other side of the harbour called Y-not. Nice meal and view.
We leave the hotel tomorrow to pick up our hire car and start travelling North.

Posted by JanSpencer 11:20 Comments (0)

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