Day 4 – Discovery : Bay of Islands (AKA Hold on there, Michael, what happened to Day 3? AKA El Grande)
Yikes! Has it really been 2 days since my lost confession? :-O
OK, Monday, I climbed (got a lift!) up Sky Tower (didn’t jump!!) and took some free bus tours around Auckland – one to Mt Eden.
The rest of the day I spent in Albert Park planning my week.
After *yet another* afternoon snooze, I set out later that night to photograph the harbour. It has some amazing restaurants that seem to go on for miles. I think I’ll have to visit one before I leave at the end of May.
Tuesday morning was a *bit* of a blur but I think it went a little like this. Slept in maaaaassively, quickly grabbed me stuff, checked out of BASE & sprinted for the bus to Paihia!
Auckland has left some great memories with me but this holiday was all about discovering the ‘real’ (or ‘outdoor’) New Zealand and from my early research, the North was going to help with this 🙂
The 4 hour bus journey flies by as the pastoral scenery is incredible from start to finish. I’ve heard all along that the South Island is the place to be for stunning landscapes but I found so many beautiful places en route to Paihia. The little town of Wellsford especially is somewhere I could see myself settling down for retirement one day – will come back to these posts when I have better WiFi (or ‘weefy’ as my Swiss roommate calls it!) 🙂
Arriving in Piahia – the vista literally took my breath away (ugh, cliche much, Michael?) as the bus made it’s way down the steep hill.
Piahia has been the highlight of my holiday so far. What a beautiful quaint little town. Found a Backpackers place very quickly then just as quickly realised I’d left my converter back at BASE :-O
So no way to charge my phone until the morning!! Sorry close friends & family :-O
The remainder of the evening I spent on a bench by the beach watching the sunset set to some fine iPod sounds including Jon Hopkins’ Monsters score – perfect!!
A girl played some Satie on an outdoor piano by the harbour which just added to the chilled vibe of this place.
This was pretty close to heaven for me. Quick call to my Mum to let her know I still had a pulse before my phone died and it was back to the lodge for some kip 🙂
Up bright and early and it’s a scorcher!! I posted a couple of pressies for Lauren’s birthday and some postcards for friends and then headed into town. But before I got much further I spotted an ad for a cruise to the ‘Hole in the Rock’. The Holiday had just gone Hyper Drive! 😀
Although I have no actual photos of the tour itself, I have been assured by a fellow tourist that they’ll be getting emailed my way soon enough 🙂
Four hours on the water weaving through The Bay of Islands, blue skies, turquoise waters – some utterly incredible hideaways en route – this has easily been the highlight of my adventure so far. Words can’t really so it justice so in the meantime I’ll wait for the photos to come through. When I come back to NZ, I think I’ll just bring a tent and settle down permanently at the ‘Sunset Bay’ Campsite on Otehei Bay <3 Tonight I plan to chill & grab a little grub from 'Amazing Thai' and go a late night stroll along the coast. Big post that - I promise to keep it nice & short next time 🙂