Joined January 2019 Message
  • Day39

    Goodbye, goodbye, we,re leaving .

    February 27, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌙 14 °C

    We got up this morning and had breakfast with our hosts .As we didn't have to leave till 12md they suggested we walked up Mount Eden . There are 50+ dormant volcanoes in Aukland and Mount Eden is one of them .We were dropped at the bottom and proceeded to climb up along the path which goes up and around it. A daunting task for me at the best of times, hills finish me. Whether it was the breakfast fabulous !, the flight socks💥or just a good day I managed it. What a view, all 360 degrees around Aukland. The harbour bridge, skytower and bay were amazing and the number of other volcanoes you could see. I did not realise how far it spread out. We walked back to The Grange to say good-bye to our hosts. I can't recommend them highly enough 👍👍👍I am now sitting with Chris in Aukland airport waiting for our flight to Singapore, then on to Paris and then Manchester. There we will part and I will carry in to Dublin and Kilkenny getting home about 8pm on Thursday night.🤗😔happy to be home but sad to leave such a great place. I would love to come back .I.l finish this blog when I get home as I have photos to download from my I pad and some proof reading to doRead more

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  • Day38

    Goobye Doris, hello Aukland

    February 26, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    .Chris went for a last swim after we had packed and cleaned Doris😥and headed to Aukland. We were going to go direct to Sunrise holiday at the airport but decided to drop our cases off at the bed and breakfast first. What an amazing place, can't wait to stay there . At Sunrise holidays we handed Doris over and she got a complete bill if health. Not bad after 5 weeks and 5893kms😱the staff who were doing the cleaning were great fun telling us of their exploits delivering vans between the islands.We got a cab back to Mount Eden where we were staying at The Grange. A beautiful 1870,s colonial style house which the owners had completely restored over 20 years . Hilary and Roy Lyall were amazing hosts it was like being with family.Beautuful rooms full of Victorian charm and Hilary's amazing eye for details. They design and make the most amazing original teddy bears and sell all over the world. We had free run of their house and garden. We were going out in the evening to eat but in the end all four of us sat down to an Indian take away and copious wines🍷🍷🍷it was like being with old friends. We ended the evening watching two hedgehogs chase each other around the garden. And so to bed.After all the time we had Chris was glad not to be sleeping on the child's bed so I let her have the biggest room I kind of not?💤💤💤Read more

  • Day37

    Goat Island and beyond

    February 25, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌬 17 °C

    Packed up from Leigh and headed off to Goat Island Marine Sanctuary .🦀🦀🐬🐡🐙We nearly had a passenger as the site cat crept in to sleep on the chair. Went to the research centre and had really good chat with a marine biologist and look around, then off to beach to swim. Most people were snorkeling as the water is very clear and you can see the fish in the reef.🐬🐬🐬We stayed for a few hours then headed of South towards Owera Beach where we were spending the night. We stopped off in Puhoi which is one of the first places settled in 1870,s by Germans. There is a ovely old church and museum Also the old pub started in 1876 which is filled with oddities where we had to have a coffee and cider.☕🍺🍺☕Guess who was driving😱 We arrived at Orewa Beach camp and got a site right on the beach Amazing beach and when the tide goes out it stretches out for miles. We now have to start packing up as Doris goes back tomorrow in Aukland and we get ready to fly home😭😭😭🌏🌏🌏🌏Read more

  • Day36

    Homeward bound

    February 24, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Well the jigsaw got finished at 0030!! Never give up. It's now been donated to the Top 10 site at Pihia.We set off in drizzle but as we got further south it got better. We had made no definite plans except we had to get the van, Doris, back to Aukland by 4pm Tuesday.Eventually we decided to head to the Goat Island Marine Reserve just north of Aukland. On the way we stopped at Whangarei as we,d passed through on the way up. Lovely marina and restaurants around it. Old Victorian houses . As usual we hadn't booked anywhere but using the trusty Rankins web site we headed to Leigh. What a well kept secret❤we found Ian and Heather's Leigh Central Motel and Caravan Park .Unfortunatly we couldn't get hold of them as our telephone contract for NZ had run out.😱😱😱.We found s really nice young man who was staying there and lent us his phone .unfortunatly we couldn't get an answer so decided to look at the spaces available.Ian and Heather found us .What a find , self contained,free wi fi,electricity, for a donation or extra if you wanted kitchens, hot showers etc . Lovely view over Mathieson Bay. First stop the bay for a swim, second the shop for wine,third and best Italian food cooked to order at the local stall that had just set up😍in for the night.Read more

  • Day35

    Dolphin swim

    February 23, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌧 21 °C

    It rained all night and still didn't get to finish Jigsaw 😱brighter this morning with light showers. Amazing how the tides are here. Last night water was up to top of wall by our camper. This morning it has gone out and it's like mud flats.Full of birds looking for food. 12md picked up by tour operator and taken to the boat. After safety talk and info about swimming with dolphins, if you can,t swim you can,t go in!! we headed off.👙👙 Very overcast and humid and quite smooth till we got into the bay. The area of Bay if Islands has 144 islands if varying sizes and occupation .After about 30 mins a dolphin was spotted and then they appeared in groups of about 3 or 4🐬🐬🐬🌏. Included in these were babies. Due to DOC regulations we were not allowed to swim with babies as it disturbs their feeding. We spent about 45 minutes's watching them. The sea was quite strong so I.m not sure I would have gone in if we could. I.m ok in a pool but not used to deep water swimming . When we left we sailed around for a couple of hours but didn't see anymore. The rain really started to come down but suddenly cleared and we made it to a beautiful sandy cove where we went for a swim before heading back. A really enjoyable day. Clutching a bottle of red wine🍷🍷🍷🍷 we got back to the camp to settle down to the jigsaw for another night.We,ll have to finish it as we,re off tomorrow and need the table 🌏Read more

  • Day34

    Bay of Islands

    February 22, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌧 22 °C

    Awoke to a rainy overcast day but very warm. Decided to go for an early morning swim .The water was warm probably due to the shallowness of the bay, but really refreshing .We set off to news that a cyclone was due to hit the Area. As we drove to Pihia the rain got worse😭😭😭We stopped at Kawakawa a really arty town. It has a steam train that drives down the main street. All over the street are pieces of art and the main attraction are the public toilets designed by an Austrian artist called Friedensreich Hundertwasser! He lived and worked in the town If you know Gaudi it's similar but I don't think as good. From there we continued in the rain to Pihia to find out about our dolphin swim.Its now been put off till tomorrow afternoon so will have to wait and see,😱We,ve booked in to Top 10 in the town. A lovely site direct onto the bay and we are facing it. Unfortunatly the rain has,not stopped. Books and jigsaws and wine are the order of the day Luckily the wi fi is working so I ve caught up with penguins🤗4 more days to go😭Read more

  • Day33

    Whangari and Wellington Beach

    February 21, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ ☁️ 24 °C

    We decided to leave Coromandel. The scenery was beautiful as were the beaches but time is getting short and we need to be in Pihia for Saturday to swim with the dolphins. It's a long drive up through Aukland. All that traffic, had forgotten what it's like to see so many cars and people. I managed to get some photos of the big bridge in Aukland which my sister wanted. It's raining now, doesn't bode well !! Arrived in Whangarei and after lunch we were advised to go to Wellington Beach at Tutukaka to stay. Eventually found it. Lovely location on the beach very good for swimming.The tide was out and you can walk out a long way. We were with a Swiss and an Argentinian couple and were later joined by a German couple .Read more

  • Day32

    Start of Coramandel visit.

    February 20, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌧 22 °C

    From Whangamata we drove to Taiura.We stopped at Pauanui a town on the estuary. Beautiful location but mainly very expensive holiday homes with their own boat dock😱 We then went into Taiura a similar place. Set on an inlet, fabulous setting and expensive houses again .They feel a bit like ghost towns as there are so many empty holiday homes. We drove to Hot water Beach for lunch. What a strange place. Due to the geography you can dig a hole on the beach and it fills with boiling water from underneath and then the sea water comes in and cools it down. Then you sit in it🤔🤔A very strange sight to see hundreds of people with hired spades at 10 dollars ago digging holes in the sand. Not a sand castle in sight !! We then went to Cathedral Cove but decided not to take the boat trip as it was 95 dollars for an hour's ride. We went to stay at Cooks Beach where we met a couple of English girls who had just arrived on their way to Australia for a year.Read more

  • Day31

    Coramandel here we come.

    February 19, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    Drove up to Whangamata and stopped. Trying to save time to get to Bay of Islands sun bathing .weather is good but overcast .Not a lot to see there. Found a camp place on the road at the side of a sports field!! Very glamorous..a nice couple from Australia parked next to us for the night .wouldn't go back.Read more

  • Day30

    Healthy baths

    February 18, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    Went back to Rotarua from Paul's .We went to the Maori cultural centre at the thermal springs. Absolutely fascinating like being in prehistoric landscape.🤔 Boiling mud,sulpher lakes and geysers.Also saw a Kiwi bird, not person, which are nocturnal but these are in rescue programme . Fabulous Maori sculptures. Then we headed off to see blue and green lakes, so called because of their colours and on to the Redwoods which is a forest planted years ago with hundreds of different trees including these massive Californian Redwood trees .There is a tree walk through them about 12 m from ground.😱we left Rotorua and headed north towards the CoromandalRead more

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