East coast, NorthlandDecember 17, 2017 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C
We headed up the east coast and first we stopped in a place called Waipu, a very interesting Scottish town which was settled by a group of clans in 1834. They left Scotland in 1800 and first stopped in Nova Scotia, this place was bitterly cold so they then settled in Australia. Again this place had its problems with land costs, so they set sale again and after just over 30yrs they ended up in Waipu on the east coast of the Northland. We eventually set up camp in Ruakaka and both had a swim and body board on the beautiful beach. Our second day we headed for the Waipu caves to see the glow worms, we had to take torches and wade through the water with the eels. The glow worms were so cool, it took some time for the eyes to adjust though. Now time for a trek up Mt Manaia which is on the Whangarei heads. It was boiling and there were so many steps, but the views from the top were awesome. We were so hot that a quick drive down to Ocean Beach was needed, although Maddie nearly drowned in the big waves. Back in the car and off again to see the Whangarei falls which were very pretty. The mermaid pools were the last thing to do, the beach was in the top ten of New Zealand, but we had to get the tide right and once past the beach at the hill, we had to climb over and head down to the rock pools. The pools were green and crystal clear. We dived off the rocks and then eventually the tide came in and we trekked back over the hill and waded through the sea. Our plan for the evening after all this was to stay at the Aroha Island eco reserve so we could see Kiwis, but we weren't offered the red lamp (white light blinds them) and spent a fruitless hour floundering in the dark and getting spooked by every noise! Beautiful campsite though and we could hear the kiwis, rurus and all sorts of birds singing away!
Day three and after Rainbow Falls we visited Mahinepua Bay and the headlands with spectacular views north and just as good south (and east, and west..). We swam in our own private bay then went back to the beach for a proper swim. Much needed as it was boiling and the sand burnt our feet. We bobbed about for hours in what was as close to paradise as I think you'll get. Unfortunately, we were rewarded with sunburn and after giving a baby hedgehog some water, we headed off to the next adventure!Read more