• Day37

    Beautiful Bay of Islands boat cruise

    December 20, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    Quite a while before we left on our trip, we researched some tours we were interested in taking. This particular one was on the Sea Shuttle through the Bay of Islands, and at the time was rated the number 2 tour in this area on Trip Advisor, so we booked it. It’s now rated #1, and for good reason!! We met our Captain, Adam, and his lovely first mate, Gwen at around 9:45 to leave for 10am with 16 other passengers. We got on our way, cruising past Russell, then out through the islands till we got to Roberton Island, which was one of Captain Cook’s landing sites, but was not originally discovered by him. We disembarked and took a short hike up the hill to a lookout with amazing views of the surrounding islands and bays. When we got back down to the beach, Adam and Gwen had tea, coffee and cookies waiting for us, which was a nice touch. There was a lagoon at one end of the beach, and walking out to it, we saw two black birds with long red beaks - the birds are called Oyster Catchers - Mama was in her nest, looking after her eggs, while Dad kept watch close by on the beach, taking care of her. We got back on the boat and started out to our second island, when we were treated to a school of dolphins swimming not far ahead of us - tried to get some photos, but didn’t really capture the beauty of what we saw.

    We arrived at our second island, a remote sheltered beach where there were more trails to hike, as well as snorkelling and paddle board equipment available to anyone who wanted to use it. We had brought some lunch, so ate that on the beach, then I soaked up some sun while Dave went on a short hike up the hill. He then grabbed some snorkel equipment and went for a swim around - saw a stingray and some pretty coloured fish. We both tried the paddle boards - I just stayed on my knees as I’m still concerned about my balance after my hip surgery, but Dave went for a nice little paddle in the harbour. Lay in the sun for a while longer until it was time to get back on the boat to head back.

    There was one couple on the boat who received a surprise Christmas present from their kids of a helicopter tour over the Bay of Islands, so our boat dropped them at a helicopter landing raft not far from our last island and off they went in style! Very cool! We then headed back through the islands, returning to Paihia around 3pm after a fantastic day!

    Headed down to the pool for about an hour after we got back, then out for a nice dinner to finish off another great day!
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