Kayaking along the Waitangi RiverOctober 23, 2016 in New Zealand
Today was a pretty chilled out day. We have another night at this campsite and so we were in no hurry to get packed up this morning. We had the usual sandwich for breakfast and enjoyed relaxing outside with a cup of tea. We discussed the morals of dolphin watching as there are a few tours here with opportunities for swimming to, but it all seems a bit too much like a money making opportunity and not something the dolphins probably enjoy. Having done some reading we will be staying clear of the dolphin 'eco' tour which seems to hunt for them all day and will be doing a boat tour of the Bay of Islands instead, which may result in some dolphin spotting should they be about. We will also be doing that in a few days when we come back from the 90 mile beach as it's the holiday weekend and so lots of the locals are about on holiday at the minute.
Back to today though, we set off for a walk into the town and found a place to have some lunch. We were cheapskates and shared a 12 dollar pizza, no drinks, but we're punished when we asked about WiFi. We asked for the password having seen the WiFi available on our phone and were told "we don't have WiFi" which was a bit of a joke, surely they know we can see it. Anyway, the girl next to Rob at the bar, who also looked like she was travelling, kindly came and told us that they did of course have WiFi and told us the password. They will get a poor service review on trip adviser now and they are on the list! The pizza however was really good, so we also kind of want to go back....🤔
Shortly after this we went to book the kayaking. We then found out the advert is in town but they launch from near where we are camping so we had to walk all the way back 😣
We were also a bit late in the day by this point to hire for more than a couple of hours and so we chose to paddle upstream to the waterfall we had heard about. It was high tide too so we also had access to the mangrove forests which we got to paddle through. It was pretty awesome and we only crashed into a few trees...oops! We had to duck a few times to paddle under branches and we also spotted lots of oysters on the rocks scattered on the estuary floor.
We saw many many birds, some of them flying right beside us, just above the surface if the water. We also saw one though that was hanging strangely from a branch by its beak. Not sure what had happened but it didn't look very alive 🙁
On the plus side though we saw a kingfisher! It flew right across the river in front of us 🤗 seen them on two continents now!
I also learnt on this journey that I am not the best at kayaking and tend to just cause us steer in the wrong direction, Rob however is much better, just more aggressive and occasionally made me feel as though I was going to rock out the boat lol. We tried to work together though and despite clashing paddles a few times we sort of got a good rhythm by the end (still veering to one side though). I also discovered it is not a good exercise for my back and after my lower back actually went numb, I was quite glad to get out again.
It was a great little excursion though, beautiful surroundings and birdlife and the waterfall was also pretty beautiful. I didn't expect it to be part of the river and thought it might be to one side just falling in from stream. Instead we found the river we were paddling up just came to a stop where the waterfall crashed in from a ridge a few metres high. Maybe we will go again tomorrow by foot and explore the forests around it.
We headed back to camp after the kayaking and settled down for some rum and food to some good music. We went for rice and soup again except this time we used less souo and had some chicken, leeks and carrot to fill it out. It was actually pretty delicious and I am not disappointed that there is enough left to eat tomorrow 😁
Now, as the sun has set once again, we are sat inside enjoying music before another night in the Camper. I have to admit I thought this whole Camper van thing (especially as it is really a car) would feel quite cramped, but it is actually pretty spacious and I find myself looking forward to snuggling into the surprisingly comfy bed in the evenings.
Now for some sneaky chocolate before bed time 😋Read more