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C2C’s Travel Diary

Friday, 07 Nov 2008

Location: Bay of Islands, New Zealand

Map7th November - New Zealand at last!
We arrived at Auckland airport at 3.30 am after a very good flight (ie we had front seats with plenty of leg room!!) although being offered dinner and breakfast instead of lunch and dinner because of 15 hour delay, just added to the confusion to our body clocks.
We took temporary possession of the motorhome (‘deluxe’ interior circa 1970) about 10 am – we tried the backpacker ploy of sleeping wherever you are but sleep evaded us at the airport mainly thanks to groups of Maori teenagers waving their friends goodbye – not quite as noisy as the ‘haka’ but close! Thanks to Facebook and Hannah and Naze’s travels to India, we know a bit about how haka should be performed (navy style anyway). Adrenalin, released by the feeling of fresh air and freedom, enabled us to drive via a supermarket (ever the practical aspect of a trip) north from Auckland to a small place on the coast, Mangawhai Heads and parked in a campsite literally 50m from the ocean.
Today, we have been to a wonderful waterfall in Whangherai (pronounced Fangeray or similar) and taken the obligatory tourist photos. There are so many beautiful locations we know we will only get a glimpse of New Zealand’s beauty in the time we have here,
We arrived in Waitangi just in time for a 60 minute tour (yes our 2nd tour this trip!) but, in contrast to our first tour, our Dutch guide with perfect English gave a very informative and attractive history of before, during and after the signing of the treaty.
The views, enhanced by the sun, over the Bay of Islands are spectacular; we know that photos will not capture the beauty but of course we have tried!
Our campsite tonight is by the Waitangi River.. We drove up rather at the last minute but have a spot right by the river. The NZ approach to camping is very relaxed but the campsites seem to offer so much including a gas barbeque so we were able to cook our local cows (apologies to Annie, Lyndsay and Becky in particular - because of your vegetarian leanings – to explain! ) which were delicious,
Thank you for all those who have sent messages to us. It is good to get feedback and tell us if it’s boring! We have not replied on Planet Ranger because then all would be displayed on our travel page but we can reply by email if needed.