Today we decided to head towards The Bay of Islands, so after packing up (and dodging a heavy rain shower) we made a trip to Pack n Save (becoming our favourite supermarket!) to stock up on food then hit the road.
We decided to make a stop in Kerikeri and ate lunch in the car park. Lunch was crackers and cream cheese and I dropped a cracker outside the van. Immediately we were joined by about 10 chickens and some birds fighting over the cracker - our lunchtime entertainment! After lunch, we walked over the bridge , luckily we were wearing our rain jackets as it started raining heavily. As we got over the bridge a kiwi man working near his truck beckoned us over and told us to stand under some trees for shelter. He must have been lonely as we spent about 15 minutes chatting to him about the rugby world cup and places to visit while we're here.
We then walked on and visited the Stone Store (oldest stone building in NZ) and the oldest wooden building in NZ (see picture). Back over the river we walked towards 'Rewa Village' - a recreation of a maori village. The visitors centre was closed (due to the weather??) so we got in for free (having 'fogotten' to leave our $2 donation!). The village was interesting to walk around, with information signs telling you about all the structures. Back in the van we headed towards Paihia to find somewhere to stay. We found a campsite with good facilities which had an offer on which was $10 each a night if you stayed 2 nights, so we decided to stay 2 nights!
After a quick stop at the local Countdown to get some wine, we parked up at the campsite. The couple running the site were just looking after it for the owners. We soon discovered that the man - John - is originally from Middlesbrough! So we ended up having a long chat with him in the TV room. We spent the night watching TV, including Coronation Street (about a year behind the UK - Gail being investigated over Joe's death!). At 9pm I phoned home and spoke to mam and dad - dad sounded very jealous and has started thinking about a holiday to NZ in the next few years! We were joined in the TV room by Dave and Steven - 2 gap year 18 year olds about to start Uni back home. As we had a powered site we went to sleep with the heater on and slept much better than the night before!