Our last night in NZ :(
We have had an absolutely wonderful time here and we really don't want to leave, however seeing as it is starting to get colder, it would be rude not to dip our toes in the warm climate of Fiji.
Back to our last blog. We headed north to towards Paihia the entrance to the Bay of Islands. It was a nice drive north seeing lots of different nationalities who have formed towns like Bryndewyn (thats not a bit welsh) We called in to Kawakawa, a small town where the famous artist Hundertwasser lived for his final years. He designed the now most photographed toilets in the world. I was particularly interested in seeing them after doing a few projects on his work. The toilets have now straight lines and the walls have been created with recycled objects like old glass bottles and tiles. They were very colourful and a great place for a toilet stop. In paihia we booked on a tour for the next day to the top of the Northland, Cape Reinga and 90mile beach. We also found a bargain campsite and set up the back of the car for the night. Although it was only a Honda Jazz, when the seats folded down the back was really spacious, exactly 5foot 6 to be precise. So we padded it out with blankets and curled up in our sleeping bags.
I managed to become ill with an ear and throat infection so the tour wasn't the most enjoyable for me as i slept for most of it. However G thoroughly enjoyed it. We stopped on the way in the bus at a gumdigger museum to catch a glimpse into the lives of the gumdiggers. Slightly wierd museum but well worth a look. We then stopped again at an icecream shop so G was happy. Lunch was spent on a very pretty beach being attacked by seagulls which added to the spirit of the day. My favourite part of the day followed lunch, Cape Reinga. It is here that is the most sacred place for the Maori people. It is the place where the Tasman sea meets the pacific, and where they believe their spirits go when they die, ie where the waves crash together. I think its a lovely idea. We were there in perfect conditions so could see the waves crashing together. It was quite a magical place and felt very serene despite the wind. After a walk around the lighthouse and some pictures we were driven to 90mile beach. It looked very similar to Fraser Island. G got to go Sanddune sledging down huge steep dunes which looked so fun. ALthough he is still finding sand in his pockets. We then got a long drive down the beach and G tells me he pointed out lots of birds etc. On the way back, we stopped at a kauri shop. The whole of the top of the North Isalnd used to be completely covered in Giant Kauri trees. However 45,000 years ago they were all wiped out and buried under sand. People have since discovered all of these Kauri trees which had been perfectly preserved in the sand abd you can buy beautiful souveneirs made out of the wood. From scientific tests they believe that a huge tsunami caused by a meteor landing in the Tasman sea flattened the trees as they were all facing the same direction etc. It was a really good tour, hopefully next time we come back I can really appreciate it.
After the tour we drove back to Paihia and had to find a hospital to get medicine as I couldn't swallow at this point and as it was less than a week until we fly to Fiji i needed to get my ear fixed. Being a saturday, Medical centres aren't open. The doctor tried to charge us $100 for penecillin but felt sorry for me and i got it for $60 but still a hell of alot of money for some tablets. I am feeling 100%better now though. Unfortunately it meant we had to end our trip up north early as I didnt want to be swaying on a boat trip! So the following day we drove the scenic route through Kauri forests back to Auckland. Along the way, we stopped at Tane Mahuta the biggest tree I have ever seen! He is huge and a national Icon. Search him on google. It was very surreal to stand next to a tree that stood in the same spot when Jesus walked the earth, very hard to comprehend. From here we visited a Kauri museum which had lots of examples of the wood and transported you back in time to the kauri logging days. It was really really interesting. G was happy as he could look at all sorts of different engines etc and I got to look at lots of lovely old photographs.
So back in Auckland, we haven't really done too much. As Brian has put it, The pace has stopped. It has been nice to spend a few days just reading etc aswell as saving a few pennies which was very much needed. We have been into the city and had a walk around the harbour and the shops etc. It is a very small CBD so the tour didn't take too long. We also popped into Milford mall and bumped into Brians mum Mem who is 96 i think and looks absolutely fantastic. She was out being a lady who lunches and shops! Fantastic!
So basically jjust mooched around for a few days doing a few jobs and admiring the views!! Oh we have also uploaded all of our photos up to date. The links are below:
Queensland part 6 http://s937.photobucket.com/albums/ad217/ZolaKT/Queensland%20part%206/
New South Wales pt 1 http://s937.photobucket.com/albums/ad217/ZolaKT/New%20South%20Wales%20Part%201/
NZ North Island pt 1 http://s937.photobucket.com/albums/ad217/ZolaKT/NZ%20North%20Island%20Pt%201/
Off to Fiji tomorrow where we have two nights staying at Mamas Tropic of Capricorn in Nadi, which looks very nice from the photos. We then set off on our awesome adventure tour around the Yasawa Islands. We are praying for good weather as the forecast looks like rain everyday for where we are going for 10days straight.