On our way up to the far north we stopped at a little place on the coast called Raglan. It was a lovely place and the camp site was right on the beach. The sun had decided to shine and it was quite warm so Matthew decided to get some fishing in and i decided to join him. I think i cast in 3 times and kept getting snagged, so got bored after about an hour and left him to it. He didn't catch any fish so we had fish and chips for tea, which were the best yet and really cheap too, the chips were still not as good, but the fish was yummy!
After a couple of sunny days in Raglan we decided to get up North as quickly as we could so Matthew could get some more fishing done before we left New Zealand. On the way up we stopped off at another little place called Opononi which again had great views and was somewhere for Matthew to go fishing. This is when his new rod decided to snap at the top, he was gutted and i had to tell him we couldn't afford a new one. Then as we were driving and discussing if it was possible for Matthew to get a new fishing rod we passed a truck going very fast on a road with loose chippings, anyway we basically ended up with two huge chips on the windscreen that we had to get repaired. That definitely meant no fishing rod! The chips were so bad we stopped at the first place possible called Kaitaia which ended up being loving. We parked next to a fishing shop, so we went in just to see how much a new rod would be, then Matthew asked the staff about fixing his rod, in the end we walked out of the shop with a free new rod exactly the same as his old one and a booking for our windscreen to be done. Everyone in this place were so friendly and it meant that Matthew could fish and that we didn't have to pay for a full new windscreen. That night we stayed at Rarawa beach which had huge white sand dunes, it was great and so peaceful.
The next morning we headed up to cape reinga which is where the Tasman sea meets the Pacific Ocean. The views out to sea were great and there was a quaint lighthouse. We then headed to see the Te Paki sand dunes which were huge. We saw some people walking over them which we didn't attempt as it looked far too strenuous and they were good to just look at.
Next stop was the Bay of Islands where we camped at a place called Maitai bay, this was our favourite beach in New Zealand. Matthew went fishing as soon as we got there and after half an hour came back with a good sized fish for tea which was lovely and made a nice change. The next day he wanted to walk further along the rocks to try and catch a snapper, i went with him and we practically rock climbed to get to the place he wanted to fish, neither of us exactly wanted to go the same way back, so when Matthew had had enough of fishing in that spot we decided to walk up a steep muddy hill through trees to get to the top and try and walk along the edge. Matthew took the wrong path so we ended up going down further into the woods to climb back up it further round. I was not happy and spent most of the time on my back side it was so slippy. In the end we did find the right route back to the beach but it was hard work and involved walking on the smallest path along a cliff. This is when my fear of heights kicked in and i had a few tears and was convinced i would fall off (stupid i know, but fears are irrational). Anyway we eventually got back to the beach where Matthew carried on fishing and i went back to the camper to get changed as i was completely covered in mud! Not a great experience at the time, infact the only upside was that we saw about six baby penguins swimming around the rocks where we sat, which was great to see and they were so cute!
The next day was my birthday so we headed to a little place called Paihia. It was strange celebrating my 30th without my friends and family, but Matthew did well. He paid for 2 nights at the Mirage hotel in vegas and also booked the Cirque De Soleil Beatles love show. Once in Paihai we went shopping to buy me a necklace with the money i had from Katie and Jackie and then we had a few drinks. We went for a lovely meal and had great seafood. It ended up us getting quite drunk and watching the rugby in the pub.
It was then to Aukland to get ready for Fiji.