Paihia, also known as the Bay of Islands is about 4 hours north of Auckland and our first stop on the Kiwi Experience. We got there at about 12:30pm and booked ourselves onto a boat trip where we were going to see some of the sights out on the waters and see some dolphins. The boat trip started at 1:45 and would last about 3 hours.
The first stop was a small island called Russell. We didnt get off the boat, we were just picking up a few more people who were doing the trip aswell. We could have got off and had a look around the island and then got back onto the boat when it came back but we didnt really want to as the island looked really resorty and I'm sure there wasnt going to be alot to do.
The boat cruised around the bay of islands that consists of 144 small islands all owned by New Zealand apart from 4 that are privatly owned. Imagine that... your very own island. We then stopped in the middle of the sea and saw loads and loads of dolphins. They apparently travel in groups of 25-30 and im sure that thats how many were around the boat. There were loads of them and they were jumping and playing.. and generally showing off! It was amazing. They came really close to the boat and there were a few baby dolphins aswell. The next stop was a bit of sight seeing around the islands. One in particular is a hole in the rock. Its a massive mound of rock in the middle of the sea with a hole in the middle. The boat drove through it and it was quite a sight to see. Nothing we will ever see again probably. The boat trip took about 3 hours and we got back to the mainland around 4pm. We went to the supermarket to get a few supplies and then just chilled out in the hostel for the evening.
The bus was leaving at 3pm the next day which meant that we had time in the morning to go on one of the nice walks but when we woke up it was raining and continued for the rest of the day until we had to leave. Thats always the way!
We were heading back down south to Auckland where we would be staying for one night. We had a wander around the city in the evening and took some photos of the Auckland tower. We didnt think there was much point going up as we had already seen some amazing views already. The bus the next day was leaving at 8:00am so we tried to go for an early night but the hostel room we were staying in was awful. It was way to hot and the air-con was chucking out hot air.. not the most perfect of situations. Neadless to say that we didnt sleep well!