We drove to Whangerei on the recommendation of the trail crew on the Tongoriro Crossing. (which still does not have text for those of you who are keeping track!) The crew had been staying in the hut for two weeks while re-doing a portion of the trail. We got to know them during the evening we spent in the hut and some of the crew were from Northlands (near Whangerei) and told us how beautiful it was in their area. We then had a lovely dinner last week with Julie and Lowell’s friend Natalie’s parents (and her husband Lance of course! Hi Lance! Seen any nice Pangers lately?) Natalie’s parents Jim and Allison recommended we park Gus the campervan in their son's in laws' B and B. ***
We arrived here on Wednesday night, after stopping at Mangarei cliffs to go for a little hike.
I too have a jumping talent.After finishing the hike we drove to Whangerei and were greeted by our lovely hosts Hugh and Ros.Hugh and Ros are the owners of Tidesong, the most beautiful B and B I have ever seen! They are situated right on the ocean in a mangrove forest. The grounds too are amazing with a minigolf course, multiple pathways and a plethora of flowers!
On our way back from kayaking, the tide was getting low and we had to pull the kayak (well Marc had to pull the kayak, I was too busy getting stuck) through the mucky mangrove mush.
That afternoon we headed to the Whangerei waterfalls, Lonely Planet called these falls the "Paris Hilton" of waterfalls - the most photographed falls in NZ but not necessarily the most beautiful. ;)
After the falls we headed to the Abby Caves. I was not really thinking about caving and my previous experiences with it. I thought if these caves were taller than the caves in Kenya and did not contain bats I would be fine. Apparently not - something I have learned about myself here - caves are not my idea of a good time! I must say though that once we were inside and turned off our headlamps, the glowworms above us looked like the milky way - very cool!
After caving, we headed back to the B and B for a dinner of make your own pizza baked in the outdoor pizza oven. WOW!!!! Underneath the counter were potted thyme and hot peppers, which we could pick and sprinkle directly on our pizza. mmmmm... Thanks Ros and Hugh for working so hard to make your place so amazing. We will bring our parents soon.
All in all a great weekend!!! Now we are off to the south island for more adventures, then to Sydney for Marc to have a little working vacation. My plans include exploring Sydney, drinking coffee and watching Twilight. Marc will not want to be privy to a vampire romance so since I am immersed in this series right now I will take a break from the heat to watch Edward and Bella fall in love!
***That was quite a convoluted explanation of how we made it to the B and B. You may also notice that I have carried the stars over from my last post.