Thursday, 12 January 2012
There are tonnes of things you can pay to do at the Bay of Islands (dolphin spotting, jet boating, sailing, fishing, jet-skiing, waitangi treatying blah blah blah). But also there are lots of well marked bush walks and plenty of beaches scattered all about the place too, so after our kayaking I forced the kids to come on a 5km one way walking trip from the Waitangi treaty grounds to the Haruru Falls. When we started it was drizzling slightly but halfway along it really started to bucket down. Happily though, Jon had driven around to the end of the walk, gone for a run, met up with us, did some Tatonga/Tabata intervals then passed us again, returned to the camper van and put on hot water, found everyone's dry clothes, busted open the tim-tams and generally made us all happy when we finished. I was happy anyway of course - although 5 flat kms is the limit of my walking ability at the moment it was lovely to do it. And I've discovered that walking ahead of the kids is the best strategy when they don't want to be walking at all - as you are too far ahead to hear them whine, so they don't bother. If you stop and wait they immediately dawdle and complain, if you just keep going, they keep following on.. In other observations, it looked just like some of the runs we used to do in Sydney.
We're now over on the west side of the bit of land north of Auckland which I am happy to say looks completely like you would expect New Zealand to, full of green hills, ferny forests, little maori settlements, much less flashy looking (than the expensive east coast). Shacks looking out to sea, lush farms, massive sand dunes and it's much much quieter traffic and tourist wise. Here is Zali and Jett standing at the bottom of NZ's oldest Kauri tree in one of the few remaining strands of native forests. Actually that reminds me, from what I've seen NZ would be a bush regenerationist's nightmare (or dream, if they like hard work) - the forests and fields we drive past are full of gorse, pandanis, blackberries, lantana (or similar) and other weedy crap.
Uff, it's late. Time for bed.