Two Days trip with Stray-(Auckland-Whangarei-Bay of Islands)

Bay of Islands Travel Blog

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800 year old Kauri Tree
I have booked a 2 Days trip with Stray bus. My friend who works in an travel agency suggests me hire a car to go there. I wasn't confident to drive on the twisty hilly road, so I thought I'd better join a tour. It took about half a day drive to Paihia from Auckland, we did have some stops on the way though. We were told someone had "family emergency", therefore the most attrative activities-Free snorkelling at Goat Island Marine Reserve and free ride in a glass bottomed boat were cancelled. It's really disappointing. The driver told us because it was free, we didn't lose anything. That's sound pretty dodge to me, I don't know if this happened all the time or just me unlucky this time.
Let's hug the tree
On the way home, the activity of going to Native Bird Recovery Centre to see a Kiwi and native birds also got cancelled. We've only been brought to the Kauri Tree Park, where there's a 800yo tree which resembles god to them. They were highly recommend us to hug the tree, otherwise it's kind like piss down the rain to them. So we all went up and hug the tree, took some photos. Then we head up to Whangarei, stopped at a info centre, where it has a cafe and souvernir shop. We had 40min break there and head up to check out the famous Hundertwasser toilet. Then we head up all the way non-stop to Paihia. The road was extremely busy, they said we came the busiest week of the year, most activities and accommodation were fully booked out.
Kauri Tree Park
Every holiday house/motel has "NO VACANCY" sign posted. It was really hard to find an accommodation, but Stray claimed they guarantee the 1st night accommodation. I only need one night there anyway, as a result I was thrown in a 8 bed mixed dorm with a bunch of drunk British lads. That night was a horrible nightmare... it ruined half of my good mood to the nice beach. The check out time for the hostel was 10am, and the bus pick up time was 1pm, so I planned to check out around 9:50am to get my key deposit back. After the night attack, I wish I could get out of the room as soon as I see the first light come in the room. The room like bombarded, their bags, socks, underwears cosmetics all over the place. One of the kids sprayed deodorant 3 times, still stink. We had our door half way opened sleep, so that we wouldn't faint in the room.
Our Stray bus
I had my meal and a drink at the bar attached to the hostel, walked around sometime, then went back to sleep. Later, they all got drunked and came into the room, talking really loud. They don't give a damn other people sleeping. I heard their conversation all about guys and girls in the bar. They were condemning Scottish lads, then bitching about Australian girls. Talking about some girl flirting with them first and then walked away with some rich dude. Just because some girl gave them wrong phone#, they call her whore. Some of them said Kiwi girls like Brittish boys, therefore Kiwi guys get jealous. Some of them whinging even some Korean guy scored a girl, whereas they couldn't. I was sleeping facing the wall, suddenly felt their clothes thrown on my face, someone tapped my butt.
Hundertwasser toilet
At first, I thought it was just 2 guys playing around accidentally hit me. Because it was dark, I couldn't see clearly. So I moved a bit and tried to ignore them and kept sleeping. Then one of the guys poked me again and asked if he can share the bed with me, then the other guy just laughing. I realized they did it on purpose. I was going to grab my 1.5L water bottle near my bed(that's the only thing I can think of) to knock his head off if he's going to attack me again. I was a bit scared. There're 6 of them plus one girl might be one of them's girlfriend, and they are all tall and well built. Maybe next time when I travelled alone, I should bring a taser with me. They kept harassing me when I tried to ignore them. I really want split them in half, but I was on my own got no chance to win if I fight against them.
Hundertwasser toilet
Only when I suddenly sit up from my bed, the douchebag freaked out a bit. Then the loser said to his drunk mates she doesn't like me and finally went back to his bed. I cannot remember how they all got slept and they're farting really loud at night. I can hardly sleep after the attack. The next morning, I grabbed my backpack and rolled over the bed linen and pillow, rushing out of the door. I cannot even feel the pain when my head banging against the upper bed. I just know I don't want to stay in that a room one more single second. It was early morning, few cafe and restaurant were opened. I cannot wait the bus coming to pick me up. But there's still a long time to kill before the bus arrive. So I caught a ferry to Russell, a so called Romantic Island.
Paihia-our bus driver call it Paradise
I arrived at Russell, there're info centre, a few souvenir shops, cafe/restaurants and a museum. Nothing really special to me. I went inside a souvenir shop and browsed around the handcrafts, green stones, trying to kill time. Overheard the conversation of the shop assistant talking to a customer/friend: "They called Russell a romantic island, but really you don't have much to do here..." Which I think it's the truth. It has less shops than Paihia, more quiet. Around a couple of hours time, I caught a ferry back and had my breakfast at a restaurant near Paihia wharf. The bus suppose to come at around 1pm. Because there's only one bus per day, if I missed it, I'll be screwed. I walked back 10min earlier before the pickup time, sitting on the floor opposite the hostel, starring the pick up spot-the entrance of the hostel 50mins, the bus finally came.
Paihia-Bay of Islands
It was 40min late. It was really tough waiting there, I cannot close my eyes for a nap, worried about missing the only bus of that day back to Auckland. There were only 6 of us include the driver went down to Auckland, it was 16 people on the bus way up. I guess most people booked 3 Days trip and went to Cape Reinga. On the way home, we went to Piroa falls. It was really dusty on the way when we approaching the waterfalls. The driver has to drive really slowly and the front is hardly visible. I thought it was the weather at first, then I realize it was some naughty kiwi kids who don't like tourist. They drove at front and suddenly slow down and repeated doing this purposely, which made the sand and dust on the ground stirring around, dust came all the way inside the bus, made everyone coughing.
Paihia-Bay of Islands
Then the driver closed off the window, but still he could hardly drive. Finally we went down to check out the waterfalls, where those Kiwi kids climbed up and jumped into the water. When we get up and back to the bus, the bus driver told us "The stupid kids made my bus full of dust. It's a Karma, they didn't turn off their car lights when they parking their car... they're still at waterfall, and I won't tell them. Goodbye!"
soletraveller says:
I agree. Thanks for the comment
Posted on: Jan 03, 2010
sylviandavid says:
Stray bus really didn't give you what you paid for... if something was free that means included so they need to "include" it because it's part of the package... geez.... Nice blog.... sylvia
Posted on: Jan 03, 2010
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800 year old Kauri Tree
800 year old Kauri Tree
Lets hug the tree
Let's hug the tree
Kauri Tree Park
Kauri Tree Park
Our Stray bus
Our Stray bus
Hundertwasser toilet
Hundertwasser toilet
Hundertwasser toilet
Hundertwasser toilet
Paihia-our bus driver call it Para…
Paihia-our bus driver call it Par…
Paihia-Bay of Islands
Paihia-Bay of Islands
Paihia-Bay of Islands
Paihia-Bay of Islands
Paihia-Bay of Islands
Paihia-Bay of Islands
Paihia-Bay of Islands
Paihia-Bay of Islands
Paihia-Bay of Islands
Paihia-Bay of Islands
Paihia-Bay of Islands
Paihia-Bay of Islands
Russell wharf
Russell wharf
Russell
Russell
Russell
Russell
Paihia
Paihia
My breakfast at a restaurant near …
My breakfast at a restaurant near…
Piroa falls-Kiwi kids pose together
Piroa falls-Kiwi kids pose together
Walking up to the bus
Walking up to the bus
Climbing to the Fall
Climbing to the Fall
Jumping into the water
Jumping into the water
Souvenirs in Whangarei
Souvenirs in Whangarei
Really colourful, cant get away w…
Really colourful, can't get away …
Famous Kiwi green stones
Famous Kiwi green stones
Souvenir shop in Paihia
Souvenir shop in Paihia
Interesting painting. Theyre all …
Interesting painting. They're all…
I like this painting, but the shop…
I like this painting, but the sho…
This is the terrible 8bed mixed do…
This is the terrible 8bed mixed d…
This is the bed of the sucker who …
This is the bed of the sucker who…
Bay of Islands
photo by: Ils1976