Bay of Islands
Pahia Travel Blog› entry 69 of 98 › view all entries
There seemed to be quite a few of us in the group heading for the Bay of Islands, on a peninsula North of Auckland. We caught the bus first to Auckland, stopping off to stretch our legs at Mt Maunganui, in the Bay of Plenty. This beach resort is supposedly a bit of a party town. Quite a pretty place, a town located on a sandbar with a harbour one side and wide sandy beaches the other. All this in the shadow of an extinct volcano! A pleasant place to walk around and have breakfast but not convinced about it being a party place as it seemed to be full of OAPs stopping over from their cruise ships.
We chilled out in Auckland that evening before an early start to travel up to Pahia, the main town in the beautiful bay of Islands.
We were really hoping to be able to swim with the dolphins but, as this pod contained some juveniles, it was not permitted. Instead, we lay down on the hull of the boat and watched in amazement as these beautiful, graceful, entertaining creatures swam by only inches away from us.
Back to Pahia for BBQ and party time in one of the hostels. It was one of those evenings that I was just going to ‘stay for one’ but ended up being so fascinated by the ‘manliest man’ competition that i couldn’t tear myself away! Bruce, our driver, was entered into the competition against his will! The competitions ranged from real silly things such as coming up with the best chat up line and undoing a ladies bra with one hand to arm wrestling and speed drinking! I know, this sounds pretty hideous but I was amazed that Bruce, about double the age and half the size of most of the competitors, seemed to be doing quite well.
A real struggle getting up the next morning as you can imagine, but it was a great drive back to Auckland stopping at some interesting places on the way. We had breakfast in a little cafe overlooking Hokianga harbour and some huge sand dunes then went to check out Waipoua forest, home to a HUGE Kauri tree thought to be around 2000 years old! The twisty road back to Auckland rocked us all off to sleep after the previous evening’s festivities. Final stop in NZ, Auckland before i continue my round the world trip across the Pacific.