Tuesday 14 January 2014 78 °F
The Bay of Islands is a region north of Auckland made up of coastline and 150 little islands. Every morning we wake up to this beautiful sunrise.
This morning after a little schooling, we hit the road for a day trip. Henry is becoming a great navigator. Sue benefits from his reminders to "keep left" or "swing wide when you turn right." We drove a couple of hours west, often on dirt roads, without much competition for the frequent single-lane bridges.
Our first destination: Wairere Boulders--a beautifully designed hike through basalt boulders that have unique fluting caused by acid dripping from the kauri trees for the past thousand years. It was on a piece of private property owned by an eccentric elderly couple--a Swiss/Kiwi woman and her husband who played guitar and had a long beard. We dubbed him "Jazz Santa".
There was a seek-and-find hunt prepared for little kids. Six animals throughout the hike that were hidden in rock formations and crazy trees. Pearl was the perfect target audience, and that, along with walking on top of boulders, through caves, and shimmying through crevices, kept her from any complaints.
Entrance to a cave
After our adventure, we drove to Hokianga Harbour which leads out to the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand. We were in search of the little village of Rawene, recommended to us by our Kiwi friend Donna Rowsell. Wow, this place is remote! (I was glad we had a full tank of gas.) But when we finally arrived we were amazed by its beauty. A very unspoiled huge harbor with only a sprinkling of buildings and a couple of fishing boats dotting the waters. This is where you go to get away from it all.
The one restaurant in the village had a surprisingly highbrow menu. Luckily they always serve breakfast, so both kids and mom found something to make them happy.
Some of you might be wondering where Dave is while the three of us explore NZ. He is in Europe on tour with the CSO. Here is a video showing what a CSO musician does on tour:
Check out Henry's bird blog. He's having a blast learning new species!