carotte

Last of Northland

Raraw Beach. Walking breakfast to avoid sandflies

Walking breakfast

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Harrying Potter breakfast

Ready

Steady

Go!

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Standing

All the way down!

Rarawa beach

The top 2

Blue starfish

Running from the Ray

Mozzie central

Matauri Bay

Adventure

Hot chocolate

Cloths collection

Hand washing

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Magic wand

Kerikeri

Fantail

Waterfall Kerikeri

Waipu caves

Look at the glow worms

Entrance

Feeding the birds

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Coffah

e-10299″ />480″ class=”size-large wp-image-10285″ /> Cape Reinga[/caption]

Where the two seas meet. I forget which exactly

carotte carotte

PS

Geoff (who has already payed $2 into the ticket money muncher) has gone to put $2 more in as they have made sone friends and want to go swimming with them! Poor old Paps

carotte

Up to the top and back down

Sitting back in Takpuna playground for lunch, on our way to hot water beach. Excellent few days in the north. So after seeing the huge Kauri trees, we drove up through the kauri forest (impressive diversity, a definate tropical flavour) slight bleating from the back now, as we wind along the twisty, dusty roads. I suggest that Geoffs idea of pushing up to the top is possibly a step too far. We opt for crossing over at hokianga harbour(through kunakuna, where we found out Bid and Caz used to live) and upwards to Ahipara. This tirned out to be an excellent plan, especially as we (Geoff ) took left insted of right off the ferry, onto the especially windy, dusty rour….incidentally, we spoke to a Welsh bloke working on the ferry from Tredegar. He moved here 26yrs ago, and can’t think of a bettet place to be!) Ahipara was beautiful in the sunshine after our cloudy drive up. A nice pitch and two tree swings made everyone happy! We hired two surfboards one morning, and everyone headed in (after hauling everyone into their into their suits, i was teady for a sit down!) Great fun had by all, and everyone (inclueding E) was managing to ignore the swarms of jelly fish everywhere. I assured all and sundry that they were onviously harmless, and anyway, the wet suits were practically impenetrable. Unfortunately O got a twing on the leg and was positive he had been stung. He was just getting over this, and i was doing an excellent job of smoothling him back in when he trod on one. For those who haven’t trodden on one, its a nasty sensation, even for those who believe them to be harmless, which, despite my assurances to the trio, i am not sure i altogether do…. This was the last straw, and he shot out, closely followed by a yelping E (i hate it, its killing me) and they resorted to sand play. Rio caught many waves and loved it, and i did manage to drag O back in, and he got a couple of waves and came out smiling, so all ended happily. On another day we walked along Shipwreck cove, over the rocks and along the beach, which was a fun mix of sand, rocks, waves and areas of water that needed jumping over! We were on the hunt for sand dunes, but they were too far. Fun walk though! There ate lots of young peopke doing this 4 month end to end walk at the capsite. They drag themselves in, having done the beach stretch from Cape Reinga, and collaps in burnt, hobbling heaps to recover for a few days. I hear many peopke give up after the first leg. We drove to the Cape. The children underwhelmed by the lighthouse and by the meeting of the two seas. Mildly interested to see the Tokyo sign. Our first DOC campsite. Rafteshingly cheap after the others, but absolutely stiff with mozzies and sandflies. They caught us by surprise, and though we got the repellent out, the damage was done, and there has been much cursing and ankle itching since. For reasons bedt known to himself, Geoff decided we needed two nights here. I will say that yhe swimming was glorious on the first day. Pleasure slightly diminished by a small cold trickle calling itself a shower
I wanted to take pictures of the last swim, so stayed out. They all ran in, and i bately had time to focus, and they all charged out again! Orlando had spotted a massive ray. I daw it in one of the waves, it wad at least three feet across. I though less at first, but for me to have seen it so clearly from the beach, three is more like it! It gave them the creeps, and though Papa finished his swim, we headed for the showers, Elodie muttering darkly about jelly fish and sting rays….
We stopped in Kerikeri, and sent a few parcels and bought a few bits. O bought a bone pendent. We went to the library to get books for me. A slightly duspect selection in the fir salr bit, but i found a couple. Rio came away with some fantasy novel, and so did E. She is reading a sentence a night! Wanting to see some glow worms, Geoff found a walk to a cave near Waipu. It was brilliant! They all had their torches and found their way around like the famous five! Much excitement when they spotted the glow worms. Another DOC campsite. Geoff (though he lives how much cheaper these places are) looking longingly at the campervans and their soft beds) $2 for a hot shower! Everyone agreed this wad a waste of money, so we all had cold showers. Not so pleasant in the eveninh, but this morning, with sparkling sea and blazing sun, and after a swim (them, not me. I was carrying all the discarded cloths) the cold shower wad very pleasent. Well, lunch is finished, i have jusy had me forst coffee since we got here; off on the next adventure!

carotte

Northland

Borrowed from middle earth.

Takapuna beacheck. Heading home for the playground.

Epic slides

Knee scraper

Rangitoto

Chilly!

Using the space consuming suits!

Waiting for the car

Woohoo! Pearl is here

Taking a moment.

Another moment

Rainy Baylys Beach

The four sisters

The father of the forest

O smurf

R smurf

E smurf

Tana Mahuta. Lord of the forest

90 mile beach

Finishing an apple

Charge!

Swing 1

Swing 2

Swing 3

Ha!

Lunch!

carotte

New Zealand

Day 4. In a cabin! Pouring and a bit chilly outside!  We arrived in bright sunshine. The flight from Tokyo went without a hitch. Even managed to persuade the wibblers to have a quick nap! All smooth when we arrived. Rental car, then to Takapuna campsite. Excellent beach with an epic playground. They charge around while Geoff and I lurch around like zombies, trying to stay awake. Early night for all. The next couple of days involved a trip to Auckland backpackers carmart time pick up a bargain! No bargains to be had, so we payed a large amount of hard earned cash instead. Pearl is a Toyota, and in pretty good nick. Hopefully good for selling on! Also numerous trips to countdown and warehouse for various bit. Blankets for everyone. Those one season sleeping bags are basically a glorifieday plastic bag! We bought E a small sleeping bag, which she is very pleased with. Geoff got himself a mat for use in the tent. We bought a small four man (light and space saving. Elodie is so small we won’t even notice her!) But having got it back to the cabin and had a good look at it, we realised that thete was no way this was a four man. And we also realised that there are five of us, and some of us like to stretch! We scrapoed the idea of some slerping in the car when we had enormous difficulty fitting all out crud into the wuite spacious boot. We decided to bite the bullet and get the same sized tent we left behind. On the plus side, thus one is easier to put up and 2 kilos lighter! So, after one night in the tent, Geoff is slightly zombified again. Bleating about the ground being hard, and waking up….. luckily for him it rained as soon as we packed up to head north, so we were able to persuade ourselves to another cabin! Saving the DOC campsites for the morrow and hopefully sunshine! We are staying at Baylys Beach tonight. Lovely campsite, with a nice stroll along the tops of the dunes to a rather desolate beach. Drivable, which the 3 through was brilliant! Rio thought Pearl might enjoy it!