Kia ora : hello in Maori

Last night was like sleeping on a boat in a little ship’s cabin. Our cosy room was indeed cosy but so comfortable. We woke to foggy skies and a feeling our trip around the Bay of Islands was going to cloudy and foggy.

Breakfast was in the old fashioned dining room and Steve was  most upset that bacon and eggs were off the menu as it was Monday!

Down the wharf by 9am we waited in the quiet of the misty morning.

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The boat started in Paihia and arrived at Russell for us and another couple and as it drew close we could see it was crowded. Turns out there were nearly 270 people on board. So we scored an inside seat. ūüė¨Not so bad as we were able to move around and catch the sights. And there were a lot of sights to see.

This area is magnificent. The Bay of Islands lives up to its name  There are 140 island  88 of which are genuine Islands  all shapes and sizes with vegetation and animal life living happily together. And very few people.

We headed north and before too long came across a pod of dolphins playing and feeding. They put on quite a show, circling the boat and drawing ‘ohhs’ and ‘arhs’ from the crowd on the boat.

We headed off across the Bay towards a really pretty island with a blue lagoon ¬†and rippling waves. ¬†I couldn’t help thinking what a wonderful spot for a swim trek. I’ll be emailing Simon and suggesting it!

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We motored towards the famous Hole in the Rock. ¬†It’s wonderful. Everyone rushed to the side of the boat and I thought we might tip! But our funny Maori captain had it all under control.

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We couldn’t go through the hole. Too much swell. Sensible but sad I say.

Along we went past some more islands ¬†before stopping for a lunch! We had our bananas – we’d been carting them around for at least a day so thought it was time to eat them. We were saving ourselves for our return and a a late lunch of famous Mangonui fish and chips. We had 30 mins to walk up to a lookout and it was worth the climb. Views both ways across the many islands that make up these Bay of Islands.

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Back on the boat we arrived back in Russell by 1 and set off with a coffee in hand for Mangonui and a fish and chips.

Only a little detour along the way. The Stone Store in Keri Keri which has been operating since 1830. It’s set in the most beautiful grounds of what used to be a Mission Station.

Finally time for ‘fush an’ chups’ at a well organised little shop sitting alongside the Bay. What a hit! ¬†We inhaled our delicious hapuka, a local white fish along with our choice of chips – fat , thin or hand cut!

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Finally we finished lunch by 4.30 and headed to the nearest supermarket for our cheese, biscuits & wine to go with the prawns we bought for our late supper tonight. We always have food on our mind.

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Our room tonight , despite being the same cost as cosy room last night is actually a 3 bedroom villa at Peppers resort on the KariKari peninsula. It’s gorgeous. We started with a swim in the infinity pool before freshing up and having an aperitif on the verandah at sunset. Around 7.45pm.

Bliss. Tomorrow is our last night before returning on Wednesday.