Saturday, Sunday, Monday
23.02.2013 - 25.02.2013
Saturday we started out the day with a visit to Aroha Island, which is reached by a causeway. It is a kiwi sanctuary and has a nice trail all around the island – about 1 km. Very informative visitors centre. Then in to town for lunch at the “Food at Wharepuke” a lovely restaurant in a botanical garden. Had a very good lunch and a nice walk in the garden. There was even a little art gallery. We drove north to find some recommended swimming beaches. Stopped at Matauri Bay, but the wind was so strong it didn’t seem too pleasant. Then drove on to Te Ngaere beach and had a lovely swim. Back to town to do the grocery shopping before returning home for supper.
Sunday we got up at 6:00 am in order to drive over to Puketi Forest to bird watch. We got there before the sun was up and walked in the Kauri forest with the birds chattering away. Very beautiful, not bird watching but bird listening! A wonderful walk on a boardwalk thru the giant trees. Then we tried to find a gorge walk we saw on the map, but it started to rain and we couldn’t find where the trail started. As well, one trail sign said it took 2 ½ hours so we headed for home. We stopped in KeriKeri at the farmer’s market and bought some fruit, etc. Then home to have some breakfast and pack some food to take with us for lunch. We went to the free concert in the park, which turned out to be a young people’s talent contest. So we didn’t stay very long, but drove over to the Croquet Grounds and walked the trail into Charlie’s Rock. This is a lovely waterfall with a deep pool at the base and lots of good jumping in spots.
We had our lunch there and then a swim, with jumping in from high spots for some and just swimming for others. Got home quite early and the guys went to hike the ridge trail, while the girls rested. Then supper and bed.
Monday we drove over to Pahia to buy our tickets for the tall ship and then took the ferry over to Russell. The tall ship was called the R. Tucker Thompson and does 6 hour sailing trips for tourists.
The profits are put into teaching kids to sail – they take them out for a week and they live on the ship, catch their food, learn all about sailing. It was a great day. Captain Steve with Nick, Terry, and Janna for crew. We also had Sam, a captain on his day off, with his wife and 2 kids and grandma. They showed us how to put up the sail and take then down again. Some people climbed the rigging and Murray and I went out on the bowsprit. Quite exciting. When we got back we took the ferry back to Pahia and had supper at Alfresco Restaurant, which was very nice. We finished it off with an ice cream from the Swiss Ice Cream store, before driving back to Kerikeri. Did some cleaning up and packing before going to bed.