Ciarán & Elaine's Travelog

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Back on the road again...

Well we've been fairly rubbish at keeping the blog up to date over the past few months but now we're unemployed backpackers again we'll have loads of time to bore you with all the stuff we're doing and able to mail everyone again - so mail us back!!

We've just travelled all around Northland which as the name suggests is the most northern area in New Zealand. We set off from Auckland and headed first to Goat Island which as the name doesn't suggest has nothing to do with goats! Goat Island is one of the best places to snorkel on the north island and really lives up to it's reputation. We saw huge big snapper, blue maomao and tonnes of other fish.

From Goat Island we stayed in Mangawhai Heads and next morning went on a trek up the cliffs and back along the beach, took about three hours and it was a beautiful sunny day so we really enjoyed it.

Then it was on to Whangarei which is the biggest town in Northland, with a population of 45,000 you couldn't exactly call it a sprawling metropolis but compared to all the other little one horse towns it was massive!

After Whangarei we went to Paihia in the Bay of Islands. We had spent a day or two here last November but it was great to go back. The countryside around this area is just beautiful and it's great to be beside the sea. The bay has something like 140 islands dotted around it so we wanted to go on a boat trip to see some of them. We found a trip that brings you on a high speed dash around the bay - Mack Attack! Crap name we know but it was a great trip. The boat travels at about 100km per hour and brought us out as far as Cathedral Cave (the water was the most amazing colour green I've ever seen and crystal clear) and to the Hole in the Rock which as the name suggests is a big hole in a rock! It's much more spectacular looking than it sounds, especially with the sun shining through.... On the way back we were so lucky to spot dolphins, the boat driver stopped the boat and about twenty dolphins surrounded us, swimming all around and under the boat and jumping in the air - absoloutely amazing!

From Paihia we went to Kerikeri which is just a gorgeous little town with great coffee - something we've become addicted to after 7 months in Auckland. Then it was on further north where we stayed on a farm in Pukenui, it was really lovely to be out in the countryside and we were lucky to have the little hostel all to ourselves for a couple of days. From Pukenui we travelled to the very top of New Zealand - Cape Reinga.

Cape Reinga was amazing because you can actually see where the Tasman sea meets the Pacific ocean . All the way out you can see a row of white water as the waves from one sea breaks against the other - really spectacular and we were lucky because there had been a storm that morning so the sea was even rougher than normal although the wind felt like it could've blown us off the cape!

From Cape Reinga we went to ninety mile beach where you could sandboard down the massive dunes or drive down the beach although the tide was in when we got there so we couldn't drive it.

Next we went on to Bayleys beach, on the way you have to drive through a Kauri forest which is home to a 2000 year old Kauri tree - naturally we had to get out to have a look - it's massive! The trunk of it is about 20 metres wide, I've never seen anything like it.

Next stop is black water caving in Waitomo - can't wait!


  • Great to see the blog up and running again. I was getting worried that you guys had been abducted by a dingo - oh no wait - that's Australia. Abducted by a Ewe then.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:21 AM  

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