The Bay of Islands

(June 5th 2006)

After recovering from the inevitable jet-lag in Auckland, we pick up the hire-car and head north. At least they drive on the correct side of the road down there so I should be ok. In the end we chose a 4wd which we can take on the ferry between the islands.

We both figured it’ll be easier not having to unload luggage and picking up another car on the other side. This way the car stays with us for the whole holiday. It ended up being more expensive than we originally had planned but still pretty good value for money.

Apparently it’s about a 3-4 hour drive up to the Bay of Islands (Wikipedia entry), but I’m sure we’ll be stopping along the way so it’ll end up longer than that. We pushed the boat out a bit here to be honest.
This is the most expensive single part of the holiday, but what the hell. We picked a tiny out of the way hotel called the Cavalli Beach House Retreat.
It’s run by a couple, one of which is a chef, and has only three rooms. It has it’s own bay and looks absolutely beautiful. We’ve got 4 nights of doing absolutely nothing (well maybe some sight-seeing and snorkelling and dolphin watching and eating and drinking and……). A nice relaxing start to a holiday I think.

Apparently the Bay of Islands is a great place to see and maybe even swim with dolphins, so that’s on the list of things to do. Another ‘must do’ is the Hole in the Rock cruise. The boat travels through an island, a small island admittedly, and then you cruise the other islands in the area hoping to spot whales and other wildlife.

The whole area looks really beautiful and I’m sure we could spend a lot longer than 4 nights there and still not see everything, but time is (relatively) short. So after our relaxation part of the trip we’re off on the road to see the rest of New Zealand.

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