Day 5 Wednesday 19 February – Bay of Islands, Auckland

We woke this morning to the sound of gentle rain on our cabin windows – disappointing! It is Sandy’s birthday today and so we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast, while she opened her presents.

We were hoping the Captain would take us further out into the bay and up to Cape Brett to see the Hole in the Rock, but because of the rainy and windy conditions and the heavy swell, he wasn’t prepared to go out in open water, so we slowly headed back through the islands to Opua.  The Captain brought the Ipipiri close in to Russell and gave us some interesting information about the township.  The four of us visited him in the bridge and had photos taken with him.

Despite the rainy, misty weather, we have enjoyed our overnight Bay of Island cruise.

The shuttle bus dropped us back at Paihia late morning and we went for a walk through the town, exploring some of the souvenir shops and little back alleys filled with interesting little shops.  We had an early lunch in a café at the Maritime Centre and waited for the rest of our group to arrive back from their morning excursion.

We left Paihia on our tour coach at approximately 1.00pm and drove back to Auckland in the rain.  We passed through Hikurangi where we saw some interesting limestone formations and then through Whangerai (pronounced Fong-a- ray), the main city of the Northlands.

We stopped for afternoon tea at Kaiwaka at The Coffee Pot, which was a lovely clean café, with quick friendly service and delicious food. We passed through Dome Valley, which was very misty, but with lovely lush landscape including lots of ferns.

As we drove through Wellsford, we were shocked to see the sign for petrol showing $2.159 per litre, which is the usual price here in New Zealand at this time!

As we got closer to Auckland we saw the Satellite Dishes that help keep Auckland in touch with the rest of the world via satellite links.

We drove over the Auckland Harbour Bridge and our driver took us through the multi-million dollar yacht marinas, home to thousands of yachts, and through the Viaduct Harbour area. We saw New Zealand’s yacht that they took over to America for the America’s cup.

We drove along Quay Street and then to our hotel, the Copthorne City Hotel, which is the same hotel we stayed on Saturday and Sunday nights. We had a lovely dinner and Maria had organized for the waiter brought Sandy’s dessert out with a candle on it and everyone at our table sang Happy Birthday to her.


4 Responses to “Day 5 Wednesday 19 February – Bay of Islands, Auckland”

  1. Gail says:

    Sounds like you have had a wonderful birthday. I’m loving your blog especially as I know the area you are talking about so well. I can really visualise it.

  2. Janet says:

    Is that necklace you’re wearing new? Did you get it for your Birthday? What else did you get? 🙂

  3. Liana says:

    Happy birthday BTW Sandy! Lovely photo’s – looks like a beautiful country! Lots of water, green & lush. Nice to tour with you TY x

  4. sandy says:

    Thank you for those lovely wishes Liana. We have had a wonderful time in New Zealand. I am happy that you liked the photos and liked being “on tour” with us. I am sure that you will especially like our next holiday!!! (to your beautiful country!) XO

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