North Island – Bay of Islands

Bay of Islands is approximately 3 hours drive from Auckland. Due to the terrible weather and bad time management, we arrived at our accommodation after dark. Not a smart move, as the roads were slippery, dark and wet. Rather taxing on the eyes…

Our lovely, little cottage sits on top of Opua marina town and the most beautiful rainbow greeted us the next morning as soon as we pushed the blinds aside. The colours on the rainbow were so vivid that it almost appeared unreal!

The only day we were blessed with glorious sunshine, we took the 10min car ferry to explore the quaint, historic town of Russell. It was like travelling back in time coming to this 19th century town where you will find the country’s oldest church, Christ Church, built in 1836. The streets still retain their original layout and names from 1843, and many of its historic buildings can still be visited today. It was hard to imagine that this town was crowned the “Hell Hole of the Pacific” back in the days for its rowdy, drunken and lawlessness reputation.

Certainly didn’t take long for us to complete the tour of the small town, as most of the businesses were not in operation due to the season. We then proceed to check out Tapeka Point Track. Upon pulling up on Rocky Bay Reserve, we discovered a tyre tree swing on the beach and wasted no time to unleash the kids in us. Simple pleasure and so much laughter! 😀

Tapeka Point Track is a short hike that offers sweeping views of the whole Bay of Islands in just 1hr return. We thoroughly enjoyed this grassy hike. We could sit and stare at the magnificent views forever! This track is definitely one of our favourites on our list.

Kororipo Heritage Park was another pleasant discovery after a trip to the Old Packhouse Market in Kerikeri town. Here, you will find the enchanting Kerikeri Basin, the Stone Store constructed in 1832, Kemp House, Koroipo Pā and Rewa’s Village.

This early settlement gave us a glimpse of how the Maori and Europeans lived harmoniously and where they attended some of the most important meetings between these two diversified cultures.

There were heaps of activities to do at the Bay of Islands; the erratic weather just didn’t permit us to take on much.

It got worse the next few days… 🙁 we were basically stranded in Coromandel, as torrential rain caused major roads to close and a total Internet shutdown. With no connection to the outside world, we spent 2 full days staring at each other @.@ and watching crappy TV programmes… hahaha.

We should be expecting fine weather in the next few days! Rotorua, here we come!

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