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Bay of Islands

sunny 25 °C
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On Sunday we headed to the town of Pahia, in the Bay of Islands, and explored the town and beaches. We hiked the Kerikeri River walk, which after 4 days of rain, was impressively flooded and had tremendous rapids. We also visited a famous chocolate shop with free samples of amazing butter toffee macadamia nut chocolate, and of course, had to buy some. Monday morning we arrived to the Paihia pier early for the Cream Tour, the oldest and most popular cruise through the Bay of Islands. We were planning on swimming with the bottlenose dolphins if we spotted them, and though we did spot a pod, there were calves present, so we couldn't. However, the dolphins stayed around the boat jumping and flipping, and keeping up with us when we drove off. They were so fun and beautiful to watch! We did get to enjoy the freezing water when they let people try boom-netting. They let down what looks like a fishing net on the side of the boat, and we jumped in, trying to hang on and getting pushed side to side when the captain drove the boat in circles and in reverse. It was super fun! The boat stopped for a walk and or lunch in one of the bays, so we enjoyed a 360 degree view of the islands from the top of a hill with our lunch. The other highlight of the cruise was passing through the Hole in the Rock, barely fitting the large boat we were on, and seeing thousands of massive fish feeding around the rocks. It was overall an amazing cruise. At the end of it, we drove an hour to Tutukaka, where David and Alice live, a couple that we met on the Botswana safari. We enjoyed grilling out and catching up with them, and then in the morning hiked a short coastal walk from Matapouri to Whale Bay. All of the coastline of the north island is absolutely stunning, but it's too bad the water never really warms up enough to swim without a wetsuit.
Dimanche 12 Mars, nous rejoignons l'est de l'ile (toujours au nord du Nord), et atteignons Pahia, dans la baie aux iles (Bay of Islands). Nous visitons la ville et la plage, et des que la pluie diluvienne s'arrete pour de bon (apres 3-4 jours) nous marchons le long de la riviere demontee. Nous faisons un tour a la chocolaterie du coin pour y deguster chocolat, toffee et caramel. miamiamiamiamiamiamiam. :) On sera raisonnable et ne finirons notre boite de chocolat qu'en deux jours. Lundi, nous arrivons tot a l'embarcadere et prenons un bateau-croisiere pour la journee (Cream Tour) qui fait le tour e la baie, visite toutes les iles et la pointe Est, et nous permet de peut-etre voir et possiblement nager avec des dauphins. Pas de nage autorisee du fait de jeunes dans le groupe, mais nous suivrons un groupe de dauphin pendant plusieurs minutes pendant qu'ils nous observent et jouent avec la vague du bateau. Plus tard, le capitaine deploiera un filet sur le bord du bateau, et nous jetera dedans (avec la 30-aine de jeurnes presents) afin de profiter de l'experience d'etre un poisson dans un filet. Raffraichissant :) A midi nous nous arretons sur une ile et profitons de la vue a 360. L'apres midi nous poussons au Nord-Est voir la pointe et son celebre trou dans le rocher, et ses milliers de poissons. Au final, la croisiere est super-super-geniale. Nous finissons la journee plus au Sud, et retrouvons nos amis David et Alice, rencontres plus tot durant notre Safari au Botswana, il y a 8 mois !!!! Un bon petit barbecue, et des tonnes d'histoires a se raconter. Le lendemain matin, David nous fait visiter son coin de paradis de Matapouri a Whale Bay. Les vues sont absolument stupefiantes. (On y voudrait juste un peu plus de chaleur aquatique :) )

My favorite warning!

My favorite warning!

Rainbow Falls completely flooded

Rainbow Falls completely flooded

This one kept surfacing to get my camera wet!

This one kept surfacing to get my camera wet!


Loic and several bottlenose dolphins inches away

Loic and several bottlenose dolphins inches away

Picnic spot on one of the islands

Picnic spot on one of the islands


The view from our picnic spot

The view from our picnic spot

An island with a lake next to the bay

An island with a lake next to the bay

Volcanic rock

Volcanic rock

Coastline

Coastline

Coastline (2)

Coastline (2)


More coastline

More coastline

Boom-netting- the boat was going in all directions to try to crash us into one another

Boom-netting- the boat was going in all directions to try to crash us into one another

The Hole in the Rock, which we passed through

The Hole in the Rock, which we passed through


Thousands of giant fish next to the Hole in the Rock

Thousands of giant fish next to the Hole in the Rock

David and Alice live near the bay of islands, friends we made on the Botswana safari

David and Alice live near the bay of islands, friends we made on the Botswana safari


Whale Bay, near David and Alice's home

Whale Bay, near David and Alice's home

A view of Matapouri, a walk near David and Alice's home

A view of Matapouri, a walk near David and Alice's home

Posted by jillandloic 13:45 Archived in New Zealand

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Comments

Boom netting??!! That's a new one---glad you enjoyed it.

Missing you!
Phyllis

by pebergman

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