The North of New Zealand is sub-tropical and the South temperate. The warmest months are December, January and February, and the coldest June, July and August. In summer, the average maximum temperature ranges between 20-30ºC and in winter between 10-15ºC. New Zealand on a whole usually has 4 very distinct seasons.
North to Cape Reinga: Last Stop before Paihia
Our last stop of the day was at the famous Mangonui fish n' chip place at Mangonui. This restaurant has a lovely deck overlooking the bay. It is here that the patrons can enjoy their meals. Needless to say, the dinner and beer were delicious! After all it?s said that they cook one of the best fish n? chip in New Zealand.
After a fun packed week I had one more day to kill. I decided to hitchhike to the Huraru Falls near town. I ended up walking most of the way over there before a local offered me a ride. He went a bit out of his way to drop me right beside the falls. The falls are not too much to brag about, but they are still worth seeing. From the falls, there is a trail that leads back into town. It takes about 2 hours and at times seemed longer then that. The trail followed a river through dense forest. It then crossed across a mangrove forest before continuing across a temperate forest. The end of the trail is right near Watangi, the infamous Treaty House.
The Bay Of Islands
Our final destination of the day was the resort town of Paihia in the Bay of Islands region (http://www.nzinfo.com/), which is approximately 250 km north of Auckland. Capt. Cook aboard HM Endeavour sailed in and named The Bay of Islands in 1769 and was welcomed by Maoris (the indigenous NZ’ers). The Bay of Islands is a region in the north of the north island that consists of approximately 144 islands of varying sizes.
A wonderful seafood diner at a restaurant along the waterfront precluded a night of meeting new friends and other travelers at the PIPI bar/hostel. Even though we were not staying at this particular accommodation, it was a great place to hang out and meet fellow travelers, all with wonderful stories of their own.
more photos at:
"The Excitor to Hole In the Rock"
check out the "must see activities" for more details about this excursion
"Day at Sea"
Still not fully adjusted to the time, a friend and I rose before the sun. We walked down to the beach and looked at all the various marine-life living in the pools left during low tide. The run rise was pretty cool even though it was a bit cloudy.
About 30 people from our tour went on a catamaran through the Bay of Islands. The day was simply lovely. The boat’s captain told us all about the region and was quite the sailor. We anchored at one of the deserted islands and went hiking. The views from the top of the island were spectacular. The crew cooked up lunch and we ate on the shores of our little island getaway, some people even did a little swimming. To add to the experience, on the sail back to shore, we were joined by a small school of bottlenose dolphins (with 2 babies). The exact price of the day sailing remains unknown to me, but whatever the cost, it was well worth it.