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The Bay of Islands – Day 12

4 April 2010 No Comment

Friday 8th April 2005

My journey lead me to The Bay of Islands today, and to what turned out to be my favourite place so far. It was quite an eventful stay here, read on to find out why…

I woke nice and refreshed this morning, and was a little sad to be saying goodbye to my home for the last couple of days, but it was time to move on. I was headed for The Bay of Islands today, and judging by the sound of it, I hoped it would live up to its name.

Click Image For Larger ViewIt didn’t take very long to get there, and the drive was fairly nice, but when I arrived I was very pleasantly surprised. The beach looked nice and the sun was shining. It reminded me of a seaside town a little, and it made me smile. I love these sorts of places, and always imagine myself settling down by the sea somewhere. I am definitely a seaside person, as I just love the happy atmosphere the sea brings to the many travellers and holiday makers, as well as the locals, who frequent the shorelines day after day, all year round.

The hostel – although a little hard to locate – was very nice, and had a great feel about it. It was called Mayfair Lodge and was directly next to the supermarket. Ideal I thought. The lodge was very spacious and had much to keep you entertained, including arcade games and a pool table. There were settees outside the building along the wooden decking, perfect for a natter among the travellers in the evening, although I didn’t see any other people about at this point.

I had a little chat to the owner of the hostel before setting out on a short trip to a place called Haruru Falls. The car park was a little hidden, and mine was the only car there at this point. I felt a little uneasy leaving the car there while I went off on a walk, but I wasn’t going to miss out, so I walked off anyway. I returned minutes later to pick up the things that I had left in the car, lunch, water, the right walking shoes etc. I was too eager to set off and just forget to use my brain for a second.

The walk was actually really good fun. The route was lengthy, and took me deep into the forest area, through wooded landscapes, past rivers and streams. I even found myself walking across a wooden platform over a swamped area largely populated by mangrove trees, and I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if I fell off the edge and into the muddy swamp. The mangrove trees have roots that actually shoot upwards like miniature snorkels out of the murky depths. All around me I could hear the sound of ‘popping’, as the air bubbled out of the little roots, of which there were thousands about the place. At least I think this is the reason for the peculiar sound. There were also many holes all around, possibly where the air was coming out from. Maybe this is where the popping sound was coming from.

The walk took me through the Kiwi Habitat, and eventually lead me to Haruru Falls, which itself was not overly impressive. The walk more than made up for it though, as it lead me over rivers, across bridges and through some great terrain. Maybe it is nothing special to those who were obviously locals, walking their dogs along the marked out route, but for me, this was a lot of fun.

After retracing my steps back to the car, I finished off the water I had then set off in the car, slightly worn out from the mini hike. I spent much of the rest of the day driving around and seeing the sights, before later returning to the hostel and taking a little lie down on my bed in the largely-empty dormitory.

In the evening I played pool with a German guy who was camping out in the garden of the hostel in his tent. He seemed like a cool guy. I wrote today’s diary entry before going to bed, but I imagine I went to bed at a reasonable hour, as the hostel was extremely quiet today.

>>Click here to view more pictures from today, and throughout my trip around New Zealand<<


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