Easter Weekend Route 1S


The next day we headed South East towards Ruakaka. Along the way we stopped at a native Mauri’s farm to visit the glow worm caves on their property. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get any pictures of the glow worms as photography was prohibited, but if you’ve ever seen the Milky Way galaxy in the night sky then you have an idea of what we saw. I’m glad I finally saw them, if for no other reason then I can stop mentioning them to locals.  While glow worms are cool, I have a feeling they are as impressive to locals as petting zoos are to people that grew up in Wisconsin.

After the glow worm cave we stopped in Whangarei for a quick lunch, and a photo op of a waterfall that our Lonely Planet guidebook described as, “The Paris Hilton of New Zealand waterfalls: not the most impressive but certainly the most photographed.”  It was great, a 30 sec. walk from the parking lot.  Just the kind of hike I was looking forward to on day three of our road trip.

Whangarei Bay

We then took a leisurely stroll around the Whangarei harbor to look at all the sail boats.  There was on old man in some dorky looking clothing walking the piers with us.  I think he was really rich, and was looking at the boats less in awe and more as an investor.  It would have been funny if he fell into the water.

We eventually made our way to Ruakaka and set up camp at Ruakaka Motor Camp.  I was less then impressed.  The camp was rock covered by a thin layer of sand.  Setting up camp had more to do with finding big rocks to nail the tent stakes down with then anything else.  The lady at the front desk said something about peoples’ tents blowing away during the night.  I was damn sure that wasn’t going to happen to us, we strapped the tent to the car!

We played with some ducks for awhile. Feeding them the bread I had imagined we would have been using for peanut butter nutella sandwiches.  No matter how much I  try to pack 3 square meals a day for our camping trips we always feed the bread to the ducks and finish off the cookies and chips with the beer.

There was an open air church tent set up outside our camp with a variety show going on that night. Travis went down to check it out and hear “Amazing Grace” played on the bagpipes. He says Amazing Grace, I think they were giving lessons to 10 year olds.  Next up was a group of 9ish year old girls performed a choreographed dance to a Chipmunkette’s

version of Beyonce’s “If you liked it then you should have put a ring on it”.  I found this bad for everyone, children, adults, birds, worms.  I should of had nightmares that night.

Goats Island

The next day we took some photos of the morning sunrise across the bay and scooted down to Goat Island. Goat Island is a marine preserve with world class snorkeling that beats anything Hawaii has to offer. Unfortunately, the waves kicked up too much silt to see the underwater attraction we came to see. Even without being able to see the firework display of fish we still had a fantastic time playing in the ocean and sunbathing on the beach. We plan on going back next weekend just to camp and enjoy the scenery on land.

After taking a break at Goat Island we headed back home to Auckland where we still have a luxurious view of one of the many bays.  It was back to work for Travis but I will continue to enjoy my 2 week break from school between terms.

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4 Responses

  1. hey you guys this sounds like a fun week end away!

    Great commentary on scenery, events, and of course similarities and differences. Keep this up!

    Cheers!
    Hilary

  2. Thanks for the great ideas of where to go! When I make it out your way I’m stoked to see the glowworm caves!

  3. Amber and Travis, I love your blog! I’m an editor at ISLANDS magazine in the U.S., and we’re working on our annual Best Islands to Live On issue (see the full 2009 issue at http://islands.com/freeissue as the “Sample”). It’d be great to interview you this week if you have time between your latest NZ adventures. If you’re interested, please do let me know!
    Best,
    Chris Tauber
    ISLANDS

    • Wow, I’m still impressed people can find my little blog on the big bad web! We’d totally be up for an interview.

      Amber & Travis

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