Keep Left!

For our first morning in NZ, we decided to cook breakfast at the hostel to save a little money. I’d say we put together a pretty tasty spread!

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After breakfast, we hopped on a bus across town to pick up our rental car. We got a pretty good rate with Jucy, so we booked through them. They ended up upgrading the car for free to a newer model car (and it uses diesel, equaling fantastic gas savings!), but they didn’t have any GPS units left. Since we don’t have much of a data plan, we found out we could get a GPS at the I-site by the harbor before heading out of town, which ended up saving us a bit of money as well. Good thing it was relatively close by and didn’t involve too many turns because it is incredibly anti-intuitive to drive on the left side of the road. Basically, we think we are always doing something wrong. In the city, it felt a bit like Toad’s Turnpike level in MarioKart. However, with my navigation skills and T’s driving skills, our first attempt at driving on the left side of the road was a success, and so was our mission to get a GPS. Prepared, we set out on our road trip to the Northland, trying to stay on the correct side of the road.

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With some kilometers under our belt, we stopped off in Whangarei for lunch at Cafe Mokaba and enjoyed the view of the harbor and a great lunch.

A little further down the road, we saw a sign for some glow worm caves just a few kilometers off the road, so we decided to stop to check it out. Down a short paved and then unpaved road, we arrived a the Kawiti glow worm caves, a family run small cave tour.

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It ended up being just us and the guide through the cave. A great little tour, with plenty of good information and time to view the glow worms.

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Unfortunately no pictures were allowed inside the cave, so you’ll have to trust my word that it was a pretty sight to see. At the end, of the tour there was a pleasant bush walk over the caves, and back to the entrance.

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Although quite a bit smaller than Waitomo, we were still able to see glow worms without taking a detour that would have taken an extra few hours, and by paying less than what it would have cost 1 of us to get into the Waitomo caves. It seemed like a good compromise to not bust the budget and to support a small family-run business.

Even Leo had a good time…

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Quite satisfied, we continued to our final destination for the day, the Bay of Islands.

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Once we arrived in Paihia, we put on our bathing suits and walked down the street to the beach to enjoy a bit of sun before the end of the day.

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We wanted to go over to Russell, but didn’t realize the ferries stopped running so early. We opted to walk around the town to scope out options for dinner, and then headed back to the hostel.

On our way to dinner, we were stopped by a young German guy named Tobias, who asked us if he could join us for dinner. Happy to meet new people, we told him to join us on our way to town for dinner. We settled on pizza at a local little Italian place and had an awesome time getting to know Tobias. We ended up coming away from a great dinner with a new friend, and a memorable evening in the Bay of Islands.

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1 Comment

  1. Pingback: New Zealand: North & South Island Itineraries | Fit To Wander

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