Saturday morning I was up early to be on the road to Paihia (Pie-hee-ah); The Bay of Islands. I had a few nights booked here as it is supposed to be beautiful, with plenty to do, possibly some sandboarding, kayaking, etc.
It was a beautiful drive up the coast and when we got to Paihia, we were given the opportunity to take a boat trip to see "The Hole in the Rock" and told that if you want to see dolphins, the Bay of Islands is where to do it. I had a funny feeling about this, so I opted out as I had seen plenty of dolphins and whales in Aus, and thought I'd save the money and go for a kayak. Sure enough, our beautiful afternoon took a turn for the worse, and the waters were rough and the sky's were terribly dark. When the boat trip returned, they were soaked from the rain, with many unhappy backpackers with pictures lacking dolphins. My tourist-trap sense is tingling!
I took the time to wander around Paihia grab some great photos, and decided to cut my trip short and head back to Auckland the next day. It was a full bus tour across to Hokianga, and down the west coast stopping into Waipoua Forest to see the giant Kauri trees.
Today I hopped on a free city tour to explore the underbelly of the Auckland Harbour Bridge, watch a guy dressed as a dinosaur bungy jump for a music video, tramped around Devonport, up to Mt Victoria to get a great view of Auckland, One Tree Hill, and a whole lot of Maori history thanks to our knowledgeable tour guide!
Off to Rotorua tomorrow!