Place 69 – Day 1: Kaitaia – An Octopus, Crabs & Clever Seagulls

We said goodbye to our HelpX hosts in the morning when they went off to work and then we had breakfast, got ourselves ready and tidied the room.

We left the house after packing the car and drove up to Kaitaia.

Kaitaia is our base town for a couple of things we want to do as it is in the perfect location.

We got to our accomodation, a nice B&B with a lovely pool and it also backs onto a river! The owner was nice enough to let us check in early and gave us some hints. It’s actually a really nice room! A little small, but really nice.

We got unpacked here and went to find some lunch.

We drove down to the town, parked up and walked around. There wasn’t much there, so we got a subway amd drove back to the room to eat it.

After lunch, we went out for a bit of the evening. We are near the 90 mile beach, which extends over a lot of Northland.

We got to a point called Shipwreck Bay, which we thought had a shipwreck there, but we didn’t see anything and we also had to either pay to park there or drive onto the beach, which we didn’t really want to do.

We drove back up the road and found the perfect parking spot (for free) and wandered onto the beach. There were a lot of rocks but we wanted to walk on them, so that is what we did! We walked towards shipwreck bay until we couldn’t go any further! Along the way, we saw fish & a lot of crabs in between the rocks.

As we were about to head back, Kim saw a crab sitting next to the water and took a bit of a closer look, whilst filming, and to both of our surprise, there was an octopus which decided it wanted the crab!

We stuck around this area for a while, watching the octopus move around and hoping it did something else. Low and behold, it did! It wanted to eat a fish, so it grabbed it.

We moved on from the octopus and then saw a seagull swoop down and grab a crab. It flew away with it and then drop it. It then picked it back up again, flew higher and dropped it again. We thought this was accidental but it turns out it was deliberate to try and crack it open, which it did!

We left the beach after walking back and stopped at the supermarket to get some drinks for the next few weeks.

We got back and watched some videos until we got hungry and then we went to one of the few places for dinner. Curtis got a steak with peppercorn sauce and Kim got a fancy chicken burger. Our food was alright but the service was awful so all in all we gave it a 5/10.

When we were back home, we watched some renovation TV shows on the TV we have in the room.

Tomorrow we have a cooked breakfast here at 08:30 so we’ll be up for that!

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 68 – Day 9: Kerikeri – Rainbow Falls

We were up a bit later today, but it was also our last day of this HelpX.

We had about 1/3 of the outside of the house remaining to clean and the same amount of windows inside and out also.

We got all of this done and then had some pesto pasta and watched some TV. After lunch, we got all sun lotion’d up and got in the car to go down to Rainbow Falls, which is a waterfall just down the road from where we are.

We walked down to the waterfall and decided not to go into the water as it was full if very slippery rocks and quite dirty.

We did notice a lot of rocks down stream, so we walked down there instead. We found an area to enter the rocks and then walked down them. We got pretty far, navigating the rocks and trying not to fall in the water.

We eventually ran out of rocks near us so we walked all the way back to the waterfall and headed to the car.

We drove to the supermarket and got an ice cream which was much needed in the hot weather! We also got a doughnut from a local doughnut shop.

Once our host got home, she got our cheese and crackers, so we sat out on the sun eating cheese! A great end to the day.

We then relaxed and talked about our days and then our host made us a delicious spaghetti bolognese!

We watched some of the latest Kong film and then went to bed.

We will probably be leaving here around 10:00-11:00 tomorrow morning.

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 68 – Day 8: Kerikeri – Cold Start & Fancy Moon

We were up and ready to go for 08:30. We got the areas we would be working in prepared and then started work.

It was a bit chilly this morning (at least in comparison to the last few weeks) so the shaded area was put on the backburner and we started in the sun instead.

Kim washed the back of the house, which is the largest area with the tallest parts also, so that took quite a bit of time.

Whilst Kim was doing this, Curtis cleaned the inside windows, getting most of them done.

We finished up for the day, showered and Curtis then watched hockey. After hockey, we did some research and then our host came home and we had a chat and they chucked a rotisserie chicken on the BBQ for dinner.

After dinner, which was tasty, there was a blood moon which was beautiful!

We sat down with our host and watched some renovation related TV shows and then it was 23:00 so it was bed time!

Tomorrow is our last day here, but we have enjoyed our time at this HelpX a lot.

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 68 – Day 7: Kerikeri – Paihia & Russell

We weren’t doing any work today, so we decided to had it out the house.

We had breakfast and got ready, then we got in the car and drove 30 minutes to Paihia.

Paihia had been recommended to us multiple times by many people, so we thought we had to check it out.

Once we got a parking spot, we wandered around the very small place. There wasn’t really anything of note, but we did get hungry so we stopped at a rib place for some lunch.

We got loaded wedges to share, which had bacon, cheese and pepper on.

We finished lunch, had more of a look around and then got on the ferry for the 10 minute journey to another small town called Russell.

A photo from the boat of Paihia

We got to Russell and explored around a little bit. This is only a small place, so there wasn’t much to see again. It is quite old and French in places, so it was worth a look.

We then stopped in at a cafe for a coffee and relax.

We walked a little bit more after our coffee and then re-boarded the boat to go back to Paihia.

We got back and got in the car to go back to the house.

We got back and got some admin done and chilled. The family returned home and we then all helped make homemade pizza! We had a pizza each which was delicious. We all sat and had a chat at dinner and then after the washing up was done, Kim got to have the pet budgie on her finger briefly, until she was pecked!

We went to bed shortly after, along with a delicious whisky each.

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 68 – Day 6: Kerikeri – Singing Bird & Split

We were up a little later at about 09:00 today as we were doing just 2/3 hours of cleaning today.

Kim spent the time washing the outside of the house and Curtis cleaned the inside of the windows. We got a lot done in the short time, which felt great!

Curtis watched hockey and we had tuna sandwiches for lunch.

We then booked up a place from Wednesday for a few days.

After that, we made dinner. Dinner was steak sandwiches, which were delicious as ever. Whilst making dinner, we had music on and soon realised that the bird was chirping along! We tested this by stopping the music and playing again and, she enough, when the music wasn’t on, the bird didn’t chirp…we found this much more entertaining then it should be!

We ate dinner and then spent the rest of the evening watching TV and films. We watched the film Split which was an excellent film!

Tomorrow, we have a plan to go out for the day, so that should be a good read.

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 68 – Day 5: Kerikeri – Weeding Complete, Cleaning The House & BirdBox

We were up at the usual time of 08:00 and had some Weet-Bix for breakfast.

We got outside with the goal of finishing the weeding! It started difficult as the part we were on had a lot of tough weeds, but we eventually got it all sorted, which was a relief!

We then moved on to cleaning the outside of the house. To do this, we had a little process which was to brush everything down first, too remice the cobwebs, use the brush with a hose attachment to soap up the house and scrub it down, followed by hosing it down. Then, Curtis cleaned the windows.

We spent a couple of hours doing this and then we got showered and had some lunch.

We had leftover couscous from dinner yesterday as well as sandwiches. Kim then made coffees with the barista coffee machine…delicious!

Once we had those and chilled out for a bit, Kim did some more visa things and then we got ready and went out for dinner.

We walked a bit down from where we parked and there was a bar/restaurant which didn’t seem great from the outside, but we thought we’d give it a go.

Curtis ordered a salmon fillet with green beans, mashed potato & hollandaise sauce and Kim had a medium rare steak with mushroom sauce, salad and potato gratin.

We ate our incredible food and then wandered around the centre of Kerikeri, but there isn’t really anything there.

We then went to countdown to get some ice cream and headed back home.

Once we got back, we had a fun time trying to find the Apple TV remote and once we eventually found it, watched the film Bird Box to see what all the fuss was about. It was an alright film, but we don’t get much of what the fuss is about.

After we watched this, we had ourice cream and watched Brooklyn Nine-Nine before going to bed.

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 68 – Day 4: Kerikeri – Clean Caravan, Stone Store & Delicious Lamb Leg

We woke at 08:00 and had a bit of breakfast before getting back out to do the weeding, continuing from yesterday.

We stopped a couple of hours in to have a break and one of the kids here made us some amazing waffles!

We went back out to do some weeding, and did another hour or so and we are nearly done with that. We had a supervisor with us, too.

We finished up and had an hour or work remaining, so we set on the next job which was to clean the outside of the caravan as the family will be taking this away this weekend.

We spent a while on this, using all sorts of tools and we got rather drenched but it was certainly fun and it also looks much better.

We finished up, showered and got dressed to go out. We wanted to do something this afternoon.

We had a sandwich and then jumped in the car. We went to the shop first to get cold supplies as we both have colds now!

We then drove out to an area here which has multiple walks, an amazing water area and some old buildings.

Firstly, we got an ice-cream at the cafe. The most important stop.

After this, we looked around the old stone shop which had been trading since the 1800s. Everything was old and the building was stone. It was pretty cool.

We then walked up to a hill which was a former Maori fortification, but there is nothing left there now, but there was a great view.

We had a little walk in the lake and we saw a baby duck!

We got home and sat outside doing some admin and admiring the incredible view from the house!

We then had a terrific leg of lamb which was their former lamb, too. This was paired with a couscous and vegetable salad and, of course, gravy.

We cleaned up, washed up and had a brief chat with our hosts before we left them to sort out things for their trip and we went to bed and chilled out.

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 68 – Day 3: Kerikeri – The New Place Is Awesome!

We were up again at 08:00 for our morning of work.

We had some breakfast and then started cleaning. We had just 4 rooms to clean. One of the rooms needed additional beds putting in, so we did that also.

We finished up the cleans around 12:00 and then had a coffee break. We had some coffee and cookies, as we did yesterday.

Once we finished our break, we cleaned the reception wetroom, which took a while but it looked much better once done!

We finished this, showered and packed up. We said goodbye and thank you and then left to our next place, with a stop at the bakery up the road! We saw it the other day and thought it looked terrific so we had to go. We shared a delicious beef and salad sandwich and then Curtis had a cinnamon and raisin roll whilst Kim had a chocolate doughnut.

We were sufficiently full, so we drove to our next place.

We arrived and got settled quickly. We did a bit of weeding, for around an hour, before we showered and relaxed a little.

We were then introduced to the husband and he was also delightful! He showed us a few things that needed to be done as well as how to do certain things and where things were.

We then had a long chat with them whilst they prepared dinner. We had burgers for dinner with egg, pineapple, beetroot, cheese, tomato, salad and sauce…a ‘kiwi burger’. We also had kumara wedges with it.

We chatted a bit more and then we washed up and headed to bed. Up early-ish tomorrow with some fun jobs to be done!

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 68 – Day 2: Kerikeri – Housekeeping & Already Moving!

We were up at 08:00 this morning to have breakfast and coffee so we were ready for a 09:00 start.

Today was a heavy checkout day, so it meant that 6 rooms needed to be cleaned. These rooms are both studio apartments and also cottages.

We were joined by Laura, a Mexican girl who is lovely and also informative. She helped us get to know where things are and how things should be done.

Us three cleaned the 4 cottages whilst another person cleaned the studio apartments.

We stopped for a break at 12:00 and had coffee with some delicious cookies.

We finished our break and had just a few things to do, so we completed them and then it was shower time.

Once we showered, we jumped in the car and drove a bit further out of Kerikeri to another place we would potentially helpX, just to check it out.

This place is beautiful! It is a house with a stunning view. We will be doing some gardening, waterblasting both the house and the floor as well as some other tasks. This is a phase owned by a lovely Irish lady and her family.

We loved our brief visit so we will be finishing up here today. It just doesn’t feel right and isn’t really what we want to be spending our time doing, so we are off tomorrow, after doing our hours in the morning.

These things are always fun!

We got back, had some chicken pesto pasta and watched some TV before bed.

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 68 – Day 1: Kerikeri 🇳🇿 – False Alarm, Pigs & HelpX Again!

We were up at a decent time to call a few garages to get them to have a look at our car.

Most garages were full, but Josh & Danielle were able to suggest a great garage for us who weren’t full either!

We arrived at the garage and the guy was really nice. He was able to do the diagnostics on the car and told us what the issue was. Luckily, it seems to be a false alarm, so we were able to go on our way with no worries.

We got back in the car, in the rain, and drove to McDonald’s to get a spot of brekkie.

We then drove 3.5 hours up north to Kerikeri, which is quite far up north.

We got to Kerikeri and spoke to the receptionist who was lovely and got us settled in and gave us a tour.

We are sleeping in a cabin with another person, but we are in our own room.

We went to the shop to get our food for a week which is just 1 minute down the road.

Once we got back home, we had a chat with another helper here for a while and then had a walk around the land here. There are some pigs here, too, who were very happy to see us!

We also saw some sheep/goats (we aren’t sure yet).

We walked back and made some dinner. We had chicken pesto pasta…throwing it back to the old-school traveling days.

We sat and watched some TV and went to bed at a good time so we are awake tomorrow morning when we get up to do some work here at the resort.

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale