Place 62 – Day 4: Bland Bay – Filleting A Fish 🐟

After waking about 09:30, we sat and Curtis had coffee and then we spent the majority of the day just chilling in the sun.

We had some pizza for lunch and Josh got back from fishing and then fell asleep.

Once Josh woke back up, he went to fillet some fish.

Kim wanted to see how to do it, so she was shown by Josh and then she had a go!

After filleting the fish, we turned on the BBQ and had some more meat for dinner!

We then ate, drank a bit and then played a few rounds of Cards Against Humanity.

We are up around 08:00 tomorrow to head back to Auckland.

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 62 – Day 3: Bland Bay – Secret Cave!

We left the hotel nice and early, around 07:30 and then drove to McDonald’s to get a spot of breakfast.

After breakfast, we drove a car park over to the supermarket where we got some meat for the BBQ.

We left the supermarket and made the drive down to Bland Bay. A lot of the roads were gravel, but it was good fun! It was a straight road for 100km, so it was at least easy.

We got out to Bland Bay and just chilled out for a few hours in the blazing sun. It was delightful!

We were then told about a cave that we had to see in person as it was beautiful! With that, we all hopped on the boat and headed out there. The waves were causing our boat to bounce all over the place which waa great fun!

We arrived at the small, secluded beach and it was stunning!

We then had a look at the stream leading to the cave, which was also filled with rocks and seaweed, and it was quite choppy, with big waves rushing in.

That being said, we eventually started making our way out into the water, consistently getting stabbed by the sharp rocks. Josh then said he saw a stingray, which froze us both and we decided we weren’t moving!

We waited a while and saw nothing, so all got moving again. We swam the last part into the cave and it was well worth it! Unfortunately, we didn’t get any good photos of it, but there was a deep pool of water with light perfectly shining onto it from above. Beautiful!

We got in the water and chilled a little, before we got back out and had to make the treacherous swim back.

The swim was actually ok, but we did get stabbed by multiple rocks again.

We got back on the boat and headed back to the house.

We then got the BBQ going and Josh cooked up a storm! Once we ate our food, we had some games of Cards Against Humanity and Josh sent out the Contiki to catch some fish.

As they were bringing it back in, there must’ve been a shark on it, or two, as the power pulled the whole whinch down the bank and the contiki went underwater! There was a made dash to pull it in and it eventually relaxed, but most of the hooks were gone from the line! Another eventful weekend here so far!

We packedup the outside after this and then went inside for some sleep, after we got some great night photos!

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 69 – Day 3: Kaitaia – Te Paki Sand Dunes, The Top of NZ & Spirits Bay

Post breakfast, we were in the car and driving further up north! By 09:00, we were on our way and it was already getting warm!

We drove 1.5 hours up north to get to Te Paki stream. Here, in the middle of nowhere, there are giant sand dunes! Kim had read online that you can rent a ‘sandboard’ and go sandboarding on the dunes.

Once we arrived, we got ourselves a couple of sandboards and headed up the dunes. We were advised to go right to the highest dune to get a great view and then slide back down, which is what we did. What we didn’t realise was how incredible steep all of the dunes are and the effort it takes to get to the top, including getting sand blown in your face all the time!

Kim struggling with the dune!

We did get some amazing views at the top of the highest dune, which we soaked in whilst we relaxed after the tiresome climb!

The first sandboard down looked very high but wasn’t very fast at all.

We then went down the next hill, which was smaller but had way more speed and was great fun!

Luckily, as we were leaving, the sun got much warmer, so it was the perfect timing!

We had a drink and then drove from here to Cape Reinga, which is the top most point of New Zealand. Once we got here, we parked and walked down to the lighthouse, seeing the amazing views on the way. Apparently, two different oceans combine at this point also, which is what we assume the waves in the middle of the sea are!

We walked back to the car after seeing the lighthouse and drove to a beach over a gravel road, which took a while! The beach was called spirits bay and it was beautiful! We sat and ate our homemade ham, beef, cheese & salad sandwiches and then got back to the car to drive back to the apartment.

We chilled out for a while whilst we recovered from our tiredness and then we got back in the car and drove to the town to find food. We got a kebab each, which was an odd thing to choose but was delicious!

We watched a cabin restoration TV show and some other TV and then got packed up to leave tomorrow morning.

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 69 – Day 2: Kaitaia – Surfing on Shipwreck Bay, Revisiting ‘Terry’ & Seeing The Shipwreck

We were up for breakfast at 08:20. When we got to the dining area at our B&B, we were asked if we wanted coffee, which we did, and we then had a selection of cereals as well as toast and yogurt. We had a yogurt each and were then offered eggs and bacon, which we had. It certainly filled us up and the coffee rated a lot like caramel but other than that, it was a solid breakfast.

When we finished breakfast we then got ready and jumped in the car to go to the beach. The weather was a bit miserable but we still risked it! We stopped at a shop and Kim rented a surfboard for a couple of hours for a really good price!

We had to the drive onto the beach to park which was actually very easy as it was compact sand.

We got onto the beach and Kim was straight in to surf. The waves had disappeared for some reason! Kim tried and surfed a couple of waves, but they then stopped coming at all, so we moved down the road to another part of the beach, where there seemed to be more waves. Kim had a lot more fun here and actually got to surf! Curtis watched on and also saw how much fog was covering the hills.

Kim finished with surfing and we left the beach to return the board.

Once we got the board back, Curtis watched hockey and Kim went out to find some lunch. Once she got home, we had some pizza for lunch.

After hockey finished, we went out to the beach again to see if we could see our new octopus friend, we have named Terry, again.

Luckily, Terry was still there and we said hello to him he also came to say hi and Kim gave him a shell.

We left Terry and went to the shipwreck which was now visible due to the tide going out. There isn’t much there, but it was cool to look at.

The weather improved, too!

We then left the beach, but not before a visit to Terry again.

We drove to KFC and got some dinner there as we were told it is actually good here, so we have it a go. It was pretty good, and we had it whilst watching TV together!

Long busy day tomorrow, but should be fun.

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

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