Place 49 – Day 382: Auckland – Fred!

We planned to leave for 09:00 this morning to head back to Auckland, but none of us woke up on time, so that didn’t happen!

Danielle’s mum made us some pancakes for breakfast and then we all packed up and headed out back to Auckland.

There was a lot of traffic on the way back, so it took us about 5 hours all in all! We did make a quick bakery stop on the way back, but that didn’t delay us too much.

Once we got to Auckland we met our host for our remaining few days in New Zealand. Our host is lovely and has a bulldog who is very excitable. His name is Fred.

We got settled, had a chat with our host and then when she went out we got showered and relaxed.

Kim went out in the evening to see Tabitha for the last time before we leave. They went to a night market and wandered around there for a bit, eating some food, and then Kim came back and we chilled out watching some TV. Curtis got some much needed admin done whilst Kim was out, so that was a win!

We have all the admin to get done tomorrow, so it means waking up early for nothing fun.

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

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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 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 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 54 – Day 12: Christchurch – Banks Peninsula, Akaroa & Christchurch Centre

We only left the apartment around 12:00 as we caught up on sleep from being awake late last night.

By the time we left, the weather had improved and we got into the car with some scorching sun!

We drove to Banks Peninsula which is around 1.5 hours away from Christchurch, up in the mountains. Google Maps took us to the top of a mountain, but we got exquisite views from there!

We drove from here down to Akaroa. Akaroa is a small french inspired town due to its 10th century French colonisation. Most of the shops and roads have French names and it felt just like being in France!

We needed some food, so found a cafe and got a coffee and cake. The coffee was pretty disappointing, but it was what we needed.

We left here and went to a shop where we got some ham and cheese and then went to a French bakery and got a baguette.

We sat on a park bench overlooking the harbour eating baguette with ham and cheese.

We walked around for a brief moment and then strolled back to the car.

We drove all the way back to Christchurch and got back to the apartment, briefly, and then got back outside and walked the 20 minutes to the city centre.

In the centre, we walked down a nice street which had a few shops on it, called New Regent Street.

We had the tram go past us, also. It was a nice old style tram!

Walking on from here, we went to the Botanic Gardens and saw a lot of big and unique trees.

We left the botanic garden and on the way back home, we came to one of the most affected areas from the 2011 earthquake.

There are few buildings here now, but there still stands the Christ Church Cathedral, which is one of New Zealand’s top historic buildings. Unfortunely, the earthquake tore large holes into this cathedral and so it is cordened off, though it is part of a restoration project, which is estimated to take 7-10 years.

We got back home via the supermarket and fish and chips shop (to get more chips) and we had some leftover chinese for dinner.

We sat and watched some TV before hitting the hay, with a long drive planned for tomorrow.

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 49 – Day 375: Auckland – Boxing Day Long Walk, Suncream & A Film

We had bacon, eggs, sausages, beans and toast for breakfast this morning, which was the perfect start to the day.

Shortly after breakfast, we all had showers, washed up and went out.

We began with a trip to Glenfield Mall to visit our favourite coffee shop and grab a coffee and some peppermint slices.

After chilling with our coffee, we walked around the mall and showed Kim’s parents the ‘sights’. We then got back in the car and drove to Takapuna for a beach walk.

We walked down Takapuna beach and then back again, which took some time but the sun was beating down and it was great to be able to experience it and show Kim’s parents some good weather in Auckland!

View of Rangitoto Island from the Beach

After Takapuna beach, Kim had the idea to take the walk to Milford beach, which was about a 40 minute walk away, across rocks and sand.

We had fun on this walk and it wasn’t too treacherous.

Once we got to Milford, we walked along the beach there for a bit and then went back up and to the supermarket. At the shop, we got some ice creams and a drink, which we earned from our long walk!

After, we began another long walk back to the car, which was about another 40/45 minutes in the hot sun.

We went from here to Wairau to buy cinema tickets for later on.

We got back home and were all exhausted, but it was great to get outside!

We heated up the Christmas day leftovers and ate those…There was a lot of food left, but we ate it all!

We relaxed for an hour or so and then got back in the car to drive back to Wairau to watch Holmes & Watson.

The cinema was almost empty! We watched the film and it was very silly but also very funny! Curtis gave it a 7.5/10 and Kim gives it 8/10.

We got back home and it was around 23:00! We have all noticed we have been burned by the sun a bit, too, which is bad!

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale