For our first destination, I present you: the Bay of Islands, in the northern tip of New Zealand (-35 deg N)...
It's been over a month since we took this trip, so the rest of this post comes more or less straight from the handy-dandy Trip Journal.
Kiwis: check!? I think this might be the only time I've seen an endangered animal in the wild?
- The water was SO CLEAR! It's funny to read this now, because pretty much all water in NZ is so clear
- Some beaches were soft sand and some were very gravely
- We were mesmerized by the wave diffraction patterns in the lagoons
- We saw a dead penguin on a beach (but sadly, no live ones)
- Just after launching off Long Beach, some sort of ray (sting? manta?) - the tour guide promised that rays nearshore were a sign that whale were visiting the islands (no such luck)
- We got sunburned even though we applied sunscreen multiple times - Did you know the famous hole in the ozone we used to hear about in the 80s and 90s is still a problem? We definitely noticed the increased UV exposure on our trip.
Upon returning to the mainland, we loaded four boats on the roof of the van (no easy task) and were driven back to Pahia. From there we continued our 4 week roadtrip, down the west coast of the North Island. Stay tuned for two more posts about kayaking in New Zealand!
For a map and route statistics, scroll to the bottom of this post.
More photos of the North Island: Auckland, Rotorua, Mt. Taranaki, ...
Distance: 15 km (9.3 miles)
Duration: ~5 hours, including two 1-hour stops
Weather: Cool, cloudy with patches of sun (kiwi weather!)