We flew into Auckland, collected the hire car and stayed at a not particularly glamorous motel for the night.
The next morning we started our road trip around the area north of Auckland. Our plan was to drive up the right side of this map and back down the left without going to the long narrow bit at the top (geographical term!)
We drove around Auckland and up towards Whangarei with detours to coastal places.
We had lunch at Mangawhai tavern looking at this view.
Next day we went to see the Whangarei Falls which were in a public park on the edge of town.
We drove along a beautiful winding road and stopped at Helena Bay Hill for lunch at an art gallery. Such a great view whilst having lunch.
When we arrived in Russell we walked up a very steep hill - and I mean STEEP - but the view over the bay was worth it.
This was the view from the front door of the hotel.
The next morning we got up early and went on a boat trip. As the season hadn't officially started, we were the only customers!
The Bay of Islands was beautiful and I took lots of photos. We took the ferry across to Paihia and drove along the coast to Kerikeri where we visited the Stone House and had lunch at the Pear Tree cafe.
Continuing along the coast we eventually came to Mangonui where we found the rather lovely Acacia Lodge
Motel. Roger went for a walk and took this photo looking down on the town.
There was an amazing restaurant in Mangonui where we had dinner. We were so impressed we went back there for breakfast the next day. Then we did the Heritage Walk around Mangonui. This was the oldest building.
And the view of the bay
We drove on visiting Karikari Beach.
We stopped off at one of the access points to 90 Mile Beach at Waipapkauri Beach. 90 mile beach is actually only 55 miles long and rental cars are not allowed on it.
We drove to Ahipara and booked into the Ahipara Bay Motel
where we had dinner. One of the things we found as we travelled around was there was less accommodation and far less places to eat once you went away from the tourist areas.
At one end of the beach were rocks with lots of the green mussels.
The view along the beach back towards the motel.
We were just over half way through our road trip so I'll finish there for today. Next time: big sand dunes, big trees and big boulders.
Thanks for stopping by.Bernice