Number of kilometers traveled: 220
Today we headed north from Takapuna, up the eastern coast. Most of our time today was spent driving along the twin coast scenic highway, through rolling hills and seaside towns.
We stopped at Red Beach for a breakfast picnic and stroll. Then we skipped up the coast, stopping off at whatever looked interesting or fun. We saw our first Kauri tree, the McKinney Kauri, which, at a mere 800 years old, is a baby in these parts.
We played and hiked in the Wenderholm Regional Park, along the Huaraki coast. Wenderholm was the first of the Auckland regional parks and is a beautiful place for a picnic or a nature walk.
Lunch was a picnic at the Mangawhai Heads, another lovely beach with the perfect picnic table…until we sat down with our sandwiches and the seagulls invaded. Luckily, we managed to keep them at bay long enough to eat. We also met a lovely woman who stopped to ask us about our Spaceship. Turns out she and her husband were just back from traveling in the states for a month and were at the beach to dig for cockles for their lunch.
Afternoon breaks were also taken at Langs beach and Waipu Cove, where we wandered around the rocks and the tidal pools and watched some really large seabirds fighting and playing in the air.
We finished up the day with a 2 hour hike on the overland trail to Waipu Cave, through beautiful rolling hills, farmland, and forests fit for Orcs, with views of the sea from the top of each hill. Kyle was repeatedly buzzed by a rather overprotective and aggressive mama bird. And we never managed to find the cave! We had to eventually turn back so we could make it to our home for this evening, Whangarei Top Ten Holiday Park. But the hike was a beautiful one, even without getting to see glowworms.
Tomorrow, we will continue heading north along the coast, most likely ending up in Russell.