I woke up at around 4:00am to lots of screaming from the street outside and did my best to get back to sleep. When I checked out of the hostel it became clear that the noise had come from guests at the hostel. From what I could gather some girl was jealous over a guy she liked who had hooked up with another girl. So much so that she stole his jeans and shoes, leaving him wandering around barefoot in a towel. He was in negotiations with the manager of the hostel as it appeared he wasn’t even checked in to the hostel. Having gotten my key deposit back I made my way through this mayhem only to find the cops on the street outside talking to one of the girls involved. So much drama so early in the morning.
At the Magic Office, literally 300 metres away, I had a chance to check my email quickly before jumping on a smaller bus with 3 other people and our new driver Kate who was cool. We all had plenty of space to stretch out and sleep but it was such a beautiful morning as we left Auckland at sunrise that I was wide awake taking in the.
We stopped in Whangarei (pronounced Fangarei) for breakfast and then it was a straight run to Paihia arriving just before noon. It is a beautiful place that reminded me of the Caribbean, lots of islands, calm water, tree covered hills and puffy white clouds drifting across the sky. Next to Paihia is the Waitangi Reserve where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840 between the British and the Maori considered today as the founding document of New Zealand as a nation. I stayed at the Bay Adventurer which our driver Kate had recommended and it was great. It was the quiet season so I had a six bed dorm all to myself. There was a big kitchen and dining room next to the lounge with a large flat screen TV. A swimming pool, braai and spa pool outside. The clincher though was free bike hire and that’s what I did straight away. I mountain rode from the hostel through Paihia, the Waitangi Reserve and the golf course on my way up to Mt Bledisloe for views over the Bay of Islands.
Then it was a frighteningly quick downhill ride on the other side to the Haruru Falls which is said to resemble the Niagara Falls only in shape as they are not very large but still worth a visit in my opinion as you can probably tell from these photos.
After that it was quite a tough ride over the hills back into town where I bought some provisions for breakfast from the supermarket and rather exhausted I spent the evening catching up on my journal only going out briefly to get some fish & chips for dinner that I ate on the beach overlooking the bay as the light faded.
Then it was an early night as the next day I would picked up at 7:00am to go to Cape Reinga, the north-westernmost point of New Zealand and the meeting point of the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean.