Today we drove to Paihia (pronounced Paheeha), we were booked on a Cruise out of the Bay to see some Dolphins and The Hole in The Rock, as well as Cape Brett Lighthouse and of course the coastline. We grabbed a coffee (best we have had the entire trip) and wandered the harbour, while we waited for the time to board. We made a rookie mistake and should have done more research, while the cruise we booked (Fuller Great Sights Dolphins and Hole in the Rock Cruise – through our hotel) was very well regarded, it is a larger Catamaran type vessel that holds 180 people…way too many to get great photos. Sadly most with iPads and Selfi Sticks and refused to share the view, I barely saw any of the dolphins (too short), in the end, I had to just get as rude as them and pushed my way through. We usually prefer a much smaller craft. Still, it was so lovely to be out on the water, wind, sun and surf in my hair and all that! Just so good to be out on the water again.
We saw the Brett Point Lighthouse and the Hole in the Rock, we did not go through as the Skipper deemed it too choppy. Seals were spotted on the way back, but I did not really see much of them either. I paid big money for this cruise so I bullied my way to the front from the Hole in the Rock and stood my ground. Sadly as it was quite choppy, I should have used a much higher ISO and Shutter Speed to get sharper pictures – oh well, such is life.
We had lunch ad Jimmy Jacks, best burger and ribs in town! We had dessert at a Fudge shop nearby and then wandered the arts & crafts market – so overpriced!
Stopped at Haruru Falls, such a pretty little spot, just outside town, sadly it needs more water, must be truly a sight when running bank full. The height of Summer is not the best time to view waterfalls.
On a side note, that while rope swings from trees over a river or lake are probably well-liked world over, the Kiwis really do have a thing for them, saw them everywhere!
Then off to Rainbow Falls, all the areas of the falls are easily accessible and many people were swimming in the lake at the base.
Next stop was the beautiful Stone Store in Kerikeri, just so wonderful inside and out, it is currently a bric-a-brac and antique store and I found a few fabulous little Still Life prop finds, we cannot buy too much so these were small and lightweight.
You will have to wait to see what I bought, as while I have unpacked, I have not as yet had time to shoot any images with them.
Next stop was Mangawhai Heads and the Surf Club, would be an awesome spot for a Sunrise shoot, but we were there are 5:30pm 😦 still, we grabbed a coffee and headed over to Warkworth, our stop for the night. Just as well really, as you can see from the photos, not a cloud in sight…need clouds (well at least some) for a decent sunset (or sunrise).
We had a truly yummy dinner at the Bridge House Hotel, sadly the Hotel we stayed at was hot, stuffy, uncomfortable and overpriced. We also made a rookie mistake (No2 for this trip) we did not check the bed for bedbugs (we usually do this in every hotel, as amongst other things I have a reaction to their bites, not deadly, but really uncomfortable to deal with). But as yet we were oblivious.
After dinner, we went on a quick scouting trip out to the Warkworth Astronomical Radio Observatory to get our bearings, then once it got dark we went and used the clear skies to our advantage and shot some Astro (Night sky photos) with the huge Radio/Satellite Dish in the foreground. I am pretty happy with some of the images, but I am still struggling with the Sony in the Dark and finding my focus, I think they are in 100% focus until I get them on the big screen – arrgh!
We had a fun night, it was not cold and we stood in the countryside with sheep and cows, giving us strange looks (one kept coughing – I think it needs a vet), we even had to chase down a possum that was stalking us!
I will leave it here, for now, we spent hours out at this spot, and would come back in the morning for more.