At 7am I was picked up from Queen Street in the centre of Auckland by the Kiwi Experience bus. It was the start of my tour of the North Island!
First stop was up north to the Bay of Islands. For this leg of the journey our driver was called Jared and we had a small group of about 10, everyone was really lovely. Jared loved a fun fact and told us New Zealand consumes 70 million pies a year!
On the way we stopped at Whangarei Falls and had a wander round. It was a good chance for the group to get to know each other.
Around midday we made it to Paihia, a bustling seaside town in the heart of the Bay of Islands. Our hostel was called Pipi patch. During the afternoon, a couple girls and I decided to walk to the look-out point. The path was through a kiwi bird zone so we kept our eyes peeled before remembering kiwi birds are nocturnal! The view from the top was pretty cool:
The next day was the Bay of Islands cruise. It’s an amazing half-day cruise that takes you right to the end of the Cape Brett Peninsula and to the famous Hole in the Rock on Motukokako island.
The best part was when we spotted a huge pod of wild bottle-nose dolphins!! Dolphins are still my absolute favourite animal so I died and went to heaven. They were in a really playful mood and came right up to the boat, it was fantastic!
We carried on cruising around the various islands (there are 144 in total) and even stopped off at one. This particular island had so many cute lambs running around! The view overlooking the islands was truly spectacular.
The afternoon was spent driving back to Auckland. Once back I checked into Nomads hostel, just off Queen Street. The kiwi experience reserves accommodation so I never needed to worry about booking ahead, which was nice.
Natalie (my new pal from the bus) and I treated ourselves to a dominoes, it’s only $5 for a pizza here! We get royally ripped off back home. Then I remembered my Scottish school friend Fraser works in Auckland so we met up for some drinks at Brew on Quay.