Whitianga to Auckland

Week beginning 29 April 2019

At Whitianga, Hazel took a photo of me with Captain James Cook’s 1st boat the Endeavour. If you zoom in you can see what it looked like inside.

After we anchored at Tryphena Harbour on Great Barrier Island I did a few spins around on the poles (called stays) that hold up the mast.

We explored around the bay at Tryphena and we saw some whales, we don’t know what type (at least we thought they were whales – they were too big and not bouncy enough to be dolphins).

At Smokehouse Bay there was a swing made out of a mooring buoy on a rope.

When I was looking on the beach for driftwood I found a mussel and we cooked it on the fire and out came that mucky stuff on my hand.

There is a heated outdoor bath at Smokehouse Bay. It works by water coming from a spring into a tank and the water gets pumped around another tank beside the fire in pipes and comes out in the bath taps as hot water.

That night we had dinner on shore. Pizza! Yum! My Dad cooked it in a pizza oven for his first time. Wow!

We went for a walk on the ‘Rock Lookout Track’. We weren’t sure what ‘Rock Lookout’ meant until we got there and then it was obvious. We could see across Fitzroy Bay to where MUSCAT 7 was anchored.

When Mum and I were waiting for Dad and Hazel on the walk back down from the lookout we lay on the soft pillowy moss. We looked up and this is what we saw, a maze of sky hidden between the tree leaves.

This kauri tree is one of the only ancient kauris still in New Zealand. There is a swinging bridge that leads to the tree and you climb it by a ladder that leads to a sort of treehouse; from there, there is a wonderful view of luscious green mountains and rich navy blue waters.

Dad, Hazel, Mum and I went for a walk to the Kaitoke Hot Springs, which were so warm that I had to get out because I was sweating too much. For once I wanted to get out of the water and Mum didn’t have to ask me to! It looks like a magical pool in this photo.

When we were having a look at what the map called ‘the most beautiful campground in the world‘ there was a sheep that walked straight in front of our rental car. But I don’t believe it’s the most beautiful campground in the world. This is what I said: “Nah, I’ve seen better campgrounds in my life.

On the drive home while Hazel was asleep in the car, Mum and I walked up the ‘Windy Canons‘ and look at the view we saw from the lookout. Hazel was still asleep when we got back to the car, so Dad came with me again, and we walked even further.

Leaving Smokehouse Bay, I did Mum’s job for her and she appreciated it very much. I drove MUSCAT 7 while Dad pulled up the anchor and I started driving towards the slot out of Fitzroy Bay.

At Tiritiri Matangi Island, we looked in these nesting boxes for little blue penguins…

…and we found one!

We walked to the oldest lighthouse in New Zealand that is still working. It was built in 1864. The pieces were built in England and shipped over to New Zealand where they were put together, like a 3D cardboard puzzle, but much bigger and heavier.