How did we decide to tag along with people we’d never met on a 4-day trip up to their place in Kerikeri? (And where is Kerikeri, you might ask?)
Over a year ago we prepared for our trip to New Zealand by reading everything we could find. We stumbled upon a helpful blog called Detours and wrote a comment, with the response that, when we got to New Zealand, we might get together. Fast forward a year; we arrived in New Zealand and posted our first blogs. We quickly received a comment from the Detours bloggers, Cliff and Ruth, proposing a 4-day trip up to their place. Wow! We knew from their blog we had a lot in common, so we decided to go for it.
Where were we going? We had no idea. Time to study the map. Kerikeri is fairly far north on the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand. Its proximity to the Bay of Islands makes it a popular destination.
Ruth & Cliff picked us up at our AirBnB in Whangaparaoa, north of Auckland, early on a Friday morning so we could take the scenic route up the west coast. Our first stop was to see Tane Mahuta, the largest and oldest living kauri tree in New Zealand, estimated to be 2,000 years old. Its Maori name is translated to “Lord of the Forest.”
We drove on to Rawene and looked out at the great sand bars and hills that were almost fluorescent green.
The little town had flair to it, with brightly painted buildings and artwork on display in the Boatshed Café where we had lunch.
The scenic drive took us through beautiful countryside and we saw many grazing cows and few sheep. By mid-afternoon we’d arrived at their home in Kerikeri.
One little problem loomed before us all: Cyclone Lusi was due to crash our little weekend. Rain and wind came in that night and were spotty the next day. Never mind. We settled in and ate Ruth’s delicious scones with cream and thick fruity preserves.
The next day we surveyed the storm damage. Some trees came down, storm surges were evident, but storm damage was not as bad as expected. The skies cleared as we hiked up to Rainbow Falls.
The trip continues with the next post: a cruise on Agnes.