Road trips are best with scenic stops, and Cliff and Ruth knew just where to take us. We had only met a few days earlier, but they already knew exactly where we’d love to go. First up on the “Twin Coast Discovery Highway” was the Bay of Island’s Honey Shop, where we observed some of their clever bee hives and sampled the tasty Manuka and Pohutukawa honeys.
One of the most important historical sites in New Zealand is at Waitangi, where a treaty was signed in 1840, considered the founding document of the country, giving Britain sovereignty over New Zealand and giving the Maori rights as British citizens and of land ownership. Human Rights Commission New Zealand reported “New Zealand’s history since the signing of the treaty has been marked by repeated failures to honor these promises.”
Not far away was Oke Beach. We posed on the steps leading up, then down, to one of the most beautiful beaches in New Zealand. Dolphins fed in the waters right off Oke Beach and stayed in sight during our entire visit.
Another beach with beautiful features: the colors of water, sky, and beach in the later afternoon light were worth painting (and Beth just might do that…on her iPad).
A trip with strangers could have been derailed by any number of things, but we enjoyed every day, every outing, and the wonderful company of Cliff and Ruth. They may have been strangers when we started our 4-day trip, but we’re “best of friends” now.