Thanks to all of you who left me lovely comments wishing us a great time on our little camping trip last week. I just didn't have time to reply to each comment but they were very much appreciated! Amelia did very well in her running part of the triathlon that she completed the morning we left. I think they came second in the womens group section which was an awesome effort for two 13 year olds.
As you can see from the above photo I has fun playing with my new camera whilewe were away and took absolutely loads of photos so a word of warning thisisa long post full of photos of the beautiful New Zealand scenery. It was really nice to get away and give the girls some new experiences. One being that they had never travelled further north than Auckland before. We spent our week camping at "Matauri Bay" which is a idylic spot just 1/2 hour from Kerikeri in the far north.
At the top of the hill is this monument erected in rememberance of the "Rainbow Warrior", a Greenpeace ship that was bombed by the french intelligence back in 1985. In 1987 after the investigation was over she was transported to her final resting spot just off Matauri bay to serve as a dive wreck and fishing sanctuary. You can see pictures of her here. The ships propeller is part of the above monuement.
On the Thrusday we took a road trip up to Cape Reinga at the very tip of the North island. It was another hot beautiful day although a little misty with low cloud once we got there. This photo above is looking back down the west coast towards the start of Ninety mile beach. The scenery is stunning up here and there were photo opportunities everywhere.
Another west coast shot with the tasman sea.
Amelia and Cailtin fighting.....
......but I did manage to get this photo of them both smiling a few seconds later. Caitlin was quite happy to have her photo taken just not with her sister and Amelia mostly didn't want her photo taken at all.
Looking up towards the old Cape Reinga lighthouse which is still in use today although is automatically operated from a Wellington base.
A sign post to get your bearings.
Taken from the very tip showing the two waters meeting, the tasman sea on the left and the pacific ocean on the right. The girls didn't quite believe me when I said you could see where the different waters met. The Pacific ocean seemed a little darker than the Tasman sea....
Another beautiful photo showing the meeting of the waters.
From Cape Reinga we went on to Te paki sand dunes at the start of Ninety mile beach. These sand dunes are just HUGE and I could not stop taking photos of them.
I found the shadows from the clouds moving across the dunes fascinating.....
and loved the patterns made by the wind on the surface.
Taken from the top of one very large and steep sand dune hill. The girls are only halfway down but you can see how high it is from the size of the people at the bottom. You can hire boogie boards (or bring your own) to 'surf' down which looked like a lot of fun.
Caitlin on another unspoilt far north beach called "Spirits Bay".
Amelia at "Spirits bay". according to Maori legend the spirits of the dead leave for their journey to the afterlife (hence the bay's name).
On the last day of our holiday the girls and I decided to walk up a single track on the hill at the end of Matauri Bay and discovered this cool little bay fill of dramatic natural rock formations. It was late in the evening when we ventured along this track and thetide was nearly all the way in making it all that more dramatic. Unfortunately I had forgotten to take my camera so promised myself to come upearly the next morning butthe tide was out and it was starting to drizzle so although I did take some photos they weren't as good as they could have been.
The shells at this little beach were abundant and beautiful!
Looking out towards some islands and down on the little bay. You can see the sun on the left trying to peek through the rain clouds which it eventually did and the day turned out beautiful once again.
It took us 6 1/2 hours to drive to Matauri bay but was so very worth it.