Before we settled down for the night in our mobile nest we took a walk down to the harbour and spent a few minutes watching a couple of Asians catching fish off the dock. The water seemed alive with fish of all sizes and catching them was as easy as ‘fish in a barrel’. The lights of the buildings must have been attracting them, they were leaping out of the water as if the sea was boiling. I disturbed a long legged, crane like bird that was taking advantage of the situation, it squawked its annoyance at me and then flew the short distance to the beach we had just walked along. Later, on our return journey to our RV, it must have succumbed to sea-rage. as we walked back along the road to the camp site, out of the blackness it came swooping down screaming its anger. Landing just a few metres behind us it followed us up the road, occasionally squawking some obscenity until it was satisfied we had been admonished then it stood in the middle of the carriageway, defying us to confront it. We didn’t.
We woke late in the morning and after breakfast and showers we walked back to the harbour, wary of any long legged seabirds we came across. We thought of catching a boat over to Mansion House Island, but the boat was leaving in 10 minutes and the cafe on the island was closed for the season, we decided against it as we had no food to take with us for the day, and no time to buy any provisions.
We set off to drive to Mahruangi Regional Park as it looked like it had an interesting coastal walk.
On the way deviated into the Puhoi valley and discovered that it contained a historic village. We visited the Bohemian Museum in the centre of the village. A very keen and knowledgeable curate (we were the only visitors) who gave us a conducted tour of all the exhibits with a lengthy explanation of each item. The village was settled by Bohemian emigrants from the 1840’s. and has largely remained so. It was interesting. We moved on to the far end of the village to the cafe and cheese store. Jamie had some cheese cake and I bought some cheese.
We carried on to our original destination. The park is on a promontory, very picturesque, but then I guess, all of New Zealand is! We set off on the route that seemed to us to cover the best sights on offer. We were correct in that assumption, but we didn’t factor in some the elevations required to reach those sights. The NZ’s grade their walks, with ‘Walks’ being OK and ‘Tramps’ being exhausting. Most of our route was tramping! Beautiful, subtropical bush walking that got us both sweating profusely, but on reflection, highly enjoyable and so worth it for the views and experience itself.
In readiness for our flight tomorrow, we elected to drive south of Auckland to the campsite in Drury that we had stayed in earlier as it is relatively close to the airport. We were lucky, we managed to bag one of the last powered spots on offer. Jamie repeated the roast dinner of a few nights prior, while I microwaved some chicken chowmein I had purchased earlier in the day in case we selected a site with no access to food. We spent the rest of the evening in the Irish bar.