29.11.2014 - 07.12.2014 23 °C
Its a week before Christmas and its still feels like we need some snow to trigger the holiday spirit. Its warm, rainy, green and we can see the ocean! At the Sandspit Holiday Park I talked to a Kiwi about this and she explained that Christmas here is all about summer: school holidays, parties, and BBQs. There are signs that its Christmas: red and green Pohutukawa trees up and down the roads, Santa's hanging from the chimneys, and people shopping madly. But we just aren't feeling it. What we did enjoy is the perfect hideaway on the beach - a classic New Zealand bach.
Bach (pronounced batch) is short for bachelor pad, the Kiwi holiday cabin that is a big part of the culture here, and thanks to our friends the Crofts we found a great spot! Is was Whiritoa and had access to a freshwater lagoon as well as the ocean. The owners provided kayaks and the kids enjoyed messing about on them for hours at a time. We hiked into the Waimama reserve across the lagoon to our own secret beach where we used the Croft's ocean kayaks to paddle out to more small islands and coves. We also daytripped to the blowhole at the end of the beach and to the Broken Hills old mining site to explore abandoned gold mine tunnels. But after the crazy driving around the south island we mostly just enjoyed just chilling out reading, doing puzzles, and collecting shells on the beach at this cozy beach house that feels like a home.
For a couple of days afterwards we toured around a few north island spots; the famous Hot Water beach where James apparently burned his toosh and the neighbouring spectacular Cathedral Cove; Waipu caves and its galaxy of glow worms; Whanagarei where we saw our first kauri trees and a memorable waterfall; Trounson forest by moonlight looking for kiwis.
As always it was beautiful and unlike anything we'd seen before - we are almost fatigued from wonder!
We're going to be staying in Auckland for Christmas now at our friends' place while they are back in Canada for a visit. Albert and Faith have headed back to Alberta after a great month of travelling together. Merry Christmas to everyone. Thanks for checking out this blog! We hope you have a fun and restful holiday season.