Welcome back! Our first set of travels came to an end a couple of weeks ago and since then we’ve been back in Auckland at Rona and Dave’s and enjoying the almost complete Crawley family reunion (missing big brother David and family) after my mum’s first time on a plane in the last 12 years. Go Mum, you kicked that fear right in the derrière!
Our ten days back in Auckland were well spent, Adrien sourced all the necessary equipment to become an expert kite surfer from his new favourite website Trade Me (New Zealand lacking both eBay and Amazon, this is the first place to look for buying literally anything). We explored the various bays around Auckland, and prepared our CVs and cover letters with the intention of one day getting one of those job things I hear so much about. I did struggle some days with the feeling of being a useless lazy merde with no purpose in life as this is the longest I have ever not worked since I was 16, but somehow setting off on another road trip with my partner in crime for some more off-the-beaten-track discoveries seemed to rid me of all those feelings!
We headed north west to the Kauri Coast- a stretch of coast lined with forests of the rare Kauri trees which can only be found in New Zealand and only in one or two regions. These trees are enormous, one of the largest living things in the world after other fellow giants of nature like the Californian Sequoias and blue whales. These trees are carefully protected, so on entering and leaving the forests where we lowly humans can walk, you have to wash your shoes in disinfectant. Conservation of land is so important here, for example you rarely see public litter bins, you just have to take your rubbish with you. The motto is ‘Leave no trace’, a good reminder of the damage we humans have the potential to do and that we are by no means the most important organism on this planet.
We stayed in a campground on the edge of a Kauri forest, which is also known for spotting the nocturnal and elusive namesake of New Zealanders – the kiwi bird! We set out on a walk in the rainy darkness and 10 minutes in we were amazed- a real life kiwi, the size of a chicken with an enormous round bottom and a long thin beak, wisely getting out of the way of we curious trampers in our noisy waterproof jackets and squeaky trainers. No photographic evidence available sadly, so you will just have to believe us on this one!
Next stop was the east coast of Northland (north of the North Island- confused yet?) where we were meeting the family a couple of days later. We stopped off at Adrien’s favourite place in the world, the Waipu caves, where the roof of the caves are covered in thick constellations of glow worms and the underground exploring potential is excellent!
The more popular and famous caves are the Waitomo caves, which are admittedly much bigger and more extensive, but the Waipus are free (of charge and of tourists), and can be explored independently and on foot- perfect!
The next stop is the Whangerei region where we are meeting the family, looking forward to some watery activities, idyllic beaches, and hopefully Ziggy Bear not destroying the holiday houses we’re staying in (see rampage evidence below). And so the never ending holiday continues!