Keith and Joan's Trip Down Under 2009 travel blog

Langs Beach

Hundertwasser toilets

We're sitting next to where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed. It's an important place in NZ history as it was the place where the Maori and Europeans signed an agreement which stopped the fighting and led to peace.

Keith had an excellent time caving yesterday. It was the real thing with a 65 ft climb, 85 ft abseil, river floating in spare tyres and lots of very small holes to crawl through. The glow worms were better in these caves as they are less well used and need to be 'switched on' much more by noise. He has a CD of photos which we can't open on this computer, but more of these later I'm sure.

Meanwhile I took a gentle drive over to the Mangaphue Natural Bridge before collecting him from the caving centre.

We drove straight off up to Auckland and towards the Bay of Islands and stayed the night at Mangawhai Heads which are around half way to the Bay of Islands. A campsite right by the sea with lovely views out to a few islands and headlands. Off again this morning stopping off at a lovely beach in Breams Bay and the Hundertwasser toilets in Kawakawa - wonderful funky modern art loos done as a community project in a very run down town.

Keith noticed that this area does have some wineries and we found a lovely one not far from where we are now and stopped off for lunch and a little wine tasting. Apparently they have grapes here that are not commonly grown so we just had to stop and try them. Quite nice really!

Off to the Bay of Islands tomorrow by boat. But first to Woolworths (supermarket) to stock up on the essentials before an evening walk along the sea shore. It's been the best day yet - almost too hot but with a strong breeze blowing. The campsite overlooks the river mouth and National Trust grounds across the river.

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