I am getting lazy with writing!
This is our last full day of travel before settle in into Auckland for the remainder of our time here. We decided to see some beaches and mountains! We drove the Tutukaka Coast loop and made a stop at a surfing beach at Sandy Bay. We watched a surf lesson and I offered to treat Brian to a surfing lesson for his Birthday but he declined. The Tutukaka village is known for its diving opportunities and great sight-seeing boat cruise, but there is not much else to do or see if you don't dive and have already spent the ocean cruise budget for this trip!
We carried on to the Whangarei Heads area, which has a series of small communities with fishing, surfing, and tramping as attractions. We had lunch at Ocean Beach and then climbed Mt Manaia. The view was great! Unfortunately, my best photo from up there was in the direction of the oil refinery across the bay. The trail up to the top is very well maintained and to protect the kauri trees there are several boardwalks and many many step/ stairs. I counted approx 90 flights of stairs, but on one website, someone had counted 1225 individual steps!
There is not much over night accommodation in theses small towns so we headed back to Whangarei city and checked into the "Bunkdown Lodge". Very nice place!