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New Zealand – Matauri Bay – 10th November

Getting into the routine of getting ourselves up and ready in a good time would take a while but we were both surprised at how well we slept in the van. It wasn’t bad at all! So we enjoyed our first breakfast on the road in NZ and before long we were packed and ready to be on the move. This was a breeze compared to camping with the little tent in America! We decided to pass by The Bay of Islands, mainly as we didn’t want to be where everyone goes, and from what we’ve read we’re going to be seeing a lot of this kind of landscape and ocean as we travel, plus we can always pass by on our way back down!

We ventured went a little further up the coast, passed more beautiful beaches and eventually landed at Matauri Bay. This bay is stunning, hardly anyone was there, the sand is white, the sea is crystal clear and all in all it was pretty idyllic. We walked along the beach and up to the Rainbow Monument on the top of the hill overlooking the bottom end of the bay. The monument is a tribute to Rainbow Warrior lying beneath the sea surface a few kilometres out of the bay. It was moved there after the ship was bombed whilst on an anti-nuclear weapons protest years ago, something worth reading about. We got chatting to a guy who was camping at the Matauri Bay campground resort, he said it was $14/person so we thought we’d enquire. It just felt right to stay there, the weather was fantastic, and the setting perfect so we booked in for the night.

Earlier on we’d spotted a few people digging in the shallow sea water for what appeared to be clams, they’re actually called pipi’s. So we thought we’d like to try and get some for our tea! The only problem was the tide was already on it’s way in and it appeared as though people had got their catch for the day. Dave managed to get one from underground and then we found a few more around the surface but after nearly an hour of searching we knocked it on the head and put them back into the sea. We will try again next time! The resort has laundry facilities, hot showers, and a shared kitchen so we took advantage of all of these and enjoyed a little spot of luxury. For sunset we walked up to the memorial again, sat and took it all in. We were in an amazing spot taking in the views of the bays around us, the moon was already on show.

(Leica M9, Summicron-M 50mm f/2.0, Leica 90mm f/2.8, Zeiss 18mm f/4 ZM processed in Lightroom 3)

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