We met Jim and Kate for a continental breakfast at The Auckland City Hotel. Now our group adventure begins in earnest.
Today chauffeur Jim drove us north out of Auckland to Opononi with plenty of stops along the way. We took 7 1/2 hours for a 3 hour drive, but that was time spent sightseeing. Northland has flat areas of fruit and vegetable growing followed by hilly pasture land home to some cattle but more dairy herds. The Tasman Sea comes in and out of view. Blue agapanthus grow wild in the ditches as do yucca plants, whose towering white candles have now gone to seed.
We admired the huge Kauri trees of the Waipoua Forest. Some of them are two to four thousand years old.
We bought groceries and drinks and a cooler with ice packs so we are prepared for cooking and eating.
We stopped at the lookout above Opononi to admire the huge sand dunes of the Hokianga Harbour. We have a two bedroom apartment across the road from the sandy beach of this deserted harbour. At one time this was a thriving community, today it is a poor cousin to the Bay of Islands. Hard to figure out why it has not developed its tourism potential.