We took the boring route up SHY 1 and had our first coffee break at Wellsford. Our eventual destination was to be Bland Bay, (nothing bland about it though!) where Tim and Sandra's neighbour had a place and had kindly offered us some accommodation for the night.
We continued further north turning west and headed for Dargiville, a pleasant and meandering ride along the Kaipara coast and another quick stop in Dargiville for some lunch and a refuel for the Thunderbird.
We then turned east going through the forest and stopping at twin bridges for a photo shoot.
|Tim & Sandra and the Thunderbird.|
From there I was supposed to take us via Pahia to Opua where we would catch the short ferry ride over to Russell, Unfortunately I didn't read the map properly and we ended up going through Kawakawa, no big deal, and perhaps a bit quicker than my original plans. Once in Opua we had a short wait for the ferry.
Opua is a lovely marina, and the ferry links you up to Russell which was once New Zealands first capital. If you are sailing into NZ, you will stop at Opua before heading south. You know you are in the beautiful Bay of Islands as the scenery is stunning and there are lots of yachts about.
Taking the old Russell road, and using the IPhone for directions we took a unplanned diversion down a dirt road through a old Kauri forest. It was quite the adventure and a bit challenging on a sports tourer. We were to discover later that if we had stayed on the road we were originally on we would still have got to Bland bay eventually. Never mind it was all fun.
|Waiting for the ferry.|
|Bay of Islands|
Bland bay, permanent population of 30. An idyllic spot on the north of Whangruru. A long golden sand safe swimming beach with crystal clear water. I went for a wander first thing in the morning and was the only person on the beach. One solitary boat anchored in the bay.
|Bland Bay at Sunrise|
|Often Dolphins and Orcas come to visit in this bay.|
We had a terrific weekend. Or final stop was in Warkworth to visit my folks, where we were dished up some toasted sammies and coffee before riding the last part home on SH1.
The Bay of Islands is just one of those great places that you must see when visiting NZ. It is beautiful sparsely populated and as always full of friendly people.
|The puppy at the gallery|
|There were some beautiful art peices.|
|The view from the cafe.|
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