Sunday, May 22, 2011

Beautiful Weekend in Paradise.

Twin Bridges.

 It was a stunning weekend in godzon, and we had planned a weekend away with our friends Tim & Sandra on there 98 Thunderbird.  Just as we were about to leave an emergency call from my sis to say she had a flat tyre meant a small diversion took place so I could change it for her.  With that complete, we headed off, a little late but on our way.

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
 Arriving in Bland bay, our host was just pulling up on his tractor towing his boat with a dozen freshly caught snapper, so that was dinner taken care of.  So a great days riding, great company and a delicious doesn't get much better than this.

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 left the bay on Sunday morning and continued our journey south along the Russell road, Passing Okura and Helena Bay.  We stopped at the the top of the hill at the cafe and art gallery there.  We were greeted with stunning views, fantastic coffee and some beautiful art.  Some of it very expensive.  This cafe is located about 5kms south of Helena bay and is well worth the stop.

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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  1. Great ride, and awesome pics.Love that part of the country.Thanks for sharing it.

  2. Godbother & Nic, It is always great this time of year to do a run north, weather is warm and not much traffic. THanks for your comments.

  3. What a beautiful weekend!! No pictures of the snapper?? And what is up with the pointed toes of your footprints? :)

    The views are simply spectacular and the bay looked so calm. ahh...calmed me down just looking at the images after the long weekend we had.

    Glad you had a great time.


  4. Lori...There is nothing wrong with my pointed toes, maybe it was because I was walking backwards to take the photo, a some what feeble attempt at being arty!

    And yes it is a very calming place.

  5. I haven't seen much of the Northern part yet, it is lovely up there. Thank you for taking us with you. I love the beach pictures by the way. Once again it looks like you guys had a wonderful time

  6. Bring it on Roger, Bring it on.
    Fish & lovely Chips last weekend & this weekend a trip in PARADISE what more could a Biker want to do with his time, Great photos and a decent trip out with friends.
    Ding Dang Doo.


  7. Tony, My thoughts exactly, couldnt of said it better myself.