NZ – a closing post

The NZ blog ended abruptly without finishing the story. A month late, here is the last instalment.

The rest of our week in Auckland was low key but included two more excursions with Mike and LIz. Saturday we spent a sunny day on Waiheke Island, just a 45 minute ferry ride from Auckland Harbour. It is a special place for Liz as her grandmother had a “bach” (a seaside cottage) there. We rented a car, did a tour of the island and had a good lunch at a winery. (Click on the first photo to view them full size.)

Friday we did a trip to Muriwai Beach, about an hour’s drive from Auckland. The beach is black volcanic sand and stretches for 60km. A gannet colony at the south end draws tourists. It wasn’t the prime time of year to see young birds, but we saw a few in the densely-packed nesting areas. We lunched nearby at a golf course Mike plays regularly.

It was good to be in one place for a week with friends after being on the move for a few weeks in Australia. On Sunday, our last full day in Auckland, we had a last ocean swim and were lucky to have both sun and good surf. Monday we were up early for a 7:00 flight. (Thanks Mike for getting up so early to drive us to the airport.) We took the long way home: three hours to Sydney, a three hour layover and a fourteen hour flight to Vancouver. All went well although I caught a cold on the flight.

Back to rain and short winter days in Vancouver. How quickly we had become accustomed to sun and long, warm days. It was a comfortable break; we will be back soon.