The next morning it was out to the coach straight after breakfast for our journey to Waitomo. We headed to Kawhia but first stopped at the Bridal Veil Falls which were magnificient (and we have some good falls here in Whangarei). We then drove through some lovely farmland to Kawhia where we spent time in their interesting museum before having a local come aboard the coach to tell us all about the area as we drove around the settlement. We bought our lunch at a small cafe which produced some delicious meals for a coach load of visitors as well as serving the locals.
From here we drove to the Mangapohue Natural Bridge. There was a pleasant walk through bush to this natural marvel.
Then it was time to travel to our destination, the Waitomo Caves Hotel built in 1908. They provided a magnificant buffet meal.
We had time for a rest before we were back out to the bus and taken down to the wharf for an evening cruise around the harbour. The boat see here was lovely, it turned out that the lady who was serving the meals was the owner with her husband who had designed the boat. They had come out from America and gone to Raglan for the surfing and stayed.
We had a meal of delicious fish and chips provided by the cafe on the wharf followed by chocolate brownie (or a delicious orange cake for the two of us who were gluten free.
After our bus trip around the area we had the afternoon in Raglan free and, after a delicious lunch of chickpea and sweetcorn fritters with a delicious sauce and poached egg, we had an enjoyable walk around town.
The second day of our trip was spent in and around Raglan. It was much larger than we had expected and was very well cared for and had a good vibe about it. We had a short walk in the town before breakfast and then a local came on our bus to give us a history of the town.
A couple of weeks ago we headed off on a short trip with Paparoa Tours. We were picked up at our nearest bus stop (a 4 minute walk from home) at 8 a.m. The bus then drove in a loop around Whangarei picking up passengers before heading south. The southernmost passenger we picked up was at Warkworth. We then headed through Auckland and stopped on the Southern Motorway for a lunch stop. Then it was West to Port Waikato.
We had a chat to two surf-lifesavers
and saw the damage done by recent storms
We then carried on to Raglan
This was all new territory for me. We stayed two nights at a very pleasant motel.