The Land of Rainbows

And now I’m back from another little trip that some of my friends have organised for them and some more friends who are like me: I think we all can organise, but if there are other people who actually really enjoy doing it and have started already, why making things more complicated? 😛
So this weekend we went to Northland, so: we went to Paihia (again), went on a day trip up to the very north of NZ including the famous Cape Reinga and the 90 Mile Beach, and then today (30th) we also went to Russell/Kororareka, which is the first settlement in NZ, used to be the hellhole of the Pacific and is opposite of Paihia (15min with the ferry).
It’s been interesting to have been to the Bay of Islands for a second time. You compare things, of course, and I do have to admit that it wasn’t as magic as the first time. Maybe I tried too hard to feel the soft peace of the place. Since it’s autumn now it has been raining more as well, so everything was greener and darker. Some meadows were almost poisonous green, or neon green… almost hurting your eyes. We also saw about five rainbows in these days, that’s the reason for the title. We see rainbows here all the time, actually.
Anyway. Catching the bus on friday at three (in AUK) we didn’t have to get up extra early, which was very nice. We haven’t had school that day. So we went to Auckland and found our bus, and then drove all the way up. Luckily our driver wasn’t annoying. I’ve been trying to learn my lines for the drama play we’re doing right now, while we were driving. I can memorise them now pretty well. 🙂
We arrived at Paihia at half past six, we wandered through Paihia in the dark, buying some stuff to eat for the next day, then searching for our backpacker. The nice thing about Paihia is that it’s unbelievably tiny. Maybe not as tiny as, say, Kaikoura, and WAY nicer. So it didn’t take us too long to find our backpacker which was way nicer than the one in Rotorua. We weren’t allowed to join the party that was on in the bar, because nobody was eighteen and we were too nice (and maybe not thinking quickly enough) to lie. Nobody ever asks you for your ID here (except for maybe the actual sellers of alcohol, but I don’t have experience with that).
Then we wandered around again, to enjoy the night and find something to eat. We had something Chinese and sat on the beach and on a little platform above. There we talked and watched the stars and took weird photos and did weird things. I won’t tell you what some of us did.
Then we stayed in our room and kept on talking and giving each other massages 😀
The next morning we were dead tired but we had to get up before seven because we were picked up at ten past seven. Killing. A friend and I had our breakfast on the bus up north. Our driver was absolutely cool. His name was Barrie and he had family and friends practically everywhere we drove past, he had so many stories to tell! And it was funny and never annoying or something. Plus he tried to introduce us to the spiritual aspect of our journey – I expected sightseeing only, but thanks to him I have a way better understanding of what kind of place Cape Reinga in particular is. He was just a great man.
So we drove up to Kerikeri and went past the oldest stone house in NZ (I want to go there again, seemed like a great spot), then through Mangonui and Taipa (which means “first touch”, it was the place where Kupe, the explorer of NZ first set foot on the land). We had some great views along the coast and went into a Kauri forest and hugged some Kauri trees (it’s said that there is so much goodness in the Kauri that you won’t have any inquiries the next morning, like hangovers or illnesses, and I actually tell you now: the first morning I had a sore throat, the second I felt healthy as a horse! I rest my case). After a long drive we arrived at Cape Reinga at about twelve thirty, we spent a good hour there and I loved it. I just sat there on the edge of the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea, for about half an hour at least. For those of you who don’t know and are too lazy to google it: Cape Reinga is the departing place for the spirits of the dead (Maori), they assemble on Spirits Bay, go up to the Cape, jump on the Pohutukawa tree that mystically grows down there on the very edge, exposed to wind and weather and never ever flowering… And from the tree they leap into the spirit world to travel back to their originate mythical island, Hawaiki. I’m not saying anything about that, I’m just telling you, alright?
So after some beautiful time there we went to the Te Paki Stream and sand dunes, there are heaps of sanddunes up there, and a stream that goes right down there and joins the ocean at the 90 Mile Beach. And guess what – we actually drove in the stream, right through the middle of it through the water, we stopped at one of the dunes and went sand boarding (climbing up the dune and sliding back down laying on something like a very small surfboard) which was almost as scary as bungeeing because I hate any sliding. I’m always scared of loosing control. Crashing. Etc. But it was fun, and I’m proud that once again I did it anyway and overcame my fears. It makes you stronger. Gosh, even having fun has deep psychological and philosophical meaning to me…
Then we went almost all the way down the 90 Mile Beach (which is pretty dangerous for drivers who don’t know anything about the waves and tides down there, which is why there are rests of cars found all the time, but it’s beautiful anyway). We had 20 min at a place called Ancient Kauri Kingdom, it’s a place of Kauri wood, and I tell you now: if I should ever be amazingly rich I will go there again and buy all my furniture there. Kauri is just sooo beautiful. There were chairs, tables, a bed… and heaps of sculptures. Beautiful. And in the middle was a big tree trunk in which there was a spiral staircase carved that took you to the second floor. Amazing. I want to have a staircase like that. And guess what – as far as I know, no Kauri tree was cut down for all of that. It is all made of wood digged out of the ground, because a long time ago when there was even more volcanic activity etc whole forests were buried, but the wood got conserved, and so it’s perfect wood down there, and nobody has to kill a tree for that. Great, ay? 🙂
Then we went to Mangonui again where we picked up fish and chips at the world (?) famous fish and chips shop which is said to make the best fish and chips in the whole of NZ. The fish was great, but I’ve had better chips before, sorry. It was still great, though.
We were back in Paihia at about seven or eight I think, we went out to the beach again and then inside and played some Mafia. Although we didn’t have to get up so early the next morning we went to bed early.
And so today, Sunday, we went through Paihia again, did some shopping (there are beautiful shops there!!) while some of us, those who haven’t been to the Bay of Islands before, did a boat cruise to see some of it. We met in Russell where we went to some little galleries and shops before we hurried up a crazily steep hill to the historical flagstaff place (google it), had a nice look around, hurried down again, cought the ferry just in time and went forty minutes later to the bus and home once again.
It was very nice indeed, although (or maybe because) it wasn’t that full of many different things to do and experience and whatever. Action stuff I mean, and tourist stuff. Okay, we did quite a lot of tourist stuff. But not like one tourist tour after the other, like in Rotorua. I loved both. Tourist always sounds negative, but only if you do the tours you really learn and experience all the stuff that’s really cool. After all.
And now I have to sleep. School tomorrow…

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6 thoughts on “The Land of Rainbows

  1. Toll, was du alles mit nimmst und erlebst! Ich werde dann immer ein wenig traurig und neidisch und sehnsuchtsvoll, wenn ich deine Beschreibungen von den tollen Plätzen und Eindrücken so lese. Kauri wood und so…the pacific and Tasman sea, many sanddunes runter rutschen auf nem Brett..

  2. What genau seemed like a great spot? The oldest stone house itself (ich stelle es mir eher grau vor) oder der Platz?
    Mama.

    • Der Ort Kerikeri. Am nächsten Morgen hab ich dann auch noch rausgefunden, dass dort ein ganz toller Laden ist, mit so exotischen Sachen, wie ein DW-Shop nur cooler (bis auf dass ich nicht sicher bin, ob die Sachen da fair gehandelt sind).

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