We broke the record for the wettest January this year. And that’s saying something.
While others worried about flooding, leaking roofs and Trump (unrelated to the weather, but always worth worrying about), Mary Anne and I plotted our escape. We started by tossing out likely places to hole up for a few weeks. Mexico? Where? MA suggested Isla Holbox. It had potential, but the logistics of getting there put me off. The Southwest? Nah, we were in Scottsdale just before Christmas. This didn’t seem like the year for a return to Australia.
In the end, the north of New Zealand got the nod. New Zealand is a straightforward place. The two main Islands are called, wait for it, North Island and South Island. The area north of Auckland is called, yes, Northland - and that’s where we were bound. Beaches, diving, hiking, swimming, snorkeling, drinking, viewing giant Kauri trees - it’s all here. And nary a bungee jump nor Hobbit in sight.
We endured a long flight and an outrageously bad customer experience with Air New Zealand. But all that was forgotten when we arrived at 6:00am just as the sun was rising with the promise of a warm Summer day. But - take a tip from someone who has flown to NZ many times, Hawaiian Air is the way to go.
Catching a quick shuttle to the Go Rentals office (local company, good value), we collected our bright blue Corolla and were off to the northern suburbs to visit our friend Jan Coveny. After showers, tea and catching up on the activities of Jan and her two daughters, it was off to Browns Bay for a stroll and dinner.
The next morning, we drove a few hours up the Hibiscus Highway and set up a three day base camp at one of our favorites places, the Pacific Rendezvous at Tutukaka.
Our plan? Beach time, swimming, a couple of hikes, drinks on the deck. One might say, a lot of nothing.