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Bay of Islands

Post-lockdown mid-winter getaway to the Bay of Islands.

Who would’ve thought going to the Bay of Islands mid-winter is a good idea…we did!

Having stuck in lockdown for seven weeks meant we were desperate to get out of Auckland as soon as the restrictions were lifted. What’s one place Aucklanders go to for a good weekend getaway? Bay of Islands!

The goal was to get some fresh air and get out of town for a weekend. We left Auckland early morning on Saturday with stops along the way in Puhoi, Wellsford, Whangarei and Kerikeri.

Northland has a lot of walking tracks and nature reserves. Places we explored along the way include Brynderwyns Scenic Lookout, Waipu Caves, Whangarei Town Centre, Haruru Falls and Opua Forest Lookout.

We arrived at Paihia in the evening and decided to hike up Opua Forest Lookout Track. The track is surrounded by kauri trees of different ages. According the DOC, some of the mature trees are 400 years old.

From the top of the lookout, we could see the Paihia township, Waitangi, and Motumairie Island across the horizon. The return trip took about an hour and we came across just a few people – a less touristy spot in Paihia.