Wednesday, January 20, 2010

SPT DAYS 23-25: MANGONUI, NEW ZEALAND

Miles flown so far: 17,602

After nearly missing an early morning flight from Sydney to Auckland, we rented a car and drove 4 hours up into the warm, sunny Northland of New Zealand's North Island to the little town of Mangonui.  We stayed with friends near sparkling Doubtless Bay, swimming, sunning, cooking and hanging out for a couple days.

The Northland is the part of New Zealand that has been inhabited by people the longest, which isn't saying much.  It is believed the Maori arrived from Eastern Polynesia about 1000 years ago, followed by the Europeans in the 18th century.  These islands were one of Earth's last untouched corners.  Above is a 19th century Victorian "villa" in Mangonui.

The beach.  The bizarre combination of tropical and subtropical plant types, the blazing sun, the cool ocean breeze... it felt like being in 3 or 4 vastly different places at once.

England?  Northern California?  Tuscany?  the Caribbean?

We had a dinner of fish and chips one evening in town at the local 'chipy.

Sunset with the town below.

We took a day trip to 90-Mile Beach.  Just a short 45 minute drive away was a completely different climate: windswept, chilly, rainy and gray.  We felt like we were in The Piano.  After walking on the beach for a while we headed back south into the sunshine.


2 comments:

  1. wow, wow, wow, wow, and wow -Kate

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  2. lovely pictures of my home town Mangonui.

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