23-29 December: Christmas week round-up

Author: Mrs A

Location: Bay of Plenty, New Zealand

It’s been a fabulous week with family and friends, meeting neighbours and getting tips and hints for future travels. We have also managed to catch up with friends from Sydney into the bargain, with a couple of lunches enjoyed.

Mr A and I have done some more paddling and hiking throughout the last week, making the most of the weather, which has been typical New Zealand (rain-sun-rain-sun!).

We had a great paddle up the nearby Waipapa River, timing it perfectly with the tides helping us in and out on our trip.

Heading off across the glassy bay
Mr A heading up the river
Enjoying an apple for breakfast in the pouring rain
Mr & Mrs and the bumper boats

Christmas Day was glorious, with a delicious family dinner and an afternoon walk to work it off.

Christmas cheers around the tree
A Tui drinking nectar on the flowers
Stormy skies over the Kaimai Range
A king tide brings the water up onto the reserve…the low lying house owners would have been nervous
Rowing boats waiting to take owners out to the sail boats
“I saw three ships not sailing by…on Christmas Day in the morning….”

On Boxing Day we caught up with friends in the morning, and spent an afternoon walking in the Kaimai Range, not far from Omokoroa:

Seconds from the car you enter lush forest
Heading off down a path
Boardwalks help avoid much of the boggy mud…
Not all the streams have bridges though

On Thursday, stepbrother Simon, Sue’s eldest son, came to visit, bringing wine and gifts. A delicious family brunch was followed by a short walk.

A fan-tail chases flies as we walk through the woods
Summer berries in the hedgerow
A peaceful paradise along Omokoroa beach
A pair of eagle rays entertain us as they hunt in the shallows
Never tire of these views!

Friday saw us heading about an hour’s drive north up to Karangahake Gorge to catch up with friends Sara and Barny who were passing through on their Christmas holiday. After a pub lunch we went for a short walk to some waterfalls, and then a circuit walk through the gorge:

Owharoa Falls – known as bridal-veil falls for their perfect distribution of water
Sara, Barny and team Anderson enjoying the refreshing spray from the water
The roaring Ohinemuri River
The path is pretty narrow here – attention required!
A beautiful short walk before we farewelled Sara and Barny on their way up the Coromandel

We’ve really enjoyed exploring this area, but will be ready to head off a little further afield next week, packing up our tent (and hopefully no punctured mattresses!) to explore some more.

We hope you had a lovely week, whether you celebrate Christmas or whether you just took the opportunity to spend some quality time with friends and family. Seasons greetings from us both!

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