New Zealand,an artists tour
My second visit to New Zealand

Bay of Islands
Christmas in the Bay
of islands:
 
T
he Second trip I made to New Zealand was very different
to my first visit. I traveled around New Zealand with

my Fiancee, we were not on a shoe string budget and because of this we could afford to buy a car which gave us independence from public transport, also we got married in New Zealand.
We arrived at the beginning of December in Auckland. We had a stopover in Malaysia - Penang to break up our journey thus alleviating the strain of the long flight.
On our arrival in Auckland we stayed with Doug and Betty, ( Wendy's aunt and uncle ) who made us feel very welcome. We stayed for a week in Auckland to get over our jet lag which gave us time to explore some of the sights in Auckland such as the Kelly Tarltons undersea world and the Auckland Museum. If you do go along to the museum visit the Maori culture exhibition, there is the stage show with some marvelous singing.
The weather on New Zealands South Island at the time was not favourable for traveling so we headed to the tropical north where we could guarantee some warm weather. Our first port of call was Orewa, the Hibiscus coast as it is known just north of Auckland.
From Orewa we caught a coach to Whangarei and stayed at the camp site just off Chelsea and Kensington. We visited the clock museum which is a exhibition of strange and historic clocks, the botanical gardens which has some huge Begonia's and the Whangerei falls.
From Whangarei we moved upto the Bay of Island's and settled in at Russell before the mass Christmas exodus descended on Northland. Having a Christmas in a tropical climate always seems a bit strange if your used to the cold winters of the northern hemisphere but it all added to the experience. At Russell we did as much as possible, visiting the Kelly Tarltons ship wreck museum, Waitangi governors house which is a museum,
the Harruru falls, took the boat trip out to the hole in the rock and on Christmas Eve we went out on an organised trip to swim with some dolphins which must be one of the high lights of our time in NZ. This is an excellent experience which should be taken if you are in the area and have the time.
From a week before Christmas the camp site population was building up and on Christmas Eve it was at maximum capacity but it was not intimidating as it might sound as every body was in the Christmas spirit.
Christmas day was hot and we could not turn down the opportunity of a Christmas day swim.
The Christmas week flew by and before we knew it New Years Eve was upon
us.
This was even more eventful as there was a concert in the local pub, The Duke of Marlborough, the Commitments were puting on a gig, playing late into the night and were extemely loud.
We saw the New Year in at the camp site listening to the Commitments and planning our journey of South Island. The day after new years day we headed back to Auckland, stayed a few days here and then headed south.