Winterless North 1 ~ the sunny part
A family wedding in March meant we ‘had’ to take a long weekend in Northland, aka the Winterless North. With expectations of sunshine, sparkling waters, a fancy event and the chance to see a new part of the country, we’d been looking forward to it for months.
We flew to Auckland and picked up a rental car, a humble low-specked affair not to mention brown and compact, earning it a special nickname for the weekend. It was adequate enough for the 3 hour drive to the coast north-east of Whangarei.
I booked a holiday house on a small bay, the location requiring us to put up with these kinds of views…
A short distance by road (or water if you’re keen/mad) is the small settlement of Tutukaka, a popular launching point for fishing and diving trips.
We joined many of those in town for the wedding for welcome drinks at the fishing club, taking the opportunity for a wander around the marina. There was a big crowd on account of it being a fishing competition weekend.
The next day before wedding stuff kicked off we took advantage of the blue skies to take a run in ‘The Flying Poo’ to check out some of the local bays. Whale Bay was first and involved a wee bush walk as well.
The walk provided fantastic views over to the next bay before descending to Whale Bay, a carryover name from the whaling era. From a past with sad connotations comes a beach that is regarded as one of NZ’s best. Given this ‘hype’ we weren’t sure what to expect. It was too early for the small bay to be in full sun-drenched glory but there was no denying it was calm and picturesque, tucked away at the foot of native bush. Here Mike began his quest for as many swims as he could fit into the day.
We carried on around to Woolley’s Bay before backtracking to the stunning Matapouri Bay. It is one of those idyllic horseshoe white-sand beaches and we only had a few other people to share it with.
Mike began his other quest here, to find mermaids. More accurately, the mermaid pools which present themselves at low tide. However this was a failed mission – I think we timed the tides wrong and didn’t really know where they were anyway. During our explore I was reminded about how much of a wuss I am with tidal water, getting stranded temporarily as pathetically shallow water rushed in and out. Clearly not a mermaid.
We visited one more bay, encountering a wedding party mid-photo shoot. The weather looks OK in the photos but there were concerns, about the wind primarily, due to a cyclone a few hundred k’s north but tracking toward us. Hopefully it wouldn’t impact the wedding we now had to go and get ready for.