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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.

tutukaka marina

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.

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15 Comments Post a comment
  1. Hilarious (though maybe not meant to be, Hayley!).. You went aboard the Flying Poo near the village of Tutukaka?! Sounds like something that belongs in a children’s book 😉 Love your photos! Hope the wedding was nice.

    27 June 2015
    • The connection between car and place never occurred to me 🙂 Kaka is a type of parrot here so that’s what I mainly associate the word with. It was a lovely wedding thanks Amit.

      27 June 2015
  2. Janice Strong #

    Love ‘the flying poo’. Fantastic photos of a beautiful coastline. Looking forward to seeing the wedding photos.

    29 June 2015
  3. New Zealand never ceases to amaze me with so much variation in things to see. The pic of the very odd shaped tree fascinated me. It sure grew in an odd manner.

    1 July 2015
    • I’m glad you think so! And you don’t have to drive massive distances to get the variety. I do love a tree with character :). Thanks very much Yvonne.

      1 July 2015
  4. What a beautiful place!

    2 July 2015
    • Very much so, not that I’m biased or anything :). Thank you Kathleen.

      2 July 2015
  5. Are you coming back to this site, Haley?

    5 August 2015
    • I assume you mean your site. I have the best of intentions and there’s a tonne of posts from you in my inbox. Work life balance has been a challenge for quite a while now and my own blog struggles for my time let alone anyone else’s.

      5 August 2015
      • It was your site I meant because I hadn’t seen a new post in some time. I wanted to be sure you were OK. Sometimes life doesn’t let us play the way we want to, handle priorities first – we’ll be here when you get back.

        5 August 2015
  6. We’ve walked in the same steps, Hayley … three years apart. We were only in Tutukaka overnight (a couple photos are here, and two of those are of the fantastic bottle of wine we enjoyed at Schnappa Rock — hey, I had my priorities! 🙂 ), and it was the last night of our journey around the top part of the North Island before arriving back in Auckland to spend a last week with my husband’s son and new wife so we were tired. Hope to get back and spend time there properly; your photos have intensified that desire.

    And: Hi fellow wuss! If together, you and I could sit and watch others get caught unawares while the tidal water crept in and stranded them.

    31 August 2015
    • I don’t know what it is about rushing water but it triggers some kind of fear reaction! Looks like you had some beautiful northland sunshine too. An inspired idea for you to deviate there and not just stop for the night in Whangarei.

      31 August 2015

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