Day 3: To Paihia, Bay of Islands

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On Saturday 26th December 2015, we awoke to a bright blue sky and went to pick up our hire car and start on a 3 hour drive north to the Bay of Islands. After a couple of hours, we turned off Route 1 towards Waipu to take a look at its museum. Sadly, the museum was closed, but all along the main road of this small town were posters telling of the families who had emigrated there from Nova Scotia and had lost family members during the First World War. Waipu also had links with Scotland, and the Highland Games were due to be celebrated there on 1st January.

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Continuing north, we saw a sign for Kawiki glow worm caves so turned off the main road again, hoping the place would be open. I cannot show you any photos of glow worms; just the entrance to the caves. We were guided in by torch light, and when the torches were turned off, small dots of green light could be seen on the cave roof and walls.

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The glow worms hang a thread from their bodies to catch flies attracted by the light at the tail end of the worm’s body. Glow worms live like this for about 11 months, at which time they pupate for 2 weeks and emerge from their cocoons as a fly for 3 days; what a life!

When we left the caves, we followed a track through the bush back to the car park. Here was where we first encountered the strange variety of green foliage which makes up the native bush here.

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We finally arrived at Paihia at 3:30 pm, went for a swim in the hotel pool, then drove along the coast to the town centre for dinner. The sun sets late and slow here in the Bay of Islands.

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« Day 2: Christmas Day in Auckland

Day 4: Bay of Islands »

© Helen Gray 2021