Whangarei, Day 2

Soon after breakfast we FaceTimed with Alex and Max. It will be great to see them in a couple of weeks from today. Then we spent an hour looking at the next few stops and trying to book motels along the way.

It was probably 11 o’clock by the time we got into the car and drove the 10 minutes into downtown Whangarei. We parked the car and started walking. Lots of cafes and shops, and lots of cars parked along the street, but it seemed very quiet this Sunday morning. We ended up in a small pocket park. We were looking for a place to go for lunch, and although there were lots of cafes in the area, we thought there must be something more interesting on the waterfront. So we checked with google and followed the directions for 900 metres to the harbour. And yes, there were LOTS of people sitting at outdoor cafe tables on a very attractive and very busy waterfront. It gave us a whole new impression of the city!

We chose a restaurant and got a table under a sun umbrella. We had a great lunch with drinks and watched people for an hour or two.

Then we went back to our car and headed north of the city for about 15 minutes, up to the Whangarei Falls Reserve. We parked in the parking lot and headed along a path that was part of a ‘loop’ around the falls. We took a few photos of the falls from one of the bridges that crossed the Hatea River. 

Then we followed a path alongside the river down to the AH Reed Memorial Park. The Park features a stunning canopy walkway, which enabled us to see some of the magnificent 500-year-old kauri trees up close. We had planned to take an alternate route back up to the falls, but the pathway was closed due to some new construction. So we walked back to the car park along the river walk.

We stopped at a Countdown grocery store and picked up sandwich fixings before heading back to our B&B. We’d not been home for long when our hosts, Marion and Kevin, invited us to join them for a ‘cuppa’ on the patio. Marion had done some more baking and ‘tea’ turned into something a little more substantial. We visited for a couple of hours; Kevin and Marion plan to retire from their cleaning business this July and were very interested in our travels, etc. 

Well, that sort of ‘spoiled’ our supper. So after we were back in our place Sue made some sandwiches and we had a ‘small’ supper. We turned on our little TV and watched a bit of New Zealand news and waited for sleep to come.