Auckland is a very clean city with one of the highest quality of life in the world and the people are very friendly and cosmopolitan. 80% of the population is of European origin. It is one of the best countries I have ever seen. It is organized, clean, and very calm where having a car is like having a bike. I recommend this island.
Curio Bay has a 200 million year old petrified forest. It is still possible to distinguish the rings of some trees and even the stumps in the ground of this wild beach. This beach also has extensive birdlife.
Another beach to relax on and forget the big city. And why not? You can go fishing. the truth is that it is a village where the only thing to do is enjoy two bays almost simultaneously with stunning scenery. With no hurry you can enjoy its waters. However, you have to be careful here because cars are allowed onto the beach.
On the Coromandel Peninsula, in the North Island, lies the beautiful Whitianga-bay of Mercury. The colors seen here cannot be found anywhere else at this country. The truth is there are a myriad of colorful areas in New Zealand, but this almost uninhabited area, to which you get to in your own car, there is no other way, offers a unequalled spectacle of colors. It was June, when winter begins there, the constant rains and sunrises on the same day made the environment constantly change color, this day we were received well. My friend Alice, from London, and I always like to get lost in this country, and be surprised by its amazing nature, unique and unmatched in the world.
Wonderful Lovely with Russel in front and all the little islands. Water was absolutely impeccable. A helicopter ride to see the Bay of Islands. Restaurants that were very good. The stunning views. All relaxation.
Well, we traveled an absolutely horrendous 35 kilometers in order to get to this little place between Russell and St. Helena Bay. However, once we got there we were in for a pleasant surprise is that we find a small village between two seas, the views amazing as usual in this country, and the best, in the evenings is a group of orcas roam these waters. It is also a great place to practice snorkeling and leverage to get some of the delicious green mussels and giant. In summer there are shops, visitor center two campsites, etc ... But to November 10 not a soul. We arrived exhausted and the campground was closed until December but luckily we found a couple with unbed and breakfast in one room where we stayed. It can take a long walk to the northern tip where the Whangaruru Forest, and is one of the places where you can see the famous kiwi fruits, that and the fact that at night this place is silent are enough to make it amazing.
We left Auckland towards the north of the island and since it´s almost a 600 km drive, we decided to make a little stop in Paiha, Bay of Island. It wasn´t quite yet summer so it was very quiet but it gets very packed because it is the most touristic spot of Noerte Island. The beaches have fine, white sand and they´re surrounded by greenery. The village has no special appeal outside of the bay and harbor. There is a whole chain of virgin islands surrounded by water that goes from white to green to blue to turquoise. Most can be visited by boat and from the air - there´s a small heliport next to the port and for 100 euros, you can have a bird´s eye view of the entire bay. It´s an experience!
Surat Bay is located on the Catlins coast, in the south of the South Island of New Zealand, and it is a pretty wild place with a beach that stretches for miles and that has a colony of sea lions which are quite peaceful, because they let you come near enough to take photos and it does not bother them, they just throw sand on their skin to protect it from the strong sun.
Whangarei Bay is beautiful with over 100 beaches to visit. Almost impossible to see them all but it's worth a try. You have the Bay beaches but try to see the ocean so you can also enjoy the waves. Clear blue water which makes for great snorkling because you can see all the fish. Ideal for sailing and fishing. Nunguru beaches, Tutukaka, Ocean Beach, ....
I had seen whales before in [poi = 68662] Peninsula Valdes [/ poi], Patagonia Argentina ... to be honest, that is probably a better place to see them, but I admit I was very excited whilst waiting to see the whales emerge from the water ..... We only saw two, and as the cruises are often expensive, about 70 euros to see both the whales and the dolphins. To me it seemed more fun than the whales, it is not easy to get the perfect shot, they are not very fast and it is not easy to predict when it will next emerge.
If Ohau Points is where the most seals can be seen in New Zealand, a few miles before (leaving Kaikura), you can see a bay where seals to see up close. The number of seals is usually not high, but we noted that there are always a couple of them, sometimes closer to the road, sometimes not so much.