Well needless to say since arriving in NZ there has been a lot of repairs! We needed to wait for parts and line up tradesmen to complete the repairs so we decided to remain in Opua and leave straight from here to Rurutu. Nicolas stayed with us for a couple of more days to do laundry and get himself oriented before setting off on his next adventure exploring New Zealand.
There was a rally staging in Opua to voyage to Tonga. This consisted of approximately 30 boats, who were all doing last minute maintenance and preparations for their adventure. This made the Bay of Islands marina a hive of activity and all tradesmen were extremely busy! But also meant the Yacht Club stayed open all week. We enjoyed a few beers and a couple of meals in this small quaint yacht club inclusive of a warming fire.
Opua is a small town that only consists of the marina with a full array of yacht repair facilities. Quite impressive actually. Pretty much everything you need to repair your boat was within short walking distance. There is also a yacht club, general store, fish n chip shop and a café. That is about it, so for grocery shopping or to go get the additional blankets that were needed we had to venture to Paihia or the larger Keri Keri. We were lucky since the rally was in town the marina was running a daily shuttle to Paihia.
Gordon joined us on the Friday evening after his plane ride and a 4 hour bus ride, great to see him! First thing he noticed was the wonderful cold weather! Actually it isn’t that bad it was only getting down to about 8-10 at night. But for us Queenslanders that is cold!
We had a couple of days where we weren’t needing to stay on the boat for tradesmen so we decided to go look around. On Saturday we rented a car and went to Keri Keri to do the needed shopping as well as stoped at Hururu Falls to have a look. After a hectic day of shopping and looking at waterfalls we finished the afternoon on a fantastic jetty bar/restaurant over looking the bay enjoying the sunset.. On Sunday Nicolas was nice enough to stop by on his way back south after going to Cape Reinga and drove us to the Watangi treaty site. This is a historical site where the English and Maori signed a treaty for how they would live together and be governed. Whilst this was a very good and interesting exhibit complete with a cultural show and guided tour I’m not sure it was worth the $50 price tag.
I have to finish this with a unique experience that I had while purchasing a carton of beer... we are at the counter and I'm about to pay for the beer when the attendant asks Juan for his ID... (Juan is 33 by the way) I'm like what if I was here with my 15 year old son you wouldn't let me buy beer because he is under age?????