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2024 - January - Day 16 - Kerikeri

The wood used in the construction of the motel did gradually stopped creaking as the night went on. The rooms have very high wood panel ceilings as well which give it the impression of a log cabin inside. I liked it but it didn’t wholly meet Karen’s approval because the room did cool overnight and with just a sheet over me and I woke up quite cold.


After a warming bowl of porridge, I was feeling refreshed and as planned we were ready to leave for our grand day out at 9am. We headed off along the short distance towards Kerikeri although our first stop was planned to Rainbow Falls.


This time it wasn’t until we had both gone through the gates to clean our boots to prevent contaminating the forest that we both remembered that we had been here before. Not that it mattered as they were worth seeing again. From the top it was possible to see a rainbow in the spray from the waterfall and very pretty it looked too. These Kiwi’s certainly know how to do a good waterfall and the other thing is that all these types of places are all free to park and walk into.


We walk down the steps to the bottom and the view again was special. It was made all the better by having the place to ourselves again as we were nice and early.


Then we set off to Blue River Orchard which was not far away and was a place Karen wanted to visit. It was primarily a Blueberry farm and offered home made Blueberry Ice Cream which had received great reviews. It seemed like a small family concern and all the better for it. Karen loved her ice cream and I enjoyed my Blueberry and Apple Smoothie. It was lovely sitting outside in the mid-morning sun enjoying them.


There were a few children with parents doing the same as schools do not start back here until February. It seemed strange to us that they are still on their Christmas/Summer holiday. They are about to start their new academic year which consists of 4 terms with no half terms. The amount of days in schools is still roughly the same as the UK.


Following this we drove into the centre of Kerikeri. It had a couple of nice-looking shopping streets full of local stores for locals. Karen though was on a mission as on our last visit here 4 years ago she had purchased a genuine merino/possum jumper from a shop owned by a lady originally from Norwich. It had cost more money than I dare to mention, but she loved it and wanted another. I warned her that given the owner was elderly then and we had been through Covid that there was a distinct possibility that the shop would no longer be there.


But Karen spotted that the shop ‘Possum Trendz’ was not only there but open and still had the same lady inside running it. It took a couple of minutes for Karen to locate one of the jumpers of the required colour and size before she then started to chat to the lady. I found a comfortable seat in the shop and waited. The owner was pleased to be able to talk about Norwich and her old shop she owned on Elm Hill. Karen left the shop very happy with her purchase even it would probably have been cheaper to have bred some possums ourselves. Apparently, it was still a bargain and would be double the cost at home.


We went for some drinks and snacks for lunch at the recommended local ‘Village Café’. These were very nice again in the sun. The café was obviously popular with the locals as it was quite busy.


From here we wandered back to the car and headed to Kerikeri’s ‘The Warehouse’ store as Karen needed more retail therapy in the form of another ‘quick dry’ top. I may have bought myself one as well as they were of good quality at good prices.


Finally, I got to choose the next destination, although my requirement was much simpler. I wanted to buy some seed packets for some of  the lovely plants we have seen over here to take and hopefully grow at home. So, we knew we had a passed a garden centre earlier so drove back to there and I managed to pick up 3 packets all of which stated on them that they were suitable sealed to be able to take back overseas and would germinate in colder climates.


On the way back to the motel we went to Hururu Falls which were just outside Paihai. It was just a short walk down to them. They were not as spectacular as the Rainbow Falls but we still enjoyed them and could walk out almost onto them.


Back at Paihai, we called into Countdown and bought a hot cooked chicken along with a couple of potatoes to do in the microwave and salad, for our dinner later.


We had a cuppa back in our room before going for a lovely walk along the Paihia bay admiring the view over the Bay of Islands. In the later afternoon sun without a cloud in the sky it was delightful. We sat for a while and counted our blessings for the umpteenth for being able to be here. It was not for the first time that one of us said ‘Can you believe that we are in New Zealand?’.


Eventually we headed back and Karen quickly managed to prepare our dinner that again we were able to enjoy out on our veranda with the remains of our last bottle of lovely Savvy B.


Sadly, though the temperature started to drop and we spent the late evening watching one of the semi-finals from the Australian Open on TV before retiring for the night.

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