We were up and out of our hotel by 8am and first up we crossed the Auckland Harbour Bridge. We continued north taking the scenic route winding around hills through farmland and small towns, stopping at Lang's Beach to stretch our legs and have a look at the ocean.
We then proceeded to Whangarei where we went for a walk through the forest at AH Reed Memorial Park. We saw some big kauri trees and a tui. Unfortunately, the track we were going to take to see a waterfall was closed for construction work so we went and grabbed some fish and chips for lunch.
Next, we visited Kiwi North which is home to a museum, kiwi house, reptile display and historic buildings. First, we went into the kiwi house which has an as-natural-as-you-can-get-in-captivity environment for their pair of two-year-old kiwis to live in. It has a stream running through the middle, vegetation and insects for them to forage for and as kiwis are nocturnal it is very dark. They were in and out of their burrows (boxes) the whole time, chasing each other around at a hundred miles an hour, searching for worms and just being kiwis. They seemed quite happy in their little environment and it even "rains" there twice a week. When they are four years old they will be released into the wild.
The reptile display had various tanks with tuatara and several native gecko species. The museum had a bit of everything including an almost complete moa skeleton found at a nearby cave, a waka (canoe) and artefacts made from kauri gum (like amber) which was quite a big trade industry back in the day.
We returned for one more look at the kiwis before getting back in the car and heading further north to Paihia at the Bay of Islands. After checking into our motel we walked along the beach down to the town centre and booked our cruise for tomorrow morning.
Hopefully the weather holds out as rain is predicted for the afternoon. Today it got up to 33°C and it has been quite muggy. It rained a little but otherwise was fine.